Leader: Geoff Stilwell — 20 km – 12.4 miles
Eight of us met at Sidings Community Centre. Jean, James, Joy, Morten and Oliver and Dominic carrying his little daughter Iena.
We set off through West Hampstead for the climb up to Golders Hill Park. Some were struggling with the steepness of the climb and had to push their bikes. Jean was grateful for her electric bike which took the strain.
When we arrived at Golders Hill Park we met up with Jon who had come down from the north to meet us there. We sat in the sun and enjoyed our first ice creams at the Cafe and watched James fix a puncture.
After checking our tyres for foreign bodies we set of towards Hampstead Heath. From Spaniards Road it was all downhill on one of the very few cycle paths over the Heath. Good brakes are needed here to control your speed on the gravelly paths. We safely emerged at South End Road by Hampstead Heath Station. After a short busyish section of Constantine and Agincourt Roads we got onto the relative calm of Southampton Road taking us down to Chalk Farm.
Putting our bikes against the railing by Morrisons Superstore we crossed over to Marine Ices for our second ice cream while James looked after the bikes. Morton worked out later that each ice cream was 400 calories a scoop which we may have worked off during the ride (perhaps). Dominic and Iena had to leave us here. Iena had not long recovered from a broken leg and she was starting to feel uncomfortable. She was a very brave girl so far.
Back past the Roundhouse we crossed over the railway bridge and through Primrose Hill and over Prince Albert Road onto The (very busy) Broadwalk through Regents Park.
Just a cup of coffee sufficed for our third break at the Garden Cafe on the inner circle. Too much of anything is not good (especially ice cream).
Heading back we took the Regents Canal to Lisson Grove and then the back streets of St John’s Wood and West Hampstead where Jean and Joy pealed off leaving the five of us to get back to Sidings.
What you said about the ride
Thank you for organising such an amazing ride as this, thoroughly enjoyed it….not so much the upward hill :0( but did not mind giving it a trial :0). It was good fun in good company with James, Jean, Jon, Dominic and Iena, Morten and Oliver and of course you :0). Looking forward to the next planned ride and hope the timings will fit into my regular Saturday routine.
Geoff’s ride was a shining example of the following: “Children love cycling – it’s fast and fun, and gives them freedom and independence to get around. And you don’t need to wait until your kids are old enough to ride themselves to start enjoying the benefits of cycling as a family.” Thank you for a very enjoyable afternoon. Jean