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16 June: Whiteleaf. Bike Week Chilterns Challenge

posted 19 Jun 2013, 01:22 by South Herts   [ updated 11 Jan 2017, 23:21 ]
This was the third of our Bike Week rides and it was great to meet two new riders with us: Peter and Spencer; both were casual riders looking to expand their horizons, and expand them they certainly did.

Carol was our leader for the day, so we had a fun filled adventure to look forward to and this started with Steve being late, but soon enough we were on our way taking a familiar route to Chesham, which featured the delights of Bedmond, Kings Langley, Chipperfield, Flaunden and the wonderfully named Hogpits Bottom.  On this leg it became clear our new riders were having no problem and were thoroughly enjoying themselves.  We had climbed some minor hills and had come whizzing down them as well.  Peter noted this with “that’s the fastest I’ve ever been”.

Rider approaching
Spencer & Roger
Side view of woman on bike

At tea stop Roger returned home and two of our regulars Jon and Judy met us.  After the break we headed out to Whiteleaf, taking in some great countryside around Great Missenden, and in amongst the hills that Carol threw at us were some rather nice bits of light off road.  ‘Yellow’ lanes on the OS Landranger, but little more than bridleways due to lack of maintenance.  It was a great route, a bit of everything, but one of the hills did get to one of us as he made the mistake of looking at it just carrying on upwards.  It just did him in.  But, funnily enough at the next hill, which was longer, he did fine, proving that it really was all down to psychology.

Side view of man on bike
Cyclists shedding layers
Getting hot
Painted wooden figurehead of admiral
Somewhere around here we took a detour to view a ship’s figurehead perched in a garden.  It was very amusing and reminded me of a constipated admiral (not that I’ve met many of those).

Lunch was at a pub on the side of the steep slope of the Chilterns: a nice pub and a pretty spot for lunch.  It was whilst in there that the promised rain arrived and we didn’t get soaked.  Yippeee!
After lunch we had a change of scene as we bounded around the lower edge of the hills towards our next stop Berkhamsted.  Yes, the last stop had changed as we fancied a flatter route and we were soon heading for tea at Simmonds Bakery, only just making it as it closed at 4 pm.   From Berko we took a familiar route back home.  It was a great day out and quite a challenge for our new friends as well as our regulars.

Neil 16/06/2013