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.
Sunday 14th April saw over 400 cyclists meet at Brixton Cycles many at 8am including a handful of hardy London Clarion members. Cobble Monster 2019 was billed as probably the last Cobble Monster (something we very much hope isn't the case). One review of a previous Cobble Monster recommended starting as early as possible and this is something we agree is worthwhile trying to do. Brixton Cycles was buzzing by 8am with people queuing in an orderly fashion to get their very reasonably priced caffeine fix, to buy a raffle ticket and to sign on for the ride. By 8:15 most people were on their way.
The ride is great fun, everyone was very friendly and people rode in a wide variety of different bikes and at different speeds. The weather was a bit cold but otherwise kind. The ride itself is very much a mixture of cobbles and hills. A thoroughly enjoyable day, a big thanks to everyone at the Brixton Cycles Workers Cooperative and anyone else who helped organise Cobble Monster 2019. Looking forward to Cobble Monster 2020 already!
On Sunday 10th February we rode from Surrey Quays to Chislehurst caves and back and stopped off for lunch after visiting the caves at a nearby pub. Chislehurst Caves are a series of intersecting man-made tunnels and caverns covering some 22 miles (35 km). The caves have appeared in several television programmes including episodes of Doctor Who from 1972 titled The Mutants. In an episode of Seven Natural Wonders presented by Bill Oddie, the caves were presented as one of the wonders of the London area.
On Sunday 3rd February we set off from Old Street for a 20 mile ride to Alexandra Palace & Highgate Cemetery where we stopped to take in particular at the grave Karl Marx). Matt's video tell's you more about the day.