Although there are numerous inns that claim the record, according to the Guinness Book of World Records listing 'Ye Olde Fighting Cocks' in St. Albans is Britain's oldest pub. With this pub in mind I have maped this new ride. For logistic purposes, we will slightly change the plan on this occasion. We will take a train out of London cycle the full ride before lunch, which will be later than usual, and then take the train back straight after lunch. The pub is located in the historic part of St Albans with the Cathedral and Roman ruins just next to it. On the day, we may decide to have a short walk around to check out these sites.
Start: We will be meeting slightly later at 9.15am to take the 9.41am service to Potters Bar.. We meet 8.45am at the ticket office. Please note that King's Cross has been refurbished and the ticket office has changed location. The ride will start at 10.15am from Potters Bar Station. The reasn being that I only managed to book us a table at the pub for 3pm.Tickets to Potters Bar (where the ride will start) cost £ 7.30 BUT WITH GROUP SAVERS we will pay half that price (about £4). Therefore, it is very important that you are punctual so that we have time to sort out the group savers and to board the train. If you arrive late you may miss out on group savers .
We have a service at 9.06am and another at 9.11am. If we can't all board one train we will split in between those two services. The ride will start promptly at 9.30am from Potters Bar Station (9.45am if we had to split in two trains).
Route: Just about 50 miles. While the elevation remains gentle (max 510ft) this route will have us going up and down all the way and there are a couple of steep climbs. Nothing major and just to keep those legs spinning in which is likely to be a cold day. Last winter we enjoyed some nice quiet tracks in Hertfordshire so I expect this ride to be scenic as well.(below some pictures of villages we will be cycling along)
PACE OF THE RIDE: If you cycle regularly and do at least one long (50 miles) ride each week you should be alright. If you have never cycled more than 30 miles this is not a ride for you the reason being we will keep a steady 15mph pace. IF YOU CAN'T KEEP UP OUR PACE you will be kindly asked to bail out. At 10 miles into the ride there is a train station. If you are already falling behind you will be asked to bail out there (Hertford North railway station).
Stops: During these shorter winter rides we tend to have no stops other than the lunch one. However, given that the pub is at 50 miles we will have one (very) quick stop to refuel at about 30 miles. Bring something to keep those hunger pains quiet. Finally, we should be having lunch at about 2.30ish pm. You can check the pub credentiasl here
Picture above is of St Albans Cathedral
What to bring: snacks and water to refuel regularly. Weatherproof gear. Spare inner tube(s), pump, some cash. LIGHTS!!! and a Helmet (you won't be able to join us if you don't wear a helmet).
Return to London: We have several trains an hour back to London. Cost is £7.90 although we will pay half that price with group savers. Trains return to St Pancras and the journey lasts between 20 and 30 mins. I expect to be back in London by 5pm.
Weather : These days are too cold to cycle with drizzle or rain. I can get over the grey skies but I will however cancel if the forecast is of rain (heavy or light) or strong winds. This may result in last minute cancellations for which I apologise in advance.
"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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