You are viewing the archives for May 2011Oliver |
Nine arrived at a sunny and deserted Cutty Sark Gardens for a leisurely ride along the river path to our first Royal Standard of the day in Pelton Street, Greenwich. Over the level crossing to the Royal Oak in Charlton where we stoped for a quick drink and, for those who cared, to check out The Dress. Past the Valley for a glimpse of the Sam Bartram statue before going up our first hill of the day to Blackheath (Royal) Standard. Back down into Greenwich for William IV and Richard I. We crossed the borough border into Lewisham and saw our only street party where there was a marquee in case it rained. We were invited to join in but declined. The closed Royal Oak in Lee Church Street and tried to fathom why there were originally three pubs in such a short street. Thought it was probably because the neighbouring land had been owned by a family who didn't approve of the masses mixing with alcohol. Into Blackheath Village and we finished at the Princess of Wales on the Heath where eight had lunch. All roads and pubs mainly deserted all day. Those of us who usually spend our days in stuffy offices were very pleased of the extra day off and wanted to use it wisely. Good company, a bit of exercise, sunshine and fresh air.
Had there been a crowd of us though, we would have been restricted for space, because during last week the contractors have fenced off the central section of the square, leaving only narrow corridors down the side of the Cutty Sark itself and heading west from the tunnel entrance. The only good news was that the south staircase has reopened, meaning that access to the Isle of Dogs has been restored (if you don’t mind carrying your bike up & down the stairs!)
The rain started falling at 10am precisely. Although the forecast was “heavy showers” it continued unceasing as we squelched our way along the unsurfaced parts of the Thames Path east of Woolwich, past Crossness (with odours I’m sure I haven’t noticed before) and the large new recycling plant between there and Erith. I don’t think we saw any other cyclists the whole way from Greenwich, only a few determined joggers.
We had planned a coffee stop in the good old café on West Street in Erith, but found it closed and replaced by yet another convenience store. Does anyone know when that happened? So it was the Morrisons café, with a long queue. At least it got us out of the rain.
Oliver returned home from there; with Crayford Marshes an unappealing prospect given the conditions, three of us continued on the road (or rather the mostly very good cycle lanes alongside the road) into Dartford, then out on the very busy B-road to Green Street Green. Shortly after we turned off onto the minor lanes leading to the lunch stop at South Darenth, David suffered a sudden broken chain, and as none of us had the tools or know-how to fix it, he had to freewheel / walk the last mile or so.
The Bridges pub has changed hands since I was last there – a better range of ales, but the food disappointingly only sandwiches, baked spuds or a fry-up. The landlord was pleased to meet people from Greenwich, he apparently used to run the Prince of Orange near the station.
David decided to catch the train back to Catford via Bromley, leaving two of us to cycle home. We avoided the byway on Calfstock Lane that had been deep mud on the reccie ride the previous weekend, but even the short stretch of bridleway leading down into Old Bexley was much muddier this time. It was into the wind now, but the rain was getting lighter and for the last hour or so, all road riding from Bexley onwards, it was dry with even the odd glimpse of the sun.
Total 60km / 37 miles. 6 ½ hours including coffee/lunch stops.
Pleasant views north across the Dickensian sea marshes and rotting hulks to Sheppey which we reached by the old road crossing over the Swale with the new dual carriageway soaring above. Steep climb to Minster Abbey and its gatehouse museum, closed until Easter, but we ran west along the spine of Sheppey to the comfort of a very retro pub dining-room overlooking the broad Thames estuary towards Southend. The scudding clouds and flashes of sunshine provided a fine spectacle, little did we realise the wind would freshen and give us a hard time as we rode the causeway south off the island .Light rain was falling as we pulled in to Rainham for the fast train back. We congratulated each other on completing some 50 miles on 2 wheels then sought the home fires. -
East Croydon. Great day, great cars, great company. Tom
It was never going to be a normal led ride with so many and inevitably we split into informal groups with stops now and again to regroup, watch the 500-plus cars spluttering up hills, grab a bite, have a natter, and down a pint in Ansty. One or two peeled off before the South Downs but most made it to Brighton and despite train works made it back to town by bike or roundabout train.
Usual wonderful atmosphere as we all shared the road and swapped banter, smiles, waves and encouragement. Some cars needed it - the usual saga of folks getting out on hills to lighten the load, getting out to push, and the inevitable explosions of steam and oil.
Thanks to all who enjoyed the day - spectators, various folks by the side of the road with their car and vehicle collections, to the old crocks and their cheery occupants, to the mostly very patient modern car drivers, to the marshals and the police.
Fish and chips were munched on Brighton beach with nicely chilled beer.
Tom Crispin led a separate ride numbering around ten I gather. One of his riders has posted today, Tuesday that he's still grinning from ear to ear.
Another memorable day - respect to the original seven who started this four years ago and to the folks who kept it going last year amidst appalling weather when I was unavoidably somewhere warmer.
Some pics of the day. Weather totally dry this year again and the sky
somewhat bluer than it appears in many of these pics.
A Keystone Cops style "movie" of one chap's progress, including his trip back.
And a log of the cars we saw, whizzed pass, encouraged and commiserated with on the merry road to the sea:
cheers chaps - to next year - first Sunday in November
I’d aspired to do a club ride for a long time. I met the Greenwich Tritons at 08:30 Saturday for a spin out to Kent. The fast boys went off (to Eynsford?) Sarah led the “beginners”. Melissa had not cycled for two years and bought her snazzy looking road bike the day before. A very fit Carl was on his upright mountain bike (mudguards – no rack), Ruth on her borrowed road bike, me on my “racing” bike – complete with mudguards, rack, compass, wing mirror... Melissa did not enjoy the ride (come out with Greenwich Cyclists on an easy ride Melissa!) Ruth did amazingly well. I think her borrowing idea is the best. It really does pay to try as many bikes as you can before you buy. Carl swept past me on a number of occasions. Sarah had a bit of a cold, a hangover and an itinerary so there were no leisurely coffee breaks/lunch stops. We were back in Lewisham by 1pm and I hope if Melissa/Ruth see this they will subscribe to Greenwich Cyclists - through which they can message me. Alternatively join a leisurely ride which can sneak the miles in without you noticing. If anyone fancies a shorter/quicker spin out, the Greenwich Tritons meet by the tea hut on Blackheath at 08:30 on a Saturday.
We gathered 13 intrepid riders at Hayes Station before our departure at 08:50 - including Tom & John ? from Charlton, Ray from Addington, Andrew and myself from Bromley, Jay and two others from Hackney, William from Islington, Trevor and Helmut from Deptford/Brockley, Guy from Brisbane and Richard from Gillingham ...soon we were out in countryside ...with yours truly fighting hard to keep up at the rear !
Trevor led us ...whilst William ably map-read and corrected some small errors .. plus had to catch some of the swifter riders who whizzed off the wrong way ...three or four times! Ray, as usual was our trusty rear guard ....which I (for one) was very grateful for.
After 37 or so miles ...we arrived at our lunch stop ...much in need of sustenance ..after all the hills that had to be surmounted. The Oak at Ardingley set aside a small room for our intrepid party ...where we remustered our energies over the next 1.5 hours for the final miles and the dreaded Ditchling Beacon.
All of us made it up on the top of the rather large escarpment that is the South Downs ..via the Ditchling Beacon road ..though a couple had to walk up a bit ( including me )...next time we will go over the Devil's Dyke ...which is a bit less steep and ..more importantly has rather less traffic.
So ...all of us made it back to Brighton Station by 18:00, minus three of our group had to break away a bit after lunch to get an earlier train ( they made it too).
We all felt a sense of achievement at having completed a ride that was considerably more of a challenge than the rather more famous London - Brighton. Thanks to Trevor's improved routing we were on quiet lanes most of the time ...plus some B roads ...and the last bit into Brighton is always busy anyhow.
So ...we will be doing this again ...in June or July ...and hopefully the weather will be a bit kinder to us, so that a visit to the Beach can be the grand finale.
Seven at Cutty Sark Gardens, including five from Southwark, met one more at Eltham Palace having cycled up the hill in Greenwich Park, over Blackheath, through the private Cator Estate then into the Ferrier Estate and on to Sutcliffe Park where we spent some time looking at the river Quaggy wetlands and saw a heron. Up through Middle Park Avenue and past St Saviour's Church which won the RIBA Gold Medal in 1933. Off road and climbed up King John's Walk which, on such a clear day, gave a good view over London when we stopped to pick out buildings marked on a conveniently placed plaque. Busy Eltham Palace was just about worth the £8 entrance fee but the staff could be less officious and the daffodils could have been out more. All eight joined in lunch in a pub in Eltham High Street before seven returned via a different, and more direct, route to Cutty Sark Gardens along the side of the A2. Six had a quick look round the new Discover Greenwich before tea in the café there. One went back up the hill home, one had a further look round Discover Greenwich and the remaining four returned to Southwark.
Four of us met at Cutty Sark Gardens for a tour of Lewisham’s borderlands: Roy, Francis, Gareth and Teri.
Starting off we wound our way west along the river, then south along Norway Street and Norman Road, diverting briefly to inspect the controversial Deals Gateway junction at the intersection of Greenwich High Road and Blackheath Road, which has been the subject of much comment in the Greenwich and Lewisham eGroups recently.
We then meandered further south along the Waterlink Way as far as Elverson Road DLR station, from where we headed uphill towards Blackheath, crossing the heath itself and then going south through the Cator Estate to Lee Green and down towards Grove Park.
We then crossed the Orpington-bound railway line near to the Hither Green sidings, manoeuvring our bikes with difficulty through some awkward gates, but it was worth the effort for the far-reaching views from the bridge, across the expanse of railway tracks and beyond.
From here we cycled through the Downham Estate where Lewisham borough borders Bromley, and on reaching Beckenham Place Park decided to stop there for an early lunch in a café which is part of the club house (the park includes a public golf course). The club house with its peeling paint and general air of faded grandeur had clearly seen better days, but the café itself provided good quality all-day breakfasts and similar fare at a reasonable price, and our food arrived promptly. It was a delightful sunny day and we sat for some time on the patio looking out over the golf course and woodland, chatting and absorbing the sun’s warmth.
Leaving the park we sailed on towards Sydenham, passing under another railway line at New Beckenham. Then we headed north through Forest Hill, by now firmly back in Lewisham territory. From there we crossed yet another railway line - this time the line between New Cross Gate and Croydon - via the Eddystone Road bridge.
We then progressed via Brockley to Telegraph Hill Park , with its panoramic views over London , and dipped downhill from there towards New Cross Gate, continuing north to Surrey Quays, past an empty Millwall football ground, then through Southwark Park .
Shortly afterwards we dropped into the Decathlon store before following the river back to Cutty Sark, where we met Anthony along the way.
All in all, a nice relaxing ride which I for one (Teri) would like to do again. Once you start a conversation with somebody it’s hard to notice all the twists and turns you have taken on an urban ride and it would be good to know the route for the future.
97 Serpies embarked from various airports for some winter sun and early season training. We took two swim coaches, one running coach and one cycle coach. About 12 took their own bikes, others hired there or used the “all inclusive” bikes available from Club La Santa. Club La Santa has a 7 week programme of activities which include windsurfing, kayaking, aerobics, pilates, etc. Serpies had their own schedule but it was all optional. I spent first two days lying in a darkened room feeling nauseous with a headache. I managed to collect my bike during this time though and found myself sharing a room with two very focussed triathletes, neither of whom I’d met before but who tip-toed around in a most considerate manner until I was back on my feet. The supermarket there was expensive (€3.5 for a small box of vanilla tea bags) but once you’d got the basics, like cereal, pasta, etc, it was not so bad. A big barbeque was provided on the first evening (down by the pool!). The last night’s meal was included in the cost of the trip too. I think it was about £400 including flights. Costs varied according to how many you share with. Swimming lessons commenced (before the sun came up!) at 7am. We had lanes booked from 7-9 each morning and 5-7 each evening. At midday there were lagoon swims as well as bike rides to sea (kit was driven for a €5 fee to the sea) where racing and open water drills were undertaken wearing wet suits. Each day there were long and short runs, ditto bike rides. The roads are incredibly smooth almost everywhere. The prevailing wind from the Atlantic meant the air was fresh. There were hardly any cars. Lanzarote’s main “exports” seems to be triathlon, health and sunshine so they really work on the smooth road attracts cyclists and runners principle. Almost every week at La Santa there is a cycling/swimming focus. Some Serpies seem to go there throughout the year – not just with the Serpentine Running Club. You do not have to be a nutty athlete to enjoy the ambiance. Some people just have the beginners’ swimming lessons then soak up the sun/see the sights. All is optional. It was Serpie’s 18th year there. I normally worry about my carbon footprint.. I think Lanza has just taken my eye off it…
Just one other Lewisham & Greenwich Young Cyclist, Kane, for today's ride through Oxleas Woods. The rain had stopped and the wood was empty, so we had the place to ourselves.
Deep puddles and plenty of mud made for an interesting ride; slippy uphills and exhilarating downhills. We paused at Occupation Lane for a view over London. We could see the meandering ribbon of the Thames as it threads its way around the Dome, Canary Wharf and the London Eye; also seen were the Gherkin, the Post Office Tower and even Wembley Stadium.
On the way back Kane flew through the woods, getting airborne on several occasions and caked in mud at the same time. I went much more tentatively, picking my way between the newly formed streams and wary of slipping on tree
roots. For me it was a relief to reach the relative safety of the South Circular.
A 2 hour Sunday afternoon cycle ride. I must do these more often...
A 15min journey from London Paddington takes you to Southall in Middlesex. From here you turn right, head towards the Broadway, on to Uxbridge Road, left into Springfield Road. I had been to cycle racing training a few weeks earlier at The Goals centre and the joining instructions said “ignore the Goals Centre and continue to the turning on the right”. I mis-understood this to mean an entrance a few metres to the right. Having spun around the course a few times to keep warm, I ventured back out to the car park where I saw a fast bike on a car roof. A couple of other women had their bikes down. They directed me back out onto Springfield Road where I flew past Goals (as instructed) and saw a “Trek” awning set up with sparkling bicycles on display below. They would have handed me one then and there but I thought I should go in and “register”. A man was talking about womens’ anatomy and bikes so I took a seat while a woman called Bex whispered something to me about signing in. The talk was coming to a close and the speaker suggested that anyone who wanted to be measured on their bikes by Cyclefit should put their name on a list.
I was more interested in trying a Trek bike. Once I had signed in and found a place to leave my bags I left the warm room (comfortable and classroom like) noting there were tea, coffee, energy drinks and loos outside in the entrance hall.
“How much is that bike worth?” I asked pointing at the cheapest looking version. “£2.5k” was the reply. “Don’t you have anything for £1k?” I asked. “I want to try something I can afford”. “They are the same shape - just different components” I was told. “Do you have SPD pedals?” I asked. Some semi-platform pedals were produced and fitted by “Griff”. (He reminded me of Tony Robinson).
I took the bike up and down a path. Adjusted saddle height a couple of times. A couple of really racy looking women were admiring rather more top of the range Treks. One of which had electronic gear changing. I avoided eye contact.
Got chatting with a woman (in her 40s) who was on SPDs for the very first time in her life…“I’m like that, never do anything by halves”… (Continued to tell me how she knew nothing at all about cycling). Her friend Jocelyn had got her onto the course and sported a Trek bike £750ish of which she was quite proud and happy. She had been measured for it by a shop in Farnham, lip and pencil chewing… muttering about different values… Jocelyn was beginning to think she’d have to have a bike specially made… The Farnham shop looked at the catalogue and voila! This bike was the perfect size for her.
After about an hour of trundling back and forth, swapping shoes and trying Speedplay vs SPD (a long conversation..) organisers started to get anxious that we hadn’t done much cycling. About 20 of us filed onto the course where about (another 20?) had been training with three coaches. We were introduced to Mac, B (British Cycling) and one other [name?] and told that we would be divided once our skill sets differentiated us.
I was familiar with the course from a training session a few weeks earlier with John Leitch. It undulates, curves in various directions and has a long straight(ish) bit - normally into the wind - as it was on this day - even though we approached it in the opposite direction from my previous session.
A slalem had been set up and into an “apron” of tarmac a sharp right hand turn had been replicated with cones. We were told that we would go around the course “holding a wheel” then in twos, then in threes and so on, each lap adding a person to our side until we would go around maybe seven abreast. It was thought that the track would hold eight abreast but as we were new to each other that was probably not going to happen on this session. Once we’d gone around a few times and our numbers were building up it was decided we wouldn’t do the sharp right around the cones but continue in a straight line across them. The semantics of not speeding up when you’re at the front were explained (so as not to lose those at the back). We then had to cycle with our right hands on the shoulders of those to our right, then to the left.
Another exercise was to cycle in twos, dropping back when told but one to the left and the other to the right, trying to note how many people you have passed. The person at the back should let you know as you reach them you are at the back so you can tuck in behind them. You tell them when you are in. This exercise is about keeping the group tight, saving energy and improving concentration and communication. ... Now on the way to work I’m thinking about “holding a wheel” (even if it is that of a 180 bus to Lewisham).
The slalem (for me) was a nightmare. My right leg wants to touch the ground first which means my left leg wants to be at the top of the pedal stroke. This is fine when turning left, the left foot should be at the top. However, when turning right, the right foot should be at the top and the left leg should be almost straight (all the weight on the pedals)…. It is said that if you look in a certain direction the bike will follow… I must have been looking left because my bike kept going wide. We were set off in pairs and having been beaten by my partner on the first round I resolved thereafter to keep in front of her. My wide angles drove her towards the grass and it was NOT on purpose… I just could not snuggle up to those cones… We were in about 8 sets of pairs so we had just enough time between bouts to resolve to do better next time, look at how the others fared and get our breath back before we were set off again.
It was now lunchtime. We were ushered back to the warm building where amazing food in eco-friendly cardboard boxes was served with wooden forks. There were two chicken options and two veggie ones. My chicken seemed to involve lentils and cheese and was really savoury and filling.
Torq, tea and coffee were available as ever in the hallway but Mac was keen to get us back out on the Tarmac (maybe that’s where he got his name from?! ;) He told us that once out on the course we would be given a water bottle and asked to pass it to a certain person. “But I don’t have a bottle cage” I protested. “Stuff it down your top” I was told by a beefy looking young coach whose name eludes me right now. We were also introduced to a distinguished, lean looking chap [name?] who we were told was a 24 hour cycling champion.
I was disappointed to find that somebody had nabbed “my” Trek so I sadly retrieved my bike from its rack, removed its lights and a stray trouser clip, consoling myself that at least I had my mirror now to see who would be sneaking up behind me…
Back on the course Mac said we should stay in the groups we’d formed earlier. I found a slow looking group headed up by B whom I had not cycled with that morning but (perhaps) should have. I noted that some of the “slow” riders wore official looking bike club kit and fast looking bikes (one from Oxford University). My disappointment at being with them faded.
B called us forward. I nipped in quickly beside her. I decided if she was going to shout instructions over her shoulder I might as well make sure I could hear her. She plonked her hand on my right shoulder and used me to lean on while she shouted instructions to the pack behind. I concentrated on going in a straight line while she formed them into different patterns. Eventually a gap opened in the formation which I had to fill. I now felt under the spotlight whereas when she was leaning on me I felt nicely out of the way. My weaknesses would now show. Right hand turning, holding a wheel, the gaps started to open. “Accelerate to get out of trouble” was a useful tip (especially in the “swarm”). “You can see what’s in front of you, you can’t see what’s behind”. I began to realise that these club riders are a world apart from the kind of cycling I was used to. The only “fast” cycling I have done has been in Triathlon where we are not ALLOWED near each other. This is the exact opposite. You are supposed to be within a wheel’s distance of the person in front.
We must have gone around for about an hour passing the bottle back and forth (the fast cyclists joined us to form a “swarm” for this). We were then divided into two groups - fast and slow (guess which I was in?) The slow ones were sent off, given half (just half?!) a lap start then the fast ones followed. It was a four lap race. I still think we only did three but as we passed the van which marked the start (and the finish) we were waved down. “Two more laps to cool down” They shouted. I think I came third out of the slow ones (placed then). I did one cool down lap then sneaked off to see if the BikeFit guys were still there… nope, all packed up. The light was beginning to fade. It must have been a cold and breezy day for them writing down values, filming in the open air, conveying their findings. I’d already looked into having a session with them in Covent Garden but it would have entailed time off work. Don’t have that kind of time unfortunately.
There was an amazing array of cakes inside. Bex had been to Sainsbury’s and got more milk.
[Rebecca/Rachel?] then said would we like to do a warm down/stretching session (with some Pilates!)? Would we ever! Mats were laid out - there more of us than there were of the mats so doubling up was done. We were told that if we zipped up our insides and clenched (as if to stop oneself going to the loo) - especially when sprinting for the top of a hill or making a special effort - we’d get maybe 10W extra power going. We were told to strengthen glutes by doing the Jane Fonda thrusting your hips to the ceiling move (or the “Spider” if you ever did that in the school playground), the “plank” for core strength - but not as Ashtanga yoginies know it because in Rebecca’s plank you stayed in the air. In Ashtanga plank you drift downward like a piece of seaweed. I could go on but I am sure you would rather be stretching than reading this…
So, would I recommend this day to you? Well, if you ride with a club, ride drop handlebars and commute every day, yes. If (like me) you ride with mudguard, pannier rack, compass, mirror, etc I’d probably have to say drop the rack - but then how do you get there? We were told to bring a change of clothes etc as the weather COULD have been really nasty. I have yet to master the art of riding on drops with a rucksack full of alternative clothing. If I find a rucksack/helmet combo that works like this I will let you know. Meanwhile I was told “make friends, be nice to people with cars”.. I still felt good skimming past the cars when I left (with my rack and mudguards). You also need protection for your eyes if you’re going out with these fast ladies as the stones and grit that get thrown up is amazing… A real (eek!) eye-opener (ouch!) for somebody - like me - who is used to cycling around with CTC types with little flaps on their mudguards.
The stairs on both sides of the river are open during the following times:
* Monday to Friday 6am to 9pm
* Saturday 6am throughout the weekend until Monday 9pm.
The north lift should open on 29 September the south on 30 September.
Thames Clipper services run between Masthouse Terrace Pier and Greenwich Pier (the last boat from Masthouse Pier leaves at 9.49pm). Thames Clippers is only able to carry up to ten bicycles per vessel. Ticket holders will be boarded first.
Woolwich tunnel - closed Works continuing into August.
Regrettably, the additional unplanned repairs at Woolwich make it no longer possible for the lifts to be used by the public while the stairs at this tunnel are being renewed.
Cyclists wishing to cross the river can use the Woolwich ferry during the day.
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Riverside footpath east of Dome
The footpath by Bellway Homes is obstructed at the moment. Quintain have asked Greenwich Cyclists to let them know if the revised routing is unclear. They particularly asked for photos to be supplied. If you have subscribed to Greenwich Cyclists Yahoo Group you could email us links to photos and we could pass them on to Quintain. Teri spoke to Paul the Project Manager 25/3/11. He said that the path was not closed until 4 January this year. (They delayed closure from September to allow for the Bexley & Greenwich Cottage Hospice ride in October). Apparently notices there should indicate the path is closed until Mid-April. Quintain hope to open before this date. Tom's ride will go that way 3 April and Julian and Teri will be doing a Sustrans path inspection (hopefully 9 April) but any feedback to yahoo groups gratefully received.
Many thanks for your assistance.
Greenwich foot tunnel has no lift and is closed from 9pm to 6am
CCTV and electrical upgrading is taking place.
Thames Clippers (a 4 min journey) run:
Northbound: 06:16 until 23:18 Mon-Fri 08:58 until 23:28 w/ends
Southbound: 10:52 until 00:37 Mon-Fri 10:17 until 00:45 w/ends
Cross River Tickets cost £3.20 £2.15 with Travelcard £1.60 Freedom Pass £2.15 London Student Oyster £1.60 Child Single (under 5s travel free) £1.10 for a child with a travel card (1/3 off)
The contractors undertaking the work are Dean & Dyball 07974 443 550. If you leave a number and a brief message they will return your call.
Woolwich foot tunnel is completely closed
Woolwich Ferry runs:
Monday to Thursday
6.10am to 8pm, two boats (10-minute service)
8pm to 10pm, one boat service
6.10am to 8pm (Note: The last boat from the South is 7.45pm and the last boat from North to South is 8pm, so please allow extra time for your journey)
6.10am to 8pm, one boat (15-minute service)
Last trip South - North 7.45pm
11.30am to 7.30pm, one boat (15-minute service)
Last trip South - North 7.15pm
Greenwich Council and Tfl websites give no information regarding this Easter's operation. One can only assume it is Sunday operation.
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On 2 December Jeff Horsman attended a monthly Greenwich Cyclists and provided us with an update on progress on the tunnel refurbishment. Some of the details await final decisions, but a summary of points is as follows:
*Work has already started at night time on leak repair and other items as some of the budget has to be spent by 31-3-10.
*Closures of the Woolwich tunnel will take place during the day as the ferry remains an alternative crossing option.
*There will not be no lifting of the ban on bikes on the DLR
*Closures of the Greenwich tunnel will be limited to night time (10.00am - 5.00am), though full weekend closures are not ruled out.
* When the tunnels are open there will be either lift of stairs access at both ends. It should be possible to find out which of these options exists before travelling.
*Talks with TfL and Canary Wharf businesses are ongoing with reference to a subsidy for ferries in the event of a total closure during the daytime. This could occur in the event of unforceen occurences during the work or for limited amounts of the work.
* Tenders and Building Contracts will be awarded in January. Serous work is likely to start in February.
*Current levels of lift availability will remain until April 2010
*Wheel ramps on the stairs are being investigated. There is currently a trial ramp in a section of stairs at the Woolwich tunnel
*Eventually it is intended to provide a 24/7 automatic lift service with much more extensive CCTV, Help buttons and a fully staffed surveilance room.
*The wooden panneling in the lifts will be protected by glass and the white tiles in the tunnels will be retained. The lighting will be improved.
Please comment on the Council's intention to introduce a one way gyratory system between Deptford and Greenwich.
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Here's what Greenwich Cyclists have replied to Greenwich Council. They tend to count the number of responses from individuals so it would be good if as many locals as poss also responded by Jan 15 under your own name and in your own terms.
Click here to comment and add your own name to the comments.
Greenwich Cyclists have carefully studied the options and we make the following submission:
Option 1. We favour closure to motor traffic of the north and east sides of the present town centre gyratory; cycle lanes should be painted in College Approach and King William Walk North, or signs raised showing that cycling is permitted and pedestrians have priority. If the underground car park at Cutty Sark Gardens is retained, access should be only via Welland Street, thus closing the north end of Greenwich Church Street to motor trafffic. King William Walk south should have a cycle contraflow southbound to Greenwich Park and safe access to it across Nelson Road/Romney Road.
Greenwich Council should think boldly and work towards reducing, not facilitating, east-west traffic through the town centre World Heritage Site.
Option 2. We oppose the idea of a much larger 2-lane gyratory â€“ Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich South Street, Greenwich High Road, Norman Road, Creek Road -- which would encourage motor traffic to travel faster than at present; clear examples of this can be seen from the speed that cars travel on Norman Road and Creek Road at off-peak times. In particular, a one-way system would make cycle access to Greenwich rail and DLR station impossible from the east; Norman Road has an arched railway bridge unsuitable for a 2-lane 1-way flow; just north of the bridge an east-west cycle route from Deptford via Halfpenny Bridge hits Norman Road at a right angle â€“ how can those cyclists cross safely to continue their journey down Tarves Street and vice versa? Cyclists make a variety of journeys through Haddo, Tarves and Roan streets and Straightsmouth to avoid the primary distributor roads.
Option 2 is likely to increase traffic through Greenwich Park, on its highly unsuitable roads, unless it is closed to through traffic all day, as recommended in the recent CRISP stakeholder report.
Option 2B with bus and cycle contraflows on Creek Road, Greenwich High Road and Church Street is the least objectionable of the Option 2s.
Anthony Austin, Coordinator, Greenwich Cyclists
c/o GREENWICH CYCLISTS
20 July 2010
Greenwich Strategic Planning
48 Woolwich New Road
Woolwich SE18 6HQ
RE: Greenwich Town Centre Pedestrianisation
We have been nominated by Greenwich Cyclists, the local branch of the London Cycling Campaign — Europe’s largest regional cycling organisation — to respond to the proposals for the pedestrianisation of Greenwich town centre. We are both Greenwich Borough residents.
In short, we have a considerable number of serious concerns about many aspects of the current proposals. Several members of our organisation attended the recent public exhibition, met various representatives from the council and Hyder Consulting, and posed a number of key questions. A short summary of some of our major concerns include:
1 There are a number of junctions where it appears that cyclists will have to dismount and use pedestrian crossings in order to move from a footway or pedestrianised section onto a road (or vice versa). Some of these junctions are heavily used by tourists and likely to be congested. It will break the continuity of cycle journeys and discourage cyclists and we consider it to be poor design. It flies against all targets to increase cycle journeys and decrease vehicle dependence. Specifically:
1a) Cyclists travelling east and turning right from Creek Road into Haddo Street (to London Cycle Network route 2). Here, it also appears there may be a proposal for a resident ‘swipe-card barrier’ at Roan Street/Haddo Street junction – as one-of the busiest and safest routes in the area, this is absolute non-starter.
1b) Cyclists heading south from the foot tunnel and turning west into Creek Road at Greenwich Church Street junction.
1c) Cyclists travelling across Greenwich High Road to/from Stockwell Street & Roan Street. A safe crossing/turning point will be needed here. It is likely to be a very busy junction for cyclists.
1d) Cyclists travelling north along King William Walk (south part) and turning east into Romney Road, or continuing north across Romney Road into the pedestrianised King William Walk (north part).
2 Failure to provide a coherent joined-up cycle network. There are too many gaps, places where cyclists must join a footway or indeed there is no provision. Specifically:
2a) The junction where Royal Hill meets Greenwich High Road. Why is there no contraflow between Greenwich South Street and Stockwell St?
2b) Norman Road. Why is there no contraflow for the northern half of Norman Road? And why does the contraflow for the southern half cross from one side to the other at the railway bridge? Can it not remain on the west side of Norman Road?
3 We are concerned about the excessive dependence on cycling on the footways. Many of these are likely to be congested with tourists who are notoriously unaware of shared-use footways. In addition the quality of footways, especially for commuting cyclists, is likely to be inadequate.
4 Vehicular speed on the two-lane gyratory for cyclists wishing to use this route. We are unconvinced that this can be adequately managed by the use of signals, as has been suggested by some representatives at the Public Exhibition. Norman Road in particular is already narrow and houses numerous aggregate manufacturers, skip hire firms, scaffolding and building contractors, all of which employ a high number of large lorries (the type of vehicles responsible for the highest single percentage of cyclist deaths in London). Most authorities and road engineers are now designing gyratories OUT of urban areas since they are known to result in high vehicular speed and discourage cyclists and pedestrians.
5 We would like to see traffic calming measures in various locations around the town centre to avoid danger from the inevitable increase in
‘rat-running’ and local drivers trying to avoid the detour of the gyratory.
If these concerns. cannot be addressed, we feel that the very small gains from the project — ie a couple of short pedestrianised roads — are massively outweighed by the high number of associated problems, for all road users and local residents. By the council’s own admission, the project will not see any decrease in traffic volume, nor will air quality and pollution be improved (in fact, the opposite in all cases).
Of course, we would be very happy to discuss any of the matters mentioned above, possibly to consider more workable solutions, so please feel free to contact John on this email address (email@example.com).
JOHN KITCHINER LIZ DELAP
Editor, London Cyclist Greenwich Cyclists
Greenwich Cyclists now have a small pool of 5 bicycles for FREE loan for anyone wishing to join a Greenwich Cyclists ride. Bikes can also be hired by London Cycle Campaign member living in the London Borough of Greenwich for a £200 deposit and a nominal £5 per week (or part week) hire charge.
The bikes we have are:
1 X Riverside 3 Extra large
Suitable for people between 5'11" and 6'5" (1.82m and 1.95m)
2 X Riverside 3 Large
Suitable for people between 5'6" and 6'1" (1.70m and 1.85m)
2 x Riverside 3 Medium
Suitable for people between 5' and 5'6" (1.55m and 1.70m)
The bikes come with front and rear lights, a D-lock and pannier rack. Panniers can be borrowed if required. If you want to wear a helmet you will need to bring your own.
Children's bikes suitable for ages 4 upward may also be loaned. They come with helmets and lights if required; the larger children's bikes also come with pannier racks and panniers may be borrowed.
Bikes must be collected from Greenwich. Please do not ask for delivery!
Email Anthony well in advance (48 hours is good) to arrange a loan.
- General maintenance
- Lubrication/bike care advice
- Gear adjustment and servicing
- Brake adjustment and servicing
- Anything else (within reason) that you suggest to us by prior email.
Armada Centre, 21 McMillan Street, Deptford SE8 3EZ (where Evelyn St meets Creek Rd) Map.
7:15pm to 9pm
10 for each session (£8 concession for those on benefits)
Proceeds of this class will be donated to Sustrans Sustrans
Next class will be June 2011
Wed June 15th: Tires and Punctures
Wed June 22nd: Brakes
Wed June 29th: Gears
Please make cheques payable to "Greenwich Cyclists", and send to:
Julian Dobson, 66 Eltham Rd, SE12 8UE.
Also, please email Julian.Dobson@gmail.com stating that you have sent cheque, and provide a telephone contact.
Things to bring
- Your nicely cleaned bike (especially the chain).
- any bike tools you own, especially allen keys
- a rag, and gloves to keep your hands clean
- any parts you want to fit e.g. brake cables or pads, racks, etc (warn me by email what you wish to replace/fit)
Links to Sheldon Brown's Site
(everything you need to know about adjusting bikes)
- Changing tires: http://sheldonbrown.com/flats.html
- adjusting brakes: http://sheldonbrown.com/canti-direct.html
- adjusting gears: http://sheldonbrown.com/derailer-adjustment.html#rear
- LCC maintenance info: http://www.lcc.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=565
12th May 2009
You can download the Meeting Minutes in PDF format
Key items from the meeting
Some key items noted by Mike Freestone of Greenwich Council at the meeting with Greenwich Cyclists at the meeting on 13-5-09
1. LBG to continue to explore alternative ferry operations for key closure periods - this would be looked at as a paid for service as the available CIF budget needs to be focused on the refurbishment works. NB this applies principally to the Greenwich tunnel. This could come from a range of existing operators big or small.
2. When lifts are closed it would be helpful to cyclists if guttering could already be in place on stairwells to facilitate access for them.
3. Communications needs to be a carefully linked process with consistent messages and regular updates and advance notification integrated into the project plan - LBG website should be key location for data with hyperlinks from that to other sites e.g. Greenwich Cyclists for consistency and accuracy of message.
4. Notification of outline programme and key events to be made available as early as possible as contract preparations progress.
5. Potential exists for major business interests at Canary Wharf to be approached re subsidising ferry alternatives, also ticketing options to assist cyclists could be explored?
Foot Tunnel Update - November 2009
The difficulty of carrying bikes up the steps
Greenwich Cyclists have collected 1066 signatures from cyclists and pedestrians who want a firm commitment from Greenwich Council to keep any disruption to the foot tunnels to a minimum. The 10-1/2 sheaves of individual letters were given in packs of 100 at Woolwich Town Hall on November 9 to Councillor Paul Webbewood who then took them into the Council offices. Any readers who did not have the chance to sign are encouraged to send their own letters in.
Councillor Chris Roberts
Dear Councillor Roberts
Impending closure of the Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels
I am writing to object formally to the planned closure of the Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels for any substantial period. I believe the planned replacement of the existing lifts and refurbishment of the tunnels could and should be completed off-peak and in the shortest possible time. In the event of any complete closure of the stairs and tunnels, a replacement ferry service should be provided for the thousands of pedestrians and cyclists who use them every day.
We have been asked by Greenwich Council to check for latest info on their tweets http://twitter.com/#!/greenwichcouncl
We are told that the Greenwich lifts will be operational at the end of September. There is no access to Woolwich at present.
The Modernisation of Greenwich and Woolwich Foot Tunnels
Borough cycle groups of south-east London are delighted that Greenwich has funds to modernise and refurbish the two foot tunnels across the river.
We write to you on behalf of Tower Hamlets Wheelers, Greenwich Cyclists and Lewisham Cyclists, and also on behalf of Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists.
We have been told by Greenwich Officers that both tunnel’s lifts will be closed for a year, and that there will be complete tunnel closures for a substantial period within that.
We are deeply concerned about the proposed closure and, more specifically, about alternatives that will be put in place to serve the needs of cyclists and pedestrians.
The Greenwich Foot Tunnel is of course a key commuter route for cyclists with over 200 hundred per hour using it each rush-hour - more now than use Creek Road. A survey carried out by Greenwich Cyclists on 23rd March 2009 counted 424 cyclists using the Greenwich Foot Tunnel northbound between the hours of 7.00 and 9.00 am. It is also on a National Cycling Route and is of course very much used by local pedestrians and tourists. Some cyclists, for example children and older people, are unable to carry their bicycles up the stairs when the lifts are closed. These people will be hard hit by a lengthy closure. Another key use - the Greenwich night-time economy - is by pedestrians going home to the Isle of Dogs after the DLR has closed.
We are then very keen to help ensure than any such necessary closures are kept to the absolute minimum and would like to meet you and Officers about that.
When the Greenwich Foot Tunnel lighting systems were replaced about 4 years ago, total closure was at first proposed for about 2 months. After discussions, the work was done with closures between 10pm and 4am - at no more cost to the Council and at much less inconvenience to the public.
We would also like to discuss the provision of a temporary ferry during Greenwich Foot Tunnel closures and further consideration to allowing bikes on the DLR for the river crossing during that time. For the closure of the Woolwich Foot Tunnel our suggestion is that bicycles be permitted on the Docklands Light Railway between Woolwich Arsenal and King George V stations at times when the Woolwich Ferry is not running. From previous use of the DLR with bicycles we understand that the ban is due to concerns over evacuation of the trains in an emergency and that a member of DLR staff would have to accompany cyclists between the stations.
There's been no consultation at all yet of this transport dislocation that - although surely necessary - could surely be improved with discussion.
We look forward to talking this through with you.
Very best wishes.
Anthony Austin (Co-ordinator, Greenwich Cyclists)
Dave Allison (Treasurer, Tower Hamlets Wheelers)
Tom Crispin (Lewisham and Greenwich Young Cyclists)
Nick Raynsford,MP firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Peter Brooks email@example.com
Councillor John Fahy firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Ney email@example.com
Jim Fitzpatrick MP firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Rupert Eckhardt email@example.com
Councillor Shirley Houghton firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Tim Archer email@example.com
Councillor Phil Briscoe firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Peter Golds email@example.com
Councillor David Snowdon firstname.lastname@example.org
Len Duval (London Assembly) email@example.com
Andrew Boff (London Assembly) firstname.lastname@example.org
John Biggs (London Assembly) email@example.com>
Charlie Lloyd (LCC) Charlie@lcc.org.uk
Ray Smith (Greenwich Society) firstname.lastname@example.org
Living Streets email@example.com
Pedal Power – May / June 2009
Pedal Power 69 – December 2008
Pedal Power 68 – September/October 2008
Pedal Power 67 – May/June 2008
Pedal Power 66 – April/May 2008
Pedal Power 65 – February/March 2008
Pedal Power 64 – September/October 2007
Pedal Power 63 – July 2007
Pedal Power 62 – June 2007
Pedal Power 61 – May 2007
Pedal Power 60 – April 2007
Pedal Power 59 – March 2007
Pedal Power 58 – November/December 2006
Pedal Power 56 – September/October 2006
Pedal Power 55 – July/August 2006
Pedal Power 54 – May/June 2006
Pedal Power 53 – Mar/Apr 2006
Pedal Power 52 – Jan/Feb 2006
Pedal Power 51 – December 2005
Pedal Power 50 – November 2005
Pedal Power 49 – October 2005
Pedal Power 48 – September 2005
Pedal Power 47 – August 2005
Pedal Power 46 – July 2005
Pedal Power 45 – May 2005
Pedal Power 44 – April 2005
Pedal Power 43.1 – March 2005
Pedal Power 43 – December 2004
Pedal Power 42 – November 2004
Pedal Power 41 – September 2004
Pedal Power 40 – July 2004
Pedal Power 39 – June 2004
Pedal Power 38 – May 2004
Pedal Power 36 – March 2004
Pedal Power 35 – February 2004
Pedal Power 34 – January 2004
Pedal Power 33 – December 2003
Pedal Power 32 – November 2003
Pedal Power 31 – October 2003
There are more Pedal Power's from the past but these aren't in PDF format at the moment so we'll add them when we get time to save them as PDF files.
All our meetings are open to anybody who wishes to join us and we look forward to seeing you.
Please bring your bike into the meeting room with you.
We usually convene in the Dog and Bell pub round the corner afterwards for a more informal chat.
We will be adding the minutes from our previous meetings here soon.
Our instructors work on a voluntary basis, but Greenwich Cyclists make a small charge to cover insurance costs (see below).
We can provide training for adults or children, in groups of up to five or six, or on a one-to-one basis. If you want group training you may need to find your own group members.
Training can be at weekends or during the week, depending on availability of individuals and instructors.
Training venues can be arranged to suit trainees, according to where they live in (or close to) the borough.
We cannot provide bicycles, anyone wishing for training will need to have a roadworthy bicycle. We will give advice about your bicycle or suitable repair shops if necessary. We advise the use of a helmet for levels 2 and 3.
If you live in the borough you may be eligible for some free training from the council. Contact Michael Attride on 020 8356 8074 or Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to discuss your training needs or make a booking, please e-mail us
First Lesson Prices:
£12.00 each for adults. £8.00 each for concessionaries or children up to age 16.
Second and subsequent Lesson Prices:
£10.00 each for adults. £6.00 each for concessionaries or children up to age 16.
Level 1A (off road)
Bicycle control skills, including getting on, starting to pedal, steering, using brakes and stopping unaided.
1 session, for adults and children aged 5 or more.
Level 1B (Off-road)
Use of gears, manoeuvring to avoid hazards, signalling and looking behind without wobbling, stopping quickly with control, and carrying out a simple bike check.
1-2 sessions, for adults and children aged 7 or more.
Level 2 (Use of quiet to moderately busy roads)
Starting and finishing an on-road journey. Awareness of other road users, passing parked vehicles, passing side roads, turning right and left between major and minor roads and use of appropriate lanes. Basic understanding of highway code and road signs.
2-3 sessions, for adults and children aged 9 or more.
Level 3 (Riding on busy and complex roads. Route planning)
Using roundabouts, traffic-light controlled junctions and turning left onto multi-lane roads. Hazards and strategies to deal with them. Planning journeys, including (if required) specific routes. 2-3 sessions, for adults and children aged 12 or more.
Session numbers shown are for guidance, and will depend on the skills of those taking part.
If you would like to sign up for any training please contact Liz Delap on 020 8691 2065 or e-mail us
Children will need written parental consent and fees are payable in advance. Payment can be made using Nochex, or by cheque,
Cheques, payable to Greenwich Cyclists, should be posted to Liz Delap, 78 Royal Hill, London, SE10 8RT. Please also e-mail us and phone Liz on 020 8691 2065, stating the level you wish to work at, and your telephone number.