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07 Aug: Panshanger to Royston

posted 11 Aug 2016, 09:15 by South Herts   [ updated 1 Jan 2017, 22:34 ]
With many away on holidays 4 of us met for the start of Tracey’s ride into Cambridgeshire countryside; Jeff came out with us for the first time in a long time and it was grand to see him. We set of at a great pace and made short work of heading towards Codicote via Old Welwyn, then Tracey gave us a treat and navigated the lanes around the back of the Node, onto Easthall and then up along Hitchwood Lane that leads to Poynders End. From here we headed down the hill and made our way over to Gosmore. We made Hitchin in great time and had a lovely break sat outside the café. As we were munching, a healthy looking Mr Richard Stubbs arrived to bolster our numbers, he ordered the biggest plate of beans on toast I had ever seen, but the apple pie and custard that Jon & Jeff ordered looked even better.

apple pie covered in custard 

Leaving Hitchin was quite urban, but not busy and very enjoyable as we whizzed down the roads towards Letchworth and then onto Baldock. We had a delightful rolling ride as we headed through Ashwell, Litlington and Bassingbourn. Around here we came across a huge combine harvester intent on bringing in the corn, making a turn into a field as it made its manoeuvre we wondered whether the produce would make bread, cereals or BEER.  The half-track monster of a machine had chewed up the freshly laid loose chippings, which coated our tyres with a protective layer of tar and stones: easily brushed off except for my knobbly tyres where they had to be dug out.

combine harvester 
Two cyclists

Coming into Royston Tracey suddenly jammed on her brakes, not for the traffic but because a bee had somehow crept inside her tight-fitting top and stung her. Just as well the pub was around the corner and we had a lovely hour to relax in the shade at the back.  

Upon leaving Royston we took a right turn and traversed a stretch of road that we hadn’t been down before, this was a long, undulating affair of a road which gave us a spectacular view of the countryside. We reached Dane End via Barkway, Wyddial, Buntingford and Nasty. It was a lovely route that Tracey needs to be pleased about. It was also a battle with the side wind and we rewarded ourselves with more drinks at the golf club. Here we discussed bike rides and Richard very nicely agreed to lead a Saturday ride on the 3rd of September.

two cycle under a shady tree 
4 standing outside pub

All that was left to do was go home Via Sacombe Park and Waterford.  

Tracey led another great ride. On that note I must point out that we will soon be adding new rides that need leaders, one of our regular leaders is unable to lead due to other commitments and some of us have already stepped up to fill some gaps, but these are your rides as well. It’s always good to share the fun of planning routes and having lots of different leaders keeps the rides interesting for everyone.

Neil 07/08/2016