It couldn't be done, they said; Lilley Arms in one day. We'd need to book an overnight stop at the Travelodge outside Stevenage, they said. Go the most direct route, they said. And we almost did. We swept up from Knebworth to Kimpton and around the edge of Luton airport. There were no punctures, it was too cold to stop for long and we were ahead of schedule.
We picked up a recumbent cyclist along the route. I did warn him that we could be slow. He said he'd done his serious ride on the previous day.
By noon, we were within 4 miles of the Lilley Arms but they didn't want to see the nine of us before 1.15pm. So we took a diversion around the countryside just east of Luton. Well at least it was countryside marked on my old map. However since it had been published, the Elizabethans had erected a housing estate. Surprised we didn't run into Time Team.
After lunch we wandered south through Preston. Following a democratic vote, we ended up at Emily's tea room at Whitwell just after 4pm. Emily was running a restricted service now, they'd just washed out the coffee machine. So two of us left to go back to Knebworth left the runt of the group drinking tea and eating cake.
Anna B led the dissidents back to Stevenage station in the dark. See her comment.