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Hitchin, Hertfordshire - regular Sunday Ride



  • Hey John thanks again for the ride...great fun going over the handle bars and rolling I to a bush. Amazingly unbroken :)

    I'm planning on doing a Knebworth loop sat morning and hopefully out Sunday too!

    I think I'll swap to spd's so I'm not holding you guys up as much :). But it's all good fitness eh lol...

    Also thanks for joining my Knebworth MTB Facebook page. For anyone on the thread who lives closer to Knebworth here's the link...

    Hopefully see you Sunday!!

    Knebworth MTB Facebook Page -
  • Good ride today although the rain throughout the week and overnight made it very sqelchy under wheel with lots of sideways riding.

    Did a loop of 20mi taking in Weston Hills & the track down towards Luffenhall, through Halls Green and back through Graveley. The ride is posted up on '' - just search cycling logs under the postcode SG6 & look for rides by John.C.

    We should be out again next Sunday 8.30am leaving from outside Pine Hills Hospital in Benslow lane Hitchin.

    All Welcome - John
  • Hitchin Sunday Riders - do Thetford Winter Series R1.

    Apalling weather with persistant rain & a very cold start. The course was OK for the first few laps but became deeply rutted filled with thick mud to power through - just like our local rides really.....

    We had 5 of us riding with some excellent results for all - despite the conditions. Ben got 49th & Nathan 110th (first ever race); Warren got 157th (on an overgeared singlespeed & had to drop out) inthe 2hr Under 40s. In the over 40s - Drew got 12th; & I got 102nd.

    The Next round is on the 2nd December - so get those entries in soon as it fills up quickly...

    In the meantime we should be out next Sunday @ 8.30am from outside the Pine Hills Hospital in Benslow Lane, Hitchin. There is unrestricted parking aong the road.

    All Welcome - John
  • evo3benevo3ben Posts: 552
    It definately was an epic race lol. The course started out ok but as time went on and 600 racers had been over it the mud was just horrendous! My brakes wore down to the metal half way around lap 2 so the remainder of the race i was brakeless, doh! managed to fall of twice due to no brakes and no way of scrubbing off speed. I had to shout at the marshals (cadets) at one point to get them to stay clear just in case i didnt get around the corner at the end of a long straight lol. On the plus side, you really do get to know the limits of your tyres in them conditions!
    All things considering i am pleased with 49th out of the 194 in senior category especially knowing i can do better. Here is hoping for a dryer and less muddy 2nd round.
    Top marks for those that raced as everyone did really well and i hope i didnt put Nathan off racing (conditions are not usually that bad Nathan). Also the marshals did a brilliant job standing there for over 2hrs in the cold rain!
    Hopefully see you all sunday :D
  • Hooked up with the guys from sillygrin ( last night and swapped Hertfordshire mud for some Bedfordshire mud!

    Its all the same really - but I did get to try out my new helmet light = powerfull stuff. It was incredibly atmospheric riding off-road in the mist with powerfull lights being reflected back in the mist and illuminating all the piping and reflective trim on everyones cothing.

    7 of us were out and we did a 19mi loop from Cardington up around Chicksand Forest & back.

    But its back to the normal 'Hitchin Sunday Ride' this Sunday leaving from outside Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow lane, Hitchin at 8.30am. There's parking along the road - all welcome.

  • It was good to get back to the familiar mud of Hertfordshire for our Sunday run this morning after the freezing conditions (-3) of R2 of the Thetford Winter Series last week where 4 of us were competing.

    It was a tough race with many riders (including myself) having many offs on the black ice of the frozen forest roads. Here is a bit from Youtube:

    I'm not in the film & Its very funny when you watch it back - but it hurt a lot at the time & took my enthusiasm away.......particularly when its the second or third off!!

    Anyway - we did the familiar Ickleford / Pirton / Telegraph Hill / Stopsley / Putteridgebury / Offley loop this morning - which was 23mi in the gloopy mud..

    We'll be out again next Sunday for more of the same. Meeting outside Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow lane in Hitchin for an 8.30am start. There is parking along the road.

    Join us if you are around - John
  • johnhighfieldjohnhighfield Posts: 173
    edited December 2012
    Forecast was for a dry weekend – but it rained yesterday which left the local tracks very very muddy & squelchy. Even the grassed areas were water logged with a lot of surface water which wasn’t going anywhere.

    However it was great to develop those sideways riding skills and to improve fitness by pedalling through the mud….

    We had 7 out – with some returning regulars – and did just under 20mi with an average moving speed of 8.7mph. We did one of our regular routes – Gravely to Weston; through Walkern & back up through Weston & Gravely again.

    All of our rides are being logged on the ‘cycle buddy’ website and you should be able to find them by searching the cycle logs under ‘SG6’.

    Our next race in the Thetford Winter Series is on Sunday 17th Jan (27th Corrected by EvoBen) & the registration is open now.
    5 or so of us should be doing this – but other will still be out doing the Sunday ride.

    Next Sunday is likely to be our last Sunday ride before Christmas – so do come along & join us. 8.30am outside the Pine Hills Hospital in Benslow lane Hitchin. There is a free parking bay along the road. Do PM me if you are new so we can wait for you if you are late.

    This is a great way to develop your fitness AND see some fantastic local countryside rather than working out in a gym.

  • evo3benevo3ben Posts: 552
    Great ride out today. Was nice to see some riders i havent seen for a while. Mega muddy, hard going but good to make use of the mud tyres which are really needed at the moment.

    Sorry John, next Thetford race is 27th (not 17th). Hopefully some nice cold weather will firm up the ground before then.
  • Hey,

    Bit late posting, but yeah the first Thetford race was really good. Hard work for the first one out there, but no Ben, the mud hasn't put me off just yet! I had to get all my brake pads replaced after this weekend's mud though, and it was my first time out since the race, so I could well have knackered them there like Warren and Drew too!

    I should hopefully make either the January or February races, I'll have to see how it goes with this half marathon training for March. Still not sure why I'm doing that yet... :?

    Is anyone planning on doing any non-competitive endurance types events like these next year?

    It would be good to see some different parts of the country, so I was wondering if anyone fancied going together as a group. I think when I've got my fitness up it would great to try something like this. :mrgreen:
  • Good ride out on Sunday with a nice dry & bright morning with 4 of us braving the flooded tracks & squelchy fields after the torrential rain of the week!

    Given the difficulty of riding sideways in the slippery mud, in previous weeks, we cheated a bit for our sanity & took in the gravel surfaced track of Letchworth’s Greenway – with the odd single track and foray into the woods….

    We will be out again next Sunday & welcome all those who are still riding – OR returning from a lay off to come & join us. So if you have over indulged over Christmas, want to get fit for the new year, are eager to get that new bike muddy – then we’ll see you next Sunday.

    We meet at 8.30am outside Pine Hills Hospital, in Benslow Lane, in Hitchin. It’s just round the corner from Hitchin BR station & there is free parking along the road.


    PS - in my holiday browsing I also found this website - which looke interesting:
  • Out on Sunday, as usual, for the last ride of the year. It was a brilliant sunny day - although there was a strong SW wind blowing which made part of our loop difficult.....

    We did a course up through Pirton & back through Ickleford before heading on to Letchworth & going around the Greenway. Given the deep mud & flooded tracks this was a good plan & we did 22mi - which was a reasonable distance for the conditions.

    We'll be out again next Sunday for one of our regular rides & the first of the New Year.

    So Happy New Year to all of our riders (current & lapsed) & hope to see you out next Sunday. 8.30am outside Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow Lane, Hitchin. Free Parking along the road & Hitchin BR Station around the corner.

  • Good ride out this Sunday although a little cool (3c) and very windy with a 15mph westerly which made it difficult & chilly for half of the ride. The return leg was much faster!

    The weather has been pretty poor for the last few Sundays so it was good that it was dry & snow free although the puddles had an ice topping to crash through. We did one of our regular rides: Pirton - Telegraph Hill - Stopsley - Putteridgebury - Gt Offley & Chalk Hill = 23mi for me.

    Were down to about 3 riders at the moment - from a list of 30odd casual riders - so if anyone else would like to join us please do:

    8.30am start from outside Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow Lane Hitchin. There is parking along the road & Hitchin Railway Station is just around the corner.

  • evo3benevo3ben Posts: 552
    Yep good ride out with John and Mark. Wont be out this sunday coming due to cyclocross race but will be out again the sunday after.
  • Out this morning - braving the rain - for little ride around Letchworth on the Geenway for about half of it.

    This sufaced track made the ride bearable because of the gloopy mud & deep ruts. We met the cowd of MTB'ers who meet by the Hill at the end of Hematige, in Hitchin but they had recently stated (10am departue?) as they were all clean as we were all muddy and finishing our ride of about 22mi.

    We will be out again next Sunday leaving from outside Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow Lane Hitchin at 8.30am for a 2.5 to 3hr ride.
  • Nice easy last Sunday with 7 out - 2 of which were returners. This is a good time to re-join us or come out if you are a newbie as were doing some easy rides to avoid the worst of the mud. We did 18mi up towards Ickleford & then up Westbury Hill towards Letchworth; into the Greenway (which is surfaced); off around Radwell and back to the Greenway to Purwell & Hitchin.

    Weather looks reasonable for tomorrow, cold but dry, and the ground is firm with the frost which is much better than the wet & mud.

    We leave from outside Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow Lane, Hitchin at 8.30am. There is free parking along the road and Hitchin Station in around the corner.
  • Hi John, Sorry about the late message I had issues with my bike today which I wasn't sure if I'd fix in time.
    Anyway I hope you see you at 8.30 tomorrow. cheers
  • Cheers for the welcome and ride today, really enjoyed it. Got your message also John, thanks for that as I couldn't find the link for the New Forest ride, so v useful. Can't make it for the next 2 weeks but will definitely be out again soon after.
  • Good ride out on Sunday with 6 of us putting in about 21 miles. It started out very cold & frosty with frozen ground which thawed out on the surface, as the sun came out, and became very slimey...

    Did a loop over through Weston, Weston Hills, Luffenhall & back towards Stevenage & Gravely. We will be out again next Sunday leaving from outside Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow lane Hitchin @ 8.30am.

    If anyone is about this Wednesday (6th March) SillyGrin are riding out from the Mott & Bailey in Pirton at 6.30pm( They are planning to do a 15mi loop and - if I get in from work on time - I may join them. Pirton is about 30mins cross country from Letchworth (a bit nearer from Hitchin) & there is parking - should you wish to drive. They are a great set of guys & a pleasure to ride with.

    So I might see you on Wednesday OR next Sunday....

  • Great ride out with the SillyGrin guys!
    Although it was a 15mi loop from Pirton - getting there & back came to 25mi - which was not bad for an evening ride in the dark. Most of them seemed to come from Hitchin too...

    Were out again on Sunday leaving from outside Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow Lane, Hitchin at 8.30am for a 2-3hr ride around the local tracks. Its just around the corner from Hitchin Station & there is free parking along the road.

  • coopsocoopso Posts: 12
    Hope you don't mind John, and nnot sure if you guys have seen this already.

    Development of 1000s of new houses in lots of the place we ride in/through is in the pipeline.

    You can download a pre-filled consultation questionnaire response, fill in your name and submit. Pretty easy. Here: ... 20ACH.docx
  • Hi coopso

    No I didn't know of those plans..... it such a shame as we have some excellent countryside around here. I assume the west of Stevenage (around Langley) plan in still on the agenda in some guise; there seems to be plans for the north of Letchworth; and the plans to extend large areas of Hitchin - just puts a tin hat on it!!

    For the brave amongst you we are still going out every Sunday - irrespective of the weather - and actually managed to ride in the dry slot last Sunday & giver the muddy conditions did about half of it on the well surfaced Greenway around Letchworth. We leave from outside Pine hills Hospital, Benslow Lane, at 8.30am every Sunday.

    Another date for your diary is Wed 27th March as the sillygrin guys are doing an evening ride around Letchworth's Greenway:
    leaving from the Three Horseshoes, Norton Lane, at 6.30pm. I am hopeful of joining them - and throwing in a few additions - so do come along.

  • With the sun shining and no rain (snow or ice) for the last few days all looked good for a 'normal' April Sunday ride....

    8 of us assembled - which is a record for this year so far - and completed a Gravely - Weston - Cromer - Ardely loop. 24mi for me and a bit more / less for those travelling different distances to the start - and NO car journeys don't count! The route is posted on the 'cycling buddy' website - under cycling logs - and can be searched by the post code 'SG6'. PM me if you can't see it & want the file...

    Did it in 2.5hrs moving time (av 9.5mph) - but took a bit longer in actual time with the stops....

    It was a brilliant ride and nice to get back to some normality - with reasonable weather for a change. The tracks were pretty dry for the most part - we actually threw up some dust - but there was still some mud about and the ditches etc are still swollen with water.

    We will be out again next Sunday leaving from outside the Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow Lane Hitchin, @ 8.30am for a 2.5 - 3hr ride around the local tracks. These is unrestricted parking along the road & we start from around the corner from Hitchin BR station. Anyone is welcome - PM me / post here if you are coming to ensure we donr leave without you..

  • Great ride out this morning with brilliant sunshine & dry tracks.......what a transformation!

    We did a variation - a loop that included - Charlton, Gt Offley, Lilley, Pirton & back to Hitchin (although I peeled off & returned to Letchworth). 23mi with an average speed of 10.6mph is a big difference from the 7-8mph obtained from driving through the sticky mud.

    Cycling down the Balk (outside Lilley) and Telegraph hill was great as we usually go up them, hoverer, we did go up Chalk hill so we did pay some debt to the uphill gods. It was also good to see all the other MTBers out in this very popular area. Not to mention all the horse riders & dog walkers...

    This is a log of the ride on cycle buddy:

    We will be out again next Sunday - same time /same place: from outside the Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow Lane, Hitchin. 8.30am for a 2.5 - 3hr local ride.

  • guyza1989guyza1989 Posts: 1
    Hi John,
    I am new to MTBing and have done this route a few times now. I was looking for a sunday ride group and someone from Hitchin cycle club sent me the link to this feed.

    Do you meet up every sunday?

  • johnhighfieldjohnhighfield Posts: 173
    Hi Guy

    Yep - wer'e out every Sunday leaving from outside Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow Lane Hitchin, at 8.30am for a 2.5 - 3hr ride. There is unrestricted parking along the road - should you wish to drive.

    We are out unless the weather is very extreme - then there is little fun in in the wet & typically the MUD!

    You are welcome you join us for one of our many local routes. I generally post them up on the 'Cycle Buddy' website & you should be able to find them in the riding logs by searching the SG6 postcode - although they are best viewed on an OS map.

    Hope to you Sunday - John
  • evo3benevo3ben Posts: 552
    Hi John, hope all is well! Been a while due to racing etc but should be out for a ride this sunday all being well :D Be good to catch up!
  • johnhighfieldjohnhighfield Posts: 173
    Hi Ben - look forward to seeing you.

    We had a brilliant ride out last Sunday - dry, reasonably warm & bright sunshine!

    We did a 'usual' loop Oughton Head - Pirton - Telegraph Hill - Golf Course -Stopsley - & back through Putteridgebury & Chalk Hill. About 23mi in 2.5hrs - which was a good outing......

  • johnhighfieldjohnhighfield Posts: 173
    Great ride out this morning!

    Nice & dry & the sun was shining. Took in a loop: Ickleford, North part of Letchworth's Greenway, Radwell, Bygrave, Wallington, Weston & back through Gravely. The track from Hickmans hill towards Luffenhall (which is 2+ mi) myst be one of the best single track runs in this area for speed & interest....

    We did about 26mi (more for those from further afield) & managed an average moving speed of 11mph - which was pretty brisk as we had the fast riders with us today. I have posted the ride on 'Cycle Buddy' and it can hopefully be seen bu following the link below: ... mit=Search

    We will be out again next Sunday - 8.30am, meeting outside the Pine Hills Hospital, Benslow Lane in Hitchin.

    All welcome - John
  • beerbaronbeerbaron Posts: 2

    Do you guys still ride on a Sunday morning? I live in Hitchin and looking for some fellow riders as been a few months since i was last in the saddle.

  • Hi beerbaron & all the rest of our readers......

    Although I haven't posted for a while we ARE still riding out on a regular basis every Sunday. The last few weeks have been absolutely fantastic - with brilliant sunshine and dry and fast tracks. The undergrowth has shot up in the last few weeks and there is even dust on the tracks - which makes a pleasant change from the dreaded mud...

    The forecast for this Sunday is again good with a temp of 18/20c in the morning - so probably need the suncream again.......

    So if your a re-joiner or a newcomer - your all welcome...

    We meet outside Pine Hills Hospital in Benslow Lane, Hitchin, at 8.30am and are out for 2-3 hours. Dont be late as we are normally gone in about 5 mins. There is unrestricted parking along the road & Hitchin Station is just a few minutes away.

    Look forward to seeing you - John
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