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Archive for May 2016

Robin’s North Downs ride on 8th May

Posted on Wednesday 11 May 2016 by John Silvertown

On Robin Hamilton's excellent ride in the North Downs on Sunday.

On Robin Hamilton’s excellent ride in the North Downs on Sunday.

Mayday Ride to Lilley Flower Festival

Posted on Wednesday 4 May 2016 by Charles Harvey

Every year, during the early May Bank Holiday, the village of Lilley puts on a flower festival in the church. Most years I lead a ride to it. Perhaps I should have put a warning on the ride description that though the ride is a 1* ride, it is longer that average and we didn’t finish until about 18.00.

The last couple of years, there have been problems with trains to Welwyn Garden City (WGC), the start point. Happily, this time everyone arrived as planned and we could get on with our ride straight away. Interestingly, all the riders were new to me. I’d never met any of them on a 1* ride before. One of them was riding a Dutch style shopping bike and I wondered how he would cope on the ride. I needn’t have worried. He had no problems keeping up. We exited WGC through Sherrardspark Wood and rode through country lanes via Ayot St Peter to Emily’s Café at Whitwell.

Emily’s is a well-known refreshment stop for cyclists and the good weather had brought them out in droves. Cyclists made up the vast majority of customers and we goggled at the expensive hardware that many of them rode. Indeed, the whole area was full on cycling groups. We probably saw more people bikes than in cars.

From Emily’s we rode on for another hour to Lilley. This year the theme of the flower show was “Inns of England”. I was pleased to see that one display was based on “The Missing Sock”, a pub near Cambridge which I passed on a Barnet Cyclists cycling weekend last year. Two of us ate in the village hall where I can recommend the cream scones. The rest ate at The Lilley Arms, another well-known cyclists’ destination, sometimes used as the meeting point for CLCTC’s All Star Ride.

As we headed back it became clear that one of our number, who had not been on bike for some time, was flagging so the speed of the ride slowed. We made it back to Emily’s for the tea stop but she was clearly tired. Near Codicote Bottom, we agreed that she should rest in a pub in Codicote while I took the rest of ride back to WGC and then collected her with my car.

This all worked out well. We got back to WGC quite quickly and I collected our tired out rider and drove her home.

My thanks to Simon Tully who was a supportive backstop.



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