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08 Aug: Saturday fun ride to Redbourn

posted 13 Aug 2015, 03:23 by South Herts   [ updated 24 Nov 2015, 23:47 ]
The meet: Morrison’s Fleetville  
The destination: the Hub Redbourn  

This week we welcomed a really healthy sized group to the ride; we had 4 of the 5MTF regular ladies and 8 riders who had seen our group on the GoSkyRide site or had spied our own website and decided to give us a go. We are used to riders coming up from London, but this week our fame had spread as far as Wellingborough! 

So at 10am a contingent of a dozen riders followed me along a route I knew well, taking the quiet Valley Road that swings around to the Harpenden Road. We pootled along and took Beesonend Lane, which leads to the fisheries. It’s here that everybody has to do their best at lifting their bike up onto a bridge to get over the river Ver. We made our way past the Redbournbury Mill, which is a fine sight. One of the pleasures of doing these rides is showing people who live in this area just what is sitting on their doorstep, with main roads bypassing a lot of the more interesting parts of our countryside.
Man with bike

Up from the mill we climbed and then on to a stint on the A5, which was quiet and I was able to get the group over to Punchbowl Lane without trouble. Punchbowl lane is a great ascent, it’s not too steep, but it just steadily and windingly carries on for what seems like an eternity and at one point we all had to pull over for a road-swallowing tractor as harvest was in full swing. After this lengthy climb we reached the top and headed up Cherry Trees Lane and over to Holtsmere End, and then down into the back of Redbourn and a welcome break at the cyclist café The Hub for a good natter and a lovely stop. It’s quite nice to stop at an establishment that uses local produce, i.e. cakes and bread that come from the mill we had passed earlier. 
outside the cafe
At The Hub (I must get a wide angle lens)

We set off again and this time we made our way to the Nicky Line and followed this all the way to Harpenden. At about halfway a major road breaks the line and unfortunately there had been an accident - with an ambulance crew in attendance. As we made our way past this incident a huge group swept past us and up the Nicky Line. We popped off the Nicky and went through Harpenden and up Piggott’s Hill towards Wheathampstead. This is a fairly busy road so a strict single file was in order, but soon enough we entered Nomansland Common and back into the leafy countryside. It was just a quick jaunt along Jersey Lane and we were back at the start.

I would just like to say thanks to Theresa for being a great back marker; she really made life easier for me and the whole group.

Neil 8/8/2015