For a bit of a stretch of the legs, Jules and I decided to head over to Greifensee for a bike ride around the lake. We opted to cycle there in spite of the large-looking hill in the way, rather than take the train. We took the direct over the hill, passing through the centre of Witikon before dropping down to the north-east corner of the lake and heading in a clockwise direction. We took a minor detour to Uster to have some lunch and to take a look around before heading on round the lake. The cycling around the lake was very pleasant – off road and well marked with a wide enough path to cycle side by side in most places.
We set out at about 11am, and made it home by about 4pm, and the total distance (for those who cycled there and back) was about 40km. The hill over Witikon is fairly steep in places, and next time we might take a slightly more circuitous route, to avoid the more extreme gradients.
With lovely weather forecast on the weekend, Jules and I headed over to Hertfordshire to have a go at #12 in Nick Cotton's book "Cycling traffic-free Home Counties". This turned out to be a 24 mile out and back ride along the Grand Union Canal from Apsley to Marsworth.
The canal towpath a bit rough and busy in places, but the cycling was pleasant and easy overall. The wildfowl were out in force, we saw moorhens, coots, ducks, swans (Greylag and Mute) and geese (Canadian and Barnacle). We had lunch in The Angler's Retreat, which was nothing special but reasonably priced and nice to sit outside in the sun. On the way back we saw a small yappy-type dog trying to pick a fight with a Barnacle Goose, which fortunately for the dog wasn't interested. All in all a pleasant day out, if a bit busy.
All in all the 24 miles took us slightly less than 3 hours, not including lunch, and without stopping for breaks.
For the first ride of the year, Jules and I headed up to Lea Valley park for a spin along the canal, enjoying the traffic-free cycling.
The weather was about as expected for March - a bit windy, and chilly when not in the sun. There was one very minor shower, but otherwise we stayed dry.
The route was good, as usual. There weren't many other people around - probably because of the weather forecast, which made the cycling a bit easier and more sociable.
We stopped for a bite to eat at Pistachios in the park, which was
very good as usual.