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22 June: Another Saturday Saunter

posted 26 Jun 2013, 03:32 by South Herts   [ updated 11 Jan 2017, 23:16 ]
It's 10:00 a.m. and we’re sitting in the Inn on the Park alongside scores of sweaty, steaming runners.  Jon, new rider James, and I wait patiently as millions of heavy droplets of rain throw themselves onto the planet.  We were contemplating starting the ride when a rather sodden Richard Stubbs walks in, he is very wet and just has to have a coffee; so we do our duty and wait patiently for him instead of going out into the pouring rain.  Actually it was good to catch up with him as he had just come back from a cycling trip to France, which from the sounds of it, featured rain as well. 
Group outside cafe
Leaving Inn on the Park
Group with ruined house behind
Sir Richard Bacon's house
Repairing flat tyre
Fixing the first one
Eventually the ride got underway and we headed out to the Gorhambury estate.  By this time the raindrops had ceased their energetic activities and we started a pleasant ride through the estate. James was from Potters Bar and hadn’t cycled much recently; he was enjoying the different views of St Albans.  Up around here are the ruins of Sir Nicholas Bacon’s old house, built in Elizabethan times, apparently one of the first houses to have water on tap.  At the end of this route is a small bit of off road, not challenging but it can cause problems in the wet.

After the estate we headed towards Hemel and it was along here the problem reared its ugly head, a puncture, damn.  The victim was James.  Understandably he was hesitant and Jon really did a great job here.  Everything was fixed and ready to go in no time.  Soon we were heading to Blackwater Lane then down onto Bunkers Lane, which leads down to Nash Mills.

From here I took a left and James took another puncture, a snakebite this time so quick use of the puncture repair kit was called for to repair the first tube and we were soon on our way again.  It was just a short stretch to Harthall lane, which is a lovely little country road that leads up to the Bedmond Road, and once there we took a right up to the tin church and made our way down a rather grotty St Albans Lane until we reached the Holly Bush pub.  Here we followed Ragged Hall Lane into St Albans where the ride ended.  Jon and James headed south to Radlett and Potters Bar for a well-earned lunch, while Richard & I headed north. 

It was an enjoyable ride and we took some roads that we use regularly to leave St Albans, but in the other direction, thus giving rise to some great new views.   James reckoned he enjoyed the ride, despite the rain, and we hope to see him out again soon.

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Neil 22/06/2013

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