Cycle ride – Lewisham borders

Where: Lewisham Borders
When: Sunday 8 December 2013
Meet: 10:00 @ Blackheath Pond (by Princess of Wales pub), SE3 0RL

Brought to you by the Southeast London Commissariat for Social Cycle Rides Planning, aka the Dog & Bell Crew, a 40 kilometres (200 furlongs) circumnavigation of the glorious, semi-alpine London Borough of Lewisham. A tip of the hat to Esteemed Comrade Gareth Scarlet Esq. of Greenwich Cyclists for the basis of the route.

From Blackheath Pond we head south through Lee and west through Downham, at one point passing alongside the mighty River Quaggy. At Beckenham Place Park we will stop to feed and water in the cheap and cheerful park café.

The route then continues west to Sydenham, before turning north in Crystal Palace Park. From Crystal Palace Park we ride along Sydenham Hill to Forest Hill, then to Dulwich and Telegraph Hill.

After that it’s all downhill, except where it isn’t. At first northwest through New Cross, and then northeast to Greenland Dock in Rotherhithe.

On reaching the Thames, we shall pootle along the Lewisham Riviera as far as Convoys Wharf, at which point we turn south through Deptford, following the Waterlink Way to Morden Hill. After a short sharp climb up Morden Hill we emerge back onto Blackheath.

What I especially like about the Lewisham borders route is that much of it is along quiet roads and through parkland. It is hilly in places, and there are a few stretches of busy main road, most notably Sydenham Hill, but it’s quite safe provided that one cycles both sensibly and assertively.

The hills aside, on this route there is nothing too difficult, and the overall pace will be slow. This will not be a race reserved for owners of expensive road bikes clad in overpriced Lycra tights; we will be out to enjoy ourselves, and experience the delights of Lewisham from a perspective that for some may be unfamiliar.

Accompanied children are welcome, provided they have some road cycling experience.

We will be back after sunset, so you must bring lights. Also wear bright clothing, wrap up warm, and bring basic tools such as a puncture repair kit and preferably a spare inner tube or two.

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