Welwyn Hatfield Cycling Forum

People On Bikes

We run a social ride on the second Saturday of every month. The rides generally use segregated cycle paths or quiet roads around our area and are suitable for teenagers and adults.

We also run family rides to particular events that we think might interest people. These will be fairly short and should be suitable for children of all ages. Children should be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Start time and starting point vary depending on the ride, so do check the events listings below. Rides are free and open to all, but when you arrive you will have to sign in.

Events that we visit may have an entry fee, this will be noted in the ride details.

If you'd like more information on any ride, or if you would like to suggest a ride, please email us. Details on the Contacts page.

Click here for a list of all proposed events for 2014. Note: details and dates may change so please check nearer the time.

Forthcoming Events for 2014

August 2014

LEA PADDLERS

SECOND SATURDAY SOCIAL RIDE

SATURDAY 9TH AUGUST

Join us on what we hope will be a warm if not hot August day. In order to keep our cool, the aim is to paddle in the Lea three times!

Our route is an old favourite from Hatfield to Wheathampstead via Symonds Hyde Wood and the Lea ford. Lunch at Jack's where there are steps down to the Lea for our second paddle and then a ride back along the tree lined Ayot Greenway to Sherrardspark Wood. Avoiding the town centre, we will then have our third paddle at Stanborough Park and possibly an ice cream before returning to Hatfield.

Total distance 15 miles.

Meet at Hatfield Swim Centre, Lemsford Road, AL10 0EB for 11am start.

Phone Adam Edwards ride leader on 07963 505025.

Past Events from 2014

April 2014

ALBAN WAY LITTER PICK

Easter Saturday 2014 saw a magnificent 13 spend a good two hours clearing litter from the Alban Way in Hatfield.

The Team
The happy team

We covered Ground Lane to Lemsford Road on the Alban Way, just over three quarters of a mile. We used up every bag Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council supplied so were very grateful to the Street Wardens for their additional stocks. The photos show just how much we cleared at one of three locations.

The Litter
Some of the haul

Significant finds included a bread maker, a futon frame, a single bed and several doors! Sadly much of the dumping is at two locations which are regularly cleared by Serco and then get filled up again, to the rear of Stockbreach Close. Also there are still significant dumps of items down the side of the cycle route along the section south of Wellfield Road which we were unable to touch as much of it was down the bottom of the steep embankment.

On the plus side there are an awful lot less beer cans and plastic bottles at the side of the track than there were before.

Thanks go to the combined team from Welwyn Hatfield Cycling Forum, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Sustrans Rangers. Many hands did indeed make for light work. A special thank you to Cathy Wilkins for getting the picking kit to us and for the chocolate Easter eggs went well with the post pick tea and coffee

APRIL SATURDAY SOCIAL RIDE

Greens Are Good For You

The complete list of Greens visited on our ride was: That makes a total of twelve Greens, plus Green's Wood. And we could even have made a detour to add Raffin Green. But thirteen Greens on one ride, would certainly have been an overdose and might even have been unlucky!

Six WHCF regulars were joined by two newcomers, Tom and Graham on a very pleasant ride through the country lanes to Datchworth. We purposely took a very circuitous route in order to visit as many Village Greens as possible on the way. (Well we had to have a silly theme, didn't we?).

Mustard field
Something yellow for a change

We stopped for lunch at The Old Post Office Tea Rooms on the edge of Datchworth Green, where we indulged ourselves on a good range of food, including some very nice cakes, but sadly no Greens.

The Old Post Office Tea Rooms
The Old Post Office Tea Rooms

Well nourished, we took a more direct route back to WGC, this time via only four Greens.

We certainly had more than our Recommended Daily Allowance of Greens, but I'm sure they were good for us!

If you would like to retrace our ride, here is the route. You can export it as a GPX or other format file from the EXPORT tab on this page.

Mar 2014

MARCH SATURDAY SOCIAL RIDE

Jacks Jersey

Sadly Tom Cruise was not be able to join our ride in homage to Jack Reacher, but six people on bikes did with one more joining us at Jack's cafe for the ride home.

Leaving from the Forum in Hatfield we went via Hatfield Garden Village, a farm track to Symmonds Hyde, then on quiet lanes via an Iron Age hill fort and a ford over the River Lea to Jack's Café in Wheathampstead.

Everyone, except Freddy and Adam on the tandem, had come on mountain bikes hoping for rough stuff but sadly most of this had dried out. Even the ford at Wheathampstead wasn't a ford.

After a pleasant but slightly chilly lunch at the tables outside we retraced our way past the ford and then up Dyke's Lane past the big ditch, Nomansland Common and some more back lanes to Sandridge. A nice signpost
A nice signpost

We then headed for Jersey Lane which took us (almost) to the north entrance to the Oaklands College estate from which we reached the Alban Way and thence a swift, smooth and sunny ride back to our starting point.

We were elated to find the section of the Alban Way from Ellenbrook to the A1001 has been newly surfaced - thanks to WHCF and Cathy in particular.

You can see our route here.

You can download a gpx trace of the route here

Feb 2014

FEBRUARY SATURDAY SOCIAL RIDE

Beyond Wildhill.

Six of us set off from Hatfield Town centre with mountain bikes and one hybrid. Our mission: to cycle from Hatfield to Hertford and back without going through Welwyn Garden City.

The forecast was for rain and wind but luckily for us it turned out to be a very pleasant day. Our route passed through Wildhill and Essendon and covered some wet and muddy offroad sections and some equally wet and occasionally hilly onroad sections, plus a stretch of the Cole Green Way.

Ford
Riding through a ford on the way to Essendon

We arrived in Hertford and made straight for Cafe Rouge where we had a good lunch with coffee and cakes to follow.

Our ride leader decided that a stretch of bridlepath on the intended return route was too muddy and cut up so we returned the traditional way via Cole Green Way and Welwyn Garden City. However there was still one surprise left for us - the subway where the Cole Green Way passes under the A414 was flooded. A couple of the more intrepid opted to cycle or walk through water which turned out to be a good two feet deep. The rest of us climbed the bank up to the A414 and crossed there.

The extraordinary weather prevented us from completing the intended route but we will try again later in the year. Watch this space!

Jan 2014

JANUARY SATURDAY SOCIAL RIDE

To Bhaktivedanta Manor

Our first Saturday Social Ride of 2014 fell on January 11th and the destination was Bhaktivedanta Manor near Watford. Seven people turned up at the meeting point outside The Forum and we set off just after 11am. We joined the Alban Way but turned left onto Smallford Lane to meet the cycle path on the North side of the A 414. Following it East to London Colney roundabout we crossed using the footbridge to reach London Colney High Street. Leaving the village via St. Annes Road we turned right onto the B5378 and then immediately left onto a bridleway which took us along the North side of the River Colne. Although it wasn't actually raining the ground was fairly saturated with plenty of muddy puddles to negotiate. After passing under the M25 and over the railway we came out through an industrial estate onto Colney Street. That is quite a busy road so we crossed it and went South for a few hundred metres along the footway to safely reach the track to Netherwylde Farm. From there we joined Oakridge Lane down to High Cross and another bridleway across fields and into the village of Letchmore Heath.

To get to Bhaktivedanta Manor by car you have to go a long way round and approach from the South-West via a relatively new access road. Being on bikes we managed to gain entry via a pedestrian gate in the village, saving ourselves at least a mile of riding on fairly unpleasant roads (it is not supposed to be a public entrance so don't count on being able to use it if you visit). First stop was the cafe/bakery for sustenance. There was a queue and the people behind the counter seemed to be doing everything in slow motion but it was worth the wait. We took our curries and deserts into a sort of conservatory with tables and chairs and had a pleasant lunch.

Bhaktivedanta Manor

Bhaktivedanta Manor

Bhaktivedanta Manor was donated to ISKCON by George Harrison in 1973 and when he died in 2001 the Manor resolved to create a quiet garden in his memory. It is worth a visit just for the gardens but we were also offered a tour of the Manor, including rooms that were used by the Manor's founder - A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. We had to cut the tour short to ensure we got back before dark but we were all invited to return when the days are longer. We retraced our route back to Hatfield, arriving shortly before dusk.

You can see an interactive map of the route we took here.

You can download a gpx trace of the route here

Past Events from 2013

Click here to see previous rides and events for 2013

Past Events from 2012

Click here to see previous rides and events for 2012

Past Events from 2010

Click here to see previous rides and events for 2010

Past Events from 2009

Click here to see previous rides and events for 2009