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19 Feb: St Albans to Whelpley Hill

posted 20 Feb 2012, 03:31 by South Herts   [ updated 2 Feb 2017, 23:58 ]
Winter’s icy grip weakened enough for our first Sunday ride since January, although some icy patches were evident as I headed into a bitterly cold northwesterly on my ride to St Albans.  As I arrived, I was pleased to see Neil in good health again and soon eight riders were sheltering behind me to warm up in the sunshine along the Redbourn Road.  As we dropped then climbed out of Trowley Bottom, our idle thoughts turned to wondering how some of the lanes in the area, such as Friendless Lane, Hogg End Lane, Punchbowl Lane and Puddlephat’s Lane had acquired their names.  These thoughts were soon banished as my attention turned to why my gears were playing up.  Soon I was stuck on the granny gears as my front gear cable finally gave up and I was glad to be freewheeling down Pedley Hill to the Café at Hudnall Corner.  While the others elbowed their way to the counter in this steamy café, Steve lent me a spare cable to save me using my 3 metre long spare and I soon had it fixed.  Just time for a quick cuppa and a look at some of the scooters parked outside, including one festooned with lights and mirrors.

Pausing in the sunshine on Hogg End Lane
Well decorated scooter

Craig leaving Fourways Cafe

19 Feb 2012

More hills followed in quick succession as we skirted Ashridge Park and dropped down Tom’s Hill into Aldbury.  From here it was a very pretty route via Little Champneys and Ashley Green to Whelpley Hill were a roaring fire awaited us in the pub.  We left at 2 pm, narrowly missing Phil who arrived a minute later.  On the way back, hedge-clipping season was in full swing and claimed two victims.  Giles punctured on Rucklers Lane, where some of the group stayed back to assist.  We carried on then someone else (who shall remain nameless) punctured at Bedmond.  The contents of his repair kit were emptied out, only to find firstly no spare tube, secondly no patches and thirdly only dried up glue.  Fortunately we could repair the tube between us, avoiding a long walk home.

Jon 19/02/2012