Our first ride of the new year was blessed with mild weather and a good turnout. We took the Central Line from Leytonstone to Epping, where the ride began with a nice downhilll run.
We saw a good number of cyclists around Toot Hill which is popular for its undulating terrain. We arrived at the church a little after 11am but there were no other visitors, despite it being Sunday. This allowed us to take a good look around, we saw the painting of St Edmund, after whom, it is thought, the church was founded. This oldest wooden stave church has a crusaders grave, leper hole and links to the Tollpuddle martyrs. With a history of over 1000 years there are lots of stories about the church and its congregation, some of which may even be true.
We continued to Ongar and took the old roman road, unfortunately this is rather popular with speeding motorists, so we were pleased to turn into Berwick Lane and wind our way through the empty country lanes back to Toot Hill. We stopped at the Moletrap pub for lunch. It is a lovely, characterful place although it was small and seating was limited.
Refreshed we mounted up and rode the few miles back to Epping Station.
The route map is accessible here: Greensted ride
in 2017 we piloted partnership work with AAA, a charity based in the Arc in Hermit Road Park, Canning Town – by running a 3 bike fixing stalls at their Saturday morning children’s cycling club and leading a gentle ride along the Greenway.
The club runs from 10.30 am to 2.00pm each Saturday
This was considered sufficient of a success to repeat the activity this year, provided there is sufficient support for it. Other suggestions for this year are:
- to run the bike stall a week before a ride in order to do as much bike checking as possible as early as possible;
- have a ride during the period of initial activity on the Greenway, following its official 24 hour opening on 8 January;
- to fit as best possible with the Woodgrange stall and rides calendars which will shortly be published.
Three bike fixing sessions and three rides in the first half of 2018 are contemplated, for which 5 pairs of dates look feasible:
10 & 17 Feb; 17 and 24 Feb; 17 & 24 March;28 April & 5 May; 26 May & 2 June.
I have set up two Doodle polls (one for the stalls and one for the rides) and will take the best three sessions. If you would like to help please sign up. It is not necessary to be available for both date in a pair. The only requirement is that there be a sufficient number signed up to run the events – probably 3 for each.
The Doodle poll for the stalls is:
Thanks for your help, if you would like to know more please get in touch with me.
Your can find here our November news .
Our next meting will be 29 January, by which time we should have some more news on campaigning issues and our ride season will not only be published but will have started!
We tried a new venue, the Atherton Leisure Centre. Once the disappointment of coffee not being available from the cafe was overcome it was deemed a success by our turnout of 11.
- The main concern was the poor to outright dangerous temporary provisions for cyclists on CS2 at the Stratford Gyratory, Letts Rd, and Strand East works.
We decided to invite TfL, local Councillors and Newham officials on a ride to experience the difficulties for themselves.
- We will respond to consultations concerning planned works at Dames Rd, Tollgate Rd and Pier Rd. All illustrate the lack of a coherent approach to cycling in the borough; and the TfL plans for Pier Rd are simply poor quality, with token and ineffectual cycle provision.
- We had a preliminary discussion on LCC proposed campaign around the local elections on living streets and areas without through traffic. Both are significant issues in Newham.
- We discussed and progressed our ride programme for 2018.
- We welcomed two cycle workshops in and around the borough, at Leytonstone Road and in the Community Garden at the eastern corner of Honor Lea Avenue.
- The bike maintenance training for women is fully subscribed and will go ahead this autumn.
- Our next meeting will be primarily social. watch this space for details
A band of 12 defied a horrid weather forecast to set off from the View Tube in their search of knowledge of some, at least of Newham’s rich heritage.
We were aided by some interesting sound clips provided by Eastside Community Heritage, some Wikipedia and other material (see earlier post), and – best of all the knowledge found within the group itself – historical, architectural, football etc.
8 stops over 11 miles of relaxed off road riding included Three Mills …
the Gas Works Memorial Garden …
Cody Dock (where we were given an update of future developments by Simon – not the cat) …
the Royal Docks …
and Abbey Mills Pumping Station.
Miraculously neither the umbrella, nor the rescue float, nor even the repair kit was called upon.
Thanks as usual to Robin our photographer whose full album of the ride can be found at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm7Bau54
with some bonus material from the interior of the “Temple of Sewage” (opened for guided visits the previous weekend) at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskqdw8F9
This is a leisurely ride with stops. It is part of is part of Newham Heritage Week and is taking place with the assistance of Eastside Community Heritage, which has provided material, including sound clips relevant to the history of the area.
Those coming on the ride are encouraged to bring a phone or tablet to give access to this document, Newham Heritage Ride Oct 2017,which provides more detail on the sights to be visited.
We have prepared a paper on Cycling in Newham. It starts with evidence to show that Newham lags behind other boroughs in reducing traffic accidents and public health; and its long recognised high potential for cycling has not been realised.
It seeks the adoption of an effective cycle strategy to underpin a coherent approach – giving priority to walking and cycling over motor traffic.
The paper provides examples where past and current deficiencies in this regard have exacerbated our road safety and health problems.
Traditionally our October ride to Rainham RSPB is blessed with fine weather and this year was no exception. A record turn out of 16 gathered at the Greenway Common Cafe
and we picked up 3 more as we started along the Greenway. Fortunately we had two of the group’s ace photographers (Robin and Steve) to capture it the day.
Braving the A13…
brought the reward of an open day at the national Trusts’ lovely Rainham Hall and a quick stop to inspect the beautiful gardens.
The Thames was as atmospheric as ever.
A coffee stop at the RSPB centre (which now has bike hire and other outdoor activities) and a visit to the site of a house stayed in by Dracula led us to the Ingrebourne Valley and the train back from Upminister.
On my calculation 25 miles, almost all off road.
On 30 September Newham Cyclists had a crack team of marshals on duty to lead the latest in the regular Bike from Boleyn rides, from the statue at Green Street to the London stadium, along the Greenway. This is a partnership with “Bike from Boleyn”
A joyous occasion, which started in glorious weather and was blessed, this time, with a win by West Ham – much appreciated by those who obtained tickets in the draw or for marshalling.
A range of bikes took advantage of the refreshed Greenway, including unicycles….
and a cargo bike. Here we are at our destination:
On Sunday 1 October three of us braved an adverse (but mistaken) weather forecast and were rewarded with a beautiful 40 mile ride from Epping, through the countryside of the Hertfordshire/Essex border around Harlow and back to Epping. this was new to our calendar and Steve is to be congratulated for putting it together. A particular highlight was the newly opened Henry More Foundation.
Fortunately we had enough money that none of us had to resort to the free lunch in the Fox.
The next ride is Sunday 8 October to Rainham and Upminister.
A well attended and lively meeting on 25 September.
- A Greenway Activity Plan proposed by Newham Council to encourage use of the Greenway. A number of us were happy to volunteer to ride the Greenway at different times to encourage use of the Greenway and keep our eye out for maintenance issues. Also we might bring “Fix Your Ride” there on suitable and pre-publicised occasions. If you are interested in participating in either of these activities let me know.
- We will continue participation, as far as we can, in Community Roadwatch, which undertakes speed checks with the police which can result in reminder letters to speeding drivers. This with a view to being able to suggest a wider variety of roads for this exercise in future.
- We discussed a general paper on Cycling in Newham aimed at Councillors. This will be finalised.
- We agreed to continue our partnership with AAA cycle club for children at Canning Town. There will be a final “Fix Your Ride” session at the Arc on 11 November and we will factor in participation in our planning for next year.
- There was general approval for our future meetings to be held in different parts of the borough.
- Steve, the Ride Coordinator, will start planning our ride calendar for 2018 and welcomes ideas for rides and volunteers for leading them.