Cycle ride: Fenton’s Springtime Foolery

Where: Blackheath to Richmond Park (Fenton’s Fancy, via the Lewisham Alps)
When: Monday 1 April 2013
Meet: 10:00 @ Blackheath Pond, SE3 (by the Princess of Wales pub)

Brought to you by the South East London Commissariat for Social Cycle Rides Planning (aka the Dog & Bell Crew), a springtime bank holiday outing from Blackheath, across the Lewisham Alps and westwards along the Thames Path, taking in central London, Battersea, Wandsworth, Putney and Barnes, before turning south for a 45 furlong spin around Richmond Park. The return leg will follow the Thames Path back to Greenwich.

The route takes us first from Blackheath along the Waterlink Way to Ladywell, before heading through Brockley and Honor Oak, where we nip up and over One Tree Hill. Then it’s Dulwich Park and LCN25 to Clapham Common. From Clapham it’s on to Battersea Park, and join the Thames Path by the Albert Bridge. From Battersea Park westwards the terrain is marked by lots of plush riverside housing developments, and the local fauna by its lack of chins.

We leave the Thames Path by the London Wetland Centre in Barnes, and head south through woodland Barnes and Roehampton. After a clockwise circuit of Richmond Park, which will involve some steady climbing and descents, and a lunch stop at the café, we will rejoin the outward track at Sawyer’s Hill. At Battersea we will then continue along the Thames Path through Vauxhall to Westminster and beyond, finally leaving the riverside at Greenwich.

The ride could if we so wish end with some well-earned liquid refreshment at the renowned Dog’s Bollox hostelry in Deptford.

For those of you unfamiliar with Richmond Park, the following video portrays an everyday scene from this wonderful outdoor space…

Enjoy the deer now, before half of them are shot.

The ride is around 70 kilometres (350 furlongs) in total, and there are several train stations en route for those wishing to bail out. Much of the ride is on riverside paths in very good condition, and the ride is suitable for all bikes.

Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you going through the day, puncture repair materials, preferably a spare inner tube or two, and lights.

RSVP, but it’s OK to turn up unannounced on the day.