10 reasons to cycle to Shoeburyness

So, we’re cycling 50 miles from London to Shoeburyness on the Essex coast. In the middle of winter. Why oh why would we do this? Here are 10 good reasons:

  1. Cycling is great. It’s fun, it’s free, and it’s a perfect way to conclude the post-Christmas health-kick we know you’ve been battling on throughout January.
  2. Get warm. It might be cold, but once you’re pumping those pedals you will surely feel the heat. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to model your Christmas socks. Maybe even two pairs.
  3. Rainham Marshes. The route travels through the RSPB nature reserve at Rainham, right on the edge of London, which is a secluded, peaceful haven teeming with wildlife. Good views up and down the river and great cakes to be had at the cafe.
  4. History. Including the disused MOD firing range at Rainham marshes, the WWII concrete barges on the banks of the Thames, and the barracks at Shoeburyness.
  5. No cars. Apart from some country lanes and a busy stretch in Basildon, the route is pretty much traffic-free.
  6. Leigh-on-sea. Leigh-on-sea is very much a live fishing port, with huge numbers of boats, fish sheds lining the shore, and a quaint high street.
  7. Southend. It’s a bit tacky but as a seaside resort it has everything you need, including the longest pier in the world.
  8. Sunset. We’ll get there just in time to watch the sun go down and if the weather is right, the sun set over the river estuary is simply beautiful.
  9. Fish and chips, obvs. As a vegan, I’ll just be having the chips.
  10. The sea. Enough said.

What do you think?