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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was off work today and put in a 30 mile ride with DPV and his father who is visiting from Indiana. DPV's Dad used to race in the late 1960's early 1970's in northern California when he was in the Navy. We were on my Franken fixte, a Raliegh tourer and a single speed Cannondale mountain bike with the biggest comfiest tyres imaginable - We went up the River Lee - a river that ceased to be wild hundreds of years ago - it's more of a canal.

The ride is a study in how the very old and very new sometimes don't gel harmoniously. As you will see in the pictures, it's a pretty industrial route - but it's been industrial for hundreds of years.

Here's a link to some more background:
http://www.leevalley-online.co.uk/history.html

The first pictures are the views of sunny, lovely South Tottenham. The neighbourhood smelled of the burning of the passover bread from the large number of orthodox Hassidic Jews.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
more pictures of industry and thrift

the second photo is of a waste treatment centre - if this thread was a scratch and sniff you'd be loggin out right now...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
a working river, or canal usually means that it was used to haul heavy goods before roads were paved - we came across a number of evenly spaced (about a wheelbase in fact) cobbles at locks - the cobbles were raised between a half inch and an inch - jarring doesn't begin to decribe it - still I'm sure the mules pulling barges found the raised cobbles very useful for their footing

people still use the River Lee to cruise (and live) on narrow boats
 

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Discussion Starter #6
there were a number of sluices, gates, and docking points from various time periods - mostly Victorian - all seemingly intended to break up our rhythm
 

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Discussion Starter #7
the paved path turned to dirt/mud - still there were pubs about for summer rides
 

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Discussion Starter #9
coming into Hertford I was lulled in to a peaceful state - no traffic for 25 miles was great - a real change for me - it's still not a viable route out of London but it was a great ride in and of itself
 

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Great post, I like seeing working canals and they do make for enjoyable casual riding.

BTW no, we don't need no stinkin' scratch-n-sniff internet (but I bet someone is working on it).
 
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