Walking along Icy Lane
Today was one of those crisp winter days with barely a cloud in the sky, and the illumination of the low sun brings out the texture in the landscape. However, wet weather earlier in the week had washed debris and hedge clippings onto the lanes, and they were still wet last night when they froze under a clear sky. The result was not simply a hard frost, but icy surfaces. It was a beautiful day, but we had to proceed very carefully.
Instead of the planned 45 mile circumnavigation of Stevenage, we managed 11 miles to Lilley. We were also hampered by three punctures, and so the last contingent didn’t reach the pub until well after opening time! However, the Lilley Arms are well versed in the ways of cyclists, and looked after us very well.
The temperature never got above 5°C all day, so the road conditions didn’t improve after lunch. A late departure from the pub dictated a direct route back to Harpenden. However, at least the B road through Kimpton had been treated and was ice free. We got back to the station as the sun set. Only 24 miles, but we all got back in one piece. Oh, and somebody got a pheasant for their Christmas dinner!