Ride to the London Stone, Yantlet Creek - Aug 31st 2019

Meet Sat Aug 31st, 09.30, Cutty Sark Gardens, by the entrance to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, SE10 9HT.

I will be stepping in and leading the annual Southwark Cyclists’ ride to the London Stone at Yantlet Creek in Kent. In bygone times, several stones marked the city’s geographical limits. We’ll be riding to the stone on the south bank of the downstream Thames (see https://thebikeshow.net/london-stone/).

You may be surprised that Southwark Cyclists used to organise such long rides, but when Barry Mason was in charge of the group this ride was the highlight of the annual rides calendar. There is an archive of the Southwark Cyclists' website which provides evidence that the group organised such a ride in 2010, the year before Barry died: https://web.archive.org/web/20100529013846/http://southwarkcyclists.org..... This is what the link says:

"The London Stone: Meet Cutty Sark Gardens for the 20 miles of big roads to lovely Gravesend and coffee at the beach cafe on the Gordon Promenade.
Or train it to Gravesend and meet us at the cafe. Then a rural 20 miles through the bulfrog Shorne Marshes and onto the isolated Hoo Peninsula. The lonely London Stone marks the end of the Port of London's jurisdiction. Lunch. Then train it back from Gravesend or ride home. Long day. Barry"

Our ride will be a 50 mile ride starting at 9.30am at Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich. Fairly fast roads to Gravesend then more of a wayfaring feel to the ride to the Stone itself, maybe taking in some unsurfaced tracks. It’s estuary country, natural and spoiled in equal measure, wild and strange. Distant echoes of Conrad’s seafarers’ tales and Wilko Johnson’s guitar from across the water on Canvey Island. Here’s Iain Sinclair. We’ll have a coffee on the promenade at Gravesend and stop for lunch at a pub in Cooling. We will be paassing Cooling Castle and visiting St James Church (of Great Expectations fame), We then continue through High Haslow and St Mary Hoo until we get to Allhallows. We then walk out onto the marshes to seek out the London Stone, which should be clearly visible, as it will be low tide by the time we get there (low tide at Sheerness is at 13.40). We then return via Lower and Upper Stoke, Hoo and Chattenden.

We will be taking the train back from Rochester, as, for many of us, 50 miles is enough for one day.

This is a ride that would have been led by Barry Mason had it not been for his untimely death 8 years ago in 2011. This is his ride report from 2005: http://www.cyclistsinsouthwark.org.uk/greenwichcyclists/reports/gravesen.... After Barry died, this tradition was carried forward by Francis Sedgemore: http://www.sedgemore.com/2011/10/greenwich-cyclists-do-the-hoo/.

To book, and see the route, go to https://www.strava.com/clubs/497231/group_events/500918

Cutty Sark to the Big Hill Airshow - Ride Report, 17th Aug 2019

With only four people attending the Big Hill Airshow ride this year, when, in previous years, about a dozen people attended, it is clear that Cyclists in Southwark is an opposition party rather than one that is in power. However, bike politics is just like real politics - an opposition party can still be influential and can hope regain power if the political climate changes. With 2,000 riders doing the Dunwich Dynamo, 50 doing the Christmas Day ride and a dozen or so doing Healthy Rides each week, it is clear that Southwark Cyclists is going to need some long term governance arrangements. Factions such as Cyclists in Southwark, Spokes - London Cycling and Lewisham Cyclists are going to be an important part of the mix needed to establish a quorum for the future management of the group.

There were only two of us at the Cutty Sark meeting point, but we met up with another two at Beckenham Place Park gates. Quite a few tree branches along the Waterlink Way had fallen because of the storm a week earlier. We tried out some new route sections to get to West Wickham. A Gates Green Road we met a group from Team Sidcup Cycles, who showed us the way and warned us about the steep climb up to Biggin Hill. The memorial museum at Biggin Hill was closed, so we continued on to Biggin Hill village, which sits in a very steep valley. There were some surprising steep hills near Tatsfield, but once we reached Clarks lane, things got a lot easier. We stopped off a Botley Hill Farmhouse for lunch and then went to Skid Hill Road to watch the planes for an hour or so. We then retuned to Cutty Sark via Penge, Cator Park and the Waterlink Way.

Dog & Bell Rides Meeting: Wed 27th Feb 2008

The Wayback Machine has put on record the fact that, when Barry Mason was in charge, governance for the three groups Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark Cyclists was provided by Dog & Bell Crew Rides Planning Meetings. Barry Mason was coordinator of Southwark Cyclists, founder of Greenwich Cyclists and organiser of the Dunwich Dynamo. See meeting on Wed 27th Feb 2008:

https://web.archive.org/web/20080607022303/http://www.southwarkcyclists....

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