The Lap Of Essex

TORQ owner Matt Hart is taking a trip back to his roots in early June to ride around the border of Essex, the county of his birth. He’s covering the 300-mile circuit in 3 days in support of Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. Fancy joining him?

Join us on 2nd–4th June and help raise vital funds for the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance. We will be cycling nearly 300 miles over 3 days, completing the ‘Lap of Essex’. The Essex countryside is beautiful and holds many fond memories of early years cycling exploits for Matt. As a teenager he used to cycle deep into the Essex countryside, discovering for himself what the dreaded ‘bonk’ felt like as his glycogen stores depleted! Later he raced for Eagle RC on the road and in Time Trials before going on to Manchester University to study Sports Science. The education he received meant that he would never run out of energy again!

The aim of the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance is to save lives, reduce or prevent disability, or suffering from critical illness and injury, by delivering a first-class pre-hospital emergency medical service to the people of Essex, Hertfordshire and surrounding areas.

Without access to National Lottery funding and with limited support from Government, they continue to rely upon the generosity and goodwill of the people and businesses of Essex and Hertfordshire to remain operational and keep saving lives – working together funded by you! By joining this ride you will be help to fund the £750,000 per month to keep the helicopter flying.

This is not a race! At the same time cycling an average of 100miles a day for 3 days is not easy. For most people this will be a real challenge, but very much achievable with training. If you were thinking of joining us, to make sure you are ready, it is best to have ridden at least 100 miles in a day before attempting the Lap. There will be others riding at the same pace as you and the aim is to make sure nobody rides alone. The routes will be available beforehand and we would say that it is essential that you have a Garmin or similar GPS device so you can follow the route without relying on others as the route will not be sign posted.

The TORQ support vehicle will carry your overnight bags to our evening stops, it will also have tools, inner tubes, tyres, water, sun cream and a whole host of tasty snacks and fuelling products for you to top up your energy at each of the designated stops. There’s also a support vehicle with inner tubes, tyres and water. It is available to come to your assistance should it be required.

The inaugural ride is strictly limited to just 20 riders and we hope that the Lap can become the starting point for new friendships. A Facebook group will be a great place to keep touch and let others know what cycling adventures you’ve been up to. There will also be a Strava group for all riders to join.

The registration fee must be paid in order to secure your place on the ride:

Registration Fee of £325 (this covers the costs of the ride) – As the purpose of this event is to raise much needed funds for the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, we ask that you do everything you can to raise as much money as possible to support the cause. Please ask us if you would like any ideas for fundraising activities. Any cash left over from the £325 registration fees after expenses will be put into the charity pot.

What is included – 2 nights bed and breakfast accommodation, lunches, water, refreshments, snacks, energy products, vehicles for back up and support, GPX route files, spare bike parts will be taken but please note, we cannot cater for every eventuality, therefore it is vital that you ensure that your bike is in full working order and in good condition. There will also be a limited-edition cycling jersey and every rider will be issued with two TORQ drinks bottles.

What’s not included – Evening meals and alcoholic drinks, transfers to and from North Weald, bicycle and travel insurance.

Here’s the itinerary for the 3 days:

Day 1 – 140km (approx.) Starting at the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance base in North Weald we will cycle to South Woodham Ferrers via: Upminster, Bulphan, Benfleet, Canvey Island, Shoeburyness and arriving in South Woodham Ferrers.

Day 2 – 160km (approx.) Starting in South Woodham Ferrers we will cycle to Burnham on Crouch, Maldon, Great Wigborough, Wivenhoe, St Osyth, Clacton, Walton on the Naze and arriving in Colchester.

Day 3 – 140km (approx.) Starting in Colchester we will cycle to Sudbury, Saffron Walden, Hatfield Broad Oak and finishing back at our start at North Weald.

The ‘Lap of Essex’ is a very niche event organised by Peter Watts whom Matt met many years ago on their joint London2Paris endeavours raising funds for the Blood Cancer UK charity. We need to make it clear that Peter isn’t a commercial event organiser and the registration fee simply covers your costs, plus hopefully a little surplus will be left over to give to the charity.

TORQ are supporting this event by supplying a TORQ van filled with energy products, which riders can pick up at designated stops, but you will be expected to ride independently and be prepared to support yourself and navigate the route if necessary.

Closer to the time, we will be covering this event over our social media channels, so do follow Matt’s journey. If you like the sound of this and would like to take one of the limited spaces available, please contact for further details.

To donate to Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, please click HERE. Any donations would be gratefully received.