This accomplished, I pressed on a bit, and thought about revisiting some routes from rides with Oliver, back in the day. Somewhere in Chuffley, the iPod map was inspected, and a plan presented itself: the bizarro Epping Loop. Solo. The wrong way round. And at a gentle pace. However, I came across this, brought to you by the Daily Mail.
So, it was now the Zeppelin ride! And the final shape resembles one upturned, perhaps as done by the brave Capt. Robinson.
The route was by turns suburban (in an April blossom and Edwardian villa way), rural, and rather hilly. Excellent. Robin's Nest Hill provided a wonderful descent and view acros Herts., with a couple of long, tiring climbs ahead. Bluebells were spotted. Yellow birds, rather like peeps, were seen, but not consumed. A detour uncovered some of Oliver's routes, and then I hit Hertford and its dual-carriageway.
This turned out to have a silver-lining; in my haste to get off it, I came across Mangrove Lane, to which we must return - perhaps the best five miles of riding I've had for a while, which took me into Boxborough.
Here, a choice presented itself. Continue the reverse/bizarro Epping Loop, or follow my nose again. The hooter had the upper hand, and I took the river at Nazeing, heading south on the Lee. Jolly scenes, as boaters boated, families walked, and dogs tootled around. At times, it was almost a Hassidic regata, as everyone was out for the holiday.
About 20k on the path, sadly missing the chance to run into Iain Sinclair. Then NCR 1 took its revenge, and took me away from the river, finding a desolate industrial estate, as is its wont.
A bit of wandering around routes, I made my way around a bunch of pretty decent CABE-esque developments, the Olympic Village, and the latest outpost of hipsterism, the East side of the Lea, west of Victoria Park. Cf. the Counter. I bought a Yazoo at the friendly shop next door, and made my way west via Shoreditch to Look Mum No Hands, where a post-polo coffee and wine session was going on, and I got my 90k Bike Porn (Friday):
And here's your song: