Monday, 20 June 2011

In A Lonely Place (Bike Week Day 2)

Bike week day two. The perfect setting for a leisurely jaunt along the Lea Valley. I was coming south from Ponders End via the traffic-free road that runs beside the Edmonton Incinerator (sorry, new name: London Waste Eco Park) when I linked up with the towpath at Cook's Ferry. Here, by Advent Way, I spotted another top class piece of cycling infrastructure for anyone joining the towpath from the path that runs beside the North Circular.

(Below) Continue on under the North Circular. The dimensions of the cycle path and the adjacent footway are almost Dutch. The absence of illumination and the inadequate drainage aren't.

(Below) Emerging from the underpass and meeting the towpath: more high quality signing, well maintained.

(Below) A new sign, perfect for Bike Week. Towpath closed 16 May - 22 July. A map shows the very lengthy diversion around Banbury Reservoir. However, no diversion signs are installed anywhere on the route, so it's easy to get lost (as I did on the first bit). The towpath at this point accumulated a number of cyclists and ramblers, who'd suddenly found their planned day out disrupted.

(Below) The one-hundred-metres-long blocked-off section of towpath, photographed through a gap. Quite why it could not be left open on Saturdays and Sundays isn't clear, as there is no plant on site and the route is no more dangerous than it usually is. I feel sure that in the Netherlands they would maintain access for cyclists and pedestrians.

(Below) Let's go on the diversion. The cycle path on Argon Road leads to every cyclist's favourite sign. From here all you have to do is negotiate a roundabout with very fast traffic coming off the North Circular, pedal along Harbet Road, passing another bleak slice of industrial estate, then take the right turn at the roundabout by Folly Lane.

(Below) At last, back to the open road and traffic-free Folly Lane, a popular cycling leisure route maintained to the standard you'd expect in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.