Sunday 22 October London Ride

The weather today was fair after the rigours of Storm Brian on Saturday. Though still windy the strength was much reduced and it stayed dry throughout the ride. It was though notably colder with temperatures of about 11C. The ride was led by David Sinclair who had devised a great convoluted route with many paths and back streets. There were 12 on the ride in all. On the train from Bognor there were David, Michelle, myself, Maureen, Tony and Alan. On the train from Chichester there was Jeff and Bob and Christine (Shoreham). Meeting us at Victoria there was Roger, Alan’s son Paul and his friend Dan. We had regrouped by the Whistlestop Store and none of  noticed our disobedience of the very large sign.

To start off we took a lot of backstreets from Victoria  to Westminster passing some closed off streets where they were filming Mary Poppins 2. Not sure if they filmed yesterday as they might have had some unintended realistic effects. Then it was on via Horseguards to The Mall which is closed to traffic on Sundays, normally this is full of pedestrians but there must have been something special going on. First a policeman told us to ride single file and then a little further on we were directed off to the side.

After riding along the closed off to cars Constitution Hill Road we negotiated Hyde Park Corner via the pedestrian lights and rode the cyclepath through Hyde Park. Then it was backstreets to the Paddington area to join the Regents Canal shared use path. At a brief stop I took the opportunity for a group shot with a less than ideal backdrop but the path was too narrow elsewhere.

We continued on the path passing London Zoo and Camden Market and eventually coming out at the North end of Kings Cross where there is a major redevelopment underway. At a quiet new square we found a cafe for elevenses.

Leaving the Cafe we passed the offices of a fairly well known firm.

Next we took the only busy road of the day, The Seven Sisters Road passing The Emirates Stadium to get us NE to the Walthamstow Wetlands Centre where we stopped for 20 minutes to look round the freshly opened last Friday Visitor Centre. Then we joined the River Lea shared use path to stop for lunch at a riverside cafe next to the Rowing Club. We just managed to get a free table. Despite a long queue service after ordering took minutes so they were pretty efficient.

We continued on the Lea Path south to the Olympic Park and a few phone calls to meet up with Jeff who had missed lunch to spend more time at the Park. We opted out of Ice Creams as it was too cold.

A short way on we met up with Jeff and stopped for a group photo.

The route was not without its obstacles and where they want cyclists to dismount they put a ridged surface on  not possible to ride except by a determined mountain biker.

The return route from near Canary Wharf took us on the CS3 Cycle Super Highway where a good part of the road space along the North Bank has been put aside for cyclists separated by a kerb from the cars. The first picture is on Lower Thames Street between the Tower of London and London Bridge. The second picture is on the Embankment approaching Parliament and Big Ben somewhat obscured by scaffolding.

We returned to Victoria with 10 minutes to spare before a train home at 5.02. The route covered 28 miles and our thanks to David for working out the intricate route taking us away from traffic most of the time.

 

My latest picture was taken at Newhaven on Saturday with a long lens from a safe location at lunchtime at the peak of the storm. I would say it was the right call to cancel the Saturday afternoon ride.

See a larger picture and more details at https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwinjones/37842599822/in/dateposted-public/

Edwin

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