Cycle ride: Good Queen Brenda’s Jubilee Greenway

Where: Good Queen Brenda’s Jubilee Greenway
When: Sunday 7 April 2013
Meet: 10:00 @ Cutty Sark Gardens, London SE10 9LW

Brought to you by the South East London Commissariat for Social Cycle Rides Planning (aka the Dog & Bell Crew), a spin around the Great Wen along Queen Brenda’s very own Jubilee Greenway. This is a rescheduling of the Consumptive Greenway ride that was supposed to take place on 24 March, but cancelled owing to crap weather. This time we won’t bother with the chesty bit.

From Greenwich we head west along the Thames Path into central London, crossing the river at Lambeth Bridge. We then cycle northeast up Millbank through St Stephens, passing the Mother Of All Parliaments. From there it’s along the Mall to Brenda’s Gaff, and up Constitution Hill to Hyde Park Corner.

After terrorising the tourists on Rotten Row we exit Hyde Park by Kensington Palace, and make our way towards the Grand Union Canal at Little Venice. From there it’s onto and along the Regents Canal through Camden. We stay on the Regents Canal all the way to Victoria Park in Hackney. We then join the River Lee Navigation by the Olympic stadium.

From the Olympic park we proceed east, following the line of the Northern Outfall Sewer. At Beckton we leave the Greenway, cross the A13 via a ramped bridge from which there is a splendid view of the Beckton Alps, and cycle through Beckton Park towards the Royal Albert Dock. After crossing the Albert Dock Basin we head south, and cross the river using the free ferry to Woolwich. From Woolwich the final 10 kilometres runs along the Thames Path back to Cutty Sark Gardens.

Much of the ride is on canal towpaths shared with quadrupedal lifeforms and their accompanying two-legged bondservants, whose behaviour is not entirely predictable. On shared-use paths such pavement beasts have right of way. Gentle pings of the bell, restrained coughing and audibly obvious pedal unclipping are advised.

The ride is fairly long for a London outing, so bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you going. Also lights, puncture repair materials, and preferably a spare inner tube or two. We could stop for lunch at the outdoor café in Kensington Park Gardens. Please ensure that your brakes are fully functional, as talking an early bath in a London canal is not a good idea at any time of year, let alone the frigid spring of 2013. Total distance ~65 kilometres (325 furlongs in old money).

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