It was bright and sunny but there was a nip in the air and a little wind so we all wrapped up warm. Nine adults and three children met at Sidings Community Centre: Meade, Joe, Kris, Jon, Eugene, David, Morten, Tracy, Max, Rex, Oliver and Geoff. After checking bikes and inflating tyres we set off through Maygrove Peace Park to West Hampstead.
After negotiating a tiny section of the busy West End Lane we were able to turn onto the much quieter Broadhurst Gardens and Fairhazel Gardens following the proposed ‘Jubilee’ Quietway cycle route. We crossed the Finchley Road using the Boundary Road cycle crossing and then down Ordnance Hill and Charlbert Street to Regents Park. Here we had to walk across the canal bridge to the Outer Circle where we cycled again around to the Broadwalk. This is one of the few places in Regents Park where cyclists can join hundreds of other people out for their Sunday constitutional.
Pausing briefly at the Broadwalk and Chester Road intersection, and sampling some of Tracey’s mini doughnuts, we set off along Chester Road for the Inner Circle. I was envisaging the young boys might want to see how fast they could go around the Inner Circle, but everyone in the group decided to try a lap (Meade managed 2 laps). Of course we all stayed within the speed limit of 20mph.
The Garden Cafe was our main rest stop where the children, and some of the adults, played with their boomerang trying and failing not to get it stuck in the trees. It was a good time to consider the issues of Cycle Route CS11 and be reminded of an upcoming meeting to discuss these which is happening Monday next week.
Rested and refreshed and after a minor repair we retraced our steps to the north end of the Broadwalk, walked across the canal bridge and down the ramp onto the Regents Canal. Although the towpath was very busy with walkers and some other cyclists on Santander hire bikes, everyone was courteous and considerate and gave each other enough space.
The towpath ends quite abruptly just before the Maida Vale tunnel so we exited and crossed Lisson Grove into Frampton Street then took small streets going north.
In the wide Hamilton Terrace we stopped at a blue plaque on the wall of number 17 announcing that the 19th century civil engineer, Sir Joseph William Bazalgette, had lived there. He was the man responsible for cleaning up the city of London by building the amazing network of sewers.
We avoided most of West End Lane again using Priory Road which brought us out on Compayne Gardens. All arrived back at Sidings safe and sound and eager for more rides. We discussed possibilities of future rides quite soon although Easter will intervene in a few weeks. Anyway, watch this space!
What you said about the ride:
“It was nice to get the season started – and especially nice that I now know what half the distance of my Easter-cycle ride in the Peak District feels like.”
“An excellent first leisure ride of the year with a healthy complement of children. Good route with not too much traffic.”
“First of all let me thank you for all the selfless work and effort you put in in planning this ride.
The ride itself was a great pleasure, the route was very well put together keeping as much as possible to quite roads away from heavy traffic,and taking account the mixed ability and fitness of the riders who consisted of everything from very young children to old men.
Although probably out of your control, we were also blessed with a cold but lovely afternoon.
An enjoyable and worthwhile ride. Many thanks.”
“I was exhausted at the end but it was very good.”
“It was really good, especially the speed laps around the park.”
“I just love doing these rides in a group because it really raises my cycling confidence- thank you for organising them.”