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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.


  1. Ride certainly not a failure mate but how many times have you told me to make sure my spare inner tube is up to scratch?! Ingatestone looks nice too.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words,hope to get out on the bike soon,once its back from repair!I'll check out your blog