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
If you'd like more information on any ride, or if you would like to suggest a ride, please email us. Details on the
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 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.
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
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:
- Margery Green,
- Upper Green,
- Lower Green,
- Green's Wood,
- Bulls Green,
- Sedge Green,
- Woolmer Green,
- School Green,
- Painters Green,
- Datchworth Green,
- Gover's Green,
- Burnham Green,
- Harmer Green.
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?).
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
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.
MARCH SATURDAY SOCIAL RIDE
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
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
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
FEBRUARY SATURDAY SOCIAL RIDE
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.
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!
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
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