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.

Dulwich Clock Cafe to Bushy Park & Hampton Court - Ride Report 22nd Jun 2019

There were six of us who met up at Dulwich Clock Cafe on Saturday morning on a sunny day to do this ride to Richmond Park, Busy Park and Hampton Court. Starting the ride at Dulwich Park, rather then at Cutty Sark or Ladywell, makes it much easier for us to venture further west than Richmond Park.

In keeping with the "In Southwark" branding that we use for our rides, we had no one from Southwark on the ride, but we did have representatives from Croydon, Camden, Lambeth, Bromley and Tower Hamlets. It appears that only by getting all the non-Southwark boroughs to join forces to form a single cycling group that we can have any chance of forming a group that can rival, or take political control of, Southwark Cyclists. It appears that those who have seized control of Southwark Cyclists want to rewrite history and deny the existence of many Southwark Cyclists' rides that were instituted by its coordinator Barry Mason - in particular, the Dunwich Dynamo, the Midsummer Madness ride and the Christmas Day ride.

When we got to Richmond Park, we could see just how many cyclists go out on Saturday mornings to do rides. It is inconceivable that many of these riders don't come from Southwark or Greenwich.

We stopped off at the Pen Posds cafe for coffee and the proceeded to Ham House, where we didn't get lost this time. We had to abandon cycling along the Richmond river front, as it was so busy, and went up to therein road, which took us to Richmond Bridge, Marble Hill House and Strawberry Hill House.. We went to see the water gardens at Bushy Park and had lunch a Hampton Court Palace.

On our return journey was want along the Barge Path to Kingston Bridge and found the cycle route that goes behind the John Lewis shop which leads back to Richmond.

There aw a very busy junction that we had to navigate through at Putney, but we were rewards by river views and views of helicopters taking off, when we had got though it.

We then went through Barresea Park and climbed up to Clapham Common on our way back to Dulwcih Clock Cafe, where the ride finished.

Midsummer Madness - Ride Report, 21st June 2019

Whatever happened to the hundreds of riders foregoing their beauty sleep, giddy with excitement at the prospect of witnessing the summer solstice dawn? But as one of the five riders (including one skater) who joined this year's Midsummer Madness ride said: "Build it and they will come!".

However, this is proving to be difficult. Evidence is coming to light that charities involved with cycling have formed a cartel and are ganging up on small independent operators like Greenwich/Southwark Cyclists and are trying to send us to the wall to stamp out competition. The cartel is pressurising cyclists who want to do challenging rides to raise large sums of money for charity. This means that the more athletic cyclists no longer have the energy, money or inclination to help revitalise small local cycling clubs and stop them from falling into the hands of those who want to engage in extreme sport.

As is customary on our rides, we had no one at all from Southwark. However, we did have representatives from Sutton, Lewisham, Lambeth and Camden.

I think we were all surprised to find that the skater had no difficulty at all in keeping up with the cyclists, even when we went uphill.

Two of the riders decided to stop off a Primrose Hill and watch the sunrise from there, whist the remaining three went on to Parliament Hill.

There were another half dozen cyclists who joined us as we waited for the sunrise accompanied by a bagpipe player. There were about 30 people in all there.

We could see both the moon and the sun and although the weather was clear, there was some distant cloud which formed a backdrop for the sunrise.

Enfield Lock to Hatfield Forest - Reconnaissance Ride Report, 15th Jun 2019

With so many London Cycling Campaign supporters engaging in a sustained two-year-long campaign of boycotting our rides, a rebellion is afoot. People are starting to ask why doesn't Cyclists in Southwark simply do its own thing and organise a programme of challenging rides that have nothing to do with Southwark? There is no law requiring a Southwark-branded cycling group to do rides in Southwark - we could even meet up in Putney or at Richmond Park. Or at the Pub on the Park, Hackney.


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