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.