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11 Nov: Hatfield to Essendon

posted 12 Nov 2012, 10:23 by South Herts   [ updated 12 Jan 2017, 23:17 ]
Essendon or bust!!
Bill, Judy, John, Richard, Steve, Jackie, Steve, Tracy, Craig and Peter all made it to Asda to meet me for the day’s ride out to Essendon via Dobb’s Weir.  I explained to Richard that the ride was fairly straightforward, as I was aware that some may have wanted to attend the AGM that was being held in Colney Heath at 2.30.
9.20 we left and headed out towards Welham Green via the University.  It was here that 2 latecomers joined us for the ride.  Then we headed for the Great North Road and turned off to take Westfield road up to Grubbs Lane.  From there it was straight down Tyler’s Causeway, and up around to White Stubbs Lane.  This is a lovely long whack right into Broxbourne.  Although this route is direct, it is very pleasing to the eye, both sides are lined with trees in all their multi-coloured glory, as well as being popular with cyclists, so we passed a few familiar faces.
Eleven cyclists and bikes
Eleven meet in Hatfield
Two cyclists passing trees
Dappled shade in Tyler's Causeway

In Broxbourne we went down Station Road and took the Old Nazing Road, which lead us onto a road I could’ve stayed on. Then we turned onto Nursery Road and about halfway up headed on to the pathways of the Lee valley Park.  Back on the Old Nazing Road there is a joining point onto the tow path up to Dobb’s Weir: I didn’t want to take that because it would be very muddy, but I wasn’t familiar with the route to get to Dobb’s.  Fortunately Jon took the lead and led us along National Cycle Route 1 to the café. 

The café did an amazing job, there were 13 of us and as we arrived so did a few bikers.  A very busy little place.
Cycling past a lake and willows
Lakes and willows in the Lea Valley
Group outside pub in sun
Outside The Candlestick

Again I had to rely on the group’s knowledge of the area as we left the café and headed to Hoddesdon.  I needed to get to Cock Lane and didn’t really have a clue, but as the group helped out I found myself riding down very familiar roads.  We made Cock Lane and from there it was straight up to Brickendon, skirting the Broxbourne nature reserve. From Brickendon to Bayford then down to the Lower Hatfield road, here I stopped to phone the pub of our imminent arrival. 

Essendon hill beckoned the hill of the day, not so much a hill but just a very long ascent that tests will power and stamina more than anything.  In Essendon we took the West End Road to The Candlestick (lunch) and to be honest the hill up to the pub was worse than the hill into Essendon.

The pub was fantastic and very welcoming; they had set aside two tables for us, one very kindly by the fire.  A really pleasant pub, good affordable food, a great pint with a relaxed atmosphere.

From this viewpoint we could see great billows of smoke coming from the Hatfield direction; it could’ve been anything but it turned out the pallets at the back of the nursery in Smallford had caught fire.  We made lunch for 1.00pm giving Jon and Judy plenty of time to get to the AGM to represent us.
Smoke in blue sky
Smoke over Essendon
Blazing fire
Blazing pallets in Smallford

It was a great day and a great ride.  I thank everybody for coming along and I thank you all for your assistance.


Neil
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