Storm Dennis seemed to quickly follow storm Ciara and the weather remained rather blustery for our ride on Sunday. Despite this a hardy group of seven showed up at Leytonstone, we were lucky in avoiding the rain and wind was at our back for at least half of the ride. The route was different this time as we started riding from Theydon Bois and rode an anti-clockwise circuit to the disused Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch.
We had lunch in the bunker canteen and took the “rollercoaster” back from Toot Hill to Epping.
For the third year in succession our first ride of the year was to Greensted. The weather was fine as before but the route was different as was the lunch stop. We went north from Epping to North Weald and had a brief stop at the well preserved station there. The single track railway began life as an extension of the Great Eastern Railway. We then took the back route through to Tylers Green, Moreton and Bobbingworth, twice crossing the A414. We passed the disused Blake Hall station, over the railway and on to Greensted and St Andrews, the oldest wooden church (circ 845AD). The road then led us through Stanford rivers to Toot Hill and Fiddlers Hamlet, where we had a good lunch at the Theydon Oak. From there it was a short distance to Epping station and the train back although three of our group decided to ride back to Newham and burn some more calories Thanks to Robin for the photos on the link below, if you scroll to the end there are three aerial photos taken by Chas using a drone giving an unusual perspective
Bright sunshine greeted us as we met at Leytonstone station to gather for a group photo before setting off into the wilds of Essex.
We were sixteen strong setting off from Epping station finding the quiet ways through the splendid countryside on a glorious autumnal day. After crossing the busy A414 we followed well maintained and quiet roads.
We saw the house that Steve Marriott, lead singer of the Small Faces, lived and died in and with now has a blue plaque.
The curious story of the two churches of Willingale was another interesting stop en route. Why does this tiny village have two churches to serve the congregation?
We passed the pretty village of Blackmore, a very popular stopping point for cyclists. The lunch stop was the Bricklayers Arms, Stonton Massey, a nice pub although they were overwhelmed to the point that they ran out of baguettes feeding hungry cyclists
On the way back we stopped at Greensted Church which provided another opportunity to share historical stories about this oldest of places, lepers, crusaders, Tollpuddle martyrs and others all feature
The route included the Toot Hill rollercoaster on the way back and the steep, if short, climb up to Epping station
Below is the route and statistics for this ride.
The next ride is the Newham Ride on 11th November, put it in your diary
There were 18 of us on this ride on a lovely morning at the end of April. We met at the view tube coincidentally with a group of Penny Farthing enthusiasts who were promoting an event to celebrate 200 years of the bicycle
There were 18 of us on this ride on a lovely morning at the end of April. We met at the view tube coincidentally with a group of Penny Farthing enthusiast who were promoting an event to celebrate 200 years of the bicycle
We were also surrounded by runners and supporters on the Hackney Half marathon, creating a festive atmosphere, as we wound our way through Hackney along the Lea towpath. We followed the towpath to Enfield lock where we picked up, firstly the NCN route, and then the roads towards Chingford. Dawes Hill was steep as we climbed up towards Epping Forest, those riding ebikes had a distinct advantage here, we passed Gilwell scout camp and some grand houses as we cycled down towards Chingford through the forest. We regrouped at the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge, noting it was a previous Queen Elizabeth who had more bloodthirsty hobbies.
We followed a disused road through the forest towards High Beech and from there had to negotiate the busy A121 to cross the M25 and arrive at our destination at St Thomas’ Church.
The churchyard provided a great picnic spot with fantastic views over the Lea valley, there was also a nice pub, the Horseshoe, virtually next door which had a good lunch menu. We delayed our departure in order to enjoy the promised cake which was delicious, although I only tried two.
Fuelled by excellent nourishment our return journey through the forest to High Beech and Waltham Abbey, before rejoining the Lea towpath, was significantly faster.
Thanks to all participants, especially and the back marker and stewards who ensured that we were safe and stayed together and Robin for the excellent photos https://www.flickr.com/photos/rsstephenson/34205642542/in/album-72157680012469164/
Join us for a ride up the the Lea valley, through Epping Forest to the the historic St Thomas’s church Upshire. This is a 40 mile round trip, mostly off road, with an option to take a train from Waltham Cross to Liverpool St, for those that would prefer not to ride back. Bring a packed lunch, as we will eat in the churchyard if the weather permits. Meet at the the View Tube – The Common Greenway at 10am on 30/04/17
This was the first time Newham Cyclists ride programme had included this lovely ride around the north Kent coast, also known as the Viking way. It was the warmest day of the year so far and this may have encouraged the large turnout, as there were 17 of us leaving Canterbury station, under clear blue skies.
The ride started with a sharp hill up past Kent university where we joined the Crab and Winkle way, a disused rail line to Whitstable. The route led us through beautiful countryside, woods and into Whitstable via the back streets to Whitstable station. As we arrived at the coast we had to negotiate some traffic as we went through the town along the coast road to Herne Bay. The good weather had brought out the crowds and all the seaside towns along the way were full of people enjoying the sun, while the sea was completely calm and looked more like the Mediterranean.
From Herne Bay we climbed up towards Reculver, where we had our first puncture, it was a picturesque spot and timely rest. The promenade merged into the open coastal path with lots of walkers and cyclists, then past mini chalk cliffs and on to Westgate on Sea where we had lunch, some of the group pressed on to Margate aiming for a different lunch stop.
We reassembled in Margate, close to the Tate and carried on through the town and up into the road overlooking Palm Bay and Botany Bay, and the Australian weather continued. Broadstairs is a pretty town with endless references to Charles Dickens and long queues for ice cream, it was necessary to walk the bikes through some of the narrow crowded lanes there. At Ramsgate we had to leave the coast and turn in towards the station where we were in good time to catch the fast 16:05 train back to Stratford.
Many thanks to all riders, especially Robin for researching the route and leading the ride
We meet at 9am on Sunday 09/04, to catch the 09.30 train to Canterbury and the 17.00 return from Ramsgate (not Minster). The cost of a return to Ramsgate is £40.30, but this will be reduced by 1/3rd (£26.60) with group discount or railcard.
The Crab and Winkle way does have a few stoney sections, therefore road bikes are not recommended, but it is largely traffic free. On a (hopefully sunny) Sunday there may also be a few short lengths by beach huts etc where pushing might be advisable.