I always find the time after the Christmas break until March or April when the flowers start coming out as a strange kind of limbo. No one really knows what to do with themselves. Some don’t drink, some remove meat from their diets, some just hunker down and get through. What we miss, really are two (maybe three) months of events and activities that we simply ignore because its chilly and dark outside. By zeroing in on the impending sunshine, we miss the energy that this cold snap brings. So I urge you all to take some inspiration from the fantastic events and activities below – whether it’s going to one of them or making a stance against inactivity and hopping on your bike to enjoy the cold calm, winter makes us feel alive – enjoy every day of it!
The Secret Nuclear Bunker ride
18th of February
The Kelvedon Hatch Nuclear Bunker was built in 1952 and designed for up to 600 military and civilian personnel, possibly even the Prime Minister, their collective task being to organise the survival of the population in the awful aftermath of a nuclear war. Led by the Newham cyclists – the ride up to the bunker is equally impressive and is a good chance to get out of the day-to-day and explore something different. The ride will go through Essex Lanes to the ‘Secret’ Nuclear Bunker. Its about a medium difficulty so it should be a good way to get off the sofa.The group will Meet at Leytonstone station cafe, (east side) at 9:30, bring Oyster cards. They will take the train to Epping, then ride via Toot Hill and Navestock to Kelvedon Hatch and the secret bunker. There’s more information about the day on the Newham Cyclists page.
Ssh, it’s a Quietway!
10th of February
Quietway’s are one of my favourite (maybe the favourite) part about riding in London. They’re safe, quiet (obviously), but most importantly they let you really enjoy your surroundings. You can cycle at your own leisurely pace and enjoy the company of a friend or two – which doesn’t exactly happy on the daily commute to work.
Shh, it’s a Quietway! is an event that will see cyclists bike the 16km length of Quietway 2 from Central London to Walthamstow. Its scheduled to start at 1:30pm on the 10th February and you can really take as long as you want although its estimated finish time will be around 5pm (so bring some lights and warm clothing). Quietway 2 is one of my favourite cycling routes in London because you go from beautiful central London with all the historical buildings of Bloombury, through leafy Angel, Canonbury and London Fields, around the Walthamstow and Hackney Marshes which are key wildlife zones for the London area, and then finishing in Walthamstow which is one of my new favourite London ‘towns’ that has a host of great bars, eateries and shops.I’d say this would be a fantastic afternoon out. The group will leave right on the dot at 1:30pm on Bernard Street, right opposite Russel Square station.
The London Cycling Campaign has a listing here with a few more details.
The Kingston Bread Pudding Ride
4th of February
If you’re in South London on the 4th of Feb and feel like a casual afternoon of cycling and food, then the Kingston Bread Pudding Ride is possibly the perfect combination of leisurely exercise and eating that will remove all guilt from the winter feast. It will be an easy-paced ride which will be great because after the pub lunch and the bread pudding I doubt you’ll wanting to be cycling too fast.The group will meet under the Queen Anne statue in Kingston Market Place at 10:30 ready to go and after a ride and a pub lunch, you should be back in Kingston by 4:15.
There’s a few more details on the London Cycling Campaign site.
CLOG Essex Lanes Ride
17th of February
The Central London Outdoor Group is a friendly outdoor activity group for people living in and around London. They organise events from walks around the Thames to steam boat journey and by bike, they’ve explored rivers, canals, forts, castles, coast, marshes, gardens, woods, ruins, churches, mansions… the list goes on.There is literally something for everyone and every interest. A great group to keep in mind if you’re interested in more than just cycling. On the 17th of Feb the group is going for a day out in Essex, by bike – looking to go around 28 miles. They’ll start at the historic village of Ingatestone with its 11th century church and cycle through the woods towards Highwood and then to the pretty village of Blackmore where morning tea and cakes is the first item on the agenda. With more villages and lunch on the to do list it will be a full day – but one well worth it! You’ll need to jump on the 10:25 train from Stratford and then its just a 20minute journey until you’re at Ingatestone.
More details can be found here on the London Cycling Campaign site
Windy, rainy, snowy, and cold – all things associated with winter. That’s why we made gloves, raincoats, boots and thermals – so you can get out of your everyday and go an enjoy this beautiful season!
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.