Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The Joys of Cycling in London

On Saturday Mr. Tomph and I went on a little cycling adventure, leaving in the afternoon we went on a little mission to explore parts of London we'd never been to before and do it all on the happy medium of two wheels.

We looked at a few routes around London then decided to try and find Epping Forest. Setting out from Stepney we cycled up to Victoria Park, through Victoria Park Village then onto Homerton, across the River Lea and into Leytonstone and then all the way north until we reached Epping Forest. We stopped in the woods by a pond and had an awful lunch whilst sat on a bench situated in the middle of a muddy bog, after lunch we attempted to cycle on the muddy forest paths but out super thin racing wheels I found my bike was more adept at sinking than moving in any helpful direction.

Right! A sudden change of plan, Katie and Olly give us a little tinkle and tell us they're riding on Jamie and Caroline's boat up the River Lea just a mere few miles away. So after a study of the AtoZ we decide to get back on our bicycles and find a way to meet them, as soon as this change of plan occurs we start to reach some beautiful country-ish roads and a few little hills to test out my determination on a recently converted single speed. We started heading South West in the hope of reaching Tottenham Hale where the boat was now plodding along the river somewhere, we ended up cycling through Walthamstow and in the hope of enjoying the quieter back roads we came across the Walthamstow Market, a really really long market with all sorts of stuff being sold there, including a pair of Dunlop Green Flash daps for a mere £5. Bargain!

New shoes in tow we ended up getting ourselves onto a little road called Coppermill Lane which was to take us across the reservoirs separating Tottenham from Walthamstow and onto the River Lea to find the boat. This was a brilliant little ride, we had views across flat lands meaning we could see both Canary Wharf and The City right in the distance, marshland, reservoirs and loads of duck and goose species that you would normally only see in places like St James Park with little tags around their ankles. Along the road we came across a low bridge, only 5 foot tall. It was very much necessary to duck right down and lay across the top tube of the bicycle whilst going under this and even Tomph managed it on his bike, which to the untrained eye looks like it can't be too far of being 5 foot high itself.

Through some brilliant tarmac tracks over marshland and we were onto the River Lea Walk. From here we started heading North and within a few minutes we could hear the cries of a Caroline from the top of the boat as they were maneuvering through a lock. A few Benny Hill moments later we were sat atop of the barge rolling down the river on our way to the Princess of Wales. Brilliant.

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