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15 Jan: St Albans to Berkhamsted

posted 20 Jan 2012, 01:07 by South Herts   [ updated 17 Feb 2017, 23:16 ]
The morning was bright; frost shimmered in the sun and ice lined the kerbs; the brass monkey on the patio wore a pained expression; surely only maniacs would cycle in these conditions.  Six riders duly stood shivering at the War Memorial ready for the signal to go. Then they were off down St Peters St past the remnants of the sales, up Bluehouse Hill & along the A4147, which was devoid of traffic (sensible people, these motorists), to slalom down Bunkers Lane and up Rucklers Lane where the evidence of global warming was distinctly lacking.

We wiggled through the country lanes keeping to the middle of the roads, until near Chenies we stopped to wonder at a symbol of the cold war, very appropriate for the climatic conditions. After Chenies village, we turned onto a track passing Chenies Manor, clearly a prime candidate for a mansion tax.  The track gave great views over the Chess valley to Latimer House, before joining the road to Little Chalfont.
Cyclists looking at a dome on a tower
Cold war listening post?
Two cyclists in front of Chenies manor house
By Chenies manor

Our destination was Ozzy's, a cafe reputedly named after one of Britain's most eminent musicians; would the soothing tones of Black Sabbath ease the pain in the frozen fingers & toes of the cyclists?
Fortunately not, as silence reigned, and strong black coffee was quickly served to alleviate any lingering hangovers and warm the extremities. New Year's resolutions were swiftly abandoned as calories were ingested ready for the onward journey, which took us through Chesham, Cholesbury, Champneys (the idea of a massage was tempting) & into Berkhamsted.
Mid-morning and still frozen

15 Jan 2012

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The Crown is interesting as it was a pub before JD Wetherspoon took it over, so it unusually has both cheapness & ambience. Then it was the usual trek back to St Albans, via Hemel Hempstead but avoiding the magic roundabout & retracing our route up Bunkers Lane with plenty of time to purchase those sale bargains after the final reductions.  Christmas cards seemed really cheap.

Carol & Steve 15/01/2012