Gateway Cycling » Recreation » The New Year’s Day Ride 2013

The New Year’s Day Ride 2013

Gateway Cyclists and their guests gathered in the sunshine at the Davy Down Pumping Station for their New Year’s Day Annual Bike Ride. Seen off by a couple of club stalwarts Ian and Deb, (who were not too well…) about 20 of us set off along the slightly squelchy track, heading for the RSPB reserve at Purfleet.

We were fortunate in seeing the Mardyke Country Park at its wet winter best, wild fowl aplenty, hardy ponies and horses grazing on the drier slopes and our bicycle wheels fording the long puddles at a leisurely pace with plenty of chat and good cheer along the way…

One pesky puncture here, ably dealt with by Jeff – bad luck mate!

At Ship Lane we turned left, then along Arterial Road, crossing at the lights into Watts Wood. Through the old established and new community of Watts Wood we crossed at Meads Corner, next to the Circus Tavern, over the new CTRL rail bridge onto Tank Lane.

This area is usually thick with traffic, however using the excellent cycle paths all along this route made for safe and easy riding.

Over the narrow brick Victorian Rail Bridge of the old LTS rail line, massive chalk pits on our left, once full of industrial tanks now topped out with red roofed homes.

On to Purfleet and at the little primary school we turned downhill enjoying vistas of the murky Thames; choppy brown waters, wheeling seagulls and the North Downs on the skyline. Right here alongside the river path passing the Heritage Centre and remnants of WW 2 ‘V rockets’. On to the RSPB centre meeting with fellow riders, Clive, Tim, Paul, we set out along the marsh path towards Rainham (a bit nippy in the headwind), though only for a couple of miles or so, then left up the slope beside the Thames again.

Given that we had a mixed bunch of abilities  we made pretty good progress with Ben P (10 years) being our youngest, and Bob D our senior seventies rider.

Here at Rainham, our turnaround point, was perhaps the best part of the ride; with concrete barges decaying on the muddy foreshore, Erith’s working jetties and industrial wharfs across the water and silos and church spire piercing the blue. Courtesy of Ben L we took a shot of us happy peddlers.

Gateway New Year's Ride 2013

Gateway New Year's Ride 2013

 With the wind now behind us we headed back along the river path, the curving arch of the QE 2 Bridge framed our sunny return as we made our way to the RSPB centre, for much needed tea and cake and more chat and good cheer.

From here we dispersed and made our way home.

What better way could Gateway Cycling start the year? Invigorated: with our seat in the saddle, and our feet on the pedals!

Jon Lane

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2 Responses to "The New Year’s Day Ride 2013"

  1. Jon Lane Jon Lane says:

    Dear All.

    Following on from our ride I have been asked by YourThurrock reporter Michael Casey, if any of us would like to help with making a short video clip, with a view to showing cycling in Thurrock. This will probably be Saturday 2/2/13 about 10am ish… most likely in the Ockendon area.

    Anyone interested please let me know – Another chance here to promote our club.

    All the best.

    Jon Lane.

  2. Jon Lane says:

    Big Thanks to Dave F, Victoria Fr, Tim P and Bob D for helping out with the short and very cold video shoot on Saturday 2/2/2013. This was a ‘vox pops’ promoting cycling and walking etc… for Thurrock Councils ‘Travel Plan’. I’ll try to arrange for a link on to our website.


    Jon Lane