Ride Report: COYI 4 March

Throughout the cold spell the dream of the “Come on You Irons” West Ham United themed ride did not fade and die and  we were rewarded by starting off the ride in the usual Newham Cyclists balmy weather conditions.  Things did take a turn for the worse with thicker cloud cover and being too early for the coffee stall at Cody Dock.

Undeterred the band of 11 continued through quiet back streets and off road routes to visit 4 of the five sites where West Ham play(ed) and the site of the Thames Ironworks.

Refreshment having been taken in the Royal Docks were were joined by three more for the last leg to the Boleyn Statue commemorating West Ham winning the World Cup

Here was a welcoming party from our partners in Bike from Boleyn, including Bobby Seagull.


Readout from 26 February 2018 Meeting

A good turnout of 16 mustered at the Velodrome on a bitterly cold evening.

We we rewarded with a really interesting presentation and discussion with Michael Barratt,  TfL’s development impact assessment lead, who leads a team using innovative (and co-operative) methods to mitigate the impact from London’s major construction projects, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.  He has already provided very helpful assistance to us on the Stratford Gyratory Project.

Given the plethora of development in Newham the approach he described should be very beneficial.  This includes liaising with (a) constructors direct and through any “Consider Constructor” type scheme, (b) the Council, and (c) using TfL’s reporting tool,and the draft TfL Traffic Management Handbook.

We agreed run a feeder from Stratford to the Free Cycle on 28 July 2018.  If you are able to help marshal this important event please put the date into your diary.

Steve outlined the ride programme to date and forthcoming events.  Our 2 country lane drides have attracted participants from all over London  Our local leisure rides start this Sunday, weather permitting.

Our partnership with AAA got off to a successful start with a bike checking session followed the next week by a Greenway ride.

We decided to put in a collective response the LB Redbridge’s consultation on its “Ilford Garden Junction” which includes in the plan a two way cycle track on the north side of the Romford Rd linking the existing track to the Tunnel Ave and the Roding Way,  under the North Circular Rd; andthe creation of a “pocket park” .  Please also respond to this very straightforward consultation as individuals supporting the scheme and, in section 3 on cycling adding the comment that the cycle provisions to be included phase 1 – the only phase to be funded so far.

Olawale updated the meeting on current infrastructure issues:

  •  the removal of a point closure at Glenparke Rd/Palmerston Rd; this was regarded a a retrograde step that will encourage rat running  in an area ripe for creating a “village” without through traffic.
  • A link between CS3 and Barking along Jenkins Lane, which is generally beneficial but has some issues of concern which have been transmitted to the Council’s Sustainable Transport Officer.
  • a huge development in the offing at Stephenson St which ought to  improve connectivity e.g. between West Ham Station and the Leaway and under the District Line.  However the initial transport plan needs careful consideration as to the benefits to cycling that should derive from this scheme.

The Channelsea Ramp on the Greenway has been opened and now provides an excellent off road link from the Greenway to Stratford Town Centre. There have however been a number of attacks targeting cyclists o the Greenway.  It is helpful to record personal experiences with the Greenway Users Group.

There was a general discussion on the implications of the recent Councillor selection process by local labour party wards.


A Busy Weekend

On Saturday 17 February 6 Newham Cyclists set up their stall to check and fix bikes at the children’s bike club of Ambition, Aspire, Achieve at the Terence Brown Arc Canning Town.  We were blessed with unseasonably sunny and warm weather as bikes were checked for future use by the club, including a ride we are proposing to lead on 24 February based on the Greenway.

The next day was the Secret Nuclear Bunker Ride.  Here is Steve’s Report:

Maybe it was the fine weather, maybe some cyclists felt impelled to know the whereabouts of a place of greater safety, the reason is unclear, but the outcome was that we had a record 21 riders for this second ride of 2018. The central line staff and passengers were bemused by the large number of cyclists boarding the train at Leytonstone for the journey Epping and the start of our adventure.

From Epping station the route took us on a long downhill out of the town, under the M11 and into the countryside. There had been some debate about whether the route is undulating or hilly, so this time we had among us one rider on a single speed fixy who would put it to the ultimate test. The ride up to Toot Hill is a good way to warm up, then we followed the small lanes to the London Road. We crossed over and followed Shonks Mill Lane down to the ford, often flooded in winter, but although the water in the stream was high the road was dry. We turned off up Lady Hill and this eventually brought us to the back of the SNB. Ignoring the “Keep Out”, signs we crossed no mans land and found ourselves outside the SNB and next to the familiar bombs/rockets. Some riders even locked their bikes to these for extra security during the visit.

On leaving the SNB we did have a problem as one rider had not left with the group and had to be found. Fortunately the lunch stop at “The Bricklayers Arms”, was only a couple of miles away in Stondon Massey, so we were soon reunited, and able to enjoy an al fresco break in the winter sun. The return leg took us via Ongar and Greensted, back to Toot Hill, where we retraced those undulations back to Epping. Indeed it was surprising but true that this ride is possible without gears, but perhaps not for everyone

Thanks to all participants, especially Arnold, backmarker and Robin for the photos; full album from-


Here is can animated view of the ride with statistics


Readout from 29 January Meeting

17 of us squeezed in our last minute venue – Forest Gate Arts, with an  agenda that was equally  packed and interesting.

Dockless Bike Hire: Fraser from Ofo bikes spoke to us about the company, their bikes and the dockless system, their plans, and their  discussions with Newham Council with a view to introducing them into the borough.  We were even able to try one out!  

The company is a partner of LCC and ultimately plans 150,000 bikes in London, starting in Islington and Hackney and focusing on surrounding boroughs.  Newham is therefore a natural point of expansion.

Sad news:  The bike shop Pave Velo has closed in the QE Olympic Park.

Ambition, Aspire, Achieve: we plan to go forward with this partnership by providing bike fixing stalls at the children’s cycle club on 17 February, 28 April and 26 May with short Greenway based rides on the weks following – 24 February, 5 May and 2 June. These are all Saturdays between 10am and 1pm.  If you are able to help (and haven’t already volunteered) please let me know.

Forest Gate to Wanstead Link: This is a new subject.  Given how appalling Centre Rd is, it is difficult to cycle directly to Wanstead from Forest Gate.  We decided to do some preliminary investigation, by a ride of the route; and also to see if there is a group in Redbridge who would be interested in pursuing this with us.

Bike from Boleyn:  Next ride is April 14.  Although this is some way off marshals are needed.  So if you can help put this date in your diary and let me know.

Stratford Gyratory:  an audit of the works was undertaken with Newham Council’s project manager, the Met Police Safety Unit and Michael Barratt, TfL’s Development Impact Assessment Lead, who promotes innovative methods to mitigate the impact of major construction projects.  His subsequent report highlights the various “hotspots” and recommends what can be done to mitigate.  The main action point for us is to lobby the constructors who are taking up disproportionate space in Great Eastern Street (which is separate  to Gyratory project).  We agreed to invite Michael to our next meeting. The audit could usefully be repeated in a few months.

Liveable Neighbourhoods: This is the focus of LCC election campaign.  It involves identifying at least one good project for local groups to push for in the next round of applications for TfL funding.  Newham Council has so far not made any applications.  In preliminary discussions  a number of potential schemes were identified which could be part of a future campaign.  This will need to be picked up as it becomes clearer who the local candidates are likely to be.  Olawale is attending a workshop on the broader campaign for Liveable Neighbourhoods.

Ultra-Low Emission Zone:  We agreed to respond to the current TfL consultation, pushing for more stringent measures – quicker.

Annual meeting:  This will take place on 30 April.







Monthly Meeting January 2018

Next meeting is at Forest Gate Arts on 29 January  at 7.30 pm
13 Upton Ln, London E7 9PA

 The attached document –Newham-Cyclists-Issues-of-Interest-Jan-2018-without-maps sets out the outcome of a recent meeting with the Sustainable Transport Officer of Newham Council to review current infrastructure developments.

I am hoping to add before the meeting the outcome of the examination of the Stratford Gyratory works with  with Newham Council, TfL and the Metropolitan Police.


Ride Report: Greensted Green Church -14 January 2018


Our first ride of the new year was blessed with mild weather  and a good turnout. We took the Central Line from Leytonstone to Epping, where the ride began with a nice downhilll run. 

We saw a good number of cyclists around Toot Hill which is popular for its undulating terrain. We arrived at the church a little after 11am but there were no other visitors, despite it being Sunday. This allowed us to take a good look around, we saw the painting of St Edmund, after whom, it is thought, the church was founded. This oldest wooden stave church has a crusaders grave, leper hole and links to the Tollpuddle martyrs. With a history of over 1000 years there are lots of stories about the church and its congregation, some of which may even be true. 

We continued to Ongar and took the old roman road, unfortunately this is rather popular with speeding motorists, so we were pleased to turn into Berwick Lane and wind our way through the empty country lanes back to Toot Hill. We stopped at the Moletrap pub for lunch. It is a lovely, characterful place although it was small and seating was limited.

Refreshed we mounted up and rode the few miles back to Epping Station.

The route map is accessible here:  Greensted ride  

Partnership with Ambition, Aspire, Achieve

in 2017 we piloted partnership work with AAA, a charity based in the Arc in Hermit Road Park, Canning Town – by running a 3 bike fixing stalls at their Saturday morning children’s cycling club and leading a gentle ride along the Greenway.
The club runs from 10.30 am to 2.00pm each Saturday
This was considered sufficient of a success to repeat the activity this year, provided there is sufficient support for it.  Other suggestions for this year are:
  • to run the bike stall a week before a ride in order to do as much bike checking as possible as early as possible;
  • have a ride during the period of initial activity on the Greenway, following its official 24 hour opening on 8 January;
  • to fit as best possible with the Woodgrange stall and rides calendars which will shortly be published.
Three bike fixing sessions and three rides in the first half of 2018 are contemplated, for which 5 pairs of dates look feasible:
10 & 17 Feb; 17 and 24 Feb; 17 & 24 March;28 April & 5 May; 26 May & 2 June.
I have set up two Doodle polls (one for the stalls and one for the rides) and will take the best three sessions.  If you would like to help please sign up.  It is not necessary to be available for both date in a pair.  The only requirement is that there be a sufficient number signed up to run the events – probably 3 for each.
The Doodle poll for the stalls is:
Thanks for your help, if you would like to know more please get in touch with me.