Southwark Needle to Hall Place Cafe - Ride Report, Sep 12th 2020

There has been much talk this week about the need to limit attendance at social gatherings to six, to help reduce the incidence of coronavirus cases. What is less well known is that the same dynamics applies to the organisation of social cycle rides. If rides are attended by six or fewer people, they are likely to die out through lack of interest, but if rides can be amalgamated so that more than six people attend, in two or more groups, then the rides can become more and more popular as they are repeated.

The fact that several rides had been organised this year starting from Cutty Sark Gardens and that all of them were well attended, encouraged us to attempt to resurrect the Hall Place Ride, which hadn't been run for several years.

The new segregated cycle path from the Southwark Needle to Cutty Sark Gardens, helped us to reach Cutty Sark promptly by 10am. There were then eight of us who set out to climb the hill in Greenwich Park to reach Blackheath. People were impressed by the excellent landscaping of the new housing development in Kidbrooke and around Cator Park. We then climbed King John's Walk which feels as if it is in the middle of the countryside. We stopped there to look at both the donkeys and the panoramic views of London. The path leads to Eltham Palace and it is then only a short ride to visit Avery Hill Park. We then cycled past the lake at Danson Park and past the William Morris Red House. This took us to Hall Place, where we stopped off for a refreshment break.

On our way back we stopped off to admire the wonderful view of the North Downs from Oxleas Wood Cafe and also took a look at Severndroog Castle. The ride then finished at Cutty Sark Gardens. People on our rides come from many different pats of London and finishing the ride at Cutty Sark Gardens made it easy for everyone to get back home at the end of the ride.

Southwark Needle to Ingrebourne Way - Ride Report, Aug 15th 2020

As we have run a series of succesful rides from the View Tube to Trent Park, St Albans and Walthamstow, we tried out another north London ride. This time it was to the "far east" - Rainham, the Ingrebourne Way and Upminster.

There were 10 of us when we met up at the View Tube, which is twice as many as we had when we tried out some south London rides. We decided to split into two groups of 5 and did a "Rendezvous Ride", by arranging to meet up at the Ingrebourne Visitor Centre for a refreshment break.

One of the groups did cycle round Beam Country Park and Mick, who lives locally in Havering, managed to spot us and joined as at the cafe:

The two groups went back to London different ways. One returned on the fast superhighway route and the other went on to take a look at the Upminster Windmill, whose sails are being refurbished in Holland:

We then went to Hornchurch, and were shown the horns of the Horn Church:

We then continued through Harrow Lodge Park to the Chase, which took us back to the Greenway and eventually the View Tube, where the ride finished.

Southwark Needle to Bushy Park & Hampton Court - Ride Report, Aug 8th 2020

As there had been four cancellations for this ride, there were only four of us who met up for this ride at the Southwark Needle (Andrew, Hashim, Mike and Nigel). We also bumped into Jane, Sue & Adrian, who were one their way to the Canada Water ride, which started half an hour later. We started by cycling via The Cut and CS5 to Battersea Park, where we did a relay, with Mike leaving and Birgit joining. We crossed the Thames at Chelsea Bridge and cycled out to Imperial Wharf and Fulham Palace, where we stopped for a much needed coffee break, given the heat. We then went back to Putney and passed Jane Champion an Jamie's group going the other way for their coffee break. Once at Putney we followed the Thames Path to Barnes, Kew Bridge and Richmond. We then passed Strawberry Hill House and St Margaret's Station and then cycled though Busy Park to Hampton Court. Unfortunately the cafe there had been put inside the pay zone, so we went on to Kingston Riverside, where we stopped off for a meal at the Gazebo pub. Richmond Park is now open for cyclists at the weekend, so we cycled through it and then followed a route through Wandsworth Town to Clapham Junction, where the ride finished.