Report on Healthy Ride + on January 18th 2020 from Jane Champion, Ride Leader.
24 riders left Burgess Park in bright sunshine, though the temperature remained low throughout – complaints of cold hands and feet were overheard!
We followed the route as planned, heading north up to Regents Park via Waterloo Bridge, Covent Garden and Bloomsbury. Road re-surfacing work at the start of Museum Street had been completed early so no need for a diversion along Grape Street off Shaftesbury Avenue. After a partial circuit of the inner circle we had a break at the Regent’s Kitchen – it seems to be a popular spot for park visitors and many cyclists so it is surprising that the extensive outside seating area has no bike racks for safe cycle storage – some of us stayed outside to keep an eye on things.
Out of the park and then through quieter streets of Marylebone until we reached Hyde Park. En route we crossed a number of busy road junctions – Marylebone Road (on foot), Baker Street, Gloucester Place, Edgware Road, Bayswater Road – bunching up at Advanced Stop Lines (with a lot of encouragement) to get the best chance of crossing as a group. We waited to regroup after getting split up at the lights several times but overall this didn’t delay progress.
On into Hyde Park where the last traces on Winter Wonderland were being cleared up, giving the poor battered grasslands a chance to recover before the next onslaught. We had time to divert past the Albert Memorial, gleaming under the sun, rejoining the designated cycle path at Alexandra Gate and onwards to Hyde Park Corner. At Constitution Hill we stayed on the main road as the cycle lane appeared crowded with pedestrians.
Where Birdcage Walk meets Great George Street I noted that a new café now occupies the little lodge house (and former tiny police station) and made a note to stop next time I’m passing.
Once we were across Westminster Bridge we had an uneventful run back through Kennington and Walworth with several people peeling off at convenient spots on the way. We got back to Burgess Park dead on time. Thanks to everyone who joined us for this lovely ride and to Nigel for being our back marker.
Many thanks to Jane for leading. If you missed the ride and would like to try it for yourself, route is at https://gb.mapometer.com/cycling/route_4989284.html.