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06 Sept: Hatfield to Tawney Common

posted 20 Sep 2015, 04:28 by South Herts   [ updated 24 Nov 2015, 23:48 ]
The Mole Trap Ride:

6 of us met at ASDA in Hatfield on a crisp dry sunny morning, we welcomed newcomer J who had travelled from Tottenham to be with us today. After brief discussions and how do you do’s a happy little party set off for the Cole Green way, most of us stuck to the rules of the road but one unruly member decided to take the bus route by the hospital (tut, tut).
Cyclists standing around
Tracey getting ready to lead from Hatfield

After the leafy Cole Green Way we headed towards Hertingfordbury and encountered our first group of super deluxe speedsters, there must have been about 20-30 riders and they looked as if they hailed from Watford, a happy group as well. We took the back road to Bayfordbury, as we were approaching the junction you could see a mobile multi-coloured group of cyclists, about 20-30 again, all very happily bombing around the countryside. We took the steady climb up to Bayford and then headed back down and up to Brickendon. At the green they were preparing for a fete, some of the conversation turned to hot dogs, indicating a hungry group. We made our way down through the lovely nature reserve of Broxbourne, which features a fantastic ancient forest and in my opinion one of the best in the county, the road we chose cuts right through the middle of it and it is an extremely pleasant experience.

After a quick jaunt through the suburbia of Hoddesdon we eventually arrived at our chosen (closed) destination, but right next to it was a new establishment called Anatolia, which strangely enough did exactly the same fare, good cheap café food. So we came to the conclusion that the same people owned the new place. We deftly question a waiter and he confirmed that the old establishment was now a Kebab house.

After a break we took a wiggling and meandering route out towards Epping, passing through Roydon without waiting for the train (gasp). In and around Epping seems to be the home of boy racers of every sort and today was no exception, cars and bikes whizzed past us as we made our steady but safe way towards lunch. It does seem a little odd that there is an opinion that Essex is flat, when in fact this part is really quite lumpy, there were quite a few huffs and puffs along the way. At some point we treated our new comer to the traditional CTC strip off as the sun came out to bid us all a hearty hello and it was really nice to see shadows after such a dreary week. Heading to lunch we climbed quite a lot, and the views that we were granted were very good, you can see for miles up there.
Quite quickly we had pinged through Epping upland and then through Epping itself, from there we carried on to a rather aptly named Fiddlers Hatch, home of the Fiddlers arms (a pub I’ve never been in but have past many a time). It was here that the leader got confused by the map, Tracey’s route called for her to go straight on but the road ahead was a dead end, we all looked at the map and right enough it looked like we needed to go straight on. So we did - what can you lose? Well we encountered a dead end, with a chap loading his lorry, so I asked him for directions. He was clueless, as he didn’t come from the area. Time to get the map out again, this time we noticed that that there were 2 pubs on the map we had been looking at the wrong pub. Once we had got our bearings it was just a quick jaunt to The Moletrap, lunch and chocolate eggs.

The pub was great as ever and the vintage motorcycle enthusiasts were out in force, they provide a lovely sight and an even better sound as they roar off, a couple of us love our British bikes.

After lunch it was a simple matter of navigating through everywhere called Theydon, brave some irritable motorists, and some motorcyclists that were trying to break the sound barrier. The route to Upshire was very pleasant but surprisingly lumpy (again), soon we were shooting down the Epping Road and making our way towards a well deserved break and cakes of ‘Bakeoff’ standard. It has been said many a time that the ladies of Upshire make the BEST cakes.

After cakes we all took the familiar route back home. J followed the Lee Navigation back to Tottenham; Bill made his way back to Barnet while the rest of us wiggled our way back to Hatfield and home.

A great day out led by Tracey.    

Neil 06/09/2015