Must be about the fourth time we have done this ride- it’s becoming a Bike Week classic.
20 of us at Cutty Sark Gardens. A good number aged from ten to about 60, diverse group of cyclists, set off on a fine summer evening. Everyone pootled through the back streets and pleasant bit of the Waterlink Way, then our first and least picturesque ascent, Friendly St. Our youngest member decided it wasn’t a good name for it and he is probably right. But from then onwards the streets were friendly. Through peaceful, treelined Brockley, across the main road safely up to Telegraph Hill and our first Wow moment. Riders new to our borough never expect such fine views. Then on down, through quiet streets, cyclepaths, over the railway, through a different part of Brockley and up to Hilly Fields and its impressive stone circle and just as impressive city scape. Down to ride a wee bit of the Waterlink Way, over the Curly Wurly bridge and up to Blythe Hill which offers almost 360 degree views of the capital. Quiet roads again, then up to One tree Hill. Views and a historic site with stories to tell. What more could you want? The next ascent is the Col de Canonbie, steep but short and then a little tour of the Horniman area, ending in a beautiful descent of Ringmore Rise where all of London seems to open up in front of your eyes as you glide down. By now the sky was a stunning mix of golden clouds, setting sun and blue sky, with a real atmospheric glimmer sparkling across the sky and the glittering towers of glass and steel. Magical. Then down the little path, bordered by the old railway track on one side and the Horniman Gardens on the other, from whence we could hear the gentle toll of the dusk bell, warning park walkers closing time was approaching. One last hill for us, named Sydenham, then quiet treelined roads to the pub. This ride on a warm night brings a thirst, so the pub was welcome- a fine evening to sit outside and chat about the ups and downs of the day.