7 Feb 2007

Report on Rona's Ride - 4-Feb-07

Some STACC members joined the Central London CTC ride from St Albans 4
February 2007, lead by STACC member Rona Wightman. This is the ride report.

Expecting another lovely day like Saturday, St Alban's based leader Rona
wrapped up her six year old daughter and hitched up the trailer bike and
dusted the cobwebs off her husband's bike, and headed down to the
station. Three local riders there already - I always let the local CTC
and the St Albans Cycle Campaign know when I am leading a ride, and I
also promote the ride to the Bicycle User Group at work. Plus John
from CLCTC who had driven out from North London. Trains running late,
of course, but wait not too prolonged.

Set off through St Albans, intending to take advantage of the sunshine
and head out northeast into open country. Targets lunch at Codicote and
purchase of vegetables at Whitwell. However....

First stop at Sandridgebury to add second pair of trousers and gilet to
daughter's apparel. A good one star stop this, as food was available to
purchase from John the Butcher, who trades out of the old farm bothy,
selling local produce to locals and passing cyclists. Extra clothing
layers did not sufficiently warm my sprog however, and to make matters
worse, the fog rolled over and blottted out the sun. I regret to have
to report that shivering and sobs were heard from the trailer bike, and
the old tourist trick of plastic bags over the feet did not work its
magic on this occasion. Some chocolate, a pep-talk, a hug and promise
that we would stop at the first available cosy pub got over the sobs,
but plaintaive cries of 'I hope we find a cosy pub soon' did accompany
us along the Roman Road through Coleman Green, up the hill past the
lovely 1611 Water End mansion and up to St Peter's Green, which we
reached at about 1145h. And we rode slowly around the corner to...

A warm welcome at the Red Lion, an old staging post on the Great North
Road. Two blazing fires and an extensive menu. Most restorative.
Leader decided to abandon the fog-shrouded open country and return to St
Albans by more wooded and urban and hopefully a tad less chilly route.
So we turned off the Great North Road onto the Great North Way (NCN 12),
a lovely ride through the woods down into Welwyn Garden City. Through
the rustic charms of Handside, along the A1000 for a bit, back over the
Great North Road at Hatfield, where we left NCN12 and crossed over the
East Coast Main Line onto the Alban Way, an old railway line (NCN 57).

We fitted in a play-stop at Ellenbrook, a diversion off the track to
admire another Jacobean mansion at Nast Hyde and a coffee stop at
Notcutts Garden Centre, Smallford before cruising back to the station.

PS: If anyone knows how to persuade a 6 year old that if they make an
effort to pedal they will be warmer, I would be very glad to hear it.

(Above write up by Rona - published by Tom)

1 comment:

Mike1727 said...


A fixed wheel would do the job nicely...