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30 Sep: Hatfield to Broom

posted 3 Oct 2012, 23:57 by South Herts   [ updated 12 Jan 2017, 23:41 ]
The 9 o’clock start from Asda was nice and bright but a bit chilly.  Great to see Simon again and Katie whose first ride with us was a rain drenched affair.  Talia I hadn’t met before, but she had also been out on a previous ride.

We headed out to the Ayots via Lemsford and once there we took the lane down to Old Welwyn, zipped up through Codicote and made our way to Whitwell where we took the road up to St Paul’s Walden.  I was going to go around by Preston, but we had done that very recently so I pootled up to the Hitchin road and we blasted our way to elevenses from there.   On our way we met up with Graham who had just missed us at the start.
The Hitchin Kitchen is a great café; there we encountered the rest of the group.  It ended up being 13 riders strong.  Heading out of Hitchin was a bit of a puzzle, which Jon helped me out with.  I don’t think I would’ve made that without help.  From Hitchin we made our way through Ickleford, Arlesley and Henlow.  One of the great things about being dyslexic is you read things wrong, I was certain we had to go to Heplow, but all was well and we were on the right track. 
A brief pause for breath
Inside Hitchin Kitchen

Phoning ahead to make sure the pub could accommodate us was a good idea from Jon.  It took us a little over an hour to get to Broom and it seemed that we were the only ones at the Fox.  A lovely country pub.
Here Steve and Carol left us, we had a leisurely lunch and discussed all things about everything.  The ride to lunch was surprisingly quick as we had the benefit of a wind behind us.  That was soon to change.
The route to tea stop took us via Shefford, Upper Gravenhurst and Shillington, and we battled a head wind all the way; seriously it was really blowing.  At Apsley End we came across some familiar riders, and a junction that had me confused.  It led to everywhere but Peter was on hand to give guidance (via the experience of going in the wrong direction the last time he was there). 
The pub at Broom
Near Upper Gravenhurst

30 Sep 2012

From here it was a quick trek to the strangely named Higham Gobion and then a straight blast down to Lilly, up Butts Hill and then down to Whitwell.  Graham’s wife and son met us there, along with their pony and trap; I have to say Graham has a nice Pony.  After a welcome cuppa, we made our ways back to home, a group going to St Albans and another going to Hatfield.

This was a great day out and a very successful ride for me, it was the biggest group I had led (I lost no-one), and at no point in the ride was I completely stumped.  Thank you to everybody for coming along I hope you all had a great time as I did.