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.

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.

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…

Notes of Meeting 24th June 2019

Thanks to Steve for the meeting notes & Olawale for photos!

10 of us rode from the “Rhubarb” statue in Stratford to Here East. The focus was on MSG Sphere issues in Angel Lane and Montfichet Road. As several member of the the group took photos we agreed to send ride photos to Kerena for uploading.

Sphere consultation response: The planning proposal for the sphere and NC’s response to this planning application was discussed and our objections based on transport issues only:

1 Generation of excessive car traffic

2 Monfitchet Road inadequate contingency plans

3 Strategic cycling analysis showing high potential Angel Lane are compromised

The full response details are on the NC website Please note that individual responses are required and there is a link on NC website to a standard email for sending a personalised response

Leafleting against proposal was discussed and some members may pursue this

Freecycle

This event is scheduled for 3rd August and is likely to be the most well attended ride of the year, therefore we need as many many members as possible to volunteer to marshal this ride. Training is provided by LCC so please contact Steve Smith if you are interested. The route is to be confirmed, but the plan is to use CS13 and approach the rendezvous point from the north east.

FYR at FG Festival 6 July

NC will have a “Fix Your Ride” stall and we need members to join us as we will be busy.

Feedback on Councillors’ Ride

Councillor Blaney gave feedback – This was a tour NC organised whereby Newham councillors saw Waltham Forest (WF) mini Holland improvements. All were very impressed although many were already sympathetic to such transport and environmental changes. However, as many councillors cannot cycle it was suggested that walking tour to be arranged via Living Streets will widen support for copying these schemes.

LCC Local Groups quarterly meeting – Camden and Southwark quarterly social event agreed cost circa £30

IBikeLondon forum

Likewise there was a positive response to the idea of a forum to share cycling ideas and events

AOB

Bernard suggested a new Newham Parks Ride to be scheduled for August

Brewery ride starting at 11am on Saturday 29th June, marshals needed please contact Bill

School Streets consultation has started – this environmental scheme will be camera enforced – Olawale to draft NC school streets response

Cody dock rolling bridge crowdfunding – NC to support

MSG Sphere Proposals – Take Action

Take action: Stop MSG Sphere bringing more cars to Stratford

Planning applications 19/00097/FUL and 19/00098/ADV

The Madison Square Garden company wants to build a new 21,500-capacity music venue next door to Stratford Station. It will be in the shape of a giant, glowing sphere (similar to Rover from The Prisoner), towering over residential blocks and the newly improved Stratford Town Centre.

We at Newham Cyclists are deeply worried by the proposals for the Sphere:

  • MSG have taken a look at the current travel patterns to gigs at the London Stadium, decided they’re acceptable (we disagree), and proposed exactly the same modal share for this new, ‘state-of-the-art’ venue. That means:
    • around 2,600 people driving to a sold out event—and a paltry cycling modal share of 0.1%. (It’s not like people will never cycle to gigs: the cycle parking at the All Points East festival in Victoria Park was actually full up!)
    • thousands more people through Stratford station at rush hour, making the station unusable for local residents and pushing many more people into their cars for short journeys.
    • We want a travel plan that aims for a cycling modal share of 5-10%, and doesn’t create worse overcrowding at Stratford station.
  • Cycling has been tossed a carrot in the form of an extended cycleway on Montfichet Road… but it looks just as bad as some of the older stuff in the Olympic Park. Interrupted by shared areas, with conflict between walking and cycling baked into the design. In 2019, we should be doing better.
  • More worryingly, their answer to the current pinch point and painted cycle lanes on Angel Lane (the Sphere’s main access road)? Narrow the road, so everyone—kids, grandparents, Disabled folk—has to cycle uphill, in front of lorries, artists’ coaches, speeding minicabs… the lot. This is bad. TfL have found that lots more people could cycle along Angel Lane in future (see TfL Strategic Cycling Analysis Route 7)—but if these plans go ahead, that will lock many of these people out from cycling here for decades. Considering we need to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, that’s plain irresponsible. We want an exemplar cycling facility here.
  • Newham Cyclists will formally object to the MSG Sphere application… but we need your help. You can send your own response to the planning application and tell LLDC and MSG that this isn’t good enough.In a hurry? Use our template to send an objection email. Click here and your computer will pre-populate an email. Don’t forget to personalise it with your name, address, and ways the Sphere will affect you!

Got a little more time? Write your own objection like this:

  • Send an email to planningenquiries@londonlegacy.co.uk;
  • Quote references 19/00097/FUL and 19/00098/ADV;
  • State that you formally object to the planning application.
  • Feel free to use or reference our reasons for objecting—but don’t forget, put it in your own words and use your own experiences. (For instance: Live near Maryland? Don’t feel safe cycling in front of lorries on Angel Lane to get to the shops? Do your kids go to school in the Olympic Park? Expressing your concerns in terms of the impact the Sphere will have on you, and your family and friends, will hold more sway with the planning committee.)
  • Don’t forget to include your name and address.
  • Send the email by Friday 28th June 2019. You’ve not got long, but it doesn’t take long to object—just five minutes to send an email will be enough!

Cake Mountain Ride Report

Steve’s report:

The weather was sunny and warm when 19 of us set out from View Tube en route to Upshire and the mountain of cake.  However there were many challenges that we had to meet before we could have our cake and eat it. We rode out of the Olympic Park under the Lea Bridge Road, the towpath was busy with walkers, joggers, cyclists and fishermen/women and on the water there were rowers, paddle boarders, houseboaters as we made our way through the distinctive areas of Springfield park and the start of the string of reservoirs extending north out of London.

Nesting swans were seen as the waterway became quieter and water fowl had more room.  We had a few punctures on the rough tracks and although we managed to fix them quickly we did find ourselves returning to the same back wheel.  

After we left the towpath just before Enfield lock, we followed the National Cycle Network before joining Sewardstone Road and then climbing Dawes Hill, which combined with too many cars was a tough challenge.  As we rode into Chingford passed Gilwell Park scout camp, we were surrounded by the forest and we climbed up to the Queen Elizabeth hunting lodge where we had another brief stop. Turning off Rangers Road we entered the forest and followed the tarmac track towards High Beech, the track had some steep sections before we emerged from the forest at the bikers tea hut.  We were soon at High Beech, which was crowded on account of the sunny weather, the forest was beautiful as we rolled on towards the Wake Arms and the busy A121. We negotiated this road without any problems and joined the small road that took us over the M25 and into Upshire and our destination, St Thomas’.

Arrival time 14:28, tea and cake served from 14:30, and with a large slice of home made cake for approximately £1.10 and tea £0.70, unbeatable value.

The ride back was uneventful with zero punctures.  We detoured from the canal and cycled around Hackney marshes and through the ever changing Olympic Park as our group reduced in number with people peeling off towards home.  We arrived back at Viewtube around 17:30 after an enjoyable outing. Thanks to Anita for back marking, Karen and Robin for marshalling, puncture repairs and photos; also Jonathan, some of whose photos are included here.

Steve’s Ride Report – Much Hadham Ride

The sunny and calm weather made for near perfect conditions for this ride.

Eight of us met at Leytonstone station as usual to take tube to Epping for the start. We followed the B181 out of the town and through the countryside to Epping Upland, Epping Green and Roydon. Over the river Stort and the level crossing and deeper into the Hertfordshire countryside, through the pretty villages of Hunsdon and Wilford to Much Hadam. We turned east and passed a field full of sheep with their newly born lambs, cross a ford on the river Ash and climbed the hill towards Perry Green. The Henry Moore studios and gardens are not open until 3 April, although some of his iconic statues can be seen from the road.

We rode through Green Tye and saw a pillbox that used to guard a long forgotten WW2 airfield. We passed Thorley woods where the notorious murderer Harry Roberts lived while hiding from the police. We took the back route through Sawbridgeworth and crossed the locks and railway line and we were back in Essex. The Fox at Matching Tye was our lunch stop, there were two other cycling clubs there, including a big group from Redbridge. I wonder if any had attended the Redbridge LCC meeting?

The last leg inevitably included the Toot Hill rollercoaster before climbing back up to the station to catch the train home. Well done to all participants, especially those that had not done such a long distance (38 miles) before.

Nuclear Bunker Ride Report

The weather forecast was predicting rain and some strong winds so the destination of a well insulated, dry and extremely safe bunker seemed perfect.

As usual we met at Leytonstone station cafe and took the tube to Epping, to start the ride. Although wet, the weather was not too bad and nine of us took to the hills, Toot Hill in fact. On our way out we passed riders from the Hainault Roads cycling club completing a hilly 50k time trial. Note that we only passed them as they were coming the other way…

A quick repair stop…

Near Navestock we had our only puncture, but this was soon fixed and we were on our way. Once again we entered the secret bunker via Beacon Hill, ignoring the warning signs, and parked our bikes next to the missiles for extra security. Following the coffee break we continued to Kelvedon Hatch and then to Stondon Massey and the Bricklayers Arms for the lunch stop. Refreshed we headed into the wind, although the rain had stopped, towards Ongar. This well cycled path took us past Greensted Church, back to Toot Hill and the rollercoaster. The advantage of the hills is that we were all warm as we concluded the ride at Epping. The time triallers were all long finished by then but we had enjoyed our route at a slower pace and witnessed the changing times as the secret place of greater safety for five hundred has become a museum .

As always, thanks to Robin for his excellent photos – https://www.flickr.com/photos/rsstephenson/albums/72157690137332453