Southwark Needle to the Royal Docks - Ride Report, Jun 27th 2020

The lockdown rule limiting group size to six, which is looking as though it will remain in force for many weeks, is having a profound effect on the way group cycling is being organised in London. If you look for rides on the internet, many are fully booked and this has led to an increased demand for our rides. But we are not only getting more riders, we are also getting more ride leaders at our Southwark Needle start point.

On Jun 27th, we had enough people to form three groups of up to six. One group wanted to do the ride route at a faster pace and set off to do this. The other two groups each had a leader, but the groups wanted to do the ride at the same pace, so they set off together, whilst maintaining social distancing.

Trent Park Loop - Ride Report, Jun 13th

A ride from Wanstead to Trent Park via the North Circular is not one that many people will have done before, but, despite its length, it was attended by 11 riders. We even had to split the group into two groups of up to six to comply with lockdown rules. The Southwark Needle and the View Tube proved to be popular ride meeting points and we are very grateful to the View Tube's staff for continuing to be open in some form throughout the lockdown period and for providing a friendly welcome whenever cyclists visited.

Ride to the View Tube - Sat Jun 6th

It was with great trepidation that I started my car after lockdown. Would it start or would the battery be flat after not have used it for many weeks? It turned out that the car did start without a problem.

But what about our cycllng group? What would happen when the lockdown was eased sufficiently to allow us to do rides with more than one person not from our own household? Would anyone come on our rides? These days people don't just come on rides - you have to set the wheels in motion of a very sophisticated replica of the IT infrastructure used by the London Cycling Campaign - this means firing off emails, checking GDPR consents and unleashing social media postings (Facebook, Strava or the "Twittersphere"). And all this can be to no avail if the opposition gets in lockstep and organises a boycott of your ride for bike political reasons.

I decided to have a go at organising the ride anyway. I thought that even if no one came, I might be able to make LCC, British Cycling and Cycling UK embarrased about not promoting group rides at a time when there is resurgence of interest in cycling - after all we can do cycle campaigning as well you know! It turned out that this played into my hands, as the lack of swimming pools, "official" Southwark Healthy RIdes and even Parkruns, reduced the level of competition that I usually face when organising rides. So it was with great joy that a full complement of six set off from the Southwark Needle for the View Tube.

We navigated the very busy junction at the NE corner of the Tower of London by transforming ourselves in pedestrians and cycling up the pavement on the east side of the main riad for a few yerds until we reached CS3/Cable Street.

When we reached the View Tube, we met Nigel, from the bike shop there, who was very busy, with lots of bikes outside. We had coffee and a socially-distanced chat. We then returned to the Needle via Victoria Park, London Fields, Broadway Market and Columbia Road. On the way back stopped of at Ebor Street to take pictures of the famous Nurse in a mask mural.


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