Lee Valley Improvements

Inland paddling
garya
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:04 am
Location: Enfield, Lee Valley, North London
Has thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Lee Valley Improvements

Post by garya » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:15 pm

Well with Lee Valley up and running again and a couple of good weekends under its belt they have announced a 4.5million pound upgrade to the faclities.

http://www.sportengland.org/about_us/ou ... opens.aspx

I spoke briefly to one of the Park directors at the weekend and it looks like there is going to be a major overhaul to the current building and reception area by buiding an extension to double the size of the changing facilities.. lockers and improve the catering too.. it should be completed by september 2013. I asked for more details and hope these can be posted up as soon as they become avaliabe. parking is also set to increase by a large amount too. Maybe they could put some of the plans and information up in reception fairly soon.

While they are doing this what other improvments would paddlers like to see ?

Some I would like that are cheap to do but would make an imidiate improvement for paddlers are:

* Clocks above the course escalators so you know how your session times are runing

* Managing the issue and collection of bibs from the wet suit store window... outside one in the courtyard would be best for us away from the rafing crowds..

* Some seal launch ramps at stratigic places around the lake to keep us clear of the raft steps and stop the damage to our boats from the concrete sides, maybe have nylon ski slope stuff on them

*wet area to order and collect food and hot drinks in paddling kit

* set of paving steps to take an external shortcut from the bike racks and car park up the grass bank to the terrace without having to double back on the path


I think the new kit hire facility is great !!!.. I had a friend hire a boat, paddle, wet suit , boots, pdf, spraydeck and helmet all for £20 pounds !! this is subject to avilability and you need to bring stuff straigh in after your session so it is avlaiable for others.. the choice of boats was good too with shivas and burns in a range of sizes avaliable .. it was all very efficently done by the staff in the courtyard.

The photograhy guys where also out taking shots of paddlers between rafting jobs with some impresive looking results, always worth having a word with them if you are there and want some good photos of you paddling.


What other stuff would other people like to see ?


Gary A

SarahJ
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: London

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by SarahJ » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:32 pm

Some water fountains for filling up bottles etc would be great - would also avoid the need to traipse into the cafe!

User avatar
TechnoEngineer
Posts: 3351
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Location: Berks, Hants, Essex
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by TechnoEngineer » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:37 pm

garya wrote: * Clocks above the course escalators so you know how your session times are runing

* Managing the issue and collection of bibs from the wet suit store window... outside one in the courtyard would be best for us away from the rafing crowds..

* Some seal launch ramps at stratigic places around the lake to keep us clear of the raft steps and stop the damage to our boats from the concrete sides, maybe have nylon ski slope stuff on them

*wet area to order and collect food and hot drinks in paddling kit

* set of paving steps to take an external shortcut from the bike racks and car park up the grass bank to the terrace without having to double back on the path
All of the above (especially the clock above the escalators), plus a nylon ski-slope type thing on one of the outside eddies halfway round the legacy course. I've launched into the course there a few times when I've gone to reception to pay etc but then had to park the car a long way away from the facilities building, so I'd get changed in the car and jump on the legacy course halfway round instead of walking all the way back to the lake with the boat.
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

garya
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:04 am
Location: Enfield, Lee Valley, North London
Has thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by garya » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:08 pm

When seal launching halfway down the legacy I use the big right hand eddy just after the bend. it is closer to the bottom carpark.

Just put your boat on top of the grey blocks and seal launch into the eddy facing downstream from there. It is much easier for beginners as it is lower to the water and less fiercely rotating than the one a bit further down by te steps on hte right. it is also an easier eddy for beginners to get a clean run out of as well as there is no wave in the way of the exit.

The blocks seem a lot more friendly to the boats than the concrete side.

I do think the course rules do say you sould only initally get on by reception though..... but it is a long way to walk from the carpark at the bottom of the course.

Gary A

DaveWortley
Posts: 1299
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:01 pm

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by DaveWortley » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:13 pm

Deb Pinniger is now working at Lee Valley and there's going to be some really exciting developments for paddlers for coaching, and hopefully boater-x races and that sort of thing.

I'd like to see a tuned play-spot on the Olympic course, most are either too shallow, too surgey, not sticky enough or have small eddies,


There are so many new faces each weekend at Lee Valley and people coming from far afield, the 'locals' base is growing and I can't wait for there to be a club-house and social events that bring this new community together.

garya
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:04 am
Location: Enfield, Lee Valley, North London
Has thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by garya » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:26 pm

Yes it was good to see Deb Pinniger there.. am dead excited about prospects for seeing her coaching on the Olyimpic course especialy some freestyle workshops.

Funny to see some of the WW novices just didnt realise how awsome a paddler she is as she gently seal launched them onto there first WW legacy run, looked like they where all having fun .. its great to see lee valley will be able to offer something to the whole spectrum of paddlers.

Hope they can run a paddlefest one weekend in the spring when the weather gets better.

Gary A

DaveWortley
Posts: 1299
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:01 pm

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by DaveWortley » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:30 pm

There's still a lot of people turning up to do assessments who have probably never been in a kayak before! Maybe the questions asked on the booking line aren't good enough to filter the paddlers from the wannabes... It's quite funny watching them swim on the lake but frustrating as there are other paddlers waiting to be assessed.

JimmyP
Posts: 209
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:54 pm
Location: London

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by JimmyP » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:19 pm

A dedicated lee valley kayakers Facebook page would be good so people could arrange lifts from the various directions to the centre or meet up to paddle.

Wadhamite
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:08 am
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Wadhamite » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:34 pm

Will these improvements mean the course being closed for months at a time again? :( It's only just reopened! I assume there's a winter shut down coming, and I don't relish that running into the summer months too.
LV induction guide: http://tmblr.co/ZIurAvTdASgQ

garya
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:04 am
Location: Enfield, Lee Valley, North London
Has thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by garya » Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:45 pm

Don't think it will be shut as it won't affect the pumps and they can fence of the construction area like they have done at cardiff or put in temporary huts.

They don't have a winter shut down (except christamas week) at Lee Valley unless the carpark is a foot deep in snow and then it was only for one day, and the cafe was still open for hot chocolate while we used the slope into the carpark for a downhill sedge run . We got 20 mins extra to break the 1 inch ice on the lake with the raft guides helping and the pumps pretty much did the rest as the lake level dropped and the flow broke it up.

Gary A

User avatar
TechnoEngineer
Posts: 3351
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Location: Berks, Hants, Essex
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by TechnoEngineer » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:04 pm

JimmyP wrote:A dedicated lee valley kayakers Facebook page would be good so people could arrange lifts from the various directions to the centre or meet up to paddle.
There's "London Kayakers":
http://www.facebook.com/pages/London-Ka ... 795?ref=ts

Which direction do you come from?
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

User avatar
Randy Fandango
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:10 pm
Location: London/Kent/Somewhere flat and dry

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Randy Fandango » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:16 pm

I think those are all good ideas.
I'd pesonally like to see something done to make a trip onto the pumps less of a push the big red button moment.
Its deep water there and being stuck on the grill is probably no fun yet on the Legacy course paddlers still end up there or only miss it by the skin of their teeth far too often.
During assessments we try to educate paddlers that the steps bottom left of the course (just before the travellator) are virtually impossible to make swimming -- particularly towing a boat -- and that to try generally means a brush with the pumps grill. The steps bottom right of the course are a doddle to swim to in comparison.
Perhaps a scaffold platform type thing sat on the bottom all the way across the pumps, about 4 feet underwater might work with a ladder up from the water to the top-side.
It wouldn't obstruct water flow much and would probably make the whole area a bit safer although obviously it wouldn't stop lines and slings from going into and destroying the pumps.
Giles

User avatar
TechnoEngineer
Posts: 3351
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Location: Berks, Hants, Essex
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by TechnoEngineer » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:33 pm

I like the idea Giles, but I doubt they'd do it; any turbulence near to the entry of the pumps will have a detrimental effect on their efficiency and longevity.
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

garya
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:04 am
Location: Enfield, Lee Valley, North London
Has thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by garya » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:48 pm

Many people who get caught out seem to leave any decisive direction and effort to there swiming until too late, often despite the warnings and encouragement from those in the know on the course.

Maybe a 5 min safety video about the course they could watch with demos of the options open and what to do if they are going into the pumps as well as more ladders on the right side of the pump area and a danger swim left to the ladder sign would help.

In that area if you fine yourself alone swiming wide to the right away from the steps works with the floww and you can easily make the ladder. getting on the grill is no worst than the trywerwyn chipper but angling it and putting some foot holds in the grill would help and tend to keep stuff on the surface. as well as an extra ladder on the right.

Moving the scary foating ponton currently in front of the grill would be good too.

Gary A

Goopsdad
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:14 pm
Location: east anglia

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Goopsdad » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:44 pm

I'd like to see a more secure drop off area for boats. I usually go with my son or mates, so at least one person can be around the boats while the driver parks the car in a different county.....
Lone paddlers are potentially leaving kit unattended for 10 minutes at the drop off, plenty of time for someone in a not too far off parking space to roll up in the van, load up and foxtrot oscar.
In these supermarket cafes they have kennels to park your trolley full of shopping whilst you partake in refreshments. A returnable quid operates the lock.

Have any unattended boats been nicked yet?

User avatar
Randy Fandango
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:10 pm
Location: London/Kent/Somewhere flat and dry

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Randy Fandango » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:00 pm

I've not heard of anything walking yet and it's probably worth pointing out that the whole site is crammed with CCTV so if the worst did happen at least you'd get a souvenir film of the thief pinching it.... :-/
Giles

User avatar
Sickboy
Posts: 822
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 4:44 pm
Location: se london

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Sickboy » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:10 am

Maybe a good wire brushing of the steps, they feel pretty green nowadays, not helpful to people trying to retrieve full boats and tired swimmers. Is it me or has the water lost that nice azure blue colour?
Rum and coke, best served by the pint.

User avatar
Randy Fandango
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:10 pm
Location: London/Kent/Somewhere flat and dry

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Randy Fandango » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:57 am

Sickboy wrote:Maybe a good wire brushing of the steps, they feel pretty green nowadays, not helpful to people trying to retrieve full boats and tired swimmers. Is it me or has the water lost that nice azure blue colour?
Perhaps it's time they tipped another bucket of chlorine in ;-)
Giles

garya
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:04 am
Location: Enfield, Lee Valley, North London
Has thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by garya » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:25 pm

The local council have approved the plans for the upgrade and work will start soon... it should be finished for this summer.

I have managed to find copies of the plans on the local coucil website as well as pictures of what it will look like and it looks great.

Highlights include:

* Increasing the carparking by two thirds to 300 + cars with better landsacping too
* Doubling the size of the current cafe and deck area
* Reconfiguring the cafe for faster service witha bigger counter area
* Building a new pavilion and second cafe at the bottom of olyimpic course next to the leagacy loop, with outdoor (Wet padder) serving hatch, loos and outdoor classroom... this will save the walk back to the main building for a brew !!
* Adding double the number of changing rooms and lockers
* Building landscape banks with built in sleepers for seating and spectator viewing at various points around the course similar to HPP seating
* Adding a gym and office areas for BCU athletes.
* Adding a second external staircase to allow direct access to deck from south side of course
* Planting better trees and landscaping plants to improve apperance and bio-diversity of site

The plans can be viewed here and there are lots of documents sorry cant find an easy way to share them or get the photos out, just go to referance search and enter 07/12/0767/F

http://planning.broxbourne.gov.uk/Plann ... lcome.page

I keep you posted how its looking as the build progresses

Gary A

garya
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:04 am
Location: Enfield, Lee Valley, North London
Has thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by garya » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:01 pm

This link goes straight to the main document about the design with pictures of what it will all look like.

http://planning.broxbourne.gov.uk/Plann ... nt=obj.pdf

Sorry it can take a while to load

Gary A

User avatar
Sickboy
Posts: 822
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 4:44 pm
Location: se london

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Sickboy » Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:58 pm

garya wrote:
Highlights include:

* Building a new pavilion and second cafe at the bottom of olyimpic course next to the leagacy loop, with outdoor (Wet padder) serving hatch, loos and outdoor classroom...

Gary A
Lest we forget our place
Rum and coke, best served by the pint.

User avatar
Randy Fandango
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:10 pm
Location: London/Kent/Somewhere flat and dry

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Randy Fandango » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:42 am

Unless I missed it, still no footbridge across the bottom of the legacy loop I note.
Swimmers will still have to do the long walk of shame to be reunited with their kit as the course has a curious habit of spitting people left and their gear right -- or sometimes people right and their gear left.
Giles

Wadhamite
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:08 am
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Wadhamite » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:23 pm

Randy Fandango wrote:Unless I missed it, still no footbridge across the bottom of the legacy loop I note.
Swimmers will still have to do the long walk of shame to be reunited with their kit as the course has a curious habit of spitting people left and their gear right -- or sometimes people right and their gear left.
Giles
Throwline Alan is pretty happy to rescue people from the far bank (maybe it's because I flutter my eyelashes at him?) and in the past, I had my share of tows from stronger paddlers to be reunited with my kit. If you're there with friends it's not so bad. The most awkward situation I've seen was a mum trying to rescue her 7 year old from the far bank using a too-short throwline, but on that occasion my boyfriend gave the kid a tow.
LV induction guide: http://tmblr.co/ZIurAvTdASgQ

User avatar
Randy Fandango
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:10 pm
Location: London/Kent/Somewhere flat and dry

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Randy Fandango » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:53 pm

True -- except what usually happens is Alan ropes swimmers to the left hand steps while paddlers take empty boats and paddles generally to the right hand steps as there's no current on the right but a strong flow away from the left hand steps that takes unaccompanied gear and swimmers back into the main flow then round to the pumps.
I've seen this countless times and would suggest for the progressing paddler on the legacy loop a bridge across the bottom of the course would be very useful.
Giles

garya
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:04 am
Location: Enfield, Lee Valley, North London
Has thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by garya » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:45 pm

We just don't just tow them that side out of badness to see pople do the walk of shame ...Nobody likes towing boats too near to the pumps !! ... :-P

It is easy to swim back across to the other side if you jump off the blocks just above the last big river right eddy with steps in it, in fact it is easy to do it either way and good WW swimming practice.

Gary A

User avatar
Randy Fandango
Posts: 3387
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 5:10 pm
Location: London/Kent/Somewhere flat and dry

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Randy Fandango » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:11 pm

garya wrote:It is easy to swim back across to the other side if you jump off the blocks just above the last big river right eddy with steps in it, in fact it is easy to do it either way and good WW swimming practice.
Even easier to walk over a bridge :-)
Giles

User avatar
Neilo
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 2:57 pm
Location: Oooooops Surrey !

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by Neilo » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:34 pm

Hey, what about a zip-wire ? It could double up for a finish line for slalom. Users could be made to wait mid-way across, for ridicule or worse (no, I was just kidding). And for those who didn't hold onto their boat etc, wet sponges thrown.

It's starting to sound a bit like Total Wipeout, sorry ;o/ .

Looking forward to getting back to LV soon.

icklepaddler
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 2:08 pm

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by icklepaddler » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:55 pm

It looks good, its just a pity that the rest of the country couldn't have such funding spent on its facilities.

Silly me, i forgot that only London matters.

garya
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:04 am
Location: Enfield, Lee Valley, North London
Has thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by garya » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:21 pm

Neilo wrote:Hey, what about a zip-wire ? It could double up for a finish line for slalom. Users could be made to wait mid-way across, for ridicule or worse (no, I was just kidding). And for those who didn't hold onto their boat etc, wet sponges thrown.

It's starting to sound a bit like Total Wipeout, sorry ;o/ .

Looking forward to getting back to LV soon.
Mayor Boris tried that one but i gather the idea didn''t take off...

I did hear a high ropes course for the centre being discussed at one time.. i had a chance to vist the WW center in Charlotte the other day and go on thier mega Zip line over the course. They have a fantastic setup of activities there it is well worth a vist if you can get there.

Gary Archer

garya
Posts: 1435
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:04 am
Location: Enfield, Lee Valley, North London
Has thanked: 5 times
Contact:

Re: Lee Valley Improvements

Post by garya » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:36 pm

icklepaddler wrote:It looks good, its just a pity that the rest of the country couldn't have such funding spent on its facilities.

Silly me, I forgot that only London matters.

We dont have mountians, large open spaces or many natural rivers other then the thames..

Lee Valley is open to all and is supported by Londoners through coucil tax levy and also money raised from commercial activities. in its first year of operation the WW center took 1.9 million in sales easaliy breaking even on it's operating costs.

More info is avaliable here:

http://www.leevalleypark.org.uk/en/cont ... e/finance/

And here

http://www.leevalleypark.org.uk/en/cont ... e/funding/

Of course not all this money goes on the white water centre but on activities in the wider park including; youth programs ,wildlife sancutaries, habitat improvements and creating jobs for the local economy.

Gary A

Post Reply

Return to “Whitewater and Touring”