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25 Nov: Hatfield to Aspenden

posted 26 Nov 2012, 05:19 by South Herts   [ updated 12 Jan 2017, 23:06 ]
We welcomed two somewhat contrasting newcomers, who decided to join us on a blustery day for our ride to Aspenden.  Our first stop was Whitehill Golf Club.  Saving the really hilly route for the return journey, we took the easier and faster option via the tarmaced section of the Cole Green Way, then through Hertford, up Port Hill and through Sacombe Park.

Natalie, who had borrowed a friend’s bike to ride with us, was more used to the mountains, beaches and warmth of Cape Town, but she was revelling in the experience of exploring Hertfordshire in a colourful English autumn.  Neil, a seasoned CTC member from Chester, also out on his first ride with us, was discovering some routes around his new abode in WGC.

We met Richard as we were turned into the entrance of the golf club together at exactly 11 am.  But disaster had struck.  All was dark inside and we were told that a fallen tree had brought down the power supply.  Nothing daunted, we pressed on to Thundridge Stores instead (sorry Giles – no fry-up for you).

The old main road to Hertford
Sacombe Park
Sacombe Park
Natalie leading through the flood

This was already Natalie’s longest ride, but she was enjoying it and keen to press on to lunch, so I took a more direct route up the old A10, through Puckeridge and Westmill, with a strong wind behind us and we reached the pub at 1 pm.  Here we were welcomed warmly and shown to a round table by the roaring fire – the last free table in this deservedly popular establishment.

We took a direct but more hilly route back, which sheltered us from the wind, although this had abated by now.  One last obstacle was a flooded lane before Watton; deep enough to half submerge Judy on her Trice recumbent!   Natalie was starting to struggle and the chunky tyres on her friend’s bike looked a bit soft.  A quick squirt from Giles’ CO2 canister made all the difference and we all made it back to Hatfield just as it was getting dark. It’s amazing was a difference fully inflated tyres can make.

Jon 25/11/2012