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13 Dec: Hatfield to Hoddesdon

posted 16 Dec 2015, 08:51 by South Herts   [ updated 13 Apr 2016, 08:56 ]
This was the first time we had scheduled a Sunday ride meeting at a café at 10.00 for a 10.30 departure.  The plan is to do this through the depths of winter when icy roads can often make cycling hazardous early on, but the roads can clear by mid-morning.  Perhaps we should have allowed more for global warming, as we've had record high temperatures this December.

two cyclists
There were seven of us at the start.  Carol came to give us the latest bulletin on Steve's health (a prolapsed disc) before leaving to attend to the invalid.  John Edwards, whom we had not seen on a South Herts ride for some time, promised us a regular attendance if these late starts could be made permanent.

There was no ice to avoid but the delayed start did mean that the rain had cleared by the time we left.  Our lunch destination was the new Wetherspoons pub in Hoddesdon.  I'd had some fun finding a route that was long enough, without venturing into the urban areas such as Harlow, WGC and Cheshunt.  We looped around a bit through Little Switzerland, before joining the main lane along Tylers Causeway and White Stubbs Lane.  This seemed busier than normal, perhaps a consequence of our later departure.  Next time I'll do even more looping around in the smaller lanes.

We crossed the Lea Valley at Broxbourne and did a loop round in Essex, taking the small lane that climbs uphill to Nazeing Church.  I resisted venturing further into Harlow but headed back downhill again though Roydon Hamlet to Dobbs Weir bridge, which a quick check of the Highways web-site the day before had shown to be open to cyclists that weekend.  Once through here, it was a short ride to our lunch time destination where Richard joined us.
  
As usual, Wetherspoons had done a good job of converting the pub and provided a good value menu.  After lunch we divided into two groups to ride home: the more northerly group heading back via Goose Green and Hertford and the southerly group taking the traffic free (but tarmaced) route through the Lea Valley Park.

Judy 13/12/2015

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