On Sunday four of us set out for London, Steve, Stephen, Mel & Eve, a very last minute ride as the weather looked good. We had a fairly brisk ride to London via the Waterlink Way to Greenwich, three of the party being on their single speed bikes.
Once at Greenwich we walked through the foottunnel and stopped the otherside for a coffee in the glorious sunshine. Steve then lead us through a myriad of footpaths, alleyways and roads, through Tower Hamlets, past the boats moored in the canals and onto the Limehouse Basin. On the way we were delayed for 15 minutes while a rather large mast/pole was lowered slowly to the ground, coming to rest safely on several bales of hay. Apparently this was to service the lights at the top, but was fascinating to watch, we stepped back once or twice, just in case.
We stayed on the north side of the river, the sun was shining when suddenly we came across several large sailing boats and barges moored alongside a floating pontoon, and they just happened to be having an open day.
A community of around 12 large vessels, shower and toilet block and even a small meeting room. As we walked between the boats a young man asked us if we would like to come aboard and have a look around. It was amazing, three bedrooms, large lounge with a full size three piece suite, bathroom and fully stocked kitchen with freezer and even a dishwasher. This boat was 100ft long and built in 1905, this was a real added bonus, to what was already a lovely ride.
Then we were lucky enough to be invited onto another boat, it really was fascinating. At the second boat Eve got shouted at by the boat owner, ‘wait there’ he cried as a sudden large wave caused to boat to move away from the mooring. ‘You don’t want to fall between the boat and the mooring, because you won’t come up’ he said. Eve was a bit worried about climbing up in the first place, being scared of heights, so this didn’t help.
Unfortunately a couple of us had to be back home for the afternoon, so we left the boating community, thanking them profusely for their hospitality and headed back across Tower Bridge to London Bridge Station. Thank you to Steve Watkin for leading the ride, we look forward to Richmond Park next weekend.