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08 Sep: St Albans to Quainton

posted 9 Sep 2013, 05:12 by South Herts   [ updated 11 Jan 2017, 22:12 ]
The Sunday riders joined forces with our Cotswolds tourists and added up to what must be record numbers for a Sunday ride.  Getting in a taster for the Cotswold Hills, Richard led 11 of the tourists and another 8 Sunday riders up and down the Chilterns Hills to Wendover Woods, where an extra tourist and 4 more Sunday riders joined the party.  It was great to welcome Steve and Jackie back with us following Steve’s nasty collision earlier in the year.  They and a few others returned home from Wendover, including Steve & Carol who were off to Amersham to see the steam train on the Metropolitan Line, and we carried on to Quainton for lunch.

Groups at two outside tables
At the cafe in Wendover Woods
Riding through country park
Riding through the Waddesdon Estate

Richard’s route now took us through the vast Waddesdon Estate, where Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild built his country retreat in the style of a Loire chateau in 1877.  This is a lovely, direct traffic-free route climbing gently up from the Thame valley.

Some isolated showers blew over while we were in the pub, heralding the arrival of autumn – at least for a day or two.  Undaunted, we waved the tour party off as they left the pub and headed for the hills, while we Sunday riders headed for Tring.  Then five minutes later Richard surprised us as his group merged in again at the next junction, so they had to be careful to follow the right leader when we finally split up.

We carried on through some brief showers to Cublington, where a marvellous rainbow formed to our left and some very black clouds hovered over the Chilterns.  Too late for tea at Tring, we carried on to Berko and into the reliable Crown for a coffee (or beer!) break.  We escaped with our lives and it was now an easy ride back to St Albans.  Easy for all except Rebecca, whose back wheel had developed an interesting wobble due to several broken spokes.  There’s nothing like brakes rubbing to get in a bit of extra resistance training on a hilly 74 mile ride!

Jon 8/9/2013