Cycle ride: “It’s Grim Up North London”

Enough of this Maggie Thatcher nonsense already. The world continues to turn, and so too do my bicycle wheels. For your delectation I offer a social cycle ride in London this coming Sunday. Thatcher famously didn’t believe in society.

Where: “It’s Grim Up North London”
When: Sunday 14 April 2013
Meet: 10:00 @ Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10 9LW (by the foot tunnel entrance)

Struggling to come up with a plan for my next Dog & Bell Crew ride, I harked back to an inner London outing several years ago organised by Camden Cyclists. I struggle to recall the name of the amiable and eccentric chap who led this scatty tour, but he was a veritable ancient, and rode a rickety old rustbucket that was even older, and probably weighed as much as him.

The Camden ride started in Belsize Park and made its way slowly southwest through Swiss Cottage, Maida Vale, Westbourne Green, North Kensington, Shepherd’s Bush and Hammersmith, before crossing the Thames and following the river to Mortlake and Kew. The lunch stop was The Ship Inn, just to the east of Chiswick Bridge.

After feeding and watering we headed south for a short anticlockwise spin around Richmond Park, and then along the south bank of the Thames to Chelsea Bridge. Crossing the river for a second time as a group we proceeded north through Pimlico to Knightsbridge, where I and my Camden friends went our separate ways. From Hyde Park I made my way back to civilisation via Westminster Bridge (fourth crossing of the day!) and the south-side Thames path. The total distance was around 80 kilometres, or 400 furlongs.

It has been a good few years since I rode with the Camden comrades, but I remember some interesting architectural sights from parts of London that are well off my beaten track and could do with revisiting. If you fancy a long and chaotic cycle around the Great Wen, do join me on Sunday.

We shall start from Cutty Sark Gardens in Greenwich, as per usual, crossing into foreign territory via the Greenwich foot tunnel before following the Thames Path north side to Narrow Street, and joining Cycle Superhighway #3 through Limehouse and Cable Street to its end by Tower Gateway. From there we ride through the City of London to Bloomsbury, and northeast up Southampton Row through Euston, Camden Town and Chalk Farm to Belsize Park.

I have a GPS track from the ride with the Camden folk, but haven’t attempted to follow it since, so there’s a good chance that on Sunday we will get lost. But hey, live dangerously! The temperature should be in double figures, so if we do go astray we shall not succumb to hypothermia.

The ride will be long, so bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you going. Also lights, puncture repair materials, tools and a spare inner tube or two.

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