Our Bluewater ride used to attract about half a dozen riders, but last year, only two turned up. The ride, like the Crossness, St Albans, Copped Hall and Tudeley ones, was in danger of being consigned to the great ride graveyard in the sky because of the lack of a quorum. However, it was saved by the skin of its teeth both because of its strategic significance as being an abbreviated version of the "Annual Southwark Cyclists' Ride to the London Stone" (https://thebikeshow.net/london-stone/) and because of the discovery of a new route which allows us to include a trip round the grounds of Ingress Abbey (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingress_Abbey) in the ride itinerary.
This year, however, we had much better attendance, as there were four riders who met up at Cutty Sark and we were joined by a fifth, who met us outside McDonalds, Crayford. Unlike in previous years, all five riders were regular riders with the group and all were keen to continue with doing long rides.
We chose a quick route to get to Crayford, which only took an hour and which allowed us to get the Shooter's Hill climb out of the way at the beginning of the ride, when we had lots of energy to tackle it.
At the Dartford Crossing, I was only intending to show people where cyclists had to wait to get a free taxi to cross the Dartford Crossing, but with 80% of the riders on this ride being from north London, it was impossible to stop the ride from going there!
This meant we didn't see Ingress Abbey or Bluewater, so we will have to reschedule the ride to do this. Instead we were taken to Lakeside by the taxi that had to do two trips because we couldn't fit all 5 bikes in the vehicle.
We then agreed to go the the Rainham Marshes RSPB Reserve, where we stopped for a lunch break. Paul then showed us a fast route, much of which was on segregated cycle paths, back to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.
Route can be seen at: https://www.strava.com/activities/3002288812