While a mere 12 miles from the heart of London, this climb has a very rural feel with none of the big city trappings we left on our bike just an hour before. Riding from london downtown you can ride a bike/walking path almost the entire distance to the start of the Mott Street climb (here is our Strava Segment for the Mott Street #26 and Swain’s Lane #27 climbs).
River Lea - runs through East London and connects to the Thames
The bike path follow the River Lea for a bit and we encountered many friendly pedestrians along the way.
We are in a residential area of gated estates with nice cars and an atmosphere of wealth . . . just visiting . . .
Steepest ½ kilometer begins at 800 meters (7.5%)
The Mott Street climb is southeast of Waltham Abbey (pop. 21,149):
“Waltham Abbey is a suburban market town in the Epping Forest District of Essex, the metropolitan area of London, and the Greater London Urban Area. It has a population of about 21,149. Lying on the outskirts of North East London, it is located 15 miles from central London. It is on the Greenwich Meridian, between the River Lea in the west and Epping Forest in the east, situated north of the London Borough of Waltham Forest, north-east of the London Borough of Enfield, and east of Waltham Cross in the Borough of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. It is one of the possible resting places, along with Bosham, of King Harold Godwinson, who died in the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
Waltham Abbey takes its name from its former abbey, now the Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross, a scheduled ancient monument that was prominent in the town's early history. The town is within the large civil parish of Waltham Abbey which was known as Waltham Holy Cross until 1974. The parish has a town council and is twinned with the German town of Hörstel.” Wikipedia - Waltham Abbey (town)
10 Top things to do around Waltham Abbey (in addition to cycling Mott Street, of course!) - Trip Advisor
100hillsforgeorge.com - Mark Oliver’s # 100 for the year (entire text printed because it was a special ride):
“Hill no 100 - 26 Mott Street
So. On the final day of my "year" - running 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012, I had just one more climb to do. Only one more climb after having ridden up hill after hill after hill after hill after (I'm sure you get the idea).
All things being equal, it should have been one of the epic climbs - a 10/10 monster that strained legs and mind. One that when conquered gave sweeping vistas and endless views, a climb that led up a mountain with the beauty to inspire poets and songwriters.
But my hill was called Mott Street. In Essex.
To be fair, this hill is in High Beaches - Epping Forest and it is not bad considering it is just inside the M25. Of course, it is not the steepest hill out there, nor the longest, nor (apologies to the good citizens of Loughton) the prettiest. But it is a hill in the book and my last hill.
So for one last time, I bundle the daughter, the dog and the wife into the car. I hoist my bike up onto the car roof (actually - when up there this time round it joined 2 other bikes and a tandem as we were heading back to Swain's Lane for a celebratory climb) and head off in the car.
Of course, we hit London traffic straight away and take 35 minutes to get to the North Circular. Once there however, things start moving quicker and a trawl up the M1 and across the M25 and back down and suddenly I realise why my clubmates are talking about how easy it is to get out of London when you ride out "North".
Headed off on the climb and the first thing I noticed was that the road had been resurfaced - it wasn't the smoothest in the world, but it wasn't too bad.
This was quite a lot to think about in a relatively short period of time and before I knew it, I was at the top of the hill with the climb "done". Wow. All done.
100 climbs in exactly 1 year. Took advantage of it being a leap year I guess, but still wow. A JOGLE may be harder, but doing hill climbs has dominated the past year of not only my life, but that of my family (and probably my friends) too. Holidays have been based on the location of steep hills and now, well, perhaps a week in the Norfolk broads beckons!
Thank you for sticking with this blog and the climbs - much appreciated and I hope you enjoyed them.” More