July 31st 2021. Ride report by Bruce.

25 riders at the Southwark Gateway Needle (south side of London Bridge) for the start. Organised into 2 groups with me leading the front group and Simon the second one. Aim was for group 2 to keep separated but still have the front group in sight. Dull day with chance of rain (only a few drops materialised).

Ride went smoothly through the City then picking up Cycleway 6 next to Holborn Viaduct and following this to Kings Cross. Paused at Granary Square which looked good in the occasional sunlight. Decided to avoid the towpath as there were lots of people about. Instead took the beautiful new bridge across to Camley Road (Nature Reserve still closed – still says opening Spring 2020!). Fine views of St Pancras Lock from the bridge. Short way up Camley Road took the ramp into St Pancras Gardens. This was the cemetery of St Pancras Old Church and has some spendid memorials. Johann Christian Bach, youngest son of JS Bach, is buried here. No-one knows quite where as he was buried in a paupers grave. Large memorial to Sir John Soane that we did not notice. Pity as we passed his house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields during the ride back. Next leg was on busy roads. Royal College St is fine as there is an excellent cycle lane. Kentish Town Rd is horrid, but was not too busy. Continuing up Highgate Road took us to Parliament Hill fields.

After setting up base at the Cafe, about half the group elected to walk up to the viewpoint on top of Parliament Hill while the other half had a rest and a drink. Set off on the return leg at 11.35 via the exit just after the running track. Followed back streets to Chalk Farm, then at the Roundhouse turned up Regents Park Road. At Primrose Hill we paused at the gate so that again about half the group could nip up to the viewpoint. Continued into Regents Park, exiting at Chester Road. Then across Marylebone Rd to Portland Place and back streets past the BT Tower to Gower St. At this point realised we had lost the second group. Phone calls and tracking back did not find them so pressed on expecting to meet them at the finish. Our route ran past the British Museum, then Lincoln’s Inn Fields to Fleet St. Temple closed, so east along Fleet St to Ludgate Circus. Finally down Cycleway 6 to Blackfriars and along Cycleway 3 to London Bridge. Simon was, as expected, at the finish having lost us and followed his own (quicker) route from Marylebone Rd to the Embankment.

The weather was OK, the views were great and there was lots to see. Back about 1.20. Will not be trying to do a “one group follows another” ride again on such a complicated route! Route at https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1S4E6QQQM4Dp18KOJMQexVb3yDDMXob7C&usp=sharing.

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