It was a beautiful, if cold, spring day for this ride. We took the central line to Epping and rode north east in and anticlockwise loop as far as the village of Matching. The historic church of St Mary the Virgin between Matching green and Matching Tye provided and interesting stop. We had a refreshment break at the Fox at Matching Tye before following the quiet lanes back to North Weald and reentering the flow of traffic into Epping.
Rather better weather than for our first Discover Newham Ride permitted us to catch Thameside at low tide following a cut through Beckton Park to Royal Albert Dock. Route map above. By the time we got to Cody Dock for coffee it was a great day for sitting outdoors. Exciting looking works are going on there. The other main interest on the ride was the sheer scale of the development currently going on in Newham. Hopefully this will include opening in up the route over the entrances to Royal Albert Dock, where the dock gates look like they are being worked upon; and further extension of the Thames path.
Our first ride of the season kicked off with unfavourable looking weather. However, hard core of 6 did a short tour of the Greenway, the Royal Docks and the lea Valley. We avoided the rain and had plenty of fresh air. In the teeth of a stiff headwind along the Docks we reached the dizzy heights of 5 mph but were rewarded with the discovery of local chocolatier. Our next local ride is planned for 20 March
For the last Newham Ride of the year we enjoyed mild and dry weather. It was a shorter than usual ride from the View Tube to Cody Dock via the Greenway and the Royal Docks. There we met a GoParks group who had walked from Meath Gardens in Tower Hamlets.
A leisurely and pleasant winter warmer.
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
We had a magical ride through London’s West End to enjoy the sparkling atmosphere. Here is a link to the photos
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?