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This was a re-run of the Loiterers Christmas in Westminster ride last year (see Blogs 13th December 2015 for the route). That ride had started with two hours of light drizzle but fortunately this time it was a clear sky and a gentle breeze. I'd said this would be via a different route but would take in as many London highlights as time permitted. Chris Kinsey, Sandra Gladwin, Geoff Clegg, Alan Potter, Alec Martel, and West Middx rider Steve Ayres accompanied leader John Owen on the ride towards Westminster.
The ride started very plainly going along the A40 cycle path, past Northolt Station, down Horsenden Lane and onto the canal path. We reached the Ace Cafe within the hour for the first stop of the day. As you would expect at Ace Cafe, there were lots of people there using vehicles with two wheels but there were only seven of us burning the calories instead of burning fossil fuels.
Back on the canal as far as Ladbroke Grove, we left the canal at Sainsbury's and going along several back roads we found ourselves on Bayswater Road and then went along Broad Walk across Kensington Gardens, past the Albert Hall, along the road in front of the fantastic Natural History Museum, and down through Chelsea to reach the Thames. It's an impressive view as we crossed the Albert Bridge and cycled through Battersea Park before going back across the Thames on the Chelsea Bridge. We cycled along the CS8 Cycle Superhighway and then through Westminster to Buckingham Palace. Cycling all the way around the gardens of the palace made us appreciate how big it is and it was mentioned that Brenda lives there rent free!
We went past the Palace of Westminster (aka The Houses of Parliament), across Lambeth Bridge, and just like last year, we stopped on the riverside for a joint photo showing the palace in the background. After a short run down another Thames cycle path we went along Whitehall as far as the Cenotaph and then returned back for the lunch stop at The Lord Moon of The Mall. On the same trip last year Alan's bike had been stolen from very near here, so this time we left the bikes in a very viewable spot and used many more locks than you'd see on a Chris Kinsey Chiltern ride. Alan still didn't trust the visitors in Trafalgar Square and he ate his sandwiches outside whilst admiring the site of Nelson's Column. It turned out Alan probably did the right thing as the Wetherspoons pub was very busy, and as we couldn't get a table most of us sought our calories from glasses of ale.
It was still a very clear sky and only about 2:30pm so the ride along The Strand, through Covent Garden, and along Piccadilly didn't produce much in the way of bright Christmas lights. There was a minor detour to point out the statues of two 20th Century figures (Charles de Gaulle and Robert Falcon Scott) and we were soon cycling along Regent Street, through Soho Square and along Oxford Street. It was now starting to go darker and as the lights began to stand out more we encountered the first of two separations in Mayfair; firstly right next to the American Embassy and then five minutes later by Marble Arch. Back together again to cross Hyde Park on the recently opened 'real' cycle path we cycled past Kensington Palace, through Notting Hill and then along lots of back roads to go through Wormwood Scrubs and past the prison.
As we again cycled past the Ace Cafe it was suggested we could stop there for a late afternoon tea but this idea was rejected by the majority. It was then through Wembley and around the ring road of Northwick Park Hospital (where two of the riders work) before proceeding through Harrow back roads (and allotments) and reaching Ruislip. Chris Kinsey did point out the route from Northwick Park was the exact way he takes twice a day and thought perhaps we could all pay a licence fee for using his route. Ruislip was the end of the ride and Alan Potter took the role of Assistant Leader and escorted Sandra, Alec, and Geoff back to Uxbridge.
|Started in:||London, England, GB|
|Elevation:||+ 1516 / - 1530 ft|
|Departed:||Dec 11, '16, 10:08AM|
|Starts in:||London, England, GB|
|Selected distance:||51.1 mi|
|Elevation:||+ 1516 / - 1530 ft|
|Selection Moving Time:||05:03:28|
|Max Speed:||22.5 mph|
|Avg. Speed:||10.1 mph|
Best format for turn by turn directions on Edge 500, 510. Will provide true turn by turn navigation on Edge 800, 810, 1000, Touring including custom cue entries. Great for training when we release those features. Not currently optimal for Virtual Partner.
Useful for uploading your activity to another service, keeping records on your own computer etc.
Useful for any GPS unit. Contains no cuesheet entries, only track information (breadcrumb trail). Will provide turn by turn directions (true navigation) on the Edge 705/800/810/1000/Touring, but will not have any custom cues. Works great for Mio Cyclo. Find GPS specific help in our help system.
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