Augusta, Robert & John on their bikes sheltering from the rain storm at the end of the ride.

One of the things I love most about my job as a community fundraiser is the variety of each working day, so, for example, I spent Friday 10th August on a 14 mile recce ride for the Hospice Big Bike Ride. The purpose of the recce ride was primarily to check the Thames Cycle Path route for any significant changes. It was also a great opportunity for me to connect with some of our wonderful supporters – another aspect of my job that I love.

I was fortunate enough to be joined by Robert, Philippa and Ian (Bexley Cyclists), Tim (Cycle Training & Projects Co-ordinator for Royal Greenwich Borough), Neil (Greenwich Cyclists), and John (a Hospice volunteer). As luck would have it, we bumped into Paul and his wife along the way and they joined our band of cyclists!

Our ride got off to a sunny start as we rode over the newly completed ‘Missing Link’. For the first time in years, cyclists and pedestrians can now follow the Thames Pathway from Woolwich to Charlton without the need to travel on the busy Woolwich Road. The Missing Link forms part of Quietway 14 (a programme of cycle routes across London) and is an exciting development for our Big Bike Ride as it means more of the route is traffic free, making it ideal for families.

Another reason for the recce ride was to test a possible alternative route which cuts out the not-so-pretty Blackwall Tunnel section of the route. This section is entirely safe; just not as pretty as other parts of the route. This alternative route took us left rather than right at Greenwich Yacht Club and along the edge of the Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park (well worth a visit!) and through the Greenwich Millennium Village development; amazing to see how much Greenwich is changing.

The route continued along to Bugsby Way, over the flyover across the A102 and through the back streets, popping us out exactly opposite the Greenwich Meantime Brewery on Blackwall Lane. Sadly there was no time to pop in for a lunch time pint as we continued our ride through to the Cutty Sark.

Upon arrival at the Old Brewery café at the Old Royal Naval College, for a much needed coffee and bite to eat, it was decided that the alternative route was not quite right for the Big Bike Ride due to the number of main road and crossing points. Watch this space for the Big Bike Ride 2019 route, as I hear that there are plans for the Western Greenwich Peninsula temporary diversion to be lifted by October 2019!

After lunch, our band of cyclists disbanded. Robert, John and I returned to the Thames Barrier via the usual Big Bike Ride riverside route and cycled into an immense thunder storm! With the rain coming down in sheets, we took shelter in The O2 InterContinental’s car park.

The view from the river was dramatic and I have to say quite exhilarating; riding my newly acquired bike (thanks to The Link in Thamesmead) in a rain storm was a first for me and not something I expected to do when I started my day; another example of the variety of being a community fundraiser!


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