Tow path dawdle

I went for a dawdle down the River Lea canal last weekend, it forms part of the canal system of London and goes all the way up from the Thames to Luton to London's north via Hertford.  There is a towpath for most of the way which is where traditionally horses would pull boats along the canal.  Nowadays all the boats are motorised and the canals are mostly used by cyclists and walkers for recreation.   I did a bit of an exploratory ride because the furthest I've ridden previously was only up to Hackney marsh, which isn't very far at all.  Eventually I want to ride to Hertford, however this time I was limited by light as it was in the late afternoon and it was starting to rain and get cold.  It was a good opportunity to test out my mudflap I had put on Mr Ramen earlier.  See the route to Hertford below:

View Mile end to Hertford in a larger map

Much of the towpath is hardpacked dirt with cobbles
The occasional path out in the middle of a field...

and the odd marina

the mudflap has done it's job and kept the chain
and cranks with only one or two drops of mud.

the rest of the mud stayed on the flap, perfect!

Oddly, the path doesn't look so nice on the satellite view on google maps near the reservoir, but what I realised was that on the ground, you can't really see the reservoir at all, all you see is a big 10m high embankment along the canal.  It really is quite pretty, and I'd love to do this ride all the way to Hertford on a nice sunny day.  This weekend is forecast to snow, so I'll have to postpone it until it warms up a bit.  That's all for now.


  1. that looks like a lovely ride, reminds me a bit of the ride we did along the Rhine Canal in the Netherlands from Utrecht to Amsterdam :)

  2. Definitely looks like a lovely place for a ramble! The Northwestern US is pretty sparse on canals due to topography and history--the great canal building era in the US happened before settlement of this corner.

    Back in Connecticut I would ride a rail-trail. The railroad that was abandoned was the tow-path of an abandoned canal, so there's several layers of history there!