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20 May: Hatfield to Aspenden

posted 26 May 2012, 07:12 by South Herts   [ updated 13 Jan 2017, 23:42 ]
OK, so its freezing cold and the weather forecast isn’t too good but it’s May so where is everybody?  Turning up at the start in Hatfield there were only two people there, well three if you include me. And it was the ladies putting the guys to shame, so top marks to Jackie and Tracey who were ready for the off. The plan was to go to the new café at Thundridge for elevenses, so we started off towards Essendon. We hadn’t gone more than 400 yards when Bill hove into view saying he had been headed for the start when he had had a puncture a little way back, had hastily pumped the tyre up but it was now flat again. Anyway we stood around offering helpful advice while Bill struggled to fit a new tube. Putting the wheel back on the bike there was a loud hiss and the tyre went down again, (oh the joys of cycling). Turned out the valve had torn out of the tube so Bill borrowed a spare from Tracey. 

By now we were properly cold and time was marching on. So I decided to cut out the fancy route I had planned and go straight to Hertford so Bill could buy a replacement tube for Tracey from Halfords. This done it was now well past 11am so we decided on another change of plan. This was to abandon pushing on to Thundridge, as we weren’t sure the new café there was open and as a compromise go to a nearer one in Ware. So we settled into this cosy café and warmed and fed ourselves. At this point Jackie and Bill said they were very sorry but that they had always intended to go home after elevenses. So Tracey and I deliberated on whether to take the easy option and give up, or press on showing a bit of British bulldog spirit (or something like that). So press on we did.

Lunch was to be at ‘The Fox’ in Aspenden which is a lovely little village just short of Buntingford. The route we took was a quiet one through the strangely named hamlet of ‘Cold Christmas’, on through Much Hadham, Standon and, strangely named again, the village of ‘Nasty’, which is actually very nice. So we got to ‘The Fox’, which is a lovely old place with a nice atmosphere, at about 1.30pm. It was surprisingly busy but despite that by 2pm we were ready to go. Original plan had been to go to Stevenage for a tea stop but in the circumstances we discarded that idea and headed straight back home via Dane End.

Part of the reason it had felt so cold all morning was the wind blowing from the north. But now of course we were headed south, so we flew back with the wind behind us, which made a pleasant change. Tracey turned off for her home in Welwyn Gdn City and I went back to the start. Overall I had done just over 50 miles, there had been nil sun but no rain so not a bad day all things considered.