London Freecycle 2016

Again 100 people of all ages from Richmond met up on the green for a feeder ride up to the traffic free streets of Central London.

RichmondWe had a pleasant ride through Kew back streets and Strand on the Green before hitting the traffic of Chiswich High Road and shooting the rapids of the Hammersmith Gyratory to reach the haven of Kensington Gardens.

KensingtonThe actual Freecycle course was longer and less congested than on previous years and it was good to see small children, some with balance wheels , zooming about the streets of London.

Some 40 of us returned getting back to Richmond at about 4.30 and everyone seemed to have enjoyed their day.

Thanks to all the volunteer marshals and especially Cllr. Jean Loveland taking her role as cycling champion very seriously.

Rides for Everybody – 21st May – Palaces of West London

Meet Richmond Little Green by theatre at 10.00am.

We Cross the Thames and pass through the grounds of Sion House before heading up the Grand Union Canal to Norwood Green. A country lane takes us into the wide spaces of Osterley Park where we enjoy coffee in the stables before passing the mansion on the way home. About 10 miles, quiet with some slopes. Should be back around 12 ish.

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osterley 002Six signed up but only two of us met up at Richmond on a cloudy morning. We managed the change of path at Ranelagh Drive and the ride up the canal was pleasant as always – we even got a glimpse of the sun.

Rides for Everyone – Coffee at the Palace – Saturday 16th April

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Meet Mortlake Green by the Station 10.15

We cycle by the Thames all the way down to Putney Bridge which we cross to Bishop’s Park and a break at the cafe in Fulham Palace. Return via the Wetland Centre and a glimpse at the “Arab tent” tomb of the explorer Richard Burton. 8 miles and flat so definitely a ride for everyone. – back about 12.

No takers – maybe just as well as the towpath would have been muddy after the previous day’s rain. There does seem to be a pattern that easy rides are not attractive ?

 

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Please let me know if you are thinking of coming – all welcome. Paul – rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

Ride for Explorers – Olympic Park via the new CSHs. Sunday 8th May

Meet Barnes Green by the pond 10.30.

We head over Hammersmith Bridge and make our way to Hyde Park the Mall and probably the Strand to join the updated Cycle Superhighway 2 towards Bow before diverting through Victoria Park to to Olympic Park for lunch – probably in the velodrome.

On the way home we cut across to the improved CSH 3 to Tower Gateway where we get onto the East-West superhighway to Westminster and so back to Barnes.

Just 2 of us met up at Barnes. The Superhigways are now open and reasonably well used on a Sunday – lots of “Boris Bikes”.  Pity we don’t get to see one in Richmond. The velodrome cafe does provide sandwiches.

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Rides for Explorers – Off Road in Surrey to Norbury Park – 3rd July

NorburyMeet Twickenham riverside 10.15

We head South via Kingston and Tolworth before heading away from the traffic along the Hogsmill and then through Horton Country Park and Ashstead Common. Emerging in Leatherhead we pass through the Mole gap before climbing to Norbury Park – Southern England’s best approximation to an alpine meadow. A Track takes us to Brockets Farm for lunch and our return journey features a foot/cycle bridge across the Mole , Oxstead Common and Claygate woods. 37 miles with a serious hill. This has been done on a fixer but not-over-narrow tyres would be comfortable.

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Six of us met up on a sunny morning.  We tried a slightly different route along the Hogsmill (shorter but busier main road section ) and the path into Horton Park was very muddy. The surface improved and the all-weather path across Ashstead Common lived up to its name ( some engineers know what they are about). By public request we stopped for coffee in Leatherhead High Street (pity about the litter of parked cars) which fortified us for the climb to Norbury Park. An efficient lunch service at Brockets farm saw us moving to a table with umbrella to keep off the sun  .

After lunch back to mud for a cut-across and then to a delightful footbridge across the Mole , a muddy track into Claygate and a luxury cycle track on the Portsmouth Rd into Kingston. Back in Twickenham at 16.05 after an enjoyable and scenic day mostly well away from traffic.

Ride for Explorers – Windsor Great Park – Sunday 3rd April

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Meet Twickenham Riverside 10.30. We head up the Crane then some unavoidable suburbia across Shortwood common into Staines.  After going through Egham we climb to Englefield Green for lunch at  the Sun Inn. We then enjoy the traffic free roads across Windsor Great Park and make our way through Sunningdale and Chobham Common descending to Chertsey to return along the Thames. About 37 hilly but scenic miles.

You can find a route for the ride here – Route

Nine of us turned up on a sunny Twickenham Riverside including one person who had ridden from Slough , a family from New Malden and a rider from Barnes to whom Twickenham Riverside was new. We successfully negotiated the suburbs and the climb up to Englefield Green where we felt we had reached the countryside.  The Sun Inn offered a larger menu than last time at the expense of longer waiting times so it was later than we expected that we reached The Great Park – to find the gates closed – a Duathlon was taking place. We tried again at the Saville Gardens entrance where we cycled very slowly on a busy path before diverting back to the usual road. The road down to Blacknest Gate had an impressive display of daffodils under flowering trees.

The road to Sunningdale passed through woodlands with yellow Skunk Cabbages and  Chobham Common was bright with Gorse before we headed down through Chertsey to Hampton Court where we split up to our respective homes.

 

Rides for Everyone – spring along the Crane – Saturday 19th March

Meet Strawberry Hill station 10.30. We get  to the Crane via Mill Rd  and head upstream to the borough boundary. Crossing the river we travel down Hounslow’s new path on the south bank of the Crane to Kneller Gardens and Twickenham where we cut through back streets back to Strawberry Hill.

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If weather is good we will have coffee in Kneller Gardens , if less good we will try the Airparks Leisure centre.

Fairly flat, short, low traffic ride. All welcome especially beginning cyclists.

In the event no beginning cyclists were evident but Sonia and I had a pleasant ride enjoying the last of the daffodils  and first of the bluebells.

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Contact Paul : rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

Rides for Explorers – 10th January – Box Hill

Meet Twickenham Riverside – by Eel Pie bridge 10.00.

Our traditional post-turkey jaunt. On/off road quiet route to Box Hill then a steady climb to the viewpoint and lunch in NT Cafe at the top (as the pub we used to patronise is now a trendy wine-bar). Enjoy  a switchback descent taking us most of the way home. About 40 miles in total. Better bring lights but expect to get back before 4.

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Looks OK for Sunday but there has been so much rain recently that the commons will be very muddy. May have to grit teeth and go out by Hook Rd (back by normal route).

IMG_20160110_122433040Both the people who said they were coming cancelled and no-one turned up on spec but as it was a decent day I did the ride anyway.

Hook Rd isn’t too bad , on a Sunday morning anyway, and I got to the top of Box Hill by 11.30. The usual bicycle crush. On the way back checked the refreshment van on Headley Common ( second instalment of lunch ) – will be operating every Sunday so may be a useful lunch stop. Back in the Borough by 1.30.

Paul – rides@richmondlcc.co.uk

 

Rides for Explorers – Surrey Woodlands to Polseden Lacy

Sunday 4th October

Meet at Twickenham Riverside 10.00. We head out across Bushy Park and through Thames Ditton to Littleworth Common and Ardbrook Common to reach Cobham. Crossing the Mole we follow lanes to Bookham Common and up to to NT cafe outside of Polsden Lacy. On the way home we add Oxshott Common and Claygate woods.

37 miles mostly away from the traffic.

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Of the seven people who had signed up four of us met on the Riverside and one more joined at Polesden Lacy. (The remaining 2 cycled to Polesden Lacy but didn’t identify our group). It was sunny all day and the scenery was marvellous.  With a dry surface in the commons and well-matched riders we made good time and were back in Twickenham by 3pm.

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Contact Paul : .- rides@richmondlcc.co.uk