Southwark Healthy Ride to Cody Dock - Jul 20th 2019

You may be wondering why Cyclists in Southwark were going on a Southwark Healthy Ride rather than doing their own ride. The answer is that Cyclists in Southwark was brought to its knees a couple of years ago when the majority of its regular riders broke away from the group over a dispute about the excessive anonymity of group riding and whether we should bother about insurance and paperwork. They formed a separate group called Spokes - London Cycling. We thought they would return to the fold after a year, but this did not happen and the number of occasions when members of this breakaway group have attended our rides can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The only way to resolve this situation is to try to persuade some of the 2,000 riders who do the 120 mile Dunwich Dynamo to do shorter rides and to persuade those who do Southwark Healthy Rides to do longer rides. Although Spokes-London Cycling riders won't come on our rides, we have found that they are more amenable to the idea of meeting up with us when we both go on Southwark Healthy Rides.

There were about 15 Southwark Cyclists, 5 Cyclists in Southwark and 2 Spokes-London Cycling riders on this ride to the Greenway, QE Park and Cody Dock.

It was great to see that, after many years of waiting, the Greenway now extends all the way to the View Tube, in the QE Park.

Dunwich Dynamo 2019 - Ride Report

Could Southwark Cyclists do the Dunwich Dynamo? Remember putting bikes on the train at Gt Dunmow ceased being an option in 1952! And how could we safely cycle back to London against a stream of hundreds of oncoming cyclists and overtaking cars? The answer is to start the ride in the morning. Then, on the way out, you meet some groups and lone cyclists going to the Hackney start point and, on the way back, you just pass occasional cyclists who have started the ride early.

Dulwich Clock Cafe to Mayfield Lavender Farm - Ride Report, 6 Jul 2019

Five of us met up at Dulwich Clock Cafe for this ride, despite the fact that there were only two participants shown against the ride on Strava. This was a much better turnout than last year when there were only three of us and we decided to divert the ride to the Wimbledon Windmill.

This ride had been organised to follow up successful horticultural rides that we had organised in the past - Open Garden Squares Weekend rides, snowdrop rides to Benington Lordship and a number of bluebell rides. We have not managed to devise rides to see tulips or daffodils, as the places we would have to go to are even further away from Southwark than Dunwich! However, Lavender fields are much easier to find within cycling distance of Dulwich Park.

At the start point we met someone who had missed the previous week's Healthy Ride because he thought it started at 10am when it actually started as 9.30. This week the tables were turned, as our ride was supposed to start at 9.30 when the Healthy Ride started at 10am. We had been asked by British Cycling to avoid arranging rides that clash with Southwark Cyclists' ones, but we failed to do this, as two of our riders didn't turn up until 10am. We actually left 10 minutes later than the other group! However this wasn't a problem, as the only way we are going to be able to achieve a quorum for managing the group is if people from multiple ride streams agree to meet up at the same place and time for discussions.

For next year, we understand that there's a different Lavender Farm in Kent that we can visit. However, it's a lot more expensive, so we will have to Google it to work out what to do.

Orpington to Teapot Island - Ride Report 29th Jun 2019

There were five of us who met up at Orpington to do this ride to Teapot Island. This is a much better turnout than for the previous Orpington ride (to Tudeley) when there were only two of us.

Lewis Carroll would have called us Un-Southwark Cyclists. Unlike most cycling groups that define themselves as a set of people who live in a certain region, we define ourselves by where we don't live. Southwark! Testimony to this fact comes from the observation that there was not a single resident of the London Borough of Southwark on this ride, but there were representatives from Lewisham, Camden, Islington, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. Why should anyone from Southwark come on our ride, when they have a perfectly good cycling group of their own?

We came across several big groups of cyclists from Team Sidcup Cycles (http://www.teamsidcupcycles.co.uk) and Bigfoot Cycle Club (https://bigfootcc.co.uk), but we did note that all the groups were going home whilst we were setting out for our ride. Once we got past Ivy Hatch there was no sign of any group cycle rides.

We tried to use a route across the North Downs that avoided the steepest of the hills, but the ride was still very hilly on occasions.

Shoreham Village was particularly picturesque. We stopped off for coffee at Ightham Mote and then continued past some fascinating buildings, including Hadlow Tower, until we reached East Peckham and the Teapot Island at Yalding. Balding was very busy and it was like a holiday resort with people walking around in the water

We decided to take the train home from Yalding, as all the hills had made the ride very tiring.

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