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Sunday 30th July 2012
Written by Gavin Simmons

We were blessed with clear blue skies and sunshine on Sunday morning as we gathered at Hemel Hemstead. Within a couple of minutes we faced a sharp climb up to the high ground from there on it was through the quiet roads and lanes of this delightful undulating Chiltern countryside. Just before the short climb into the village of Cholesbury poor Muhayman suffered a rather unfortunate mechanical failure; unable to take the strain the bolt anchoring his saddle sheared off leaving just a seat post protruding from the frame. Unable to repair the bike there was nothing for it but to leave Muhayman to walk to Tring in the hope he could find a bike shop and rejoin the ride. The rest of us followed the route up Bottom Road towards the top of hills above Tring. Before making the grand descent down we decided to take a detour on the bridle path running along the ridge and through Northhill Wood. The ground was was firm but allowed those on mountain bikes to have a bit of fun. Immediately afterwards we swept down the hill, past the Natural History Museum, in to Tring.

In Tring we meet up again with Muhayman and, after much delay, managed to repair his bike. During the delay the threatned showers arrived so we made a dash to Marsworth and lunch at the Red Lion, a pretty canal side pub, a mile north of Tring. Thankfully it wasn't too busy so we could all eat inside and dry out. With the rain easing we made our departure at 3pm.

The afternoon was a mixture of bright sunshine and heavy showers. After the climb back towards Ashridge we stopped near Ivinghoe Beacon for a breather and enjoy the fabulous views. Here Wassel's took the opportunity to organise an impromptu photo-shoot.
Wessel's photo-shoot
With rain clouds gathering we pressed on, the going was much easier with most of the return route a gentle descent. Unfortunately our luck ran out, having failed to outrun the showers we had to stop take shelter from torrential rain. This final delay cost us our tea break as we didn't reach 'Sanuk', in Little Heath until 5pm just as the cafe was closing! Despite the lack of tea we all returned back to Hemel before 5.30pm just in time to catch the next London bound train.

Thanks to Tony and Wessel for the photographs.

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