Mild January day saw about 10 riders gather at Canada Water and board the Overgound to Sydenham. Overground trains are very roomy so easy to travel with a bike. And Canada Water station has excellent lifts. Met more cyclists at Sydenham Station so 23 of us set off on the ride to Canada Water.
Down through Mayow Park to Bell Green where we joined the Waterlink Way (National route 21). After the busy, impatient, traffic on the descent it was nice to ride on the traffic free path. Very enjoyable mile or so including the “wiggly” bridge in Ladywell Fields. The bridge across the railway with its circular ramp is always a challenge. Many managed to ride it while the sensible ones walked.
At the north end of Ladywell Fields the path abruptly ends at the B236 Ladywell Road. It always amazes me that this dangerous short section is not fixed. Heading north in or out of Ladywell Fields it is necessary to cross a busy road with limited visibility. The only controlled crossing is more than 100m from the park entrance to the west. But we did all cross safely and continued on roads past the new Lewisham Leisure Centre and into Brookmill Park. For a further stretch we had a traffic free path and could ride beside the Ravensbourne River whose valley we had been following.
Exited Brookmill Park and crossed the A3, joining CW1 (ex-Q1) on Creek Side (the Ravensbourne having now become Deptford Creek). Continued on CW1 to Folkestone Gardens. Some significant tree clearing by the lake in Folkestone Gardens. Probably designed to reduce the shade and allow a greater variety of plants. The willows cut down to stumps will likely regrow strongly as pollarded trees. Next turned north off CW1 to Deptford Park and across the A200. Needed to use the pedestrian crossing phase on the lights there. At present this has a narrow pavement with railings and is difficult to access on a bike. When CW4 is completed later this year this crossing should be easier.
Last stretch was along the new Surrey Canal Linear path, round Greenland Dock and past Tesco. Everyone back safely at Canada Water just a tad after 12.
Route map at https://goo.gl/4DQ9Tb; GPX file below.