Gateway Cycling » Recreation » Recreational Ride to Upminster Park

Recreational Ride to Upminster Park

It was cold , windy and already raining when we set off from Grays station.
Definitely not the weather for fair weather cycling. There were 3 of us hardy souls, myself, Chris and Sharon willing to brace the conditions.

The journey was mainly off road along cycle paths and trails, through Chafford Hundred , then over to Watts Wood, into Purfleet and along the path that goes through the RSPB site.
Had the cafe been open I’d have stopped for a coffee and cake but we were too early so we pushed on.

We rode into Rainham village and over the new crossing point at Dovers corner into the Ingrebourne Valley.
The rain had turned the sandy path into a type of porridge like substance which made the going harder then ever.

The then rode into the Hornchurch Country Park. During the last war this was the site of one of the airfields used by the RAF during the battle of Britain.
There are still some remains of command bunkers behind the bushes. A mile into the park we came across an obstacle – flooding.

Hornchurch Country Park


We were heading down a short dip when we saw a giant puddle which extended around the curve we were heading towards. Chris assessed the situation and decided to plough on.
He went first. I heard him say that there was some more water further on. Myself I was cold and I really did not want to get my feet wet. I was hoping that Sharon would decide it was too deep and want to take a diversion. She is obviously made of determined stuff. She said that she wanted to take a run up at it. It left me no choice. Gingerly I entered the water. it was deep, very deep. Soon the water was over my pedals and my feet got soaked. I had some some distance before I could see dry land ahead. I was beginning to wonder if it was possible to cycle with only my head above water. After about 100m we reached the shoreline

We continued on trails and after a short section travelling through a housing estate were arrived got to Upminster Park. It was still cold but the rain had stopped.
We had a very late breakfast at the Tey cafe in Corbets Tey and returned to Grays via South Ockendon.

For this last stretch which was on road the weather brightened up. It was a ride of 25 miles and very enjoyable

David Fish

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