The stitch-up that has led to the deletion of all the Cyclists in Southwark rides on letsride.co.uk this week has been the starting gun for military-grade action to sort out the governance arrangements for the 20 or so social cyclists who attend Southwark Healthy Rides each week.
As with the Western Schism, that took place in the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, the dispute is "driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement" and has "engendered a fanatical hatred between factions".
These political disputes have led to be formation of two very different Southwark Cyclists' Strava splinter groups which are hardly on speaking terms with each other (https://www.strava.com/clubs/cyclistsinsouthwark and https://www.strava.com/clubs/spokesldn). Spokes - London Cycling, which surely, as a Cycling UK group, should be offering rides to all, has been operating as a covert group and hiding its rides behind a Facebook firewall.
At the heart of the dispute is the assertion by Bruce Lynn that people don't need to register to attend Southwark Healthy Rides, which is an assertion that is being accepted by many of his 112 member Southwark Healthy Riders group. How can rides be insured, if the insurance company doesn't know how many people go on them? How can the group be split into two if we don't know the names of the people who want to do the rides? The massive popularity of Parkrun compared to the very limited success of the Southwark Healthy Riders is almost certainly down to the efforts that are taken to ensure that people who attend Parkrun events are registered.
This week, we organised a 10 mile feeder ride to the Dulwich Clock Cafe to Clapham Common. Although the ride has been deleted from letsride.co.uk a few days earlier, it was reinstated, rebadged as a British Cycling Guided Ride, shortly before it started at 9am. We had found it very difficult to persuade any of the Southwark Heathy Riders to do longer rides from their start points, despite the fact that they can all magically cope with doing 3.5 hour rides on 3rd and 5th Saturdays. However, by giving people the opportunity to do a longer weekly Southwark Healthy Ride by doing a 10 mile pre-ride starting at 9am from a remote start point, seems be a better way for us to achieve our objective.
Our Guided Ride, that started at Canada Water at 9am, was attended by four people and we were met by a fifth rider at Dulwich Clock cafe, where we joined the other Southwark Healthy Riders to cycle to Clapham Common. The three of us who were north Londoners, left the group at Brixton and cycled directly back to London Bridge. This was our route: