Cycling - Previous adventures
The easy ride section write up of their adventure on the 2015 Essex ride!
Three of us ‘easy riders’ (Phil, Hazel and me) started out from Harlow Town Station at 10am on Wednesday, heading off to Maldon via Chelmsford following the National Cycle Network route 1 signs. There was a gentle northerly wind and the sun was out. Cycling at a steady pace we arrived at Fyfield after 11 miles, having had time to take in the scenery and for a drink and photo stop on the way. Not seeing anywhere to stop for lunch at Writtle as intended, we were soon on the outskirts of Chelmsford and cycling through the marvellous Central Park when, on 24 miles…. the Cake on the Lake Cafe was spotted, ideal! Bacon butties and toasted sandwiches were the order of the day and an hour soon passed when the moderate riders appeared and after frantic waving they spotted and joined us.
We left the moderates consuming their drinks and cakes to get a head start and cycled all through Chelmsford on shared use paths, then to Maldon on more small country lanes and a few tracks. We all met up again on the outskirts of Maldon and arrived at the Limes Guest House in one big group having cycled 36 miles. After a wash and brush up we all converged on the Queen’s Head at Hythe Quay where Stewart re-organised all the tables for us to enjoy a great dinner.
Day 2 started grey and cloudy so waterproofs were donned ready. We 3 plus Steve were off to NCN16 and Braintree then the Flitch Way to Bishops Stortford to end our ride. A couple of busier roads than we were used to got us to the outskirts of Witham, when the rain started! A few missing signs and we took some wrong turns through Witham, although it did make us cycle through some nice park areas and we drowned our sorrows with coffee/tea and cake in the Strawberry Tea Room at Olivers Nurseries. Soon back on track and eased our way in the rain along more small country lanes, through Great Knotley to Braintree on 24 miles - time for lunch at R & T’s cafe.
With rain increasing we started on the Flitch Way Trail where we made up some time until Little Dunmow where the trail deteriorated with ruts and mud. We had to circumnavigate Great Dunmow by road and cycle path to re-join Flitch Way, which we re-named the Flitch River at this point! All was well until just a few miles short of our destination, Steve cycled straight into a branch over the track and cut his nose rather badly. After a little TLC and plaster we were off again but he was quite shaken and rang a friend to take him home and hospital. By this time we were all cold and wet to various degrees so shortest route to Station was taken. Having safely negotiated the notorious M11 roundabout and onto a B road, Phil then came off his bike when we had to stop quickly as the path ended abruptly, ending up on his back in the road, grazed knee and all (with his rucksack on his back he looked like an upturned turtle!). Finally arrived at Bishops Stortford Station after cycling a wet 43 miles and caught train home arriving about 8pm.
A email suggestion to Stewart from Steve received after the event , mentioned that perhaps next year we should base the event on a Triathlon, but call it U3A -ATHLON..... instead of swim ,cycle and run. We could have soaked,lost,and bruised!!!!!Regardless of the negatives he did enjoy it , signing himself off as 'Panda face' as he has now two black eye's!
C2C CHALLENGE 2014
On Tuesday 10th June 2014, 12 members of Cheshunt & Ware Cycle Group attempt to ride coast to coast. Click on link on right hand side for more information.
U3A OLYMPIC VELODROME EXPERIENCE 2014
In full gladiatorial lycra our cycling group entered the arena of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Velodrome at Stratford on July 2nd 2014. As well as Cheshunt, there were members from the U3As at Broxbourne, Hertford, Lea Valley and Ware.
Riding the Velodrome, on track fixed wheel bikes, and after some instruction and introductory slow circuits, we were let loose to ‘burn rubber’!
With steep banking, particularly at each end, nerves of steel were required to get to the top of the track. It was a truly exhilarating experience for all who attended the one hour session. Photographs of the event are available to view on our table at the monthly meeting or click on Olympic Velodrome 2014 link on right hand side.
London Bike Ride 2nd August 2013
Expertly lead by Richard and Hazel, we had a fantastic ride, thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.
Setting off at 9.30 in slight drizzle we cycled down the Lea tow path to Walthamstow Marshes where we diverted off the tow path and through the marshes on good tracks. Following a coffee stop we carried on to the Olympic Park and turned right along the Hertford Cut to Victoria Park. Through Victoria Park to Regents Canal where we cycled on the tow path to The Lime House Basin. We had a photo by the Thames, see attached, before being taken by Richard on a winding route, incorporating the Ornamental Canal through to St Catherine's Dock, all this done off road except for a couple of sections on very quiet roads, of no more than 200yds each.
Following lunch at St Catherine's Dock, we cycled back to Lime House Basin we rode to Bow Lock along the Lime House Cut. This is where the Lea joins the Thames. Heading North past Three Mills and Old Ford Lock, we diverted into the newly opened North End of the Olympic Park. What a good job they have made, we had afternoon tea and a ride around, before getting back onto the Lea Tow Path and headed for home. With the sun on our backs and a southerly wind we had a very pleasant return trip arriving back at about 4.30pm.
The mileage from Cheshunt return was about 41 miles. We got away with only one puncture.
I would certainly say that it must rank as one of the best and interesting rides we have done. So much so that I hope we can offer the ride again before the summer is out!
2013 Cycling Trip to Norfolk
Click on the link to read about our recent Norfolk exploits - with photos too!
Lands End to John O’Groats
Not having suffered enough in Anglesey, Stan Harris undertook this epic adventure starting on Sunday 20th May 2012 and arrived at John O'Groats on 1st June. You can read his journey here by clicking on the link to the right on this page. Stan, who undertook this ride at 75 years young, has done the trip three times previously, the last time in his 70th year. He cycled unaccompanied and expected to complete the ride on the 4th June so he arrived ahead of schedule averaging 73.3 miles per day.
Many congratulations to Stan from all of us - a true cycling Legend!
2012 CYCLING EXPEDITION
Our lycra clad moderate riders, along with Ware U3A cyclists, set off on another adventure in May 2012. Having successfully circumnavigated the Isle of Wight in 2011, they ventured further afield to take on the challenge of circumnavigating the Isle of Angelsey.
The trip began on May 9th with a convoy driving to Bangor, on the mainland, and cycling the short distance (6 miles) over the Meni Bridge to Beaumaris where we had a look round the castle. Then onto Moelfre, about a further 18 miles. The following day took in Parys Mountain for a look round what was once the world's largest open-cast copper mine and Llynnon Mill, the only working windmill in Wales, before rolling into Holyhead - c.40 miles in all. On the last day we cycled back to Bangor via Aberffraw Heritage Centre and, of course, a fleeting stop at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch for a photo by the railway station name plate covering about 32 miles on that last day, making a total mileage c.96. Photos available to view from this page!
2011 CYCLING EXPEDITION
On 22nd June 2011 members of Ware and Cheshunt cycling groups travelled, by car, to Portsmouth. Leaving cars at the port and, using bus passes, we travelled by Ferry with our trusty bikes to spend 3 days and 2 nights circumnavigating the Isle of Wight. Photographic evidence of our trip appear below! Susan Smith has kindly put together a short You Tube Video of this Group - please go to the You Tube website (www.youtube.com), and enter Cycling Group Cheshunt U3A in their search box.