Cutty Sark to Beckenham Place Park & Chislehurst Caves - Ride Report Jul 27th 2019

With three people dropping out because of the heavy rain, it was amazing that we were able to go ahead with this ride. There were only two of us at the Cutty Sark start point, but we were able to establish a quorum by meeting up with a third rider at the Beckenham Place Park gates ("the quorum shall be three*). However, it was questionable as to whether the ride could be branded as being "Healthy" and there was certainly no chance of us being able to see any butterflies.

It is clear from what has happened over the past few weeks that Barry Mason's Southwark/Greenwich Cyclists group is alive and well. 2,000 people turned up to do the 120 mile Dunwich Dynamo ride and about 20 did the Locks, Docks & One Smoking Ferry ride. So we wanted to do some more Barry Mason rides to heap pressure on the cycling authorities to stop them from rewriting history and pretending that Barry Mason's cycling group does not exist. Our original intention was to cycle to the Hoo Peninsula, but, in heavy rain, most people can't tolerate doing rides longer than 30 miles, so we decided to do a 20 mile ride to the Chislehurst Caves instead. I have been told that this ride is a Barry Mason ride too.

As is customary on our rides, there was no one on this ride from the London Borough of Southwark, but we did have representatives from Newham, Lambeth and Camden.

Although heavy rain had been forecast for the whole of the day, it only lasted for an hour or so and much of this ride was done in dry conditions.

At Beckenham Place Park we were able to go in an see the new outdoor swimming lake, but it seems that it has been fenced off because of safely fears rather than because of the concert that was taking place that day. There is a excellent smart new cafe in the stables area which was ideal for stopping off to dry out and to have coffee.

We took a new route to Chislehurst, going up through the eastern extremities of Beckenham Place Park to Ravensbourne Station and then climbing up the ridge to North Bromley, which is an area which is not often visited by those of us who do SE London social rides.

We climbed up Old Hill and then went to take a look at Sidcup Place, which has a wonderful well-maintained walled garden.

On our way back we cycled through Lewisham and then joined the Waterlink Way to get back to Greenwich. The ride finished at Bread & Butler (https://www.facebook.com/breadandbutler/), which has a lovely shack-style outdoor seating area and has a microbrewery which produces the best beer I have ever tasted.