Ride ReportsMay 20, 2013 by Administrator
Five set off from Cutty Sark on a delightful Sunday morning but with only half a leader, the other half being laid up with a cough. The static Aston Martins in the Naval Hospital were negotiated and, by some, lovingly photographed. The echelon flashed along the wondrously open Thames Path past the Dome. A first puncture and blowout on the same bike delayed arrival at the Second Storey Studios near the Barrier, where a patient sixth rider joined the group for brunch refreshments. The studios were abuzz on Open Day and the Royal Iris Mersey ferry drew many to photograph its mouldering nostalgia. One rider stayed to enjoy the studios; the others flipped down to the Woolwich Ferry where they joined a big ride group of actuaries. We could tell they were actuaries because they all wore lycra vests inscribed with "Cycling Actuaries". The ferry was unfortunately too crowded to take a pic of such serendipity.
We negotiated the Crossrail works on the rive gauche. On second thoughts it may well be best to go further north of the Albert Dock by way of its East London campus if travelling west from the ferry. But it was worthwhile to see the Crossrail works and wonder at this biggest current public transport project in Europe. Thames Barrier Park, which doubles as a soak hole for global warming effects, was reached but judged too early for lunch. We therefore made for the Fatbuoys Diner on Trinity Buoy Wharf for a far healthier snack. And so by way of East India Dock and the Isle of Dogs (or Doge) to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. Both lifts were working and we negotiated the crowds and the barriers to regain the Gardens shortly after 2 o'clock.
Ian Blore (and Sarah Ellis)
Cheese Run Ride, Saturday 11 May 2013
Some of us rode out from London to join others who trained it out to Otford for our Cheese Run Ride to Winterdale Shaw Farm yesterday. A mix of sunshine and showers, beautiful bluebells, some hills, some great descents, and one wild, wonderful glide along the Knatts valley before heading back to Otford and thence to town. Plus a visit to Winterdale Farm, tucked away in the Kent Hills, where some of us bought wedges of their delicious, organic, carbon free cheese. Thanks to Andrew of Bromley Cyclists, for leading this one. Great route.
There's a much better and more detailed ride report from John on Bromley’s site
Rochester Sweeps Festival, Monday 7 May 2013
Five assembled in Cutty Sark Gardens on a glorious sunny bank holiday Monday morning, for a ride out to Rochester to catch the end of the Sweeps festival.
After riding along the road to Woolwich, we picked up another eight punters from Newham, and continued on through Plumstead to Abbey Wood, where one of the Newham chaps had his first puncture of the day. Just as we were about to set off again that lean mean cycling machine Jurek the Magnificent rode by on his way to Whitstable. Jurek joined us as far as Erith, where he promptly accelerated to Warp 1 while the rest of us continued pootling along the A206 toward Greenhithe at a relatively snail-like 25 km/h.
Between Greenhithe and Northfleet our Newham friend had a second flat on his knackered front tyre, and decided to call it a day. Now 12 we continued on to Gravesend, stopped for an early lunch at Gordon Promenade, picked up another two riders, and lost two of the Newham folk to a family commitment.
Twelve went on to Rochester via the Thames and Medway Canal and the old Rochester Road, taking in Upnor and Strood, before meeting up with a Rochester resident cyclist who hails originally from Lewisham. Our new friend's preferred watering hole in Rochester is the Man of Kent, where I had suggested that we deposit our bikes and partake before going for a stroll in the town. The Man of Kent is an ale house of renown, and a locals pub known for its live music. Over a pint we listened to a folk rock band do their thing, and rather good they were too.
Some of us walked through the town in advance of the finale procession of the Sweeps festival, and had a wander around the castle grounds before making our way back to the pub. From there eight of us retraced our outward route back to Gravesend, while others took a train from Rochester.
At Gravesend we lost another three to the train, leaving five, including two from Newham, to up the cycling pace along NCR1 through Dartford to Erith and the Thames Path to Woolwich, where the Newham Two took the final ferry across the river.
Three exceedingly knackered survivors made it back to Greenwich at around 20:15. Today I have sunburned forearms and creaking bones.
Surrey Docks Farm, Sunday 28 April 2013
I led this ride was because I had cleared out my garden and come across a vast number of flowerpots of various sizes which the Farm always welcome. There were too many pots for me to carry to the Farm on my own so I was pleased to see three punters at Cutty Sark Gardens all with either panniers or a rucksack. We shared the pots out between us then instead of riding westwards to the Farm, we cycled eastwards to the Royal Steps in front of the Old Royal Naval College to take a quick look at the archaeological dig which was going on there investigating the Tudor Landing Stage. Then back westwards towards the Farm arriving just before 11.00. We gave Gary the Farm Manager the pots then he joined us for tea at the café. The Farm was busy and will be busier on Saturday 11 May which is the date of their Spring Fair. Two had a quick walk round watching the many goats which now reside there. We left to return to Greenwich at about 11.45. We lost someone at the Pepys Estate but found him safe. We all made our way home from Creek Road. An enjoyable short ride in good company and dry (windy) weather.
Locks, Docks and Sundry Ale Houses, Sunday 15 July 2012
Nine set off from Cutty Sark Gardens on what may yet turn out to be *the* summer day of 2012. Not particularly warm, mind you, but dry, with a few patches of blue sky visible between the clouds.
Firepower café closed to the public, despite the information published on the museum's website, so instead we visited a posh pub around the corner in Woolwich for coffee and a late breakfast while waiting for the first ferry. SMS excuse for absence from Alex Crawford, Dear Leader of Southwark Cyclists, but no apologies from other no-shows who'd said they would come on the ride.
One of our number turns out to be an off-duty rozzer in between shifts. Best behaviour called for.
A slow-paced ride through Silvertown, avoiding the high-vizzers and general f**kwittery around the Excel Centre, a short diversion to the Bow Creek Ecology Park beloved of Barry Mason, a lunch stop at Fat Boy's Diner on Trinity Buoy Wharf, and a visit to the lighthouse.
Back onto the Thames Path to St Katharine's Dock, following which a short spin through the City, and across the river to Bankside via the Wobbly Bridge. Another text message from Alex "!!!" C while supping the first pint of the day in the Founder's Arms. WTF.
Back on the saddle, sans two who left for home far from civilisation (i.e., not SE London), east following the Thames to Deptford, and a second pint in the Dog's Bollox.
For me a birthday spent in the company of some fine friends, old and new.
Dr Francis Sedgemore
journalist and science writer
London Sky Ride 2011
London Skyride 2011 video
Thames Barrier Artists Open Studios - 18 November - Ride Report
Six at Cutty Sark Gardens on a clear, bright, mild November day. One regular phoned to say he wouldn't be joining us because he had dog-sitting duties and puncture problems, while another phoned to say he'd meet us there. We started out eastwards with two health warnings: 1. the studios didn't open until 11.00 so don't ride too fast as we had an hour to get there; and 2. I had family obligations in the afternoon so didn't want to be too late back. We stopped to admire the knitted tree and lamppost covers along the Thames Path http://www.thegreenwichphantom.co.uk/2012/09/thames-path-knitwear/ and had a photostop for a picture of the cable cars as they look their best on a sunny day. We were welcomed at the open studios with open arms and plenty of bike racks. After checking out the dilapidated ex-Mersey Ferry moored up alongside and the potential for a cycle path through, we accumulated in the cafe for tea and cakes before going to see the various studios. It seemed like a vibrant, lively and creative atmosphere for the illustrators, designers, milliners, still life artists and others who inhabit the small, modern and well-fitted out workshops. One made her own way back to Plumstead, one waited for one more who got so engrossed she missed our departure time, one made his own way back and three sped back cutting across the peninsula on the second-favourite cross-peninsula route. One of them went to Sainsburys and the other two went up to Blackheath and home.
Local Almshouses 14 October
A healthy ten at Cutty Sark Gardens on a beautiful, bright October autumn day. Our first stop was Greenwich Station to view the almshouses opposite then on to Greenwich South Street. Up to Blackheath, cut through to Lee to see the Merchant Taylors Almshouses on Lee High Road. On to Eltham via Sutcliffe Park and the Yorkshire Grey Roundabout cycle parth where we had our first puncture. Through the Middle Park Estate and up King John's Walk (aka Dog Poo Alley) to Eltham Palace where we had our second puncture. Phillipotts Almshouses behind Eltham High Street before lunch. On to Charlton via Westmount Road, Well Hall Road and Academy Road to see St Luke's Almshouses in the village where I hope to end up as they're close to the Valley and some are on one level. Through the backstreets of Charlton and Blackheath to Morden College where two left to go Cajun dancing. Down Vanbrugh Hill to the Hatcliffe Almshouses in Tuskar Street, East Greenwich. Then on to Trinity Hospital where one of the residents overheard us so leant out of her window and corrected our history. From there everyone made their own way home. Thanks to Gig, Jane, Alan and Kathy for puncture repair services and Ian for backmarking.
Eric's Evening Ride 5 July
Five desperados met at Cutty Sark Gardens (or as now known as Nandos Vista) in near perfect summer weather for the evening jaunt. All went well with near perfect timing at the Woolwich Ferry. A few txts from latecomer invisible Paul and we extended the ride via Royal Albert Dock.
All went wrong soon after. It seems the Excel Centre has been cordoned off with endless security gates, metal fences and 14 year old security guards who watched us amusingly try to circumnavigate the area.
'Can't go round here mate'.
'Oh no mate, you'll have to use the road'.
The road to nowhere it seemed.......... Every route seemed to end at a fence and further high-viz clad officials.
Then started the tour of Tower Hamlets and areas unknown. I wouldn't say we were completely lost but Canary Wharf seemed to be disappearing in the horizon. Eventually we found the Thames. Two left us to see the Shard event - the others were relieved to get back to the Greenwich Foot tunnel.
A quick drink at Meantime and another high-viz official with radio earpiece.
'You can't drink that here in a glass, it could be dangerous weapon'.
One more high-viz official that night and I may have cried.
Next Evening Ride we'll stay south........... in case we get Tazered.............
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