Tell us about your weekend ride

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  • I don't remember saying that?

  • Ok, I think in the flurry of route downloading I must've got wires crossed.

    So, Hertsex are your routes and the Saccombe ones are from Stayer?

    I think I was thinking they were the same. But if you reckon Stayer #3 is one to try I'll use that as a basis, ta.

  • It was me, I was taking over Skinny's account for the day.

  • Trust me, I am not a gravel fanatic, nor going by preaching about how good it is.
    That said, I've seen few things that I could not ride on my Straggler within a day of cycling from London that got me thinking "I wish I had a MTB". Yes a MTB would be more fun in some bits, but equally less in others.

    Had I been living within reach from the Alps or the Pyrenees I would totally agree with you.

  • Ah, autocorrect changing the word 'fattest' again

  • Yes Hetsex is one I created, but if you have to pick one to come to this side of the river the Stayer #3 is the one I'd recommend.
    If you are down for a longer one, the route I rods for Dirty Kanzelled takes in the best bits from both.

  • Anyway, some of you are conveniently located near trails or near trains that get to trails and some of us are not. Some of us have poor MTB skills and some of us have singlespeeds that aren't so much fun off-road and still too slow on-road. Some of us have partners that don't have mountain bikes or have ridden off-road very little so "gravel" trails are quite an adventure. Your preferred riding is not better, it's just different.

  • Like genius and insanity they're inexorably linked...

  • Nice. Going to give that ago.

  • Stayer have a Dirty Kanzelled route too. Anyway I've copied yours too now.
    So many routes! I'm a checklist kinda guy so I'll probably try and ride all of them so I can tick them off and work out what's good/bad from each. Thanks again.

  • Yeah, theirs is just a tweaked version of their #3 I think. I can swaer by mine, already approved by other fourmmongers. Put it at the top of the list.

  • For some reason I thought it was 15k to the start but it's actually 30k, so that's 60k across London on top of the 100mi route. Still, get up early enough and we could beat a lot of the traffic and make a whole day of it.

    Ah, it was 15k to the start of the Sacombe routes (stayer #3)

  • Do you come from West or South? If Barnet is closer to you, you can chop mine off around Waltham Corss then and skip the Epping bit, it's good, but not the easiest to navigate if you're not familiar with the trails.

  • West. Just tweaked it with start/finish and it's ~220k all up.

  • You can always shorten the route on the fly and cut away ~20km from Epping Green to Newgate Street towards the end if you guys are tired/bored/late/can't be arsed, it's good stuff tho.

    Also, this weeks seems to be hot and you don't really cross many resupply points on this route, so make sure to refill on water when/where you can, next option might be 2/3h later.

  • If I'm going to ride across norf London I'd rather just do it and not cut any of the good stuff out. I'm thinking of taking Wed or Thu off this week and doing it. I've ridden to Walthamstow a few times but don't remember how so I've just used RWGPS to drag a route out and back, it's about 212km all up at the moment. I'm used to dehydration so this will be fun watching the missus shrivel up and beg for water. ;)

  • Very impressive!

  • Unless it's riding fixed, in which case it's definitely better. No matter the surface riding fixed brings an incredible and unique feeling which cannot be replicated on gears

  • Yeah, nah. These days I like fixed for short stuff but I have no desire to do any long, lumpy rides fixed. The freewheel is a great invention.

  • Cheers! It was easier than it looks, funny to say but true...

  • Back on the matter of this stretch of gravel cutting from Theydon Mount to Stapleford Tawney, also found on Stayer's route #1, last time we discussed the Stapleford Tawney end of it, this time is the other end.

    My wife and I were coming from Theydon Mount, where you turn into the highlighted bit below, before you turn right into the wide gravel road, we were sneakily followed by a pickup up to this point. As soon as we turned right into the gravel, the man from the pickup shouted at us. Followed a somewhat polite discussion, saying that this stretch is private land and we cannot ride there and that "Someone put this on the internet and a lot of cyclists are coming this way and it pisses me off". We turned around and rerouted.


    • There are no "Private property" signs
    • The Three Forest Way public footpath goes through the property, but it cuts a bit more to the south and the man argued that "the footpath is not for bikes". It is rideable regardless.
    • The man in the pickup came out of nowhere and turned around after telling us off
    • Last time here, a lady came out of the first house and kindly showed us the correct way around the estate.
    • It's a shame people are so bothered by a few cyclists riding "by their properties" as this bit of bridleway is really stunning and cuts from a quiet lane to a quiet lane, without having to go around.

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  • As I've suggested before, the best thing would be to see if the Ramblers have info on it and for them to take action if necessary. The locals may be right, of course, but they may also be wrong.

  • The locals are right - there is no bridleway in this area according to the OS Map - Bing maps is good for this (the only thing its good for) as you can toggle the OS map on and off. The gravel track isn't even on the map, suggesting it's quite new.

    Agree it would be nice if the farmer was more welcoming of the folks who've come to avail themselves of his gravel road, but the fact is, it's up to him. Agree if its pissing him off this much he should probably put a sign up.

    Looks like you can either miss it out quite easily by heading on down to Passingford Bridge, or loop up to the north and explore the actual bridleway from Woodhatch to Little Tawny Hall. Caution - if it's little used, it could be nettle/bramble disaster this time of year.

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  • Sounds like the owner is right. I guess dozens of cyclists went by and he got alarmed by the increasing popularity, he would have probably minded the odd cyclist far less. I informed Stayer and hopefully things will get quiet again,

    Yeah, plenty of ways around, but that bit was lovely, shame it can't be ridden.

    The bridleway from Woodhatch is clear from vegetation and quite well used. It can be ridden, but the central bit is used by horses, so lumpy hard ground rather than smooth gravel, might as well stick to Tawney Lane which is a lovely lane anyway.

  • Not the weekend but took on a first proper ride in about 2.5 years. 35 miles up through Finchley and back through Enfield. Was blowing hard and cramped up through Crouch End but feels so good working all those muscles that just aren't needed for keeping a baby ticking over or sitting in front of a computer.

    Lovely tired feeling in my legs.

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Tell us about your weekend ride

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