London Bridge to Hackney Marshes

Last minute decision to do a New Year Bank Holiday ride. Posted Google Group at midday on Jan 1st. Ten riders turned up on a bright morning and headed off across London Bridge. Immediately one rider punctured (there was a lot of broken glass around). Injecting the magic gunk did not work so 2 riders abandoned at this early point. 9 riders continued across the City, then along Columbia Road (no flower market – Sundays only), across the canal, along Broadway Market (again no market but plenty of people about queuing for coffee etc) and into London Fields. Time check 10.45 so plenty of time to continue northwards past impressive St Johns Church and Clapton Square to Millfields Park. Stopped by the Lee Navigation and discussed return routes. Opted for Hackney Marshes with Andrew assisting with some leading. First had a look at the interesting stone circle arranged around a large stone chair, “Nature’s Throne”. This is a 90’s art work; we took a group photo.

Hackney Marshes is wooded at the north end, then bcomes a vast open space covered with football and rugby pitches. Plus a rounded area with 4 posts at each end. Extensive research by Shelagh and Helen on the their phones revealed that this was an Australian Rules (Football) pitch. Next stop was the Velodrome at the north end of the Olympic Park. This was closed – nothing going on at this expensive facility. We had expected to get a coffee and watch some cycling. To aviod mutiny headed to the nearest cafe in the park and took some refreshment. Continued across the park, exited past the Copper Box, found the bridge over the A12 and reached Victoria Park. Lots of people out taking the air. We continued to the Gunmakers Exit, crossed the canal and rode to Mile End Park. Time was now getting short so we opted to leave the park at Mile End and join Cycleway 2 to get a quick run back to London Bridge. Finished around 12.50 after an interesting and invigorating outing.

Route, with unused options,

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