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01 Feb: Hatfield to Turnford

posted 4 Feb 2015, 04:46 by South Herts   [ updated 24 Nov 2015, 23:40 ]
It was on a very chilly winter’s morning that three of us met in Hatfield and the first challenge of the day presented itself right there and then. Tracey had a puncture, but it seemed like the tyre was only a bit flat and she had just changed it due to a previous puncture. So with bike flipped over the thing just wouldn't take any air. I thought I was being a bit weak, so we grabbed a longer pump and used Steve who came up with the same results. So it was off with the tyre to get some air into the tube to see where the hole was, but that proved useless and so I checked the tyre while Steve kept pumping. The pair of us not having any luck, we were just about to put it down to a faulty valve and bad luck when Steve found the culprit: a substantial gash near the base of the valve.  Could it be that the tyre had been put on with tyre levers nipping the tube?  
removing tyre
Steve gets cold fingers
Steve proceeded to replace the tube and give an impromptu demo of how to put a tyre on a wheel without levers, despite having frozen fingers.

We were late heading out from Hatfield, and aware that it might be icy. After some discussion we decided to head out to the first stop, Potters Bar via the vet college in Brookmans Park.  We made our way by going past Hertfordshire University and out through the back end of Colney Heath and Bullen’s Green. We were soon pootling down Water End and up Hawkshead Lane to the vet college.
The temperature was a couple of degrees higher than the dire forecast and roads turned out to be clear and useable, which made our progress easy going and quick. So Tracey decided to put a bit extra into the morning ride, and at Brookmans Park we went into the village and made our way towards the A1000, then we took the Cuffley turn and shot (ha!) up that hill towards the Ridgeway. From there it was just a quick little journey and we were in Potters Bar. With that diversion we still arrived at break early after leaving late.

At The Broadway Café a happy chappie called Pete met us and we all decided to have a feed, as the lunch destination was an unfamiliar pub. From elevenses Tracey gave us an unprecedented tour of Northaw and Cuffley, including the delights of Vineyard Hill. Soon we were making our way up towards Goff’s Oak, only to be given another detour as we re-acquainted ourselves with the delights of Bread and Cheese Lane. That’s quite a climb up to the top there, from where we took a direct route into Turnford.

The lunch destination was suitably posh, it had a plate glass door and some of the tables were done up butcher’s blocks, but it was actually a very nice pub with some nice prices. They were very good as they gave the impression that it wasn’t busy although the restaurant was extremely lively. After lunch we planned to make our way back via White Stubbs Lane, which we did but had to back track as there had been an accident, so we popped up the road that runs parallel to it and the back onto White Stubbs Lane. We all managed to avoid the often-icy delights of Tyler’s Causeway.

Tracey had led a great 40 mile ride demonstrating the adaptability of a good ride leader.

Neil 1/2/2015