In contrast to the previous weekend’s balmy temperatures, it was on with the overshoes and long gloves for the first time since spring ahead of a chilly departure from Finsbury Park station. However the sun was already out, and the Little Green Riders were in for a delightful autumnal day in the Hertfordshire lanes under bright blues skies.
Nine of us set off from Knebworth, climbing first to Datchworth and then taking the valley road north from Watton to Walkern.
Now the Little Green attracts all kinds of riders and today was no exception. In amongst the Ridgebacks and Condors were two bikes laden with enough luggage for a week long tour, and soon the task of keeping the group together became interesting to say the least for the leader as the burdened backmarkers lost touch. We resolved to go our separate ways at Walkern, with the tourists not seen again by the rest of the bunch – although apparently they did manage to visit a church, a farm shop and a pub on their subsequent travels.
The remaining seven headed on via Ardeley and Wood End to the White Horse at High Cross on the ‘old A10′ where we enjoyed the usual warm welcome and hearty lunch portions outside in the sun.
On the return we kept astonishingly good discipline and a fairly high speed for this ride, largely forming a single bunch. Waiting briefly for stragglers by the duckpond at Chapmore End and outside the church at Bramfield offered a chance to enjoy the charming village scenery. After a speedy descent of Swengleys Lane we were back in Knebworth in time for the 15.43 train with 52 km on the clock.