The first mile used to be a rare thing for Cycle Orbital cycling – a busy main street - running through Borehamwood. But the suburban alternative running to the north is unremarkable but quicker and safer. On Stratfield Rd 0.4 you are passing behind the East Enders set in Elstree Studios. Thereafter 4 miles of lanes through Ridge and then South Mimms – the village, not the motorway service station!
There begins a special secluded off-road section to North Mymms at 5.3, in earshot of both A1(M) and M25, depending on the wind and weather. From 5.7 to 6.4 the surface is shingly and unstable or rutted – caution needed. N Mymms 7 is where Spoke 12 crosses, X-wing style, so you can jump ship and proceed NW towards St Albans.
This spoke takes NCN12 through Welham Green 7.6; Hatfield New Town 8.8 - which you enter via a spiral overpass bridge adorned with the history of local aircraft manufacture. Finally, after Hatfield, Hatfield Old Town 10.6 and Hatfield House, the spoke merges with Arc 12inner beyond, running on a cycle track on the Hertford Road.