Epping Forest has had short shrift from Cycle Orbital. The reason is that rides taken a decade or more ago, before this network was conceived, were disappointing; there were few off-road tracks well enough surfaced to replace the busy A104 road that runs as a spine through the forest. Spinoff 2 has a rewarding section running east-west through the forest, but now at last Zone 5 Chingford and Zone 6 Epping are linked into the network. Continue reading
Martin submitted the winning design for London’s first dedicated cycle route in 1977.
Now, 43 years on, the ground survey and GPS mapping of a system of recreational rides around the capital’s urban periphery is complete. During development the working title was the C25 – in reference to the orbital motorway, and still in use in this blog library.
Now, in September 2020 we are ready to launch a dedicated website from which the routes will be fully accessible, excursions planned. The C25 is dead – long live Cycle Orbital!
The network comprises 12 arcs, 12 spokes, and 12 spin-offs. It covers more than 750 miles of off-road and quiet cycling through varied landscapes – often beautiful, always interesting.
Please enjoy this blog library from the archive of photos taken on reconnoitre, laid out chronologically below. You can contact Martin for further information. Cycle Orbital’s website has been built by Anthony Cartmell at Fonant.
Checking out Cycle Orbital in ‘longshot’, with all 750+ miles of it standing out so well now against Ordnance Survey Light, a longstanding niggle was all the more clear: there is a long gap between Spin-off 10 and 11, and I knew there was fine Chiltern countryside there, especially around Ashridge Estate (arrowed). Furthermore, the existing Spin-off 11 (ringed) is a stubby 4 miles of admittedly good cycleway – but Continue reading
Cycle Orbital has its own site, so this is now an occasional blog. This autumnal Lockdown 2 is my first in London, and I’ve had to devise some 20-30 milers from the front door here in Camden’s Primrose Hill. So far I’ve chased the best of the falling leaves in three satisfying runs that conform to CO standards pretty well: as off-road, traffic-lite and rural-green (well, russet-gold) as possible: Continue reading
Martin’s winning design in the Greater London Council’s competition to initiate 1000 miles of dedicated cycle routes. Evening Standard, February 1978
Since this was posted at autumn equinox, you may have been directed here from an equinoctial greeting, announcing a completely new website – Cycle Orbital. This was born from the C25 project documented here in Trailblazer, but Cycle Orbital shares some brand features with its equinoctial “parent”, EQ. Continue reading
The C25 is no more; long live Cycle Orbital!
This blog has been idle since the return from Scottish lockdown in July – but its author has not. Rather, a completely new website has been under construction, and now in September 2020 it is ready to be unveiled. The gestation process whereby Continue reading
Well beyond. Our Covid hideaway here in S Ayrshire, to which we decamped exactly on the equinox, is 400 miles NW from Luton Airport Parkway. There was just room for my bike, and goodness! I am grateful for the luxury of freedom it gives me.
The Bruce Stone above Loch Trool Continue reading
With the dark shadow of Covid-19 encroaching, but with increasingly springlike weather lifting the spirits in equal and opposite measure, the remedy is clear; get in a couple of rides and check the health of the C25, before the risk of confinement. A good call Continue reading
A cycling map with helpful 6-mile orbital rings! It’s obvious why this was a treasured Christmas gift for me. It’s the date – 1887 – that makes the map really fascinating, for the 1880’s are the years when the modern bicycle was developed, with a bicycle boom following in the 1890’s. Not only that Continue reading
The previous week’s ride was powered by a firm westerly wind; today’s was even more blustery. I rarely tackle a headwind, so this eastbound spin tested the mostly on-road conditions from Spoke 12 Hadley Wood via Clay Hill, Enfield Lock and Epping Forest. I hope the first road section is temporary: Continue reading
This was a ride concocted from the need to deliver items to near Didcot power station, and to explore a ride back via Wallingford and Henley to the end of Spinoff 9 at Crazies Hill. I was also enticed out by a bright frosty day with a brisk westerly to blow me home. Having taken the 9.20 Paddington train I was ready to set off back by 10.30, but it started badly; Continue reading
Currently there’s usually one dry day a week, and I squeeze an autumnal ride in then if free. Today was a corker; everywhere drenched in vibrant russets and golds from West Drayton to Beaconsfield via Langley and Black Parks and Burnham Beeches. Previously, greener rides through the amazing giant conifers of Havering-Atte-Bower and the Kentish Weald Continue reading