On a dry Saturday morning 11 set off from Surrey Quays for the start of the ride to Tilbury Fort, for half the group it was their first London Clarion Cycle Club ride, Alex led as normal and we made good progress sticking together nicely as a group. It soon became clear however that the weather forecast was not to be believed as it suddenly started to pour down with rain. not a shower but a torrential downpour. Sadly the rain persisted for an hour and half the group decided to head home at Dartford. The rest of us continued riding and as is typical with British weather it brightened up. After a coffee stop in Dartford at a very friendly cafe we headed back on our way towards Gravesend to catch the ferry.
At Gravesend we headed straight for the ferry, when someones tire exploded thankfully nobody was hurt and we were fortunate to find Tri the Bike Shop in Gravesend High Street who replaced the tire in record time. Back on our way a few minutes later, at the ferry it was obvious we weren't the only cyclists as the boat was already half full of bikes due to a 400km audax happening at the same time. No need to worry though as all the bikes were safetly stored away and we made the short crossing to Tilbury. At Tilbury we were met by two fellow London Clarion Cyclists one who had just joined a few days ago. We continued our cycle riding past Tilbury fort and then on to Colehouse Fort and park where we stopped at the Engine room cafe for a delicious and reasonably priced lunch. After Colehouse Fort we started our ride back to London with a short stop at the RSPB cafe at Rainha Marshes for coffee and cake. The ride back to Tower Bridge took in a long section of the Cycle superhighway and allowed a quick stop to admire the Cable Street Mural.