Total Pageviews

Sunday, 15 July 2012

BHF London to Southend Bike Ride 15th July 2012

I decided the night before to do this ride. First day for ages it hasn't rained,so I made the most of it. I arrived at 0800 after a train ride and 6 miles of riding to the start line in Victoria Park,Hackney, London.

Soon at 0805 hours I set off through London, getting caught at every red light going it would seem.
I couldn't wait to get out of London,once through Woodford and across Charlie Browns Roundabout at the A406 North circular which thankfully was quiet,we started to climb. I forgot how steep the climb up to Chigwell was. Just about the top of the hill by Chigwell I felt my back tyre felt very soft,I stopped and indeed it was. After a while fixing the puncture I continued on past The Maypole PH at Chigwell,down past the Two Brewers PH and the Carter & Miller Pub formerly the Camelot PH and down through Lambourne End and eventually to my first refreshment stop at the Village hall in Stapleford Abbotts.

I grabbed a cheese and Pickle roll and a Luzozade power sport drink, my first food of the day. I then asked to borrow a track pump from the bike mechanic here. It was faulty and just let my tyre down,so I gave up and pumped it back up with my pump.Looks like I will have to continue with a lot less PSI in my rear tyre then I'd like.
I continued through Stapleford Abbotts and through the Village Green at Navestock side past Alecs Restaurant formerly the Green Man PH,where there was a American Car show on,with several large American Motors trying to make their way to the show through hoards of cyclists. Bad planning to have a show to coincide with the ride lol.
I turn onto the busy Ongar Road for a stretch before turning right onto Blackmore Road ,through Blackmore and away from the traffic.Then through Doddinghurst,

 and eventually to my second Refreshment stop at Mountnessing by the Windmill.
 Mountnessing Windmill is a  grade 2 listed Post Mill , which has been restored to working order.Mountnessing Windmill was built in 1807, replacing an earlier mill.

I grabbed a piece of cake from the stall,hoping the sugar will give me a boost. I went and sat on the grass verge watching the other cyclists pass.

I continue along the route across the A12 and into the pretty village of Ingatestone.

Note The Chopper bicycle!

I turn right shortly after the village and along some more lovely Essex Lanes.

Then more steep climbs ,in particular the climb into Stock where it seemed slow cyclists up the hill had caused a tailback of traffic.

I now make my way down towards Hanningfield Reservoir where it seems after a very wet summer the drought is well and truly over,plenty of water here!

I decided not to stop at the next official refreshment stop at the Reservoir and continue on.

I stopped a little further on at South Hanningfield for a break and take a few photos.

I continue a little further and in Rettendon I stop again and try to put more air in my rear tyre as I wasn't happy with it.I wish I'd left well alone now for as I was pumping the tyre the valve snapped! So I fitted the spare tube in the bag. But to my horror this was also unrepairable and I don't know how it managed to get into the bag if it was damaged.But I learnt a valuable lesson, check your spare!! I was now left with a Un-rideable bike and I walked the bike the rest of the way to Battlesbridge Rail Station to get the train home.
I initially thought the ride as a failure as I didn't reach Southend,but I had done this ride before and I had ridden to Southend on numerous times.So I thought no, I've had a great ride out in beautiful weather and countryside and enjoyed it, so how can it be a failure? Still the ride will be there another year!
I rode about 44 miles in total for the day including to and from home.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ride to Olympic Village,3 Mills and beyond - 29th May 2012

On 29th May 2012 I decided to take a ride to Stratford to see the Olympic village and see where I'd go from there. I took the new bike a neighbour had kindly donated to me. On route I discovered that the headset and a pedal was loose after some running repairs ,I was on my way again. There is however a noise coming from the bike which may be the bearing needing re-greasing,will get it looked at soon.
I cycled through Collier Row,Chadwell Heath,Ilford,Manor Park,Forest etc until I reached Stratford. I then went through the new Westfield's Shopping Centre in Stratford to reach the Olympic village.

Wenlock and Mandeville, the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic mascots

Then I was out by the Olympic village, you still can't enter the site due to still building work going on and security reasons no doubt. Still looks like loads left to do with only 59 days left to the start of the 2012 games.

  The ArcelorMittal Orbit, observation tower costing 19.1 million.16million came from Britain richest man the steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.Some 377ft (115m)high.

I left the village behind and the hoards of guided tourists and cycled along Carpenters Lane and across the busy road to join the Regents Canal in Stratford,heading towards Limehouse.

I now cycled along heading towards Three Mills.

Sex Pistols theme named boat "NEVERMIND the Bow Locks"

I now approach Three Mills.The Three Mills are former working mills on the River Lea in the East End of London, one of London’s oldest extant industrial centres. The largest and most powerful of the four remaining tidal mills is possibly the largest tidal mill in the world. It is mainly accessed by a bridge over the Limehouse Cut and River Lea.

 The River Lea Tidal Mill Trust Ltd owns the House Mill and the Miller's House buildings, which are used for educational projects and as conference spaces. The Lower Lea Project is also based at Three Mills in The Miller's House. The Prescott Channel, a former flood relief channel, to the east, creates Three Mills Island, and the mills share this with the Three Mills Studios, a 20 acre (81,000 m²) film studio, which makes a large number of major films and television programmes.

The Clock Mill
 The Clock Mill was rebuilt by Philip Metcalfe between 1815 and 1817 incorporating the old clock, and an older bell. There was also a windmill which survived until about 1840.

 The House Mill was built in 1776 (and after a fire destroyed it, quickly rebuilt) by Daniel Bisson. It is a grade I listed building. The House Mill continued to operate until 1940 and the Clock Mill until 1952.

 In 1878 there were seven waterwheels at Three Mills. Most of them were around 20 ft in diameter and 3 ft in width, but one was 8 ft in width. There were four in the House Mill and three in the Clock Mill. They drove fourteen pairs of millstones and produced a total of 150 HP (112KW). The average output of the House Mill was about 2 tons of maize and 5 tons of barley per tide rising to 10 and 14 tons respectively on spring tides. The average weekly throughput of the two mills was 125 tons per week.

I continue along Regents canal........

I now approach Bow Locks........

The locks link the tidal Bow Creek to the River Lee Navigation, which is a canalised river. These locks were first built in 1850 and then rebuilt in 1930, at the same time as the Prescott Channel was cut nearby. At high tide, the tide from Bow Creek formerly flowed through Bow Locks, to raise the level of the canals, such as the Limehouse Cut. But in 2000, these locks were modified to keep the tide out, to reduce silting in the canal system.
Protest against Nuclear waste passing through London
Bow Locks has a long history, as the first recorded mention of a water control structure at the site was during the reign of Edward I, when Henry de Bedyk, the prior at Halliwell Priory and owner of the nearby tide mills. He erected a structure some time before 1307. Despite juries ruling in 1345 and 1362 that it should be removed, it remained in place, and its existence was not contested when commissioners were appointed in 1551.

Loads of military vehicles parked up alongside the canal,possible movie vehicles ?? who knows ?

 The canal now merges into the Limehouse basin.

The Docklands Light Railway is carried on a viaduct originally built for the London and Blackwall Railway above the original wharves along the north side of the basin.
The Basin, built by the Regent's Canal Company, was formerly known as Regent's Canal Dock and was used by seagoing vessels and lighters to offload cargoes to canal barges, for onward transport along the Regent's Canal. Although initially a commercial failure following its opening in 1820, by the mid 19th century the dock (and the canal) were an enormous commercial success for the importance in the supply of coal to the numerous gasworks and latterly electricity generating stations along the canal, and for domestic and commercial use.

I now leave Limehouse basin and I'm now in Wapping  by The River Thames.

I now cycle along The Thames Path.

A view back towards Canary Wharf.
After a little further I cycle into and around Shadwell Basin.
Today Shadwell Basin is the most significant body of water surviving from the historical London Docks. It is situated on the north side of the river Thames east (downstream) of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge and west (upstream) of Limehouse.

Shadwell Basin
 I follow a water way along till I reach Tobacco Dock.Tobacco Dock is a grade I listed warehouse in Wapping, London Docklands. It was constructed in approximately 1811 and served as a store for imported tobacco.

 In 1990 the building was converted into a shopping centre which had cost £47 million to develop and was intended to create the Covent Garden of the East End but the scheme was unsuccessful and it went into administration.

Dis-used ships at Tobacco Dock
 I continue along the waterway towards St Katherines Dock,loads of runners and in this heat too!!

Loads of Carp sun bathing

I now cycle along the cobbled streets of Wapping,which isn't much fun on a road bike and stopoff by the river to take a picture of Tower Bridge,The Shard etc..... Looking forward to the Shard's observation deck opening in February 2013...views will be amazing.

I now enter St Katherine Dock and stop off for a can of coke and a pastry, only £1.80 was expecting a lot more in this part of London!
St Katharine Docks took their name from the former hospital of St Katharine's by the Tower, built in the 12th century, which stood on the site.

I now leave to cycle over to London Liverpool Street Station to get the train home.Passing by St Botloph without Aldgate.

St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, St Botolph-without-Aldgate, or just Aldgate Church, is a Church of England liberal and inclusive parish church in the City of London, standing at the junction of Houndsditch and Aldgate High Street. The current 18th century church is made of brick with stone quoins and window casings. The tower is square with an obelisk spire.

30 Axe Street (otherwise known as the The Gherkin)

30 St Mary Axe (formerly the Swiss Re Building, informally referred to as the Gherkin) is a skyscraper in London's financial district, the City of London, completed in December 2003 and opened at the end of May 2004. With 41 floors, the tower is 180 metres (591 ft) tall, and stands on the former site of the Baltic Exchange building, which was severely damaged on 10 April 1992 by the explosion of a bomb placed by the Provisional IRA.
After the plans to build the Millennium Tower were dropped, the current building was designed by Norman Foster and Arup engineers, and was erected by Skanska in 2001–2003.

I now reach the Station for the journey home.