The fields and tracks of Hertfordshire offer great summer riding as they dry out and stop being solid mud-plugging affairs, so I’ve been extending existing rides all over the place to sail through seas of golden corn and through dappled woodland, as well as past the kind of homes I can only dream of owning.
I’ve been adding an extra loop to existing rides, blasting onwards to try and ride through the pain of stinging-nettle and bramble-raked arms and legs:
I’ve adventured further afield up the A10, for a ride that started in high humidity and sunshine and ended racing across wide open fields with lightening flashing around to every side as thunder rumbled away with constant menace and torrential rain pounded down on me. Perfectly safe as far as the end of rides go… Still, it had the advantage of a windmill, long section of roman road and going through a place called “Nasty”.
Finally, I’ve tried two different methods of a highly satisfying ride entirely round Hertford and Ware. Both take in the full range of what Hertfordshire offers, from open fields that reflect the seasons to sunken woodland tracks and urban sections. This one took in the open land to the North East and then finished along the canal between Hertford and Ware.
While another version skirted closer to the town to start but then took in more to the South West and more of a complete off-road experience, with less dodging shoppers and strollers on the canal.
With the frame of mind I have now there is clearly an even bigger and brilliant ride in there, taking in both extremes and maybe a full day of riding. It remains to be seen if there is time and weather left in the summer to get that in, and how I’d cope with a ride that took me over any distance I’ve done before. Now seems to be the time to do it with the weather and the accumulated fitness from the summer (not to say the faster-rolling ground conditions), but will there be time to do it when I’m not tempted away to a bigger ride and before the autumn catches up on us all?