5 riders on this ride: 3 starting at Cutty Sark and a further 2 joining at Beckenham Place Park. This was an excellent turnout given that only two people had signed up to this ride on Strava and one of these cancelled because of the forecast rain. All the riders had been in contact with each other before the ride by text messages and this is becoming quite important for us now that we are not allowed to use letsride.co.uk any more for competition reasons.
It has become clear to us that the only way we are ever going to be able to part of a viable cycling group is if we join forces with the relatively small number of people who want to do regular social cycle rides in London. Whether we should be to affiliated to British Cycling, Cycling UK or LCC is a matter that can only be decided at a formal AGM. It has also become clear that it is word of mouth rather than internet publicity which determines who comes on our rides.
Whilst waiting at Cutty Sark Gardens we noticed that there was an enormous liner moored on the Thames.
We were joined by someone there who had been a member of Greenwich Cyclists in Barry Mason's time. She had moved away, but had recently returned and was surprised to find that Greenwich Cyclists was no longer organising Cutty Sark Rides. She was then met by some others who had attended the Good Friday Breeze ride for men and they then left us to do a feeder ride to the Canada Water Healthy Ride which was taking place that day.
We then set off down the Waterlink Way and started to imagine what the world would be like if we could persuade Bromley Cyclists to organise Healthy Rides. We skirted round the northern edge of Beckenham Place park to avoid getting lost in the the woods and were pleased that the gate was unlocked to allow us to cycle up to Saftesbury Park.
We got a bit lost and had to stop when we saw a cycle path leading to park we didn't know about. A passer by offered to help. We told he we wanted to get to Chislehurst and she told us that we could get there by going through Kings Meadow and turning left when we got to the far end.
We then went past Chislehurst Station and found Jubilee Park, which took us to Petts Wood. This is a very suburban area which few landmarks to help us naviagate and little sign of the Quaggy, which is subterranian at this point. We did get confused and took the wrong right turn onto a main ride followed by a left turn. We didn't realise our mistake because there were signs saying we were on a cycle route and there was a small roundabout in the middle of the road, but which was the wrong one. We almost ended up in Orpington, but realised we had gone wrong wh we started going down a steep descent. We retraced our steps and then did manage to find the correct combination of left and right turned to get to the Locksbottom Bee Cause garden and the source of the River Quaggy, where we stopped to take pictures.
We were then in Breeze territory and there was no danger any danger of us getting lost as we headed to High Elms Country Park, where we stopped for lunch.
On our way back we want past Holwood Farm coffee shop and made our way back to Beckenham Place Park. We crossed the A232 from Gates Green Road onto Coney Hill Road, but it would have been safer to do what the Breeze riders do, which is cycle down to the Addington Road roundabout and turn right there. We tried to avoid going through central Bromley and found an interesting cut-through on the north-east side of the railway close to the town centre.
We took the eastern path through Beckenham Place Park to return to the Waterlink Way and people then peeled off to go home.
Unfortunately Strava is very clever. Not only does it automatically detect people who are riding together, but it also automatically detects people who inadvertently submit GPS traces done party in a car. This, of course, is an occupation hazard which arises from our being a group which does rides that start in boroughs that don't belong to us. As a result one of our GPS traces was disqualified from being entered into our leader board and had to be deleted. However, this ride did give us an opportunity to demonstrate that Cyclists in Southwark is for non-Southwark cyclists, in contrast to Southwark Cyclists, which is is for Southwark cyclists, and that we compete with them in the same way that train operating companies compete to offer train services.