As the cyclists head out of the capital and cross into Essex, they will first be greeted by Epping Forest, an area of ancient woodland sitting between London and Essex for over 3000 years.
Continuing the ride, getting deeper into the county, Ongar is the next town to be featured. Chipping Ongar marks the crossover point, an important market town from the medieval era with remains of a Norman Castle, and now a heritage steam railway.
Beautiful Fyfield will have riders whizzing past the banks of the River Roding and rolling fields for as far as the eye can see. The route will then take the challengers in to the 8 hamlets of The Rodings, including Leaden Roding, steeped in a wealth of history.
Travelling 7 miles north they will approach Great Dunmow, a small market town dating back to Roman Times, edged in mellow plaster cottages, a riverside church and a beautifully restored Malting. Spectators will be able to enjoy the thriving selection of shops and cafes, it’s one of the few remaining High Streets in the UK to only have independent retailers.
Continuing in the Uttlesford District, cyclists will reach Felsted, a picturesque village which was also featured in the 2014 Tour De France route. This marks the moment the route turns back towards London and participants can enjoy a sigh of relief, with the half-way point passed.
As they weave among the Essex countryside, their wheels will enter Chelmsford, a vibrant city and the birthplace of radio. Cyclists can take in the suburbs as they wind through Writtle and round the exquisite Hylands House.
The last few miles of the 65 covered in Essex, will be rounded off by heading down to Chigwell Row, before heading back into London, for the final stretch to Tower Bridge.
There are lots of activation events planned for the entirety of the Ford RideLondon-Essex weekend and we’re excited to share those plans with you soon…Stay tuned! We’re hoping this will initiate a wave of celebrations across the county, bring on May!