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.

Lockdown 3: a SE ride to meet the ancestors

The third lockdown of early 2021 is as restrictive as the first, when we were in SW Scotland, but cyclists are freer than most to spread their wings for their daily exercise. I have found four fine routes – NE, SE, SW, and NW, with variations – to use as a 20 miler. They have extended my knowledge of and appreciation of the metropolis. Continue reading

Two CyOrb late entrants #1: Epping Forest end to end

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

Two CyOrb late entrants #2: a new improved Spin-off 11

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

Lockdown 2: spins to Richmond, Barnet and Stratford

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

Beyond Spinoff 9: Didcot – Maidenhead via Henley

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