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30 Nov: Hatfield to Goff's Oak

posted 1 Dec 2014, 05:51 by South Herts   [ updated 29 Jan 2015, 07:26 ]
The Gods looked down kindly on us once more, after bad weather cancelled the previous Sunday ride, with a misty morning developing into a sunny, last day of autumn.  Following the inevitable ups and downs from Hatfield to Hertford via Bayford,  the course was unusually flat for the twelve riders who set out, though one had to turn back early because of domestic circumstances.  
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Mist clearing at Hertford
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Broxbourne rowers
From Hertford we followed Sustrans’ route 61 through Ware along the River Lee Navigation towpath. Smoke rising from some of the narrow boats moored along the bank made us wonder how many were occupied throughout the winter months.   The towpath was quite rough in parts – the parts that hadn’t been smoothed by a soft, mucky layer of autumn leaf mould. The major hazards here proved to be joggers with earphones, insulated from our bicycle bell warnings, and the odd kamikaze dog.

The Village Café in Stanstead Abbotts provided swift service with generous food and drink to over fortify us for the continued mainly flat route to Goff’s Oak.  This followed route 61 along the Lee Navigation intermittently, with detours through the outskirts of Hoddesdon and Cheshunt and final cycle paths and minor roads up to the Wheelwrights at Goff’s Oak.  Carol was quite concerned that she may not have ridden off her bacon sandwich, although a blood-boiling episode with an inconsiderate driver in Hoddesdon might have helped burn off some calories.

The Wheelwrights was a modern, featureless structure by pub standards, providing only McMullens’ mediocre AK on hand pump (the IPA was off).  However, they served up prompt and nourishing food, which again was probably excessive for the 10 or so miles for those going back to Hatfield!

Craig 30/11/2014

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