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18 May: Hatfield to Shefford

posted 21 May 2014, 00:08 by South Herts   [ updated 24 Nov 2015, 23:09 ]
Group in cafe
A good nosh at Hitchin Kitchen
Line of cyclists
Follow my leader in Arlesey
Group stopped in pretty high street
Shefford High Street
Cyclists heading for underpass
Campton underpass - so good we did it thrice
Group discussing where to go
Now where can we get some food?
Horses grazing in yellow field
Horses grazing buttercups in Lilley
Woman wearing rubber gloves examines upturned bike
Now this won't hurt much -
I'm only going to pull your tube out
The weather gods smiled upon us this Sunday with a bright, sunny and warm day.  My route took us through Welwyn Garden City and the long climb from Digswell to Harmer Green then on to Datchworth, where we were treated to some nice views over Hertfordshire, before descending Bragbury Lane and into Stevenage.  I used the cycle path network in Stevenage, which brought us out on the NW of the town at Fishers Green.  Then it was on through Little Wymondley and into Hitchin to the cafe.  Fellow riders seemed to enjoy this unusual route from Hatfield to Hitchin and it made a change from going through the hilly lanes west of Stevenage (see map).

Leaving Hitchin we took the road to Arlesey via Ickleford and then the cycle path to Henlow and on to Clifton and Shefford.  This was a fast, flat route typical of this part of Bedfordshire.  I had intended to stop for lunch at the White Hart in Campton, but we discovered they did not do food apart from crisps (unfortunately, the message that this was supposed to be a picnic ride had been lost somewhere between the planning and the execution).  So we retraced to Shefford and enjoyed a good lunch in the quiet garden behind the White Hart Hotel. The landlady was very helpful and it was the second time in recent years this venue had come to the rescue in our hour of need.

After lunch we headed back through Gravenhurst, Hexton and another long climb to Lilley, glad to find some shade on the way up and a nice cooling breeze at the top.  One or two riders on the 100-mile St Albans charity ride struggled past so we encouraged them with cries of “only 30 miles to go!”  We were held up just a little when Sue wrestled with a puncture in her rear tyre. Some stayed to help (or watch at least) while others carried on to Whitwell, where we regrouped with a refreshing afternoon drink at Emily’s cafe.  The afternoon was getting very hot, so we were all glad to cool down at the cafe in and it was good to meet up with Anne Jarman there.

After tea back to Hatfield via Codicote and Digswell Hill, which we ascended considerably slower than the elite females had done in the Women’s Tour of Britain last week.

59 miles:

Mike 18/04/2014