Sun 10 May 2015
We gathered at London Bridge on a lovely sunny Sunday morning. In the end we were a total of 14 which was a perfect size for this ride along the south side of the River Thames.
At 10 30 am or very shortly afterwards we set off. Getting going on the central London bit is always a bit of a challenge, and today there were many tourists and other pedestrians enjoying the lovely weather.
The tide was out so the river was confined to a narrow ribbon of water with broad bands of slick mud lining the banks on each side. Gulls and cormorants wheeled and squealed about us as we progressed along the Thames path. At Battersea we spotted some Egyptian Geese.
We also stopped in Battersea Park for a comfort break and to take a look at the Peace Pagoda.
We stopped to watch one of the Duck amphibious buses navigate out of the river and onto dry land. At Battersea Helipad there were no flying operations today, so we pressed on past and soon reached the confluence of the River Wandle where we paused for a breather.
There were hundreds of Cyclist on the riverside today dressed in purple t-shirts, they were taking part in the Stroke Association Thames Bridges Bike Ride.
At Putney we stood in horror as one of our number confessed and recounted that as a youth he had thrown a bicycle off the bridge into the Thames. This terrible intelligence caused us much heartache, indeed if it hadn’t have been for the fact that it was the ride leader there is little doubt in me that he would have been thrown off the ride and told to make is own way home.
At Putney the metalled road surface gives way to a gravel track. We followed this as far as Barnes Boathouse where we turned away from the river and headed cross country towards Richmond Park.
We had lunch at one of the Park Cafes near to Pembroke House sitting in the pleasant afternoon sunshine for an hour or perhaps even longer.
Four of our number decided to leave from here, the remaining 10 of us headed downhill into Richmond centre where we again picked up the riverside path and so we turned for home. The journey along the gravel of the path was testing on the saddle region, we kept up a brisk pace too. The river banks were crowded with walkers and we did well to keep the pace and not cause inconvenience and upset.
We reached London Bridge at 5 pm and said our thankyous to the ride leader and goodbyes to everyone and headed home for a well-earned bath and dinner.
A great day out in London.