1. London Bridge to Kensington Palace
  2. Dulwich to Streatham Common

London Bridge to Kensington Palace

16 cyclists at London Bridge (by the Needle) at the early time of 9.30 on a day perfect for cycling: sunny, dry, no wind. Headed down Duke St Hill then sharp left under the Bridge. We followed a cycling route past the Clink and Borough Market (nice and quiet at this time of day) towards Westminster Bridge. Diverted a little loop to riverside on a quiet and wider section along upper ground – a nicer view and the sun was shining on the north bank. Continued over the Westminster Bridge and along the Embankment to Horse Guards. A very pleasant walk through the arch and ride across the parade ground, then straight down the Mall.  A film crew prohibited us from using the road, so we diverted to the cycling route alongside it for the most part. The filming did us a favour actually, as no vehicular traffic around meant we had a nice quiet and whole road section around Buckingham Palace and up Constitution Hill. Across Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens to Kensington Palace. We had a quick stop to admire the sunken garden, the branch covered arch walkway around it and the relatively new (2021) Diana and children statue – always wonder who the girl is? (can’t find an answer.)   

Stared the return by looping around the Albert Memorial and then headed straight down to his Bridge via Queen’s Gate Road and South Kensington, (5 blue plaques counted on this section). Cycled over the bridge and turned left into Battersea Park.  Straight through the park to a really busy Battersea Power Station, that opened its interior retail expanse for the first time the day before.  Nice ½ hr coffee stop at the Black Cab Café at Nine Elms -where are the 9 elms actually? There are plenty of bike racks here and it was just warm enough to sit outside. Home stretch through Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and cycleways back to London Bridge. We looped around the back the station via Bermondsey Street as it was safer.  (Roadworks at the front.) 

 A very pleasant ride, lots of chatting among old and new friends. Back around 12.30 when all left to go various ways from outside London Bridge Station Entrance.  

Thank you to Anthony, then Simon for back-marking – it was very much appreciated. 

Dulwich to Streatham Common

8 riders at the Café in Dulwich Park set off with Bruce leading to Streatham Common on a route we had not done since Feb 2020, before the pandemic. Undulating ride on streets, mostly quiet. Took a small diversion early on to see what was happening in the Herne Hill Velodrome. Large group of cyclists training on the track; the usual bunch of young people over the far side preparing to ride the mountain bike trail. Continued towards Streatham and used 2 stage right turns (a safe way to right turn at major crossroads) at the South Circular and Norwood Rd. Made good time so had a coffee stop at the Rookery Café on the Common. Three of us had a stroll down and up the striking Rookery Gardens – impressive piece of landscaping. Small but busy Saturday Market attracted some interest. Eventually extracted everyone from the market. Return leg started with a stiff climb on the path out of the Common. Then again mostly street cycling starting with a winding downhill that eventually brought us to a climb to the top of Norwood Park. Clear distant views back to the City and Canary Wharf. From Norwood Park all downhill back to Dulwich. Thanks to David and Jeremy for back-marking.  Route at https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1kBbbdTgFkDK21x3M60BAGCWP5FyFhirl&usp=sharing. Link to GPX file below

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