No longer a man-on-a-mission (the recce of the C25 involved over well over 2000 miles of pedalling), now there is more opportunity to check out places to visit en route. Hatchlands (National Trust) was a revelation, and I urge any classical music or art lover cyclists to brake hard after the descent from Shere to Clandon. Continue reading
Martin submitted the winning design for London’s first dedicated cycle route in 1977.
Now, 40 years on, the ground survey and GPS mapping of a system of recreational rides around the capital’s urban periphery is complete. The route comprises 12 arcs, 12 spokes, and 12 spin-offs. In total, it covers more than 750 miles of off-road and quiet cycling through varied landscapes – often beautiful, always interesting.
In a reference to the London orbital motorway, the M25, this cycle route system will be the C25. While the project is in development I have developed a blog library of 40 snapshots, taken from a recent adventure, or from the 2015-17 archive of photos taken on reconnoitre. These are laid out chronologically below.
A mid-May ride from Hayes to Gatwick may sound unpromising, but the surprises en route are not confined to Andean mammals – which are in any case becoming commonplace. Despite ending in the Arrivals Hall of South Terminal Continue reading
This detour climbs to the site of the ancient hunting palace of Havering-atte-Bower, Continue reading
Later that day: from Clandon I climbed the hill to the North Downs Way, and checked the condition of the old drove road from Hollister Farm to Ranmore Common through forested Netley Heath. This is the C25 at its most remote by far – a precious stretch, so I was anxious to see if riding conditions were adequate after a very wet, cold early spring. Continue reading
With spirits already high the next day (April 20), the first part of this ride was spent solving the conundrum of reaching the C25 from Clandon station without recourse to the busy A247. The first recce had dismissed a connecting byway as waterlogged and impassable from fallen logs and undergrowth, but here it is 2018! A gem of a section – short but very sweet. Continue reading
The website has been dormant for a while, so rather than a Pic of the Week, here are a few shots from recent rides to entice you out during these precious weeks (days!) before spring has fully sprung. First, a picnic spot on the Ayot Greenway, with my first bluebells of the season (19th April). Continue reading
The C25 can be accessed from Central London without rail assistance, but still maintaining the recreational brief. The Quietway system is being established, and there are two blue-green corridors to take you westward largely traffic-free – the Thames (NCN 4) and the Grand Union Canal. Continue reading
The hardest areas to find the best route for the C25 circumnavigation were both in Surrey; Chipstead to Epsom and Woking to Windsor, or the lands of Horse and Golf respectively. This latter is peppered not just with golf courses Continue reading
Forecast as unbroken sun, the last day of November brought substantial snow to the East Coast, and flurries on the North Downs, too. Base Camp was Woldingham Station, where the train sets you down straight into the delightful Marden Park valley. Large flakes flecked the scene. Continue reading