We had beautiful weather for riding through the countryside on Newham Cyclists’ first venture into deepest Essex since lockdown. We visited North Weald station and saw the heritage trains . We also saw a couple of WW2 aircraft in the sky overhead. Despite a navigational error by the ride leader, including a few extra miles, we found our destination after an unplanned but welcome lunch stop in Ongar. Greensted church was as picturesque as ever and the team felt that we had rolled over quite a few hills and byways by the time we got back to Epping Station
The second of the new socially distanced rides saw four of us set off from the Viewtube on a sunny morning. We followed the Lea canal to the point it joins the river at Three Mills. A short visit to the peaceful, green enclave of Coal Gas memorial site and then down to Cody Dock where Nadia’s cafe was open. Along to Canning Town, through the ecology park, the station and down the expressway to the Emirates cable car. This provides spectacular views across this part of London and appears to be operating almost without passengers
At North Greenwich we took the Thames cycle route towards the Thames Barrier and, after an enforced detour, to the Woolwich ferry. Unfortunately on this occasion the ferry was not running so we had to use the foot tunnel and missed the river views. Having crossed back we stayed as close to the river as possible, through Royal Victoria Gardens, and crossing the access to King George V dock and then Royal Albert dock at the locks. We kept on the Thames path as far as possible and then turned away from the river at Gallions Reach towards Gallions Reach Retail Park. From there it was easy to pick up the cycle route that joins the Greenway and follow this back to our starting point. Only stopping to admire the views we were back in time for lunch
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
14 of us gathered at the ViewTube Cafe to tour the byways of Newham in search of some of our heritage amongst the new build and the post industrial landscape of the Royal Docks and the riversides of the Thames and the Lea.
Our efforts were rewarded – particularly the Thames parks of Victoria Gardens, Thames Barrier Park and Lyle Park which looked delightfully autumnal.
We got back to the View Tube just as the old was beginning to bite.
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.
The photos only show the start and finish of the ride, but can you spot the ebike?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.