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27 Dec: Hatfield to Shephall

posted 27 Dec 2015, 23:54 by South Herts   [ updated 13 Apr 2016, 08:54 ]
As we left home on another warm and drizzly day, fueled on Christmas fare, we thought ourselves lucky compared to the flood victims up north.  For us, this mediterranean style winter (warm wet winters westerly winds), was preferable to the icy conditions you might expect, but how many others would be joining us?  Our starting cafe, Jenny's in Hatfield, had the shutters up and looked closed for the day when we arrived at 10 am; so Vish, Judy and I found our way to the Asda cafe.  Having left a note on Jenny's shutters, we were soon joined by our leader, Carol.  After our coffee and cake, with no-one else arriving, would it be worth going out on the ride?  We decided to check for any stragglers lingering outside Jenny's and there they were - six of them inside the cafe enjoying themselves and wondering where the leader was - maybe sticking a note on roller shutters wasn't the cleverest idea?

Group paused in sunshine
We dragged them out for a late start and soon Carol was leading us onto the Cole Green Way, where Judy's Radar Key came in very useful for opening the gate on the Old Coach Road. We were cycling along happily enough through the scotch mist and light drizzle, but came to a sudden halt on the Watton Road in Datchworth,  A deep flood across the road here and we did a hasty u-turn to find another way into Watton.  Soon the sun made a welcome appearance as Carol led us from Aston on a complicated route, including a short bit of rather mucky off-road, into Stevenage to the swallowed-up village of Shephall.

The Old Red Lion has mutated into a Hungry Horse.  It lived up to its name by providing substantial and good value lunches provided with friendly and efficient service.

After lunch some opted for the direct route south on the B road, but most were happy to follow the quieter lanes via Old Knebworth and Codicote.  The drizzle returned for a while, but it was never heavy enough to worry us too much and our last Sunday ride of 2015 had been an enjoyable one thanks to Carol.

Jon 27/12/2015