Essex Lanes – Ride Report

Gathering at Epping Station

Sunday’s Essex Lane’s ride followed the route from Epping station north east towards Morton, Fyfield and Willingale, before going south towards Blackmore and then west to Stondon Massey.

We had lunch at the Bricklayers, before heading to Ongar then Greensted, Toot Hill and the rollercoaster back towards Epping.
The weather was amazing, warm and sunny, and the countryside still had the lush feel of summer. Leaving Epping we saw the Routemaster buses running the shuttle service to NorthWeald so we decided to make a short detour to see the spectacle which is the preserved station, vintage trains and busses recreating the transport infrastructure of the past.


The next stop was the small village of Willingale with two churches next to each other…

There are numerous stories regarding how this came about and if you are interested you will have to wait until the next Essex lanes ride to find out.
After lunch we couldn’t resist a stop at Greensted church as we were passing and there was a demand for local honey. Unfortunately there was none but there were lots more local history stories.

Still smiling at the end of the ride!

The photos only show the start and finish of the ride, but can you spot the ebike?

Freecycle Feeder Ride – Stratford to Bank

Photo by Ian Gray (thanks Ian)

This is always the biggest family ride of the year with many people coming from outside London to take advantage of the freecycle cycling carnival in Central London, with no traffic. It was our task to ensure that the participants were guided safely through the streets leading to the Freecycle and bring them back after the event

This year we changed the route to include the Olympic Park, Victoria Park, a short section of the regents canal and quiet way 13, from Broadway Market to Shoreditch and on to Moorgate and Bank. Families gathered, their bikes were checked, tyres pumped, emergency contact forms filled and everyone was made to feel welcome. As usual we saw some interesting vehicles, including a scooter, a child trailer and a rider with a large sound system on his back. There were a number of children on their first or longest road ride, who were asked to ride at the front to set the pace, the youngest was just four years old.

The weather was fine and the ride passed very smoothly, apart from coming across a seemingly continuous running race in Victoria Park. Our excellent team of marshals worked hard to ensure that the riders were safe, had fun and arrived at the Bank to join the thousands of people on bikes enjoying a traffic free London, perhaps this is how London will look in future.

More photos here – thanks as always to Robin Stephenson.

Readout of meeting of 29 July 2019

We started with an evening ride from Forest Gate around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We saw the newly opened section of the Greenway before moving on to Crate for refreshment and a short discussion.

  • Michale Barratt, TfL’s Development Impact Manager, told us he was having discussions with Newham Council’s Network Management team and we agreed to maintain contact (whilst being wary that this department had a done little in the past to promote cycling in Newham). This initiate should benefit pedestrians , site workers, the less able as well as those that cycle.
  • The disappointing backtracking by Newham Council in respect of theBrowning Road bridge (see previous post). This issue gives greater urgency to our efforts to link with other like minded groups promoting a better environment and better neighbourhoods for Newham.
  • We will give feedback to LCC that scheduling the Freecycle in August made it difficult for us to provide marshals for the feeder ride.
  • We discussed forthcoming events on 22 September (Car Free Day) and 5 October (Bike from Boleyn).
  • We will seek discussions with Newham Council over the defective scheme for the junction of Greengate St and Barking Road.
  • We noted that staff at the Financial Conduct Authority found parking in Startford so cheap compared with Canary Wharf that commuting by car had increased.
  • We discussed the possibilities of hiring and/or hiring out a cargo bike.

Our next meeting will be 30 September – details to be confirmed.

Arnold

Browning Road Bridge

Many of you will have seen on Social Media that LBN have backtracked on the Browning Road Bridge experimental scheme that was due to start last week, after a protest took place by drivers who use the area.

We have written to the Mayor and the Cabinet Member for Highways and Sustainable Transport to express our concerns.

AAA Ride 27 July 2019

Despite rain the children of the saturday cycle club run by hte charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, were keen togo out for a ride. They (and we) were rewarded by the rain stopping. We used the Greenway, including the newly opened section north of Stratford High Street, and the Olympic Park for an enjoyable (mostly off-road) ride.

We will be looking at running another round of fixing /ride on consecutive Saturdays in the autumn.

Arnold

Canterbury Circuit Ride Report

We got the train from Stratford International and did this circular tour in Kent in two legs:

The first ride on Sunday 7th July took us out from Canterbury up the hill to the university, and then some very fashionable gravel riding on the Crab and Winkle Way to Whitstable. From Whitstable we followed the Kentish coast clockwise past Reculver and the Herne Bay Sailing club to the West Bay Cafe for lunch. A brief stop at the Sunken Gardens and we carried on around the coast to Ramsgate and our train home.

More photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmEX2YGU

A fortnight later on Sunday 21st July we took the high speed train out to Ramsgate and continued the loop—around the coast past the Pfizer pharmaceutical site and its accompanying “Hands & Molecule” celebratory statue to Sandwich. From there we headed inland through the Weald of Kent on some fairly quiet country roads to our lunch stop at the Independant Pedaler [sic]. Some short and sharp hills, and then a long fast descent into Canterbury to take a look at the cathedral. We just missed a fast train back, so took the opportunity to have a drink at the Millers Arms by the Stour.

More photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmFnkWLe 

Our youngest rider not needing to be nagged and actually quite enjoying himself…

TfL Cycle Parking Strategy

This strategy has just been published. For some local flavour:

  • a map on page 10 shows that Newham’s on-street parking mirrors outer London rather than inner London;
  • a map on page 13 shows the routes in Newham with a top 5% potential for cycling (as first revealed in TfL’s Strategic Cycling Analysis of June 2017);
  • a map on p 14 shows a strong demand for additional on-street parking in the Beckton area;
  • a map on p 24 shows Forest Gate, Canning Town and East Ham as Town Centres with high demand for cycle parking;
  • page 30 ff provides evidence that cycle parking (over car parking) benefits Town Centres;
  • a map onn p 33 shows the location of cycle hangers over London. Newham has a relatively low provision for hte density of its population.

Arnold

Rainham Ride Report and latest news

14 July was the new summer date for our traditional 25 mile ,off road (mostly) saunter to Rainham Marshes and Upminister. The weather was no better than on our previous September/October rides – but we escaped any rain (but suffered one puncture)..

The route was as interesting as ever.

  • We saw some frantic working on the northern section of the Greeway in preparation for its opeing the following day after being closed for more than a decade.
  • There are signs of the massive development of Barking Riverside.
  • We had a short stop in Rainhm Hall – the subject of an interesting blog by Diamond Geezer on 18 July.

The following Saturday we did some bike fixing at the AAA Fun Day. The all-ability bikes are particularly vulnerable to malfunction and present a challenge to repair. Nevertheless we ensured that a couple more would be available.

Other news:

  • Our next AAA ride is this Saturday 27 July leaving 10.30 from the Arc – see rides.
  • We have submitted strong support for the 5 pilot School Streets. These are all relatively easy to implement. We have suggested extending the scope in some cases and commented that they should be a stepping stone to proper Liveable Neighbourhood schemes.
  • There is an important current consultation on the “Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood Plan” – an area important for cycling and walking connections to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The plans look – typically for the LLDC – deficient.
  • There is a current consultation on closing the bridge at Browning Rd to through traffic to lessen rat running in Manor Park.
  • We looked with TfL and Newham Council at the the Romford Rd corridor.
  • The consultants for the developers of the MSG Square have contacted us after our objection to their seriously deficiant plans after our objection had been lodged. However they have not yet been able to indicate that they would contemplate changing them (and they are likely to be supported by the LLDC Planning team); nor have they shown any interest in a site visit to look again at the cycling angle.
  • We understand and hope that Newham Council are looking again at their original (poor) proposals for the Greengate St/Barking Rd junction.
  • Our next meeting is 29 July – an short evening ride followed by a chance for some informal discussion – see events.
  • LCC are holding a social at at 6:00PM in Look Mum No Hands (49 Old St, London EC1V 9HX).  All are welcome.
  • Steve has devised an exciting new route for our feeder to the Freecycle on 3 August. More marshals would be greatly approciated for this event which is both fun and important in promoting cycling.
  • I will be leading a feeder ride to a cycle fun event in Greenwich Park on 17 August – see rides.

Arnold

Forest Gate Festival 6 July 2019

A long and successful day at the Forest Gate Festival. A wide rota of us spend all day fixing and talking bikes. This in addition to Dr Bike who was operating next door. We recycled a number of bikes and bits of equipment that had been donated to us for this purpose and received just over £150 in donations.