Bike stall success

We had a great day on Saturday at Woodgrange Market, helping a number of people of all ages and from all backgrounds get their bikes back on the road. One of our favourite visitors was Jan who had not ridden her bike for 4 years and wanted to get back on it.  She had a lovely dutch Gazelle bike which had a flat tyre & needed some general TLC.  We helped her replace the inner tube & get the wheel back on her bike.  She was spotted riding around Forest Gate the next day!

Our aim is to teach as many people as possible – especially women – to deal with basic problems, in particular fixing a puncture!

A few weeks ago, Woman’s Hour had a whole feature on cycling including this great video with Jenni from London Bike Kitchen which does just that, with some great tips & tricks!

Our next stall is on Saturday 10th June – see you there!

 

Newham Ride 7 May 2017

The weather had still not particularly warmed up for the start of the second in our consecutive run of three Sunday rides.  After Cake Mountain we were intent on a flat, leisurely off road circuit round Newham .  A goodly band of participants included  a contingent from the Forest Gate Women’s Institute assembled at the Greenway Common Cafe.  Our 15 mile route started down the Greenway, and continued through Beckton to the Royal Docks, stopping only for a breather/puncture repair.  We then took in nature reserves at East india Dock and the Bow Ecology Park.  The latter is newly linked to a back entrance to Canning Town Station.  Lunch at Trinity Buoy Wharf was swiftly followed by another coffee stop at Cody Dock, whilst all the time the weather was getting more cheerful.   We returned to the Greenway under a blue sky.

Thanks once more to Robin for some excellent photos.

P1040767

Arnold

Cake Mountain Ride Report

There were 18 of us on this ride on a lovely morning at the end of April. We met at the view tube coincidentally with a group of Penny Farthing enthusiasts who were promoting an event to celebrate 200 years of the bicycle

There were 18 of us on this ride on a lovely morning at the end of April. We met at the view tube coincidentally with a group of Penny Farthing enthusiast who were promoting an event to celebrate 200 years of the bicycle

We were also surrounded by runners and supporters on the Hackney Half marathon, creating a festive atmosphere, as we wound our way through Hackney along the Lea towpath. We followed the towpath to Enfield lock where we picked up, firstly the NCN route, and then the roads towards Chingford. Dawes Hill was steep as we climbed up towards Epping Forest, those riding ebikes had a distinct advantage here, we passed Gilwell scout camp and some grand houses as we cycled down towards Chingford through the forest. We regrouped at the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge, noting it was a previous Queen Elizabeth who had more bloodthirsty hobbies.

We followed a disused road through the forest towards High Beech and from there had to negotiate the busy A121 to cross the M25 and arrive at our destination at St Thomas’ Church.
The churchyard provided a great picnic spot with fantastic views over the Lea valley, there was also a nice pub, the Horseshoe, virtually next door which had a good lunch menu. We delayed our departure in order to enjoy the promised cake which was delicious, although I only tried two.
Fuelled by excellent nourishment our return journey through the forest to High Beech and Waltham Abbey, before rejoining the Lea towpath, was significantly faster.

Thanks to all participants, especially and the back marker and stewards who ensured that we were safe and stayed together and Robin for the excellent photos https://www.flickr.com/photos/rsstephenson/34205642542/in/album-72157680012469164/

Cake mountain ride

Join us for a ride up the the Lea valley, through Epping Forest to the the historic St Thomas’s church Upshire. This is a 40 mile round trip, mostly off road, with an option to take a train from Waltham Cross to Liverpool St, for those that would prefer not to ride back. Bring a packed lunch, as we will eat in the churchyard if the weather permits.  Meet at the the View Tube – The Common Greenway at 10am on 30/04/17

Kent Coast Ride Report

This was the first time Newham Cyclists ride programme had included this lovely ride around the north Kent coast, also known as the Viking way. It was the warmest day of the year so far and this may have encouraged the large turnout, as there were 17 of us leaving Canterbury station, under clear blue skies.

The ride started with a sharp hill up past Kent university where we joined the Crab and Winkle way, a disused rail line to Whitstable. The route led us through beautiful countryside, woods and into Whitstable via the back streets to Whitstable station. As we arrived at the coast we had to negotiate some traffic as we went through the town along the coast road to Herne Bay. The good weather had brought out the crowds and all the seaside towns along the way were full of people enjoying the sun, while the sea was completely calm and looked more like the Mediterranean.

From Herne Bay we climbed up towards Reculver, where we had our first puncture, it was a picturesque spot and timely rest. The promenade merged into the open coastal path with lots of walkers and cyclists, then past mini chalk cliffs and on to Westgate on Sea where we had lunch, some of the group pressed on to Margate aiming for a different lunch stop.

We reassembled in Margate, close to the Tate and carried on through the town and up into the road overlooking Palm Bay and Botany Bay, and the Australian weather continued. Broadstairs is a pretty town with endless references to Charles Dickens and long queues for ice cream, it was necessary to walk the bikes through some of the narrow crowded lanes there. At Ramsgate we had to leave the coast and turn in towards the station where we were in good time to catch the fast 16:05 train back to Stratford.

Many thanks to all riders, especially Robin for researching the route and leading the ride

Readout from Meeting of 27 March

A rather more select band of attendees than usual, but enough for lively discussion.

  • Suzannah Walker from the Beckton and Royal Docks Neighbourhood Team came to discuss possibilities to increase cycling in that area of the borough  which benefits from some quiet and off road routes.  Ideas centres on adjusting some Newham Rides later in the year, leading bespoke “Tour of Beckton” rides and bringing the market stall to an event.
  • We discussed the TfL consultation for the Bow area, for which Olawale will be preparing a collective response by the deadline of 23 April, but individual responses are also encouraged.
  • Rides coming up – April 9, Kent Coast is attracting outside interest.  The Bike from Boleyn Ride on 22 April is gaining momentum.  Any further volunteers for marshalling this will be most welcome – contact me.
  • Our  approach for a meeting with Councillors Clark and Murphy, who now have responsibility for cycling infrastructure had a speedy positive response from Councillor Murphy.  If such a meeting takes place, as is likely, it will give us a chance to raise some high level issues such as the Borough cycle Strategy, our vision, the need for sustainable transport “planning gain”, the Silvertown Tunnel .
  • Westfield have put in a planning application to LLDC for expansion – partly using space now occupied by a car park. . The sustainable transport options and opportunities will need to be pressed.
  • Other upcoming events:  Kerena is proposing to lead a ride to the “Leading our Lives” sponsored ride at Redbridge Cycling Centre on Good Friday.  A Cyclotopia event will be taking place at the Velodrome on 11 June- providing access to various activities at various fees.  There are a series of events relating to the Lea Valley which look interesting.
  • Meeting with Councillors Tripp and Akiwowo re Maryland fixed for 5 April.  Anyone interested in attending contact me for details.   [Since the meeting we have also had an invite from Council Officials to discuss, at short notice, both the Stratford Gyratory and Maryland.]
  •  Last month there was some interest in providing a rota to help with the cycling aspects of a young persons project in the Arc in the Park, Hermit Road Park each Saturday.  We decided to pursue this by taking a look one Saturday to see what was involved.  Again if you think you might be interest get in touch with me and I can include you in the correspondence.
  • The arrangements for the Annual Meeting on 24 April are progressing.

Arnold

Updated details on the Kent Coast ride

We meet at 9am on Sunday 09/04, to catch the 09.30 train to Canterbury and the 17.00 return from Ramsgate (not Minster).  The cost of a return to Ramsgate is £40.30, but this will be reduced by 1/3rd (£26.60) with group discount or railcard.

The Crab and Winkle way does have a few stoney sections, therefore road bikes are not recommended, but it is largely traffic free. On a (hopefully sunny) Sunday there may also be a few short lengths by beach huts etc where pushing might be advisable.

 

Readout From 27 February Meeting

  • We started with a presentation from Paula Blake from the charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve which helps young people from the Arc in the Park in Hermit Road Park.  They are funded for, and gearing up to run, a cycle club on Saturdays aimed especially at those with disabilities.  They are looking for cycle-interested volunteers to help their employed sessional workers.  No special cycling qualifications are needed.  This sounded an interesting and worthwhile project and on initial soundings it looked like it might be possible to get a rota of interested helpers from Newham Cyclists.

If you would be interested in joining such a rota please let me know and I can provide more details.

This charity also has places on the Ride 100 available.  Again, if you are interested please contact me.

  • There was a report back from those who went on the Greenway inspection ride with the sustainable Transport Office from newham council on 24 February.  This was a worthwhile exercise.  It seems some gates will be removed as lighting and CCTV is installed and 24 hour opening is likely to come to the stretch between Upper St and Stratford High St.  Work on a ramp providing a link to the Channelsea Path (and Stratford Town Centre) has started.  Some remedial work was identified as were instances of bad planning of the works (e.g. gates being painted which were about to be removed)  It does not look like the section of the Greenway between the Stratford High St and the View Tube will be open until at least 2020.

Problems to look out for: vents set in the path which are awkward for bikes, misaligned “cycle tiles”, school parking at Brampton Manor (which also blocks ambulance access to Newham Hospital!), chicanes and 24 hour opening along the whole length.

  • We discussed the draft plans for Maryland Crossrail “improvements” which were very poor and if anything made the area worse for cyclists. Various suggestions immediately emerged to provide benefits from cyclists.  Olawale will gather these and make an alternative plan which can be put to interested  Councillors.  Please look at the plan and send in your suggested improvements in order to help compile an alternative, more cycle friendly proposal.
  • There has been a cabinet reshuffle in Newham which has seen anti-cycling Councillor Corbett no longer responsible for transport infrastructure.  We decided to approach the new  Cabinet member responsible for cycling.
  • We decided to examine the possibility of holding our annual meeting at the (re-opening) View Tube.
  • The grant application for the monthly market stall in Forest Gate has been made but may take a few weeks to process.  In the meantime we decided to run a pilot a session on 11 March.

  • We are compiling a list of marshals for the big Bike from Boleyn Ride on 22 April. If you can help please let me know.

  • Westfield Bike user Group are holding an event on 2 June – details are still to be confirmed, but we have been asked if we would like to take part in some way.
  • The transition to the new website is progressing.
  • Some of our members are taking part in Spin for SmartWorks this week – raising money for SmartWorks by cycling 500 miles.
  • Also aiming to cycle 500 miles is the Leading Our Lives youth group.  They are looking for some cyclists to come along on Good Friday (14th April) to Redbridge Cycling Centre to help them clock up the miles.  Please contact Kerena for details if you’d like to help out and be able to feel righteous about all the Easter Eggs you eat on Sunday!

    Arnold

 

 

Ride Report – Hoo Peninsula

The Hoo peninsula is a wild and desolate place, especially on a cold winter’s day. However, with Gravesend only 17 minutes from Stratford international station it is a very accessible location to explore on two wheels.

The eight of us left Gravesend and cycled anticlockwise around the peninsular. At Lower Higham we picked up the national cycle network route across the agricultural landscape, with lots of polytunnels and orchards. Along the Medway coast we went through Hoo St Werbergh, the largest settlement on the peninsular. We passed the infamous Kingsnorth dual oil and coal fired power station on our right as we rode over the central ridge and could see the confluence of both rivers in the distance, beyond Grain. At Allhallows, the most easterly point on route, we stopped at the mobile home park for a photo opportunity with the North sea and bright lights of Southend in the distance.

With the wind behind us we sped along to St Mary’s Hoo where we had a pub lunch. Refreshed we whizzed through High Halstow and as we approached Cooling, house names like Havisham and Fezziwig indicated the Dickens connection. St James church with its reference to “Great Expectations”, was worth a brief stop, passing Cooling castle we then picked up the NCN track next to the railway and the Gravesend to Rochester canal, which brought us back to Gravesend and the short train ride home

See more photos (thanks to Robin Stephenson): https://flic.kr/s/aHskR4Bs5m

Read some background info https://content.historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/hoopeninsula-landscape/hoo-peninsula-landscape.pdf/