At risk of eating one Easter egg too many it may be a good idea to have a plan to burn them off. Let alone that clocks are changing the previous Sunday and the beginning of Summer time should be celebrated in its own right. Looking at the map and checking train timetables and prices I thought Bedfordshire would be a good choice. Tiny old villages spread along the countryside, very gentle elevation and a variety of pubs available for our lunch break.
Start: We meet 8am 8.45am at Kings Cross. We will take the 8.23am 9.06am train to Hitchin. If all the group is not allowed to board in one train there's a second service at 8.36am 9.08am.The ride will start at 9.25am 10:00am from Hitchin station. Return tickets should cost £9 if we manage to get group savers. Please arrive early to allow us some time to sort the tickets.
Route: This will be a long ride (84 miles in total) but the elevation is gentle which makes it a fantastic first Summer ride. If you have clocked some miles already and have managed to stay active during Winter you should have the necessary stamina to complete this ride. However, you need to be confident as there won't be many handy rail stations en route in case you need to bail out.
PACE OF THE RIDE: Given the gentle elevation expect our normal 15mph average and even faster too. If you haven't cycled in a while or if you have never cycled 70 miles altogether the ride may not be for you. Remember that our policy is that you will be kindly asked to bail out if you are too slow to keep up our pace. Truth be said, this has only happened a handful of times so if you feel on the right side of determined then give it a go. Nonetheless, rail stations en route will be limited so you may need to backtrack a few miles or take a cab if worse comes to the worst and you need to leave the group.
Stops: Expect a stop at around 30 miles, a pub lunch at around 55miles and then may be one stop before we get back to the station. Be aware that we do not stop often, our rides are pretty steady.
Lunch:I haven't picked a pub as yet. I think the area has loads to offer and we may just want to stop as and when we feel hungry between 1pm-2pm and once we pass the 55/60miles mark. We should spend about 1 hour for lunch. No rush now that days will be longer.
What to bring: snacks and water to refuel regularly. Weatherproof gear. Spare inner tube(s),inner tube(s), pump, some cash and lights. A Helmet is mandatory when you ride with us.
HEALTH & SAFETY: Cycling is fun and safe but no sporting activity is risk-free. To minimise such risk when you take part in our rides you will be expected to ride safely, wearing a helmet and abiding by the Highway code. No red light jumping, unexpected turns or dangerous overtaking will be accepted. If we feel you are putting other group members at risk you will be asked to bail out immediately. Please note that you join us at your own risk and that by joining us on this trip you understand, accept and agree to take all the risks inherent and expected from cycling on the roads.
Return to London: Frequent trains back to London with journey up to 45 mins long. We should be back at around 7pm.
Weather : April comes with its infamous showers. I will happily go ahead with forecast of drizzle and scattered showers. Anything less appealing like heavy rain and gust winds will result in cancellation of the event.
"One of the aims of the Cycling group is to appreciate of our natural surroundings, local towns and villages. We hope to minimise our impact by making sure that we are responsible for our litter. Please dispose of all of your litter and snack wrappers carefully".
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