London to Southend-on-Sea - 27th March 2020
Ride leader: Ross
Our traditional early season ride to Southend has had a refresh for 2020. The ride has a new leader, Ross, and we'll be taking a more northerly route than we've used for the past three or four years as we take advantage of our new half way stop in the village of Doddinghurst.
The Southend ride, like all London based rides, will start at Fridays Central which is located under Waterloo Bridge on the Southbank next to the British Film Institute.
After the usual briefing we will set off at midnight, crossing the Thames and following the Embankment to the City with its amazing views. From here we may brave the cobbles of Wapping (just imagine you are riding the Paris Roubaix pavé) before we head north east, catching a glimpse of the Olympic stadium along the way. Of necessity, we’ll have some urban sections to deal with until we cross the A12 on our journey into the wilds of Essex. But from there the lanes are picturesque and quiet. The road rolls a bit towards the end of the first half, but nothing too serious, and nothing that’ll have you walking.
After the half way stop at the Doddinghurst scout hall we'll head into the sunrise through some quiet lanes, maybe going via Buttsbury ford if the weather is kind. The eagle eyed will spot a bear and a windmill before we glide along the superb Lower Stock Road. And then we turn south and tackle the climb up to Rayleigh before we reach the delights of the Thames Estuary, Southend-on-Sea's splendid promenade and the dash to the world famous pier.
Breakfast will be at Beaches Cafe right on the beach with south facing views overlooking the pier and Thames Estuary. There are trains back to London Fenchurch Street and London Liverpool Street.
At around 56 miles - or 62 if we’re running early - the Southend-on-Sea ride is one of our shorter rides, with no leg breaking hills, so the perfect way to start the season or experience your first Friday Night Ride.