Who's authorised "Southwark" to link up with Bexley, rather than Greenwich, Kensington & Chelsea, Camden, Waltham Forest and the joker in the pack, Bromley?
With hindsight, this is the question we could have asked ourselves on this ride!
There was ferocious competition for riders in SE London on this Saturday. Unfettered competition from cycling groups not having to pay any affiliation fee to British Cylcing certainly took its toll. The league table for sign-ups to letsride.co.uk was as follows:
- Bexley Cyclists: 7
- Cyclists in Southwark: 6
- Cranky Cycling Club (which I think is Bromley in disguise): 4
- Southwark Cyclists: 3
- Lewisham Cyclists: 1
- CLOG: 1
Hopefully people will come to their senses and realise some sort of consolidation is in order. Pollards Hill Cyclists, when it existed, used to get 30 people on each ride!
Of our six sign-ups, only 4 turned up for the ride. But all four of these riders came from boroughs other than the ones listed above and we can be proud of the fact that the geographical catchment area that we represented was out of all proportion to the number of people who came on our ride.
By meeting up half an hour earlier, but at the same place, as the Southwark Healthy Riders (https://www.letsride.co.uk/groups/southwark-healthy-riders) we were able to explain to a number of people who had turned up to their ride early, that we think people should be offered a choice between doing longer rides starting at 9.30 am and shorter rides starting at 10am.
We followed the same route to the Wimbledon Windmill that we have taken a couple of weeks ago when riders expressed a preference for doing this route rather than doing a ride to Carshalton.
Because I can't keep stopping to look at my mobile phone, we did overshoot Richmond by a little bit, but this allowed up to discover some fascinating cycle paths around Ham House.
Thos was the route we took: https://www.strava.com/activities/1749925377
The ground outside the White Swan was much less muddy than last year and we were able to watch the raft race, which started hadf an hour late at 12.30pm
We took a bit of a short cut along an A road to get to Chiswick House Cafe, where we stopped for lunch.
As three of the four riders were from North London, we kept to the North side of the river on our way back and the ride finished at Blackfriars Station.