Lovely Lea & Epping Forest Explorer
Meet: 10:00 @ Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10 9LW (by foot tunnel entrance)
Brought to you by the South East London Commissariat for Social Cycle Rides Planning (aka the Dog & Bell Crew), a 70-ish kilometre autumnal riverside spin from Greenwich up the Lea Valley to Waltham Abbey, following which a tour of Epping Forest. The return will largely follow the same path home, after taking in the delights of Chingford town centre.
The route takes us along the River Lea Navigation as far as Waltham Abbey, where we can stop for a breather in the church grounds before heading into Epping Forest (typical epitaph: "Night night Tom, God bless"). Before that we shall stop for a cuppa at the Springfield Marina café in Hackney. Lunch at the Kings Oak pub at High Beach.
Our path through the forest will be on roads shared with motor traffic, with a little roughish dirt track navigable by road bikes. There are a couple of steepish climbs, but overall little in the way of hills. I do it on a 48:19 fixed-wheel, and my human frame has seen better days.
One of the climbs, up Horseshoe Hill to Upshire, is rather steep in one short stretch, and involves a hairpin left bend at that point. Unless you are very fast climbing hills, it is best to dismount here and walk the bike around the bend on the right-hand-side of the road. Otherwise, you run the risk of being rear-ended by an Essex boy racer taking the road at an inappropriate speed.
Cycling up the Lea Valley and around Epping Forest is a delight, and, if the weather holds up, especially so in the autumn.
Please ensure that your bikes are in working order, and tyres are free of debris that could cause punctures. Bring a spare inner tube or two, puncture repair materials, water and snacks, and lights.
Note that I'm also down to lead rides on Sunday 21 October and Sunday 4 November. Special requests will be considered.
Francis 07840 191336 (no texts)