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10 July: Hertford to Kelvedon Hatch

posted 13 Jul 2016, 23:35 by South Herts   [ updated 9 Dec 2016, 03:25 ]
TOWIE: 9 eager riders met at the memorial in Hertford, the forecast was cloudy, sunny with a chance of a shower, pants to that it was very mizzly throughout the morning.

The route I took to HGC (posh for Harlow Garden Centre) was a familiar one and held no real surprises, but it meant that the group could chat, catch up with each other and generally enjoy themselves without having to worry too much. As we passed Dobb’s Weir the group stopped for a timely “comfort break”.  We were soon heading into Roydon Hamlet and up the hill there, just as the temperature decided to rise, I nearly stopped to take off my jacket, it really was quite muggy and as we headed closer to the break the heavens seemed to open. We all thought it was going to be a little shower but this stuff, although not heavy was here to stay for a while.

5 cyclists in town 
cyclists entering public toilets

In a dribbley fashion we made break, and low and behold we met Eleezabeth (note the French pronunciation) who was collecting for charity, from the Essex 40+.

After break and donning coats and relevant gear we said cheerio to two of our number as we headed out for the flat lands of Essex, and it proved to be a very pleasant meander through the wiggly lanes and small villages of the county. I took the group to Norton Heath and then over to Blackmore, but on our way there we passed through Willingale and spied a house with a few interesting plaques adorning it (see photos).

cyclists look at a house 

Sign showing toll charges

Lunch was at a lovely pub called the Eagle in Kelvedon Hatch, the staff were very accommodating, organised and helpful.

On towards Upshire, the route I chose took us past Kelvedon Common and along Shonks Mill Road leading to the A113, it was a quick skip along here and then we were heading towards the magnificently named Toot Hill, and it really is on a hill. After that we had the rolling and undulating road that sweeps past Tawney Common and brings us down onto the road that goes past The Merry Fiddlers and onto the ascent aptly named Ivy Chimneys. This is quite a climb and just as we got into a rhythm a huge black car decided to bully its way past and jam itself in with oncoming traffic, bringing everyone to a halt. It’s such a downer re-starting on a hill but hey that’s life.

Tea stop was just around the corner after a quick blast down the Epping road, I so enjoy that little bit. The church in Upshire seemed very quiet, with tennis fans away watching Wimbledon, so there were plenty of awesome cakes to scoff, I was a pig and had 2 helpings.

We said our goodbyes after tea and made our own ways home, 4 of us opted for a jaunt up the Lea Valley towpath, while 3 had a short ride back to North London.  Another great day out.

Neil 10/07/2016