• May 13, Royal Docks
  • May 13, Thames Loop
  • May 20, Victoria Park
  • May 20, Great Trees

Royal Docks Loop

Ride Leader Jamie. His short account taken from WhatsApp (The Vulnerables)

21 riders set off for Woolwich from the Southwark Needle who were expertly marshalled by Eva and Jean across multiple crossings to Greenwich. We boarded the DLR thanks to Phillipa’s clever suggestion which took us under the Thames to Silver Town. A brisk pace around Royal Docks and back to Greenwich where the north lift was predictably out of order. Mission accomplished at 1320.

Thames Loop

11 mile loop frm Canada Water to Greenwich, across the river, back along the northbank and across Tower Bridge. River crossing using DLR from Greenwich station to Mudchute. More reliable than the tunnel, and step free at both stations. Map of route: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1YputxtQpk_g_BVhieMCuf9HAtWs&usp=sharing 

Ride was led by Ed, his first try at leading. Here are his comments: “The riding was all fine. There were few riders but everything went well.  No punctures or other incidents. No-one joined at Greenwich.”

Victoria Park

Coffee at the ViewTube

Leader Amanda. 14 riders. Early start of 9.30 for this 3 hour ride to Vicky Park and Olympic Park with coffee break at the Viewtube. Here is Amanda’s report:

Weather was a perfect day for a cycle, warm and sunny. Start at London Bridge and headed over Tower Bridge. Sharp right through St Katherines Dock and through Elephant Dock, then along the Ornamental Canal to Shadwell Basin. A little Cycleway 3 to Limehouse Basin.  Short section of canal to Mile End Park, which having a dedicated cycle path throughout, is looking its best at this time of the year.  This led us neatly to enter the perfectly manicured Victoria Park. We rode the outer ring circuit, well attended by other bike users.  Exit at St Mark’s gate and onto graffiti laden Hertford Union Canal Path to enter the Olympic Park. Pleasant quiet lower level river banks ride towards our coffee stop at the view tube. (The new University path will give us a better and shorter access to this next year, but at present this is barriered off)

The return was via the A12 underpass at Three Mills through Bow estate headed to Devon Road DLR, left down Voilet Rd weaving to Upper North and Saltwell Streets, where we picked up C3 at WestFerry. Thames Path through the gardens to back to Shadwell Basin and same section as outward back to London Bridge.

GPX track of route from Eduardo.

Great Trees Ride 2023

Led by Bruce 9 riders started from London Bridge at the slightly earlier time of 9.30 and headed to Burgess Park. No stop at the Norfolk Island Pine as it has disappeared. The estate on Gt Dover Street was undergoing renovation. Looks as though this opportunity was taken to remove a large tree that was growing almost touching the wall of the block of flats.  The small “World Garden” at Chumleigh Gardens in Burgess Park has re-opened. Some unusual trees here, Chilean Wine Palms and a Stone Pine (rare in UK, native of Mediterranean). John’s phone app successfully recognised a Katsura, a rare tree in London, native of Japan. Next south to Lucas Gardens where there is a magnificent Tulip Tree, one from the Great Trees of London Map that forms the basis for this ride (map is in some bookshops).  The tree was covered in tulip flowers. Some had fallen and on examination are quite tulip-like. Very beautiful. There are several specimen trees in Lucas Gardens including a huge Copper Beech.

Next a long ride east to New Cross Gate station to view the Giant Redwood standing proudly next the tracks beside New Cross Gate Station. Continued on a zig zag route to Sayes Court Park where there is an old Black Mulberry. This has history. In the 17th Century Tsar Peter the Great stayed at Sayes Court while studying shipbuilding. The claim is that he planted the Mulberry tree. However the Great Tree Map doubts the tree is old enough. A good story, however.

The final leg of the ride included Lower Rd where a rare (for UK) tree has survived the best efforts of developers (so far). This is an Australian Southern Silky Oak. Used to be in front of Rotherhithe Police Station but is now in the corner of a large building site. But it still looks OK.  Last tree was a Tree of Heaven next to a small playground on Druid St. There are a lot of Tree of Heaven trees in Bermondsey thanks to the influence of Ada Salter (see our Salter Centenary Ride). Ada was Mayor of Bermondsey and amongst many other policies tried to “green” the area long before this became fashionable. She and her husband Dr Alfred Salter have their ashes interred in a small vault next to the tree.

Fine weather and some remarkable trees made for an enjoyable ride. Route Map at https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1WMWt1qLR_4_obNGcwNHD3Sghfv22eLEW&usp=sharing 

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