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14 Feb: St Albans to Heronsgate

posted 17 Feb 2016, 12:46 by South Herts   [ updated 13 Apr 2016, 09:09 ]
Nine of us met at the war memorial; it was quite a crisp morning. I was aware that we had a bit of a stretch to get to break, so my route was straightforward and fairly linear, but no sooner had we set of than our first casualty of the day struck. Carol had a dodgy knee and didn’t want to risk making it worse, so she bowed out of the day’s events.

Triptych showing 3 arrivals on bikes

My route took us down to Nash Mills, up Rucklers Lane, over to Flaunden and on to Latimer Bottom. Here I shocked everyone by taking them up Stoney Hill; this is quite a steep ascent with a lovely bend hiding the top. At Chalfont St Giles it was just a couple of miles to Chalfont St Peter, which I nearly missed, but thanks to eagle eyed Jon we made the café only a little late and we had covered a good 20 miles. I was now quite confident of the rest of the journey.
Outside cafe  
Fixing a bike

As we left after break it transpired that Steve’s gear cable had snapped. Valiant efforts at repair were thwarted when we saw all his gear changing had worn through the outer, leaving him with just the front gears, so Steve was our next casualty. I was full of confidence as we left Chalfont St Peter and the roads were turning out as I imagined them from the map, but I hadn’t done a test ride of this route so all was new to me. And with no further ado the whole group was the next victim, as I confidently took the wrong right hand turn we zipped past the air museum, as I had planned, but strangely on the wrong side of it.  Carried away by the lovely winding decent, which I was expecting it to curve up but it never did, we ended up in Maple Cross and a long way off-route (Doh!).
But never fear, our bikes had miraculous beer divining capabilities and led us under the M25 and up a slight hill to a Land Of Liberty, Peace & Plenty. This is a rather quaint little pub with excellent beer from all corners of this isle, though there were only very limited snacks and a 45-minute wait for microwaved pasties. Their sausage rolls were quite tasty, but the pub’s main drawback was the lack of interest in serving up anything more substantial. 

After a brief lunch and quick discussion we decided that the route home was going to be via Rickmansworth, the Ebury way, Watford, Bricket Wood and St Peters Street.
A good fun day out that in the end involved everybody in decision-making, a real team effort.

Neil 14/02/2016

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