16 of us gathered at Bromley South Station this evening eagerly awaiting the mystery ride. We had been given a few clues, we knew Spencer had a meeting to go to in South East London and would be meeting us there afterwards, so we had figured out it roughly where it might be.
The weather was glorious as we set off, many in shorts and T shirts, as we made our way around the back of Bromley. As we left John said ‘this is mainly a flattish ride’, which led me to think there would in fact be a few hills.
Our first challenge was a fairly rough path, covered with loose stones, which we managed to slide down quite well, a few deciding to walk it. Then it was on to Downham where we encounted what John referred to as a ‘slopette’, the rest of us preferring to call it a hill. Forster Memorial Park next and then around the back of Catford to Hillyfields, where we followed the winding path upwards, a bit of a challenge for some.
Up to the Whirlygig, a rather sleep spiral path upwards and then the same the other side on the way down, again a few deciding to walk it.
We were now heading towards Peckham and expectations were now building, where could it be, would it be a venue overlooking the Thames, maybe a boat on the Thames, a riverside bar, who knows.
As we came into Peckham we were following some fairly ordinary looking streets and quite frankly no-one had a clue now where we might be heading. Suddenly we came across a multi-storey car park and John said, “OK in we go”. There was a sign for cinema parking and I for one now thought we might be going to see a film. It was fun riding up the slopes, through each of the lower levels of car park. When we had entered the car park we did see people on the roof looking out, but still we hadn’t figured it out.
Finally we got to the top and there before us was the most enormous bar area with picnic tables and benches. Yes we had arrived at Frank’s Rooftop Bar with the most amazing views over the whole of London. You could see the ‘London Eye’, ‘Millennium Dome’, The Gherkin’, ‘The Shard’ and much much more. It was fabulous, such an unusual destination with a wonderful atmosphere.
We sat there for the rest of the evening enjoying the still warm weather, cocktails and conversation. Some people got the train back, some left early to cycle home and the usual suspects stayed until the end. Then it was time to go, so we unlocked our bikes and made our way back down the slopes of the car park. At this point Eve managed to hit one of the kerbs and took a bit of a tumble, and I believe our ride leader managed to trip over one before he actually got on his bike (and John only drinks orange and lemonade).
A lovely ride home, only spoilt by Stephen hitting a nasty hole along the Waterlink Way and taking a really bad tumble, resulting in many cuts and grazes, which I believe were very sore the next morning.
Well done John and very many thanks for organizing this evenings ride, thoroughly enjoyed by all.