- Lord Mayor’s Show
- Parks, Cemeteries and a Museum
Lord Mayor’s Show
About 19 riders gathered at the Southwark Gateway Needle by London Bridge on a pretty decent November morning. All ready to find some traffic-free roads and watch a bit of the procession under the expert leadership of Werner, whose report is below.
Unusual for this time of year to have so much sunshine on one of my rides. No wonder the survival rate was much higher than I have been used to. Just one rider dropped out while we were waiting for the coach to arrive at Mansion House, she suffered from the cold.
Starting from London Bridge and not Canada Water as in previous years meant that we reached (after the traditional mandatory stop at Whittington House to remember the most famous Lord Mayor) Bank junction early. A few embarrassing minutes wondering how to keep the peloton entertained before anything happened but we didn’t have to wait long before the first soldiers and a coach arrived.
We had positioned ourselves at the top of Queen Victoria St, that gave us a good view of the different flocks of military people and listen to Jamie’s running commentary. No idea how he managed to identify most of them, maybe by their distinct plumages. But even he failed to classify a bunch of pedestrians in red with white stockings, cardinals was our best guess. (Research afterwards found an old picture, third from the top https://t-e-o.net/lord-mayor-show-london/. They turned out to be sailors up the road with paddles but no boat.
We moved on after the two minutes’ silence, down a pleasantly empty Queen Victoria Street into the definitely-only-once-a-year Victoria Embankment contra-flow. Up to Fleet Street where we received some (very sparse) applause from spectators desperate for something moving to cheer. As last year we were stopped by a nice policeman before the Law Courts and told we had to walk a bit. With today’s huge demand for police at other locations in London we may have had the benefit of getting those less willing to react to aggressive members of the public. So down Essex St and a twisty route unfamiliar to most and back on the Embankment. CS3 had ‘cycle lane closed’ signs but who cares when all the other lanes were ours and we could spread out.
Of course, we then met the tourists and didn’t even try the bike lane across Westminster Bridge. But not many cars, so no problem. And early enough to avoid problems with the far right fighting the police near the Cenotaph and overspilling onto the bridge. But my spy reported that a rebellion was brewing at the back of the peloton, not only a cold day but apparently some riders suffered from cold turkey after more than two hours without coffee. As nobody minded getting back a bit later we stopped at the National Theatre for coffee and a rest in the sunshine. And an early taste of Christmas, Jamie had brought mince pies. Southwark Street was extremely congested, maybe because of bridge closures, so back to NCR4 after Blackfriars and weaving through more tourists near the Clink and behind the market for a 12:20 return.
Parks, Cemeteries and a Museum
Simon leading a group of 8 riders on a circular route from Peckham Square.
Brief comment from Simon: “It was a lovely ride, with a few more hills than usual. Fab weather.”
Some nice comments on WhatsApp (The Vulnerables). From Jackie “Great cemeteries ride…” and from Paola “Great ride today with fantastic weather” (also photos from Paola).
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