Six of us met up at the Dulwich Clock Cafe for our ride to Gravesend. Dulwich is a good starting point for us, as we had people from Streatham, Chislehurst, Camden and Lewisham attending our ride.
When we got to Brookmill Park we passed the Lewisham group going the other way. It appeared that this was a Lewisham Healthy Ride in all but name!
We then continued to the newly opened "missing link" section of the Thames Path. It turned out to be better than I had expected - in addition to a section through a warehouse area, there is also a new elevated segment protruding over the Thames.
We met up with Julie at Woolwich Ferry, which made our numbers up to 7. When we got to Woolwich we saw a couple of tall ships, which were offering cruises that day.
We stopped off at Lesnes Abbey for coffee, as it was very hot and we were thirsty.
We then continued on our usual route to Dartford. The park was very pretty and it's a shame that it's so easily missed when cycling through the town. We stopped there for a second break and one rider had to return home at that point.
We had a request to go through the tunnel with classical music in it. Our ride leader explained this was there to stop young people, who hate classical music, from congregating there and causing trouble.
We nearly missed the turning off to Gravesend and went a few yards along the Darent route, which would have ended up at Orpington. However, we soon spotted the error in our ways and went back to and up a newly discovered path through a wood up to Watling Street. We saw a sign for a cycle "toll tunnel" and wondered exactly what this meant.
It didn't take long for us to reach Gravesend, where we stopped off for a late lunch at the Three Daws. It was good to be able to have a post-ride meeting at a pub, given the difficulties we have had in getting people to meet up at the Dog & Bell. The stunning panoramic views from the roof terrace over the Thames, which are absent when visiting the eponymous hostelry, perhaps helped us here. A couple of us visited the Sikh Temple and, whilst eating our lunch, we heard the cheers from one of the goals scored in the World Cup match. We then took trains back to London.