• Most of the forest from Chingford Station - even in today's snowy conditions - from Bury Wood, Pear Tree Plain through to North Long Hills and High Beach are fine on a single speed CX bike. Even I can manage that and I'm seriously unfit, something that a few months riding here will hopefully sort out. If you meet up at either Wood Street or Highams Park (both are good choices as you can be in the forest in minutes) be aware that in the sheltered parts of Hatch Forest some parts never dry out, and even in a heat wave you can find yourself riding through axle deep soup. Below Pole Hill in Chingford is some good but hilly riding that you will need gears for - most of Hawk Wood & Yardley Hill - and again some parts here drain very slowly and can be muddy long after everywhere else has long been dry. The only hills in the forest I use regularly which always cause me trouble are on the Loughton side; the sudden climb out of the bottom of Great Monk Wood (known as Bellringer's Corner) and the climb to the car park through and up Furze Ground on the Debden side. This is a chilling and spooky ride done in the small hours, with all sorts of weird and unexplainable noises - or so it seems at the time and the temperature always noticeably drops at Bellringer's Corner!


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