Monday, 30 September 2019

Saturday 28 September 2019 - further faster to St Paul's Walden

The South Herts CTC Saturday Fun Ride is a good step up for fabulous women who want to stretch their ride effort, but this Saturday's was the very strenuous one to Chipperfield, which the further faster fabulous riders deemed a little too strenuous for the time being.  However, they have been itching to go out a day ride for some time, and on Saturday they quietly and informally ventured out on this ride organised by themselves.
This is absolutely brilliant, one of the aims of Five Miles to Fabulous is to give women the confidence to go cycling independently.
However, we have now created an official Further Faster Fabulous club ride, on Monday 7 October.

Teresa reports:
Seven of us met at Morrisons for our longer ride to St Paul’s Walden. We saw Neil assembling for his ride as well.  We went through Sandridge, Nomansland, Leasey Bridge, and Kimpton, a route which we had ridden previously. Then we took a new route (for us) up Claggy Lane and down into Whitwell where we stopped at Emily’s for a brunch. There was a gymkhana taking place there so lots of horse riders. We also saw a black squirrel in the field  - they are common around Hitchin / Letchworth*. We cycled up to St Paul’s Walden and went into the church where the late Queen Mother had worshipped. The photo is of some of the group on the memorial celebrating her life as Duchess of York, the Queen and Queen Mother.

Two of our group decided to return home, so waited for lifts back.  The rest of us took the route around Bullocks Hill, Crouch Green, Nup End and Rabley Heath, before skirting the edge of Codicote along the delightfully named Cowards Lane, to Codicote Road and Wheathampstead, then Sandridge and home.  The weather was fair, with a few light showers. We rode along some lovely quiet lanes north of Codicote, and felt a great achievement at completing this long ride of 33 miles.

* First black squirrel sighting was Letchworth in 1912, not sure why latest report from BBC says Woburn.  

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Saturday 21 September - Open Studios

The Indian Summer continues, another warm and sunny day.  Eight of us went in search of art. 
There was a higher than usual number of idiot males out today.  We won't sully our blog with those idiots and the inadequate, inconsiderate  <rude noun of your choice>s.  Brickbats to them. 
Bouquets to the competent, considerate and charming gentlemen and women we met along the way, be they walking, cycling or driving.
Our route was a loop through Sandridge, out Sandridgebury Lane and back in by Jersey Lane and the bridleway across Oaklands.  Sections of the tarmac on Jersey Lane have been re-laid, across the full width of the highway, which shows just how much available width has been lost to encroaching vegetation.
Having given you lots of floral pictures from our last ride, here is an animal this time, an Oaklands alpaca.
Our Open Studio this year was the Green Kitchen on Hatfield Road.  We heaped up our bikes outside, and went in.  How wonderful, the central table was just the right size for our group, and the food and welcome were lovely.

The featured artist is Claire Miles, a very interesting and varied set of prints on display.  More information here:

We returned to Morrisons along the Alban Way, having covered about eight miles.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Saturday 7 September 2019 - autumn festival - way to go

Six of us gathered at Morrisons, we now meet under the canopy just past the trolleys, as it can get a bit congested around the cycle stands.
Our fickle navigator had decided to forego studios in favour of dahlias.  We started off with a loop to Ellenbrook along the Alban Way, and we nearly gathered up a seventh rider.  We had stopped to sort out waterproofs and a lady cycling by stopped and asked for our group info.

A breather at Nast Hyde Halt, shall we cycle to Cornwall?  Not today, we pedalled along Wilkins Green Lane and then cut back through to the Alban Way on the little byway, making the most of the dry summer conditions under our wheels.
Over to Highfield Park, the apples are early this year, already lots of windfalls in the orchard.  Then we made fairly directly for Ayletts and once there made fairly directly for the Dahlia Cafe.  
Our fabulous-ness got us some lovely feedback from a lady whom we had passed on the A414 path.  As you do, we had rung our bells to alert her to our presence and had slowed down to come by.  She came over to tell us that she had appreciated our courtesy.
Once we had had our coffee, we headed over to the Dahlia Marquee.  The spectacular display had transport as its theme "Way to Go" and cycling was well represented.

We carried on to the Dahlia Field, stunning.
And then we popped in to Butterfly Corner.
Back to Fleetville via Highfield and the Camp cycle route. We may have spent more time on coffee and floral sensations than we spent on cycling, and we still didn't take in all the wonders of the autumn festival, which runs until 15th September.  More details on Aylett Nurseries website.
We have another September ride date, so get browsing the Open Studios programme and come up with suggestions for the 21st.
Our recommendation for next weekend, no organised ride, but as part of Heritage Open Days there are displays and activities at Smallford Station on the Alban Way.  Colney Heath WI are providing light refreshments. More about HODS event here and more about the station here.