Today I take a pre-equinoctial lockdown suburban ride in the only direction that permits a good section of Cycle Orbital riding – northeastwards. This is because I have a self-denying ordinance not to cycle on busy shared use paths and towpaths during lockdown, which rules out the accessibly close sections of the network (Hackney-Olympic Park-Greenwich) where it is heavily populated and busy. Continue reading
Martin submitted the winning design for London’s first dedicated cycle route in 1977.
Now, 46 years on, he has worked up a network of recreational rides around the capital. During development the working title was the C25, in reference to the orbital motorway, and still in use in this blog library.
But the C25 is no more: Cycle Orbital is the new title – less auto-centric and more accurate. Revisions continued during the lockdowns, and though access conditions are now eased rail timetables have yet to settle post-pandemic. However the website is fully operational; please visit it by clicking the logo.
The network comprises 12 Arcs, 12 Spokes, and 12 Spin-offs. That’s 890 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. There is a series of lockdown posts within the capital from 2021, before ‘CyOrb’ rides were resumed later that year.
Contact Martin for further information.
Cycle Orbital’s website has been built by Anthony Cartmell at Fonant.
Spurred on now by a cycle fundraising challenge in tandem with lockdown suburban excursions, and having investigated my parental roots in Lewisham I set off next in the opposite direction, into Brent and Harrow – the heart of John Betjeman’s Metroland. This is where I spent my formative years, aged 7 to 17. Continue reading
The third lockdown is as restrictive as the first, but cyclists can spread their wings a bit for their daily exercise. I have found five basic routes – NE, SE, SW, NW and N, with variations (see footnote) – to use as on-road 20 milers, self-sufficiently equipped with water, snack and puncture repair kit. They have extended my knowledge and appreciation of the metropolis. Continue reading
Epping Forest has had short shrift from Cycle Orbital. The rides taken over a decade ago, before this network was conceived, didn’t find a decent alternative to the busy A104 road running as a spine through the forest. Spinoff 2 has a rewarding section crossing the forest east-west; now at last Zone 5 Chingford and Zone 6 Epping are linked into the network. Continue reading
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
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