Six of us met up at Dulwich Clock Cafe at our new earlier start time of 9.30am to do this year's Open House ride. It was rather a drizzly day. 10 people had registered on letsride.co.uk, but there were three last minute cancellations. Fortunately, our numbers were augmented by a new person who had come from as far afield as North London to join us. We had hoped we could welcome a resident of the London Borough of Southwark on our ride, but, on this occasion, it was not to be.
It is great news that 55 "Healthy Riders" used the Missing Link to do a long picnic ride:
But how many of these "Healthy Riders" should now be migrating to doing "full-on" rides to places like Nell's Cafe and Rochester?:
When Barry Mason was in charge of Southwark Cyclists he would never have restricted the majority of rides to being just two hours long. This is what bike politics is all about - not campaigning to get policy makers to change their minds, but rather campaigning to get campaigners to change their mind! As Barry Mason said: "Time passes. LCC still seems unable to find its way and has forgotten what its last initial stands for. The golden opportunity to relaunch itself after the failed coup has been wasted. LCC's local groups are increasingly doing it for themselves, or not at all." (see https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/greenwichcyclists/conversations/mess...)
Our riders had come from all over London - from Brent, Islington, Camden, Croydon, Lambeth, Greenwich, Bromley, Bexley, Kensington & Chelsea and Newham, to be specific.
We were able to make use the brand new "missing link" elevated walkway, by the Thames Barrier:
Perhaps next year, when we do this ride again, we can see whether we can beat Southwark and Bexley Cyclists record of 55 people using the "missing link" for a ride!:
Perhaps, by next year, we will have become so good a doing longer rides that we can brand ourselves as an elite cycling group - "I've never been on a ride before where someone has drunk Sanpellegrino"!
We stopped off for lunch at Nell's Cafe, Gravesend:
We were then taken on a ride where we visited Rochester Castle, Chatham Historic Dockyards, St Mary's Island and Fort Amherst:
The ride was part of a series run by the Cyclists in Southwark group, which has been formed to allow those of us who live within cycling distance of Southwark to meet up in Southwark and Cutty Sark Gardens and do rides similar to, but much longer than, the rides that are organised by Southwark Cyclists.