Ride-through east London graffiti gallery in bloom

The streets and towpaths of Hackney Wick and Fish Island are being daubed in dazzling colours, as well as black and white, in one of the most prolific periods of graffiti art in east London.

Some of the pieces are pictorial epics: a mass of workers marches across a huge wall, banners in hand and a message saying ‘don de esta;' several pieces repeat the theme of  three giant black and white faces painted with rollers in across several floors of hoarding or derelict building.

Even the more common 'tags' are sprayed on with remarkable precision and include pictorial elements.

Not wishing to be outdone, the London Legacy Development Corporation has commissioned two huge murals, one of which depicts the many houses and walls of Hackney Wick and Fish Island - which are, in reality, covered in graffiti. Appropriately all this can all be seen on a circular ride.

To enjoy the current unusually creative display ride down the Hertford Union canal from Victoria Park, cross on the footbridge to Fish Island – follow Roach Road past the Muff Café, Stour Space (both pleasant stops) to Bream Street which has long and exotic stretch of pieces; cross over the Lea Navigation canal and try to keep as close to the canal as possible which should take you past the two murals.

Cross the canal back to Hackney Wick at White Post Lane bridge (The Crate pub serves good pizza - slowly) and follow White Post Lane to Hackney Wick station. The epic marching workers piece is slowly being covered by tags but is still visible (on some days the site next door opens as a skate and BMX park). If you go up to the station platform there is a view of selected graffiti inside surrounding derelict sites. You can then reach Victoria Park by pedalling down Wallis Road and crossing the fish-scale bridge over the A12.

As you might expect the whole area is scheduled for re-development. Should you need them, there are two bike shops on site – one by the canal just across from Fish Island (next to the lock) and Skinny Eric’s in Felstead Road near the station which specialises in retro frames and Campag bits (nice pizzeria next door – fast service and keen prices) .  

Two frame builders have workshops nearby – Tom Donhou at Hackney Wick and Ryan MacCaig (Oak Cycles) at Old Ford – beautiful work but be prepared to wait a while and spend lots.

 No guarantee that the illustrated pieces will be the when you arrive – but there could be some new surprises if there is a spell of painting weather.