Iain Dawson, our Rides Secretary, shares some information about the London ride and transport arrangements:
We are planning to be rolling from Euston Station – from the exit onto Melton Street – by 10.00 a.m., so the best trains – assuming you want to take the train – from Northampton would be the 0825 and the 0850. Please remember that ticket queues can be enormous at Northampton so don’t roll up at 8.20 a.m. expecting to make the train if you haven’t already bought your ticket(s).
Currently, London Midland is offering GroupSave tickets, allowing 4 people to travel for the price of 2, but the group that travels on the ticket has to stick together. I’m sure that can all be arranged between individuals.
There are no such joys to be had on East Midlands trains.
We can’t guarantee a finish time because if riders find one of the stops particularly interesting, we’ll hang around a little longer. We built stoppage time into our reconnaissance and made it back to Euston just before 5.00 p.m. so I’d advise either buying an open (day) return – off-peak – or leaving an hour longer than we did, unless you want to hang around a little longer in London, of course.
You don’t have to take the train if you don’t want to; there are other means of getting to London.
TfL*1 and LCC*2, have produced some excellent cycling maps covering London; I use them for walking as well.
You don’t need to bring a map for this ride as your ride leaders know where we’re going but if you want to follow the route, they’re available FREE OF CHARGE from: https://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/11682.aspx. Our route is contained entirely in Sheet 7, also entirely in Sheet 14 (they overlap) and the bulk of it is in large scale on Sheet 1.
Food and Drink
For logistical reasons, we’ve opted for a riverside picnic. It is near a pub though. Very near. But bring something picnicable to munch on.
We’ll also be making a café stop later in the day at a place known to be friendly to cyclists. (And which was offering a Guest Coffee, in the manner of pubs’ Guest Beers, when we recce’d it. That ride was such hard work!)
The route stays almost entirely away from the major through-routes and their associated traffic. On the couple of occasions where we have to deal with traffic, it’s at traffic-light-controlled junctions or in low-speed zones so traffic speeds are low. Cycling is never a no-risk activity but there’s no reason why being in London on a Saturday should be any more dangerous than being in Long Buckby on a Saturday if you pay attention to your surroundings and try to stay safe.
Our biggest problem is likely to be pedestrians wandering around in the road.
Distance and pace are similar to a Leisure Ride, in addition to which we’ll be stopping to see the sights en route (and having reviewed some of the photos from the recce, even a London Tour guide would have trouble finding all the sights we’re going to see).
Boris Bike Hire
Possible: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14811.aspx but it’s expensive for the whole day.
Better than that: bring your own bike! Even one of those fold-up jobs will cope with this ride!