Fixed Beers 7 and the first ride of the new year. We were short on time and still recovering from the amazing new year celebrations with our new ride Pints & Pedals. The decision was made to keep things simple with a central ride between the two Cycle PS locations, following the river and jumping from side to side.
Another good turn out with lots of fixed riders and a smattering of single speed and geared folks. There being a definite split in types of rider we decided to make St Paul's our first stop, aiming to get there by 8:30.
As on previous rides we turned right out of Cycle PS and headed towards Burgess park cutting through to Willow walk and then up through the bustling Bermondsey Street up to city hall. Right turn onto Tooley St and then the first of our crossings Tower Bridge. Here we met friends whilst crossing the bridge who quickly joined us. Once on the other side we turned left down Tower Hill and then up Great Tower Street to Monument.
The weather was cold and crisp with not a sign of rain in the air. At monument we swung left for our next crossing, London Bridge. Once across we moved down through Borough Market, popping up next to The Anchor pub then riding along the river to Millennium bridge which we crossed cautiously before pushing up to our first check point St Paul's.
Pleased with our progress we grabbed a bit of food from Paternoster Square and took a few pictures. It being cold and getting colder we dared not dilly dally so I roused the crowd and attempted to explain the next part of the route. With what I thought was a ready group we set off down Ludgate hill hanging left into a lovely historic path that led right down to our next crossing, Blackfriars Bridge.
Once there we sadly didn't regroup properly and with lights changing the entire ride split into two, with the front runners including myself speeding across Blackfriars then cutting back towards the Tate modern to loop up and through Blackfriars tube then along the river until the Oxo tower. Here we cut through a service passage emerging onto Broadwall and then Stamford Street.
Once we'd arrived at the BFI iMax I began to realise that not all of the group had made it. We waited a while hoping that the rest of the group would find us. A few stragglers did but we were definitely a person or two down.
Not wanting to wait any longer and with the knowledge that we must hit Cycle PS Battersea by 9:30 we pressed on. Our next bridge was Waterloo which took us across to The Strand and the bright lights of Trafalgar Square. Once there we headed down Whitehall across Westminster bridge and right down towards Lambeth Bridge.
Once across we hammered it down to Vauxhall bridge and the new segregated cycle routes, which took us over the river and left around MI6 to our next check point, under Vauxhall Bridge. We hauled up there for quite a while waiting for many of those that we'd lost to rejoin the group. Ready and pleased to be back together we headed for our end point heading into Battersea park briefly before heading down Parkgate road, then Westbridge road towards Battersea Square and then the high street which lead us to the friendly face of Matt and our end point Cycle PS Battersea.