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21 April: Hatfield to Allens Green

posted 24 Apr 2013, 01:21 by South Herts   [ updated 12 Jan 2017, 21:41 ]
The sunshine brought 15 of us out at various times to enjoy the ride heading east from Hatfield.  It was great to see Jenny and son Charlie getting ready for the London-Paris challenge.  A warm welcome also to Julian from Old Hatfield, out on his first ride with us.  

Most people seemed to be on their lighter bikes today, so time to test them on a slightly different route to Dane End.  A lovely descent from Datchworth Green, down Raffin Green Lane and across the River Rib, brought us to an equally lovely ascent up High Elms Lane.  There was no wind, so the lack of hedges was welcome and allowed us to enjoy views over the wide-open spaces.  No NIMBY signs regarding wind turbines any more, so maybe those plans had been dropped.
Line of cyclists going up hill
Charlie in the lead
cyclists in sunny pub garden
Lunch at Allens Green

Charlie was doing brilliantly, despite carrying a hamstring injury, and was keen to complete the ride if he possibly could.  So after a good break at Whitehill, where a few left and a few more joined the party, we carried on.  Judy led Charlie & Jenny on a more leisurely route while I led the main group.  With so many out, I was grateful Neil agreed to be ‘back-marker’, which meant I didn’t have to take my shoes and socks off to check I hadn’t lost anyone.

Again, a slightly unusual route took us up to Great Munden and across into Braughing, but I must confess I hadn’t remembered quite how hilly Horse Cross Lane was.  At least it gave us a long fast descent into Much Hadham down Bromley Lane (one we normally have to slog up).  We caught the leisurely riders just before reaching lunch – brilliantly timed.

The Queens Head was doing one of their monthly beer festivals, although cyclists still outnumbered other customers, especially as we found some friends from the Forty Plus CC there.  After a leisurely lunch in the garden, the ride was more relaxed and mostly down hill, passing the Henry Moore Foundation in Perry Green and into Stanstead Abbotts.  Here we followed The New River, which was completed exactly 400 years ago, bringing drinking water from Ware to London on a 40-mile route along the 100ft contour.
Pool with island and tree
Amwell Pond on The New River
After a welcome break at Rose’s Café in Hertford, the last leg back to Hatfield was also relatively flat and easy, completing a circuit of about 55 miles in April sunshine.

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Jon 21/04/2013