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30 Dec: Hatfield to Markyate

posted 2 Jan 2013, 09:22 by South Herts   [ updated 14 Jan 2013, 08:52 ]
The last ride of 2012 and, after days of rain, it had finally stopped and the omens were good for a sunny day. So there were ten of us at the start in Hatfield ready to burn off some of our excess Xmas calories. First stop was to be at the Wyevale Garden Centre in Codicote but that is not very far from Hatfield so some detours were necessary. So instead of going directly north we went off in an easterly loop via Panshanger, Tewin and Woolmer Green. By the time we reached the garden centre we had done about 15 miles, time for a refreshment break. Going inside we found two members of our usual group who had gone straight there and were waiting to join us.
Cyclists at 4 tables in cafe
Lunch at Markyate Cafe
Over coffee we discussed the original plan, which was to go on to a pub in Flamstead for lunch, but there were dissenting voices opining that it might be too expensive, judging by the menus on their website. So instead we decided to go to Markyate, which is just beyond Flamstead and look for a pub there.  Failing that we could always come back to Flamstead. Away we went through Kimpton and Peters Green and then down the long hill to the Lower Luton road. Going down this hill one has the joy of anticipating the long slog climbing up the other side of the valley as you have a fine view of the road ahead going straight uphill ahead of you. In due course we arrived in Markyate, which has a nice old-fashioned High St. with quite a number of pubs, of which none, upon enquiry were serving food. However all was not lost as we found the ‘Markyate Village Café’ a very pleasant establishment, which made us welcome with excellent food at a very reasonable price.
After that the group headed south, some to St Albans, others towards the start at Hatfield and others to north London. All told the ride had been just over 40 miles and it had been a fine and bright day; a good end to the year’s cycling.