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River Thames to Richmond Park ride (aka Fenton's Fancy), Sunday 10 June 2012

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  • Francis Sedgemore
    Where: River Thames to Richmond Park (aka Fenton s Fancy) When: Sunday 10 June 2012 Meet: 10:00 @ Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10 9LW Brought to you by the South East
    Message 1 of 1 , May 18, 2012
      Where: River Thames to Richmond Park (aka Fenton's Fancy)
      When: Sunday 10 June 2012
      Meet: 10:00 @ Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10 9LW

      Brought to you by the South East London Commissariat for Social Cycle Rides Planning (aka the Dog & Bell Crew), a jolly spin west from Greenwich along the Thames Path, taking in central London, Battersea, Wandsworth, Putney and Barnes, before turning south for a circuit of Richmond Park. The return will follow the same route north and east back to Greenwich.

      Our rides rarely take us west of the Great Wen, which is a pity, as the Thames Path west from Battersea is quite pleasant. So to is Richmond Park, provided you don't mind sharing the road with hundreds of skinny greyhounds showing off their obscenely expensive carbon frame racers. It's about time that we lowered the tone of the neighbourhood with a bunch of rickety old velos complete with breadbasket panniers, etc..

      The route takes us along the Thames Path/LCN4 from Greenwich to central London, following which we will have to cycle along some busy city roads before rejoining the Thames Path after Battersea Park. That is, unless you have suggestions as to an alternative, quieter route from Tower Bridge to Battersea Park.

      From Battersea Park westwards, the terrain is marked by lots of plush new riverside housing developments, and the local fauna by its lack of chins. We could if we wish stop for a drink and bite to eat at a riverside hostelry between Wandsworth and Putney, or alternatively wait until Richmond Park.

      We leave the Thames Path by the London Wetland Centre in Barnes, and head south through Barnes Common and Roehampton. After a clockwise circuit of Richmond Park, which will involve some steady climbing and descents along roads with occasionally roughish surfaces, we will rejoin the outward track at Sawyer's Hill. For those of you unfamiliar with Richmond Park, the following video portrays an everyday scene from this wonderful outdoor spaceā€¦

      The ride is around 70 kilometres in total, and there are several train stations en route for those wishing to bail out. Much of the ride is on riverside paths in very good condition, and the only rough stuff of note is the unkept grass track through Barnes Common, which can get a little muddy following heavy rain.

      Given its riverside focus the ride is not particularly hilly, but you can count on around 700 metres of ascent in total. Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you going through the day. Also lights, puncture repair materials, and preferably a spare inner tube or two.


      (07840 191336 - no texts please!)

      Dr Francis Sedgemore
      journalist and science writer

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