By Steve Smith
Forest Gate to Greensted Church Â Â Â Â 10th January 2016
We were 13 at Coffee7 at 9am on Sunday morning which was an excellent turnout for the first ride of the year.Â Â Perhaps the New year resolutions were applying some leverage. The weather was sunny and dry but after so much rain had fallen over the previous days the roads were still wet. The route followed suburban roads through Woodford, along the Roding Valley to Loughton and then out to Theydon Bois. We then found a few undulating and invigorating hills as we followed country lanes through Toot Hill to Greensted in the bright winter sunshine.
The church, claimed as the oldest wooden church in the world is charming, and includes the grave of a crusader and a lepers view hole. All these elements give the church a fantastic opportunity for imaginative stories about their origins and those visitors who were here long before us.
After restarting the ride we followed small lanes toward Navestock and Stapleford Abbots.Â Â The lunch stop was at the two Brewers Chigwell Row was a busy pub/restaurant, this meant lunch consisted more of a refreshment stop with a drink and a few crisps and nuts for most. It may be a good idea to let the lunch venue know of our arrival on future rides, if we can estimate the number of riders
On the way back we followed the newly emerging quiet way from Fairlop to Wanstead and finished the ride where we started, outside a coffee7 under a darkening sky.
We had a few punctures which slowed our pace, however the group was well equipped and we were easily able to fix them.
More photos (taken by Robin Stephenson) can be found onÂ Flickr