Chislehurst Caves Ride Report - 23rd Mar 2019

A week is a long time in politics - but this is no less true with bike politics! Having had all our Cyclists in Southwark rides deleted from the letsride.co.uk website by British Cycling, we have had to hastily reinstate them by putting them on strava.com. This strategy appears to have worked and it gives us a head start as Cyclists in Southwark is now the only London-based Strava group whose members sign up to rides on strava.com.

Five of us met up at Cutty Sark Gardens for this Chislehurst Caves ride. All the participants had signed up on strava.com and it was refreshing to find no blocking of electronic communications was going on - everyone had confirmed by text beforehand that they were intending to come on the ride.

British Cycling had asked Cyclists in Southwark to give our rides differing starting points/times from those of other groups, so we had moved this Cutty Sark ride to the fourth Saturday of the month, leaving the third Saturday slot free for use by Southwark Cyclists. However, this still leaves open the question of when Greenwich Cyclists, Lewisham Cyclists and "Spokes - London Cycling" should be doing Cutty Sark rides.

There was speculation about why all our rides had been deleted from letsride.co.uk. One suggestion was that it might have been punishment for our not bothering about insurance and paperwork!

We've discovered that there is another cycling group that meets up regularly at Cutty Sark Gardens on Saturday mornings at 9.30am. They don't have a name, but they do operate a WhatsApp group. They usually do rides to the Lee Valley area, but sometimes do rides in SE London. They sometimes get as many as 10 people on their rides. They appear to be a male-only group and we think they travel too fast to be compatible with our group.

We had difficulty getting through the barriers at Horn Park and agreed to miss out this park for future rides because of this. At Grove Park Road, we entered the wrong park and the Quaggy was nowhere to be seen. We had intended to go through Chinbrook Meadows but found ourselves in another park a short distance to the east of it. However, this didn't stop us from getting to Elmstead Wood and then Lower Camden on our way to the Chislehurst Caves.

We were surprised to discover that it was only 8 miles from Cutty Sark Gardens to the Chislehurst Caves, but all of us had done a lot more cycling that this to get to the the ride start point.

One rider left to get the train back from Chislehurst, but the four remaining riders cycled back to Cutty Sark via Sidcup Place.

With the election of Martin V as pope on Nov. 11, 1417, the Western Schism (1378-1417) finally came to an end

With the election of Martin V as pope on Nov. 11, 1417, the feast of St. Martin, the Great Western Schism (1378-1417) finally came to an end.

The Schism began with the election of Urban VI, one of the most unstable popes in all of papal history and the last non-cardinal to be elected to the papacy. So intransigent and unreasonable was Urban VI that the French cardinals, who had seen the last French pope elected with Gregory XI (1371-78), elected an antipope, Clement VII.

Please sir, I want some more

Who has any right to stop people from doing "Southwark Healthy Ride+"s on a second Saturday?

I've just been told that what has been happening with my trying to "pick off" Southwark Healthy Riders and get them to do "Southwark Healthy Ride+"s (see https://www.strava.com/clubs/497231/group_events/463439) when Bruce Lynn wants them to do just "normal" 10 mile Southwark Healthy Rides (https://www.letsride.co.uk/rides/southwark-healthy-ride-36), is exactly the sort of thing that used to happen in Victorian times, when trolley bus services were first introduced. Buses ended up being empty because competitors "picked off" riders by arranging services to arrive at bus stops a few minutes before other scheduled departures. The need to stop this waste of resources ultimately led to the formation of TfL. And, of course, this also explains why the Dog & Bell Crew (https://twitter.com/dogbellcrew?lang=en) needs to be reestablished to carry out this regulation function for London's weekend social/leisure rides programme.

Nigel Bee (tel 07415 315 690, email nigel.bee@cyclistsinsouthwark.co.uk )

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