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Despite quite a number of younger and less experienced riders, to their credit …

all 23 at the start were up for our most ambitious excursion ever planned, which we reckoned was going to easily exceed our typical 15 mile round trip length.

We took our usual eastbound route through Walthamstow Village, via Grove Road, Raglan Road, using the tiger crossing from Roland Roland into Buck Walk. We had an …

exhilarating crossing of Woodford New Road – it was a challenge to get so many of us through the lights in one go and onto the shared path running round Hollow Ponds. But some firm marshaling by our wonderful team kept the motor traffic at bay until we were safely across. Five leafy minutes later and we were switchbacking …

our way under the Green Man roundabout, into Bushwood, before sneaking alongside Wanstead Flats and into Montague Road.

A couple of doglegs took us over Harrow Road and into Napier Road and a series of fiendishly clever back street routes researched by Nic to get us over the rail lines and through more quiet streets and into …

a refreshingly verdant West Ham Park. Some more low traffic wiggles through residential streets, up a zig-zag set of ramps and we found ourselves…

regrouping outside Plaistow station before our wonderful team of marshals enabled us to safely take this busy road, allowing our peleton to execute an elegant sweeping right turn into Upper Road. Half a mile later we hit a short cut through the Hermit Road Recreation Ground, exiting into the curiously named Chargeable Street (we’ve yet to find out how it got its name).

After a few more twists and turns we sidled along the northern edge of Star Lane Park, and most of us used the lifts at Star Lane station to get over the DLR (a few brave souls went with Nic on a short but messy road detour). Another 3 minutes of pedaling and we reached …

Cody Dock, where we had a …

very well deserved rest, enjoyed the sunshine, checked out the chickens,

and partook of a mid afternoon snack or two. Despite promises made beforehand the cafe was short staffed and it had taken quite a while to be served, …

so we set off a little later than planned.. about 4.30pm. And Paul’s insistence on stopping every 100 metres to take photos didn’t help either, as we

… followed the path alongside Bow Creek. We then hopped onto the bridge at Twelvetrees Crescent, and took the path alongside the River Lea to …

Three Mills, hanging a right and following Three Mills Wall River up to Stratford High Street. A short leg alongside Bow Back River, 200 metres via Marshgate Lane, a short climb up to the Greenway, and as we entered the Olympic Park we were met with waves of football supporters leaving a West Ham match which hugely slowed our progress.

Fortunately by hugging the stadium’s lower towpath bypass we were able to avoid the worst of the crowds, and were soon …

heading north through the park, past the Velodrome, and through one of our favourite paths through the ribbon of woodland snuggling between Hackney Marsh and the River Lea.

Our last leg was up Sustans NCN route 1, and back home via Coppermill Lane, arriving back very pleased with ourselves a little after 6pm, having traveled 18.3 miles… which is a record for the bike club!

 

You can see the route we took here: http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/walthamstow-to-cody-dock-3

 

 

Considering the cold & wet start to the day, and the unpromising weather forecast for the afternoon,  it was surprising that as many as …

10 showed up for our monthly Open Spaces ride. As it turned out, apart from a couple of minutes of drizzle late in the ride, we had a rain-free afternoon.

We headed east out through Walthamstow Village, via the Roland Road zebra crossing over Wood Street and up to the lights at Woodford New Road, before hanging a right onto the shared path running along the lower reaches of Epping Forest and edging the south side of Hollow Ponds.

After swooping under the Green Man roundabout, we emerged at the top of Leytonstone High Rd, but managed to bypass it completely by turning into Hanbury Drive, past the Green Man Medical Centre, through Tesco’s car park, and onto the wonderfully smooth Gainsborough Rd cycle tracks.

A glorious uninterrupted downhill run brought us to a …

further section of track on Grove Green Road … we stopped here to check out the track (as the Green Party local election candidate had been complaining about pedestrian cycle conflict), but it seemed fine to us.

A left turn at Dyers Hall playground gave us another long stretch of cycle track running alongside the A12 until we reached  Cathall Road, where we followed Nic’s ingenious car-free route from Lincoln St, past the Epiccentre, under the bridge and into Pear Road.

A couple of wiggles later and we were freewheeling gently through …

Langthorne Park, and out into Union Close.  After a shimmy through to Downsell Road, we nipped across Leyton High Road into Drapers Field, and leaving Waltham Forest, headed west along Temple Mills Lane.

What is really impressive (and speaks volumes for Waltham Forest Council’s ambitous programme to make it safer & more attractive to walk and cycle), is up to this point apart from a couple of 30 metre stretches, we had been either on protected ‘kerb separated’ cycle tracks, or quiet residential areas where through traffic had been removed via road closures (the technical term is ‘filtered permeability’).

We were now in the Olympic Park, and after another half mile of stepped track, we stopped to admire …

a host of (admittedly, slightly soggy) golden daffodils.

Nic knows the park like the back of his handlebars, and had recced a wonderful  waterside tour which looped up and down and back up again (like a “serpent”). Which we now embarked on, following the banks of the River Lea up to the Eastway, and back down the west bank to Waterden Road, following the City Mill River past the stadium emerging …

south of the Orbit.

A further couple of minutes of pedaling and we were locking our bikes up at the …

friendly Viewtube cafe, before tucking into hot drinks and snacks.

Suitably replenished, and after a chat with Nigel in his bike shop, …

we set off west along the Greenway and dropped down to the River Lea, hugging the west side of the stadium, and completing the final loop of our serpent.

Heading north through the park, we stopped to admire the …

sweeping curves of the velodrome, then sailing over the A12 & Ruckholt Road, and descending into Hackney Marshes.

Now 0n the home strait, we segued through woodland alongside the River Lea, across the Middlesex Filter Beds Nature Reserve, hit a short section of towpath, …

crossing the canal, and looping up past the ice rink on the Lea Brdige Rd superhighway before picking up Sustrans NCN route 1 to Coppermill Lane, and back home up Walthamstow High Street to our starting point.

Just 9 of us …

showed up opposite the Ancient House on a grey and chilly Sunday afternoon in March for a destination in deepest Enfield. We headed off across Church Hill, over Forest Road and north through Chapel End’s quiet back streets (see our route here). 

We then skirted the south side of the North Circular, under Billet Roundabout, and onto …

the new cycle tracks on Billet Road, before turning into Sinnott Road and hitting our first green space between the Banbury and Lockwood reservoirs. After a short stretch along …

the River Lee Navigation towpath, we crossed over the top end of Tottenham Marshes, and onto a 2 way cycle track heading north up the Angle Edmonton Road. Whilst this is perhaps the grimiest, noisiest and least attractive section of any of our regular routes, running alongside and under a truly awful network of mini-motorways and industrial sized shopping centres, it did at least offer safe protected space away from a tsunami of  speeding motor vehicles. As we crested …

the dreamily named Conduit Lane, we peered over the bridge parapet and wondered at …

what might be London’s biggest flytip, stretching for the best part of a quarter mile into the distance.

Escaping the traffic roar we found ourselves on a …

car free route running alongside Tottenham Park Cemetery, before cutting through Edmonton Green Shopping Centre, and continuing west along quietish residential areas until we reached  …

Firs Farm Wetlands. After …

an exploratory circuit,

we set off for our destination, ….

the celebration of the new A105 cycle tracks attended by London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner Will Norman, Enfield Mini Holland champion Cllr Daniel Anderson (both in the centre of the above photo), …

inspirational campaigner Clare Rogers (above right), and literally hundreds of local people on bikes.

After a free hot drink courtesy of Enfield Council, we just had try out the new facilities and took off northwards riding along the …

‘orca’ lined tracks up to the Church Street junction before doing a ‘uey’ and heading back.

The tracks represent an impressive achievement for a borough which seems far more wedded to car use than Waltham Forest (particularly the half south of the North Circular), and the plethora of young people on bikes well under the age of 10 was a testimony to the effective protection afforded.

However time was pressing on and we’d only had one short cafe stop so far, so waving goodbye to the hordes we set off along a further section of the cycle track …

through Palmers Green, then hung a right down Palmerston Crescent, over a traffic logged North Circular (using a well-placed Toucan crossing). After a half mile we headed east and picked up a fiendishly clever car-free route discovered by Nic which skirted 2 sides of …

Woodside Park, and cut through White Hart Lane Recreation Ground. After some ducking and diving we traveled through the civilised and low traffic Tower Gardens Estate (when constructed in the early 1900s it was one of the first garden suburbs in the world), and into …

the Lordship Recreation Ground. We pressed on southwards, through Downhills Park, then quiet West Green residential streets, took a rather neat dogleg via Brunswick Road Open Space, and a second one across Seven Sisters Road, briefly tangoed along Cycle Superhighway 1, before reaching …

our 2nd and somewhat lengthier cafe stop at Pistaccio’s in Markfield Park. After which we headed home through the park and up Coppermill Lane to Walthamstow Village.

Click here to see our full route.

Nearly half of the 17 who turned up on a damp looking February afternoon were from …

Sergiu’s family of 8, who had pedaled all the way from Barking to join our ride. Even more impressively …

Sergiu’s cargo bike contained two youngsters and he was pulling a trailer!

We set off on eastbound following our usual almost car-free route through Walthamstow Village, over the Roland Road crossing of Wood St, using …

the Forest Rise lights to get across the busy A104 New Woodford Road. Picking up the quiet shared space path running long the southern reaches of Epping Forest, we skirted Hollow Ponds (park 1) and  …

plunged under the Green Man roundabout, and freewheeled down Bushwood, hanging a right at the end to sidle alongside Wanstead Flats (2) and into …

Ferndale Road. A largely backstreet route took us through over Harrow Road and Leytonstone High Road,  into Langthorne Park (3), and alongside St Patricks Cemetery, …

and over a car free bridge spanning the A12.

A short section of Grove Green Road was followed by Ruckholt Road with its a protected cycle track (we were separated from motor traffic by rubber ‘orcas’), and a few mins later we were taking a quick breather outside the ….

Hockey & Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (4).  Then back over the A12, and in quick succession, past the Velodrome, the Copper Box, the Stadium, and Orbit, and …

we rode up onto the Greenway as a particularly dark rain cloud loomed in the background. We had a vote on whether to stop at the Viewtube Cafe or continue on…

we chose the latter and swept west along the Greenway to Wick Lane, and across Victoria Park (5), …

and into Well Street Common (6).

At this point our ride leader (umm, it was me actually) who had checked the route on Googlemaps & Streetview, but had never ridden this section before,  managed to exit the Common via the wrong street and got us a bit lost. We shoogled our way through a few slightly random roads, including a congested Morning Lane, and cut through Lower Clapton  before picking up our intended trail again …

in Millfields Recreation Ground (7).  We crossed over to Millfields Park (8) and headed northwards, slipping past the lower edge of Springfield Park (9), and …

hugging the canal on a considerably waterlogged towpath, cruised into …

Pustaccios Cafe in Markfield Park (10) for some very well deserved sustenance.

At 4.30pm, as the light was fading, we headed home …

via Coppermill Lane, and back up the High Street and into Walthamstow Village.

To our amazement Sergiu, who by now had a 3rd son in his cargo bike and the unwanted bike in the trailer behind, plus the rest of his family, cycled back all the way home to Barking!

Click here to see our route on a map (but this shows the section we should have done after Well Common).

Whilst it was grey, chilly, and threatening rain, as 5 of us assembled for our first outing of the year,  it was positively tropical compared to last month’s snowy ride.

All participants were experienced ride leaders and marshals and despite some festive feasting were pretty darn fit… so we were able to set a cracking pace out through Walthamstow Village using our usual eastwards route via the Wood St tiger crossing at Roland Rd into Buck Walk.

We struck offroad through the lower reaches of Epping Forest, skirting the north side of Hollow Ponds, and roller-coasted our way along the exhilarating switchback cycle track under the Green Man roundabout.

After a downhill glide along Bushwood Road, we hung a left across …

Wanstead Flats, emerging into Belgrave Road, followed by a dogleg over Blake Hall Road which took us onto…

a little know track running along the south side of Wanstead Park.

We skirted the park via Northumberland Avenue, Arran Drive and Empress Avenue, past the riding stables, across the Roding Valley, and over a nose to tail North Circular; we discovered that this part of the route, that we’ve been using for years …

is now flagged as Quietway 6. which runs from Stepney Green to Barkingside.

We then took off down Wanstead Park Road, which although fast is a fairly heavy rat run (we suggest less confident cyclists continue on the Quietway route), and after a left onto Northbrook Road, we reached our destination …

Valentines Park, which was record timing at a mere 45 minutes after setting off.

After a welcome cafe stop, we cut northwards …

through the park, along Blenheim Avenue, followed by a twiddle to get into Castleview Gardens running just south of the busy A12. Then right into The Drive, using a toucan crossing to cross the A12 into Ellesmere Gardens.

We hung a left into Redbridge Lane and right into Roding Lane South both of which featured quite fast traffic (to avoid most of it try the detour via Margaret Way, then Rosemary Drive). Just before the Vista Drive junction we exited left onto a quiet track heading north …

up the Roding Valley, and after quarter of a mile took another left under the North Circular and into Elmcroft Avenue.

In quick succession (even though it was uphill), Colvin Gardens, Ashbourne Avenue, and Cranborne Avenue, then into Falcon Avenue which swoops under the Central Line, and soars into Eagle Lane. The sun was setting over …

Eagle Pond as we powered our way alongside Epping Forest via Snaresbrook Road, before retracing our route over Wood Street and back into Walthamstow Village. Round trip time including a good half hour cafe stop, a whisker under 2 and a half hours.

At 1pm on a snowy December day, the grand total of ride participants for our Open Spaces ride reached a new low of 1.

Whilst waiting for the hordes who were clearly enroute but slowed down by the snow and ice, Paul took a picture of …

his offroad tandem, which was the only pair of wheels he had that could cope with the exciting road conditions.

A few minutes later our numbers doubled …

with the arrival of the indefatigable Nic, who had bravely fishtailed his way up from Leyton.

It was a minor miracle neither of us fell off as we slithered through the village down Church Hill, …

and into the top of the High Street. After 200 metres we stopped off at a cafe for a warming drink and a snack to make up for the 1 calorie that we had already burned off.

All too soon and it was time to head for home, pausing to snap …

a very cool snowperson in Vestry Playground.

The round trip distance of this months ride was a shade over 2km.

So remember, whatever the weather we never cancel either of our rides, but we might decide to shorten them slightly.

If you want to a monthly email reminder of our rides, plus our latest ride report, click here.

Wishing you all a wonderful festive break, and hoping to see many of you next year.

With the temperature forecast to peak at a sweltering 7 degrees celcius, it was surprising that turnout for our ride starting …

outside the Ancient House even made it (just) into double figures.

But we bravely set off into the chilly east wind, benefiting from strong sunshine which took a bit of an edge off the temperature, and freewheeled down through Blackhorse Village, ….

and past the gorgeous autumnal colours in Coppermill Lane, before turning into …

the newly opened Walthamstow Wetlands (open space #1).

We stopped off for a whirlwind tour of …

The Engine House, which now hosts a shop, smart cafe, & amazing views over the southern half of the Wetlands.

Then using the new signalled ‘toucan’ crossing, we headed over Ferry Lane to take in the,,,

splendid scenery in the northern half.

We headed north out of the Wetlands, skirting below Banbury Reservoir (#2), over …

the canal, along the top of Tottenham Marshes (#3), and into Leaside Road.

A two way cycle track protected us from the multilane Angel Edmonton Road, …

and somehow resisting the temptation to go shopping in IKEA, we slid under the North Circular and over the railway via the imaginatively named Conduit Lane, only to find our path blocked by …

a car, which due to either to an act of god, or more likely a failure by the driver, had left the road and crashed.

We turned into Montague Road and found ourselves following a delightful cycle track running alongside a cemetery, but had to brave a handful of residential Enfield streets (Brookside Road, Brettenham Road and Park Road) which were somewhat compromised by rat running through traffic. But it was well worth it, as we’d reached our northernmost point, and and did a circuit around Pymmes Park (#4) …

marvelling at the riot of brown, gold, reds and yellow foliage.

We left through the south west gate, and crossing Silver Street picked up Nic’s ingenuous route alongside Pymmes Brook, before using the  Tanners End Lane pedestrian underpass to slip back under the North Circular and into Bull Lane.

We escaped from White Hart Lane into a peaceful but narrow path running south through the middle of Tottenham Cemetery (#5), and …

stopped briefly to admire the 12th century All Hallows Church, then sidling alongside Bruce Castle Park (#6) we picked up a short section of cycle track which led us into Risley Avenue.

Another of Nic’s ingenious routes had us winding through Tower Gardens Estate (#7) and …

into Lordship Recreation Ground (#8), where we stopped at the Lordship Hub Coop for snacks and to warm up. The park has seen considerable investment in recent years

… including restoration of the Model Traffic Area, in which young and old had fun cycling around on the car free mini road network.

The sun was low, so off we set again, heading south through Downhills Park (#9), along Station Crescent, Gorleston Road, and Roslyn Road, through Brunswick Road Open Space (#10), Birstall Road, followed by a brilliantly marshalled dog leg over the busy Seven Sisters Road into Stonebridge Road. Using the CS1 toucan we crossed the A10 into Crowland Road, and 5 minutes later …

we were chaining our bikes outside what is probably our favourite cafe, situated in Markfield Park (#11).

A cosy 45 minutes followed as we munched our way through goodies and chatted, then …

with daylight fading we pedalled off back home via Coppermill Lane.

Seventeen spirited cyclists assembled on October’s second Sunday for a soujourn to a site only sightly short of Shoreditch.

We set off on our usual western route across Walthamstow, making good use of the many ‘modal filters’ to cruise through the motor traffic-lite areas of Walthamstow & Blackhorse Villages stopping briefly at …

the splendid looking filter & pocket park at the top of Northcote Road.

We crossed Blackhorse Road via the signalled cycle crossing into Glenthorne Road, and onto Coppermill Lane, freewheeling downhill alongside the soon to be opened Wetlands (it is now).

Our plan to nip through the car park and onto Sustrans’ NCN (National Cycle Route) 1 was thwarted due to a bridge replacement by Network Rail, forcing a detour down  to Springfield Marina, where we nipped alongside the canal, …

rejoining NCN1 just before it passed under Lea Bridge Road.

We followed a wonderfully leafy corridor alongside the Waterworks Nature Reserve, and enjoyed autumnal woodland on the track running between Hackney Marsh and the River Lea, before climbing up to the bridges which cross over the motor traffic-logged Ruckholt Road and A12.

As we stopped for a breather and to admire a dramatic cloudscape, our posse grew by another 3 riders – a family who had spotted some friends in our group.

A gentle descent took us past the Velodrome, and through the Olympic Park; we hung a right just before the stadium, and traveled through Hackney Wick via Monier Road & Wick Lane …

into Victoria Park. We took a short break for a chat and look around the Old English Garden, then set off along the northern side of the park, crossing past the Chinese Pagoda and exiting into Sewardstone Road.

Nic’s encyclopedic knowledge of the area led us along a hidden path shortcutting through to Lark Row, and nipping over the A7 into Andrews Road, after 100 metres on Whiston Road we turned into  the top of …

Haggerston Park. Two minutes later we reached …

Hackney City Farm, which as well as a variety of animals hosts …

a popular (and pretty busy on a Sunday afternoon) cafe offering some very tasty food.

Suitably fuelled up on calories, we headed back home along Goldsmiths Row, up Broadway Market, and through …

London Fields.

We tried out the innovative new crossing from London Lane over Mare Street (which with the low volumes of cars worked flawlessly for our 20 riders), and segued along Lyme Grove, Chatham Place,  up alongside St John at Hackney Church, over

the tiger crossing of Lower Clapton Road, into Clapton Passage, down Powerscroft Road and through Millfelds Recreation Ground to the Toucan crossing of Lea Bridge Road.

After a few hundred metres of the showcase Lea Bridge Road cycle track, we crossed the rail bridge and turned left into Argall Way, …

waiting at the new Lea Bridge rail station for the back of the ride to catch up.

We enjoyed a further half mile of protected cycle tracks & car free riding, before taking another of Nic’s amazing routes, this time turning left from South Access Road info Low Hall Sports Ground. We sidled alongside a little known nature reserve on the edge of St James Park, emerging via North Access Road into Essex Road. A few more twists and turns took us along Coppermill Lane,  …

and back up Walthamstow High St and our starting point in Walthamstow Village.

A select band of a dozen riders assembled after lunch on a grey September Sunday…

outside the Ancient House in Walthamstow Village. We headed north over Church Hill, dropped down The Drive, slipped into Shernhall Street, fishtailed over Forest Rd and slalomed through the backstreets from Spruce Hills Road, over Fulbourne Road and into Forest View Road.

From there we made use of the recently upgraded cycle route up to and alongside Wadham Road, and via a new “tiger” crossing (it’s a zebra but caters for cycles as well as pedestrians)  over into …

the whimsically named Sky Peals Road. A bit of an uphill slope ensued, involving a degree of puffing coupled with a few red faces, as we edged out way alongside Epping Forest, then a merciful descent (via Bennington Road, Oak Hill Crescent, and Alders Avenue) before crossing the River Ching…. which being at the bottom of a valley meant we faced another hill climb.

A footpath from Gordon Road took us into St Leonards Avenue, and we wiggled through the backstreets taking alternate right & lefts, picked up the official quiet route to Chingford in Abbots Crescent, and emerged into Waterhall Avenue.

From there we used …

a brand new pair of tiger crossings providing a safe route across the roundabout (which used to be one of the most scary sections of this route), …

and hopped onto the new cycle track running up the east side of Friday Hill.

Bluehouse Road gave us a further taste of the leafy fringes of Epping Forest, and we had the benefit of yet another new tiger at the end of Normanton Park, offering safe passage over the busy Whitehall Road. Kimberley Road and Victoria Road took us into Warren Pond Road which offered another hill climbing opportunity, this time on an offroad track leading into the forest. Towards the top we stopped …

at Warren Pond for a breather, and admired the ancient oak tree which sported a massive void underneath – so large that several youngsters could climb in and hang out underneath the roots. From there it was 2 minutes to Rangers Road, and …

a brief stop at Butlers Retreat, where we could fill our bottles at the drinking fountain. We headed west alongside Chingford Plain, crossing Bury Road and picking up the offroad track that runs between the golf course & Forest View.

Previous rides along this path (after the glut of hills around Highams Park) had elicited a degree of good humoured protest with a few gently knackered participants getting off and walking for the last 100 metres of the route as it ascended the lower reaches of Pole Hill. So we tried a diversionary route along Eglington Road & Connaught Avenue. It saved us all of 5 metres of ascent, but was at least on a properly surfaced road which must have helped marginally as everyone managed to pedal to the top.

Mercifully, the next couple of miles were downhill … we snuck onto a footpath through woodland to Woodberry Way, crossing over into an easily overlooked and extraordinarily narrow alleyway, which emerged next to the Kings Head pub. A tightly marshalled dog-leg got us over the lights and into the top of the Ridgeway, before we slid into …

the little known path known as Organ Lane, running gently downhill for around a kilometre between back gardens. This is one of our borough’s hidden gems, …

with overhanging vegetation, little used by pedestrians, and apart from a single road crossings (Endlebury Road), a free-wheeling, car-free, taste of paradise.

We emerged into Colvin Gardens, and coasted down Harold Road, before sailing across ….

the recently completed tiger on New Road, and picking up the nicely resurfaced cycle track running into Larkswood Playing Fields.

From Larkswood Road, we swiftly traversed Chingford Mount Road into Frankland Road, and used Soper Close to cut through Chase Lane Park, and over a traffic jammed Hall Lane.

Weaving our way along Lower Hall Lane, we crossed 3 branches of the River Lea, snuck alongside the canal under the North Circular, and then to avoid a short but nerve-wrackingly narrow section of towpath, took the cycle track to the busy Argon Road roundabout… fortunately a kindly motorist let us in, and another let us cut over into Hawley Road.

We left Towpath Road and pedaled through a peaceful mile of the verdant Tottenham Marshes alongside Pymmes Brook; fifteen minutes later we had crossed Ferry Lane, looped the length of Jarrow Road, cruised into Yardley Crescent, and after 50 metres of towpath, we coasted into Markfield Park and …

a well deserved (and at nearly 4pm, considerably later than usual) refuelling stop at Sonia and Abed’s homely Pistaccios Cafe. All too soon, with the light starting to fade, …

it was time to set off home, down the towpath to the Horseshoe Bridge, up Coppermill Lane, and the High Street back to Walthamstow Village.

There weren’t many people left in Walthamstow by the middle of August, but 20 of them (plus a further  3 who hailed from Rotherhythe) made it to what turned out to be one of our longest ever rides.

After swapping in a new inner tube to fix the puncture on George’s bike, we headed off out of Walthamstow Village, over Church Hill, ….

down Cairo Road, and across Hoe Street.

The swathe of new modal filters in Blackhorse Village means there are now several low traffic routes heading westwards through Walthamstow.

We took my favourite line, down Hatherley Rd, Erskine, Colleridge, Walpole, The Links, Pretoria, Maude, and Glenthorne, emerging into Coppermill Lane, where from the reservoir we freewheeled into the Lea Valley and onto …

the Sustrans National Cycle Network route 1 (which runs from Dover to John O’Groats).

Past Walthamstow & Leyton Marshes, under Lea Bridge Road, alongside the Waterworks Nature Reserve (the wildlife there looks likely to suffer due to plans for 2 large new schools to be built alongside), and …

into Hackney Marsh.

After 5 minutes of pedaling we took the bridge over the canal, had a brief rest in Daubney Park, before heading off down Kingsmead Way, along Lee Conservancy Road, and following a sneaky short cut through the Meadow Close housing estate (to avoid the rather hostile Eastway).

Berkshire Road and Wallis Road led us over the…

ramped gateway crossing of the A12, and into …

Victoria Park, where we took a short rest break outside the cafe.

It was nearly 3pm and we’d only covered a third of our route, so we quickly pressed on, exiting the park via brief gap on a car mobbed roundabout and into Grove Road, and immediately hanging a right  into Wennington Green.

This heralded a 1 mile long slalom along the verdant and car-free route south down …

Mile End Park, and after 2 minutes of pedaling down Hamlets Way, we reached …

Tower Hamlets Cemetery. The cool shade of the leafy semi-wilderness was welcome after the bright sunshine; leaning tombstones and many elaborate memorials to the very long departed, lent a distinctly gothic feel as we rode around the paths.

There were sections of the ride which I hadn’t cycled before, but Google streetview came to the rescue. The day before I’d taken a virtual tour through Tower Hamlets, and was able to ensure we’d not end up stranded in the middle of a busy dual carriageway. In fact you can see our route here: http://www.bikely.com/routes/edit/tower-hamlets-cemetery-loop

We exited from the south east side of the cemetery into Fairfoot Road, then headed east through residential streets: Rounton Road, Campbell Road, Trevithic Way, Bruce Road, and Franklin Street.

A short section of shared path …

alongside the busy A12 , then into the subway crossing, we emerged into Three Mill Lane, and …

stopped briefly to admire the Three Mills. But the sound of rumbling stomachs encouraged us to press on to our cafe stop, via Three Mills Wall River, Stratford High Street, Blaker Road, followed by an immediate left down steps alongside the canal, and right into Marshgate Lane.

2 minutes later and we zig-zagged our way up onto the Greenway …

for a hugely well-deserved break in the Viewtube cafe’s garden.

The food there was scrumptious, and after an hour we felt restored enough for the return leg through the …

Olympic Park, past the Aquatics Centre, the Velodrome, over the A12 and …

along the riverbank on the east side of Hackney Marsh.

We rode back along Sustrans route 1, under Lea Bridge Road, looping up to join its state-of-the-art cycle track, before turning off at Hitcham Road; wiggling though quiet backstreets and onto the new cycle track running along Markhouse Road. From there we took a short cut along Brunner Road,  under the railway to Courtney Mews, and up the High Street back to Walthamstow Village.