Author Topic: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition  (Read 2219 times)

αdαmsκι

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The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« on: 05 April, 2022, 12:15:21 pm »
Audax Club Hackney will again be offering up The Way to the Sea 200 from Greenwich on Saturday 2nd July. Last year’s inaugural edition (thread here: https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=118510) was a great success, despite having to limit the number of riders due to the COVID-19 situation. The ride was enjoyed by all, with plenty of positive feedback including the food on offer at Minister on Sea and the route in and out of London. There were first timers getting around in time and this year I hope it’ll be similar.

The start is from beside the Cutty Sark ship in the centre of Greenwich, which has good train and DLR access from various parts of London and beyond.

You will leave London via Shooters Hill and after ~15 km you’ll be out of the main sprawl and into country roads. The first control is at 33 km, where there’ll be water, a bit of food & someone stamping your card. This has been moved slightly from Meopham to Nurstead to reduce the amount of time on the slightly busy B260 through Longfield.

From Nurstead you then descend to the Hoo Peninsula and ride across the Isle of Grain for the second control at 68 km overlooking the Thames estuary. Here there will be flapjacks, bread pudding, hot and cold drinks.

The next control is at Minster on Sea (118 km) and is only 7 km away in a straight line, but it’s 50 km back across Isle of Grain, round the Medway Estuary and onto the Isle of Sheppey. There’ll be more food & water on offer at Minster on Sea and more sea views.

The second part of the ride is 90 km, and involves two passes over the North Downs. The first is relatively gradual, the second (Birling Hill) you’ll notice. There’s a final control in West Kingsdown (get a receipt from Co-op, McColl’s etc.) before descending down Knatts Valley to Eynsford and the final approach to Greenwich. The finish will be at the Old Brewery next to the Cutty Sark.

Entries will be opening over Easter: https://www.audax.uk/event-details?eventId=9256

This is the 2022 route:


GPX: http://tiny.cc/l7cquz
Ride With GPS link: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/39049822

Elevation profile:


What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #1 on: 09 April, 2022, 08:51:41 pm »
This is a cracking ride - highly recommended.

A very pleasant route out from Greenwich, The Isle of Grain is a quirky little spot with a real edge of the world feel,  while the Isle of Sheppey feels like stepping back into the 1970s. The return leg takes you through Kent's version of Stepford, a little bit of New England suburbia in the Garden of Old England, and throws in a testing little climb, just for the purists. And the finish location is probably one of the most attractive on the AUK calendar.

Oh, and as an added bonus, I'll be stamping your cards and probably handing out biscuits or something similar at the Nurstead control  :thumbsup:
Why should anybody steal a watch when they can steal a bicycle?

αdαmsκι

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Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #2 on: 25 April, 2022, 10:26:26 pm »
Entries are rolling in for this ride and I've now emailed everyone who's on the ride to essentially say "Thanks for your entry, more info in June".

Oh, and as an added bonus, I'll be stamping your cards and probably handing out biscuits or something similar at the Nurstead control  :thumbsup:
No probably about that, you will be handing out some simple food at Nurstead! I cannot have riders going hungry in the first part of the ride. Everyone can carb load during the ride for the North Downs climbs in the final part of the ride  ;D

What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

αdαmsκι

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Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #3 on: 13 June, 2022, 03:20:15 pm »
Now up to 80 entries for this ride (including a decent number of female riders) but still room for some more  :)

The Knatts Valley road between West Kingsdown and Farningham is likely to be closed. That means I'll need to re-route the ride after West Kingsdown along the A20 to reach Farningham and Eynsford. It's is a bit annoying but not a lot that can be done and actually makes the route about ½ km shorter.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #4 on: 13 June, 2022, 11:05:14 pm »
I'm in  :) really enjoyed the islands last winter looking forward to it in nicer climes  8)!

αdαmsκι

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Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #5 on: 21 June, 2022, 11:48:25 am »
bhoot did a routecheck on Sunday and had no major issues to report.

Brevet cards have been ordered.

I'll be sending out an email to all riders tomorrow or Thursday once I know whether or not I can send riders down Donkey Lane to avoid 1½ km of the A20.

What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

αdαmsκι

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Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #6 on: 21 June, 2022, 08:38:56 pm »
Knatts Valley has just re-open and this means we can avoid the A20 after West Kingsdown  ;D :thumbsup:

I've just sent out via email a load of rider information including gpx files and routesheets.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #7 on: 24 June, 2022, 07:00:25 pm »
Knatts Valley has just re-open and this means we can avoid the A20 after West Kingsdown  ;D :thumbsup:
This is probably a GOOD THING!  On our route check we specifically took the A20 alternative to case it out, and unfortunately we timed it just to coincide with chucking out time from Brands Hatch with a few wannabee F1 drivers haring off down the road pretending they were on the race track. There must have been some (minor) celebrities around too, as at the car park exit onto the main road there were probably a hundred or so people on the verges and traffic islands waiting for something or somebody.  If you ever do end up using it though, I would say it is unpleasant rather than unsafe, as it's quite a wide road, and there was a painted line around 1m from the edge which gave a fairly sensible riding line (just inside) whilst avoiding drain covers etc.

The new section via Nurstead is much prettier and pleasanter than continuing on the B road to Meophan, although did mean we had to forgo a coffee at Costa (so stopped at the fishing lake cafe just before Cliffe instead). Beware though the fairly large dip - lots of gravel and small flood in the bottom, but that was after Saturday night's very heavy rain so hopefully better for the main event.

Traffic was mad after Chatham, through to Rainham and Upchurch - massive tailbacks for a couple of narrow one-way sections, and we retreated to the pavement thus overtaking about an hour's worth of queue!  Not sure whether this was normal or maybe some diversion in place (and it was Sunday rather than Saturday so possibly different traffic patterns). On leisure journeys around there we have always used the riverside path (NCN1) and began to wonder if it might actually have been quicker (and it's not often you say that about NCN routes).  On Sheppey the road from the Kingsferry bridge has been resurfaced, but we still used the pavement/cycle path, as the motor traffic along there is rather fast. The new cycle path after the roundabout is still in excellent condition I am pleased to say, in contrast to the one after Burham which is sadly deteriorating, athough still quite rideable.






αdαmsκι

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Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #8 on: 26 June, 2022, 12:20:56 pm »
Thanks bhoot.

The Rochester bit of the route is the part I would really like to improve but cannot figure any way of improving things. There are so few places to cross the Medway I'm limited, as is the traffic which makes it busy. The A289 through Rochester can be busy, but at least there's the shared path. Normally once you turn onto the B2004 through Lower Rainham to Upchurch etc. it's better. Hopefully you were just unlucky with that bit being awful too and it'll be OK on Saturday.


If anyone knows they cannot ride on Saturday who hasn't contacted me please let me know. I've got a few people after a space on the ride but as things stand I'm full. Cheers.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

bhoot

  • MemSec (ex-Mrs RRtY)
Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #9 on: 26 June, 2022, 06:31:33 pm »
The Rochester bit of the route is the part I would really like to improve but cannot figure any way of improving things. There are so few places to cross the Medway I'm limited, as is the traffic which makes it busy. The A289 through Rochester can be busy, but at least there's the shared path.
Through Rochester and Chatham was fine really, although not fast I guess. If it's not busy with pedestrians it is worth hopping on the shared path on the Medway bridge as it allows you to continue without waiting at the traffic lights.

Normally once you turn onto the B2004 through Lower Rainham to Upchurch etc. it's better.
Agreed, we have never seen it anything like that bad before, especially throught Upchurch, hence the thought that maybe there was a road closure somewhere.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #10 on: 01 July, 2022, 10:52:04 pm »
Normally once you turn onto the B2004 through Lower Rainham to Upchurch etc. it's better.
Agreed, we have never seen it anything like that bad before, especially throught Upchurch, hence the thought that maybe there was a road closure somewhere.

Yes, it's definitely not that bad usually. I mean, in the countless times I've ridden that road, traffic has never been an issue.

In some ways, it might be a good thing - people drive far too fast along there usually.

Anyway, for any riding, see you at Grain tomorrow, where I shall be doing my bit as Tim's glamorous* assistant, stamping cards and whatnot.

*fsvo glamorous
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #11 on: 02 July, 2022, 08:44:15 pm »
A quick apology from me, I'm afraid, to the first batch of riders on this who got to the control at Nurstead Church and found... no controller  ???

Adam had asked me to hand out stickers and snacks at the first control (32km) some time ago and I readily agreed. Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me that he might have changed the route a little from last year's ride and so I cheerfully drove down to Meopham and set up my stall, complete with banners, at the same spot as last year when, in fact, the control should have been a mile or so north on a different road.  :-[

Luckily, a rider who (for some reason) had decided to use last year's route came along and, between us, we worked out that I was in the wrong place and I managed to get to the correct spot in time for the bulk of the riders, but to those who got to the church and were confused, I can only offer my sincere apologies.

Very sorry, too, to hear of the lady who crashed in Foots Cray and had to be taken to hospital. I hope she makes a swift recovery. And I hope that everyone else had a wonderful day out.
Why should anybody steal a watch when they can steal a bicycle?

Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #12 on: 03 July, 2022, 09:44:28 am »
It was great to see so many happy riders arriving at Grain having been pushed along by a nice tailwind, I hope it wasn't too bad into a headwind after the turn. I also hope you enjoyed the refreshments, the bread pudding particularly seemed to go down very well.

Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #13 on: 03 July, 2022, 09:50:28 am »
No problem RL it was a 2km retrace as I didn't have a route sheet readily available.

A cracking ride although I suffered from stomach cramps / no food as a result / dehydration on the section through the North Downs and came in full value to a welcome pint of Meantime lager. Having to drag up to Boxley and then all the way back down to have to grovel up Birling was cruel and unusual punishment in the heat but I suppose no other way of getting across the Medway at that point.

10 stars for the Minster control it made it a proper trip to the sea  8)

the route back into That London was also very well thought out it just sort of popped out into suburbia after a very rural section including the very welcome Knatts Valley (downhill!) and cut across all the main arterial roads with very light and also chilled traffic.

Thanks Adam  :thumbsup:

Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #14 on: 03 July, 2022, 10:55:37 am »
Yes, the section to Boxley was surprisingly hard into the wind and seemed to go on forever.  Things eased off after that and there was a side/tailwind for me up Birling hill which was welcome.  Had a flat as I set off from the Co-op which slowed things down but always good to get some repair practice in  ;D

Great ride with perfect weather (wind excepted) and the excellent controls.  Thanks Adam & helpers!
The sound of one pannier flapping

Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #15 on: 04 July, 2022, 10:55:19 am »
Agreed a tough stretch, that headwind was pretty bad. Really enjoyable day out, fantastic controls, great company and such a well-behaved doggy!  :thumbsup:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/3hqGKHQKPLx769dA9

Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #16 on: 04 July, 2022, 12:40:24 pm »
Great piccies  :thumbsup:

αdαmsκι

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Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #17 on: 04 July, 2022, 06:26:56 pm »
Hello all

Apart from a few mishaps it sounds like everyone had a great day on Saturday. This was the second time the event has run and I feel it was even better than last time with more riders, including a much higher female representation, food stops at Grain & Minster and a better route up to the first checkpoint. Everyone was forced to visit the sea front in Grain rather than turning at the Co-op. Plus there was a doggy at the control this year  :thumbsup:

Last year I had people doing this as their first audax and this year some of these riders were back having done an SR series or were preparing to ride LEL. So next year I look forward to hearing of people who are about to head off to Paris for PBP!

Pending results are here: http://www.aukweb.net/results/archive/2022/listevent/?Ride=22-485 The brevet cards need to be sent off validation (as it was a BRM ride) and I will then get the cards posted back to riders.

What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #18 on: 04 July, 2022, 08:05:36 pm »
Great day out, many thanks Adam. However, I'm very sorry to hear about the accident and do hope the rider makes a swift recovery. Never good to hear about things like that.

αdαmsκι

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Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #19 on: 14 July, 2022, 08:03:13 pm »
Here's a great video from one of the riders:

https://youtu.be/WgapviScOHs


What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #20 on: 14 July, 2022, 08:42:00 pm »
That's a great video  :thumbsup:

Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #21 on: 14 July, 2022, 09:45:43 pm »
That is excellent!

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: The Way to the Sea from Greenwich: 2022 edition
« Reply #22 on: 15 July, 2022, 10:13:22 am »
Lovely! Really encapsulates the appeal of the ride, and audax generally. I'll have to watch some of his other vids.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."