Nov 16th 2019. Here is the ride report from Ride Leader Amanda:
5 C’s & 3 T’s Canada-Cutty-Canary-Canning-Connaught-Thames Barrier-Trinity & Tower
24 riders left Canada Water and picked up 4 more at Cutty Sark. Weather was dull but dry with no wind, which was great for a beside the river and between tall buildings ride.
We set off from Canada Water along NCR route 4, we were the first to go over the new bridge over Surrey Water. This had just been finished been completed (closed yesterday, just taking the barriers away for us as we arrived.) It has been improved over the previous narrow bridge for us cyclists as part of Cycleway 14. New bridge is flat, has wider approaches and fewer cobbles. Onward through Russia Dock Woodland where another bridge is being replaced causing us to divert to get back on route to the Thames path leading to Cutty Sark.
After walking through the Greenwich tunnel under the river to the Isle of Dogs, we made our way along the west side and then over and along Millwall Outer and Inner Docks. We had trouble crossing Marsh Wall. I had intended us to all go together taking charge of the road with 3-4 abreast as there were filter lights at the section coming out of the dock. However a nuisance van driver insisted on splitting the group. All managed to eventually get across though not the safe way I had planned. Into Canary Wharf over the footbridge where there are 6 steps to descend and a lift used by those with heavier bikes. We did a complete circuit of Canary Wharf and had a brief stop at Westferry Circus for the views. During this stretch one rider had a puncture. Bruce and 2 others stayed and tried to fix it while the main group continued.
Leaving there via Trafalgar Way, we crossed the busy A1206 into Blackwall Way and crossed over to Bow creek. Next picked up a section of CS3 that took us to Canning Town station, a new CS3 section of path in front of the bus station is very helpful for getting us over the other side of the A1011 Silvertown Way. A smooth left and down Tidal Basin Road and forward to the Royal Dock alongside Excel. At this point we were rejoined by the 3 who had stopped to help with the puncture, but sadly not the rider with the puncture. Attempts to fix it had failed and the rider involved abandoned and made his way to a cycle shop for more expert help.
Riding out of the traffic along dockside is very refreshing, some commenting how wonderful the contrast is with some of the busy roads around Canary Wharf.
Continued to cross under the Connaught bridge that straddles both Victoria and Albert docks. Then virtually straight ahead into the northside of Thames Barrier Park. The sun was trying to break through, with great views of the Barrier and a very unusual low tide, we could see a fair section of the sand (mud) in all its furrows, usually hidden beneath the Thames. Through the wavy hedge maze and out onto the (much improved) cycle path along the A1020 North Woolwich Road. Crossing this we went down Mill Road and rode along the south side of the Victoria Dock, along Dock Road and over the Lower (although riding up seemed like the higher) Lea Crossing to reach our coffee stop at Trinity Buoy Wharf
The aim was 20 minutes here and thank you for all those that managed to keep to this. Some had coffee, many explored. The oldest lighthouse in the country is here (I have been told the world but not confirmed it) and today it was open. Some of us ventured to the top (it is actually tiny) stopping halfway up to hear Longplayer, the endless music installation (if you missed the ride, you can listen here) The Michael Faraday hut is in good order (see photo). There are many points of interest and photo-worthy subjects.
Leaving here slightly later than anticipated, we made our way along to Cycleway CS3 heading toward Tower Bridge. Through this section the group struggled to stay together due to the numerous traffic lights not being long enough for all of our bikes to cross at once. A crane (booked for one day only) blighted our path nearer Tower Bridge. Turning Left into Tooley Street once over Tower Bridge we headed to Canada Water safely along the Thames Path past the Brunel Tunnel and back to Canada Water 19 minutes later than planned.
I think we should add ½ an hour to this ride in the future as I would have liked to have added the East India Dock Basin on the way back and not hurried all away from Trinity BW so quickly. Thank you for all the kind responses when finishing the ride. It really was a great morning workout. Thank you to Bruce for organising Southwark Healthy Rides and for being a great back marker on the day.