Ten of us gathered in the sun, ready for adventure, a longer ride in unfamiliar terrain.
We set off along the Alban Way and came through Highfield Park, admiring the cherry blossom.
A woodland bridleway and a short stretch of road got us to Napsbury, more sumptuous cherry blossom. Then we were off on tracks through the fields, along the Colne and under the M25. We emerged at the Handley Page industrial estate.
Two of the party peeled off at Moor Mill, needing to be home early. The rest of us carried on along the Ver, with a scientific encounter - we met friendly volunteers from the Ver Valley Society who explained about the river quality monitoring they were doing.
When we reached our coffee stop at Tea in the Woods we had covered eight miles, about 80% of them off-road. We were well ready for calories in the form of large chunks of cake and flapjack and, for one of us, a banana milk shake in a jar.
We followed NCN6 - the Abbey Way - back to St Albans, total distance 14.5 miles.