Hopefully all the Southwark Healthy Riders who are boycotting my rides will realise what they are missing by not doing this ride every year!
There were about 15 Southwark Healthy Riders at the Cutty Sark start point. There was also a new person who had just found about about Southwark Cyclists but hadn't been told that, if you look at the letsride.co.uk website, you can see Southwark Cyclists rides alongside our longer Cyclists in Southwark ones. There was also a separate group of about 5 cyclists who said they meet up regularly at Cutty Sark Gardens to do 20 mile rides.
We had had far fewer letsride.co.uk bookings than we normally get over the past few weeks and we had had quite a few cancellations, so it was disappointing that there was no one at the Cutty Sark Gardens starting point at 09.30to do this longer ride. However, Beth was just a few minutes late and we then met up with Julie at Woolwich. Pat and Alan met us at the Gravesend Promenade Cafe.
As there is now fierce competition between Lewisham Cyclists and Cyclists in Southwark to attract riders to our long rides, it was interesting to learn that we had a competitive advantage by not using trains to start off our rides. Delays in getting tickets can lead to people missing trains and this makes it difficult to assemble the groups needed for rides.
Alan showed us the police traininng centre, with its mock-ups of villages and tube stations and slide showed us the Cliffe Fort which I had not found before because it is completely inaccessible by car.
The Ciffe pub we went to had just stopped serving food at 3pm, but, after we had visited Cooling Castle and St James Church, we found a Cooling pub which was still serving lunch.
When we got to Allhallows we locked our bikes to the gate and walked out over the mashes to find the London Stone.
Pat, Julie and Beth cycled back to Greenwich, but Alan shows me the way, via Chattenden and Donkey Hill, to Rochester, where I took the train home.