Author Topic: Round London DIY 300km  (Read 1190 times)

Diesel

  • or Richard
Round London DIY 300km
« on: March 12, 2016, 11:26:28 pm »
Hi all

Thought there might be a few folk interested in this, 300km DIY round London.



I have had this in mind for a while but a traditional DIY would be tricky, largely due to a circular route. But with the mandatory routing option this became a lot easier to plan.

So I planned the route - roughly 260 km round London and a 20km each way dogleg to Tring. 2 friends joined me for all of it and 1 for part and we completed it 27th Feb.


Ok, the route looks like we followed the M25 round but actually we saw very little of that and were just far enough away to have better scenery. We followed majority smaller roads and enjoyed some really nice stretches including Epping Forest, Darenth valley, North Downs and Box Hill.


We left at 0650 and a good pace was set down to the M25 and the start of our circuit. The first stretch is not that glamorous but fascinating to visit some of the actual places commonly referred to by their motorway junction, such as Bricket Wood and South Mimms. First stop was Enfield Lock for (second) breakfast and a visit to a helpful old school bike shop to get Richard's Rear Mech mended.

We took the cycle route over the River Lea which worked well to avoid busier road alternatives. Epping Forest was surprisingly quiet and good progress was made through Essex. We were aiming for the Tilbury Ferry and whilst trying not to aim for a particular one, we were 27 km and 1 hour away from the 1242 sailing. We tried not to aim for this but the pace was upped and I kept one eye on the clock. After a hairy section through some scary local driving in Linford, we arrived on the dock at 1241..... to see the ferry pull off 1 minute early. Whilst somewhat frustrated with a half hour wait, Richard commented afterwards that this ended up being one of the highlights of the day as we had time to soak up the ferry experience, chat to folk and watch the world go by. So we bought our return ticket - which is cheaper than the single..... and enjoyed the crossing



Lunch was at the Three Daws and after getting through Gravesend we were straight in the country side again. The next stretch was very scenic and the climb up the North Downs gave some great views. Loved the descent to Godstone but Richard picked up the first of three punctures he would endure.

As the afternoon was concluding we stopped for refreshments at Flower Farm Shop whilst we found somewhere still open. A good choice - good service, food, drink and lovely place.



Lights on as we left here as it started to get dusk. The next section was a bit close to the motorway but not many options here. After Reigate Hill came probably the worst section of the day - just 3 or 4 km of the Brighton Road but busiest stretch of the day and glad to get it behind us. Box Hill was very enjoyable. Deserted by now it made a lovely ride and going down the hill in the dark was quite fun. We took the cycle path to Leatherhead at the bottom and on to Cobham, although not without Richard having his two other punctures first.

After this, I guess there was less to report mainly as it was dark! Taking the cycle path out of Woking was useful again and kept us out of traffic and once we completed this it felt like home territory as the road became more familiar. Staines was quiet as we crossed the Thames a second time then on to the edge of Slough for a late night Chippy and Chinese stop, oddly getting in trouble with the takeaway owner for eating on the premises! Well, it was cold outside by then.

We followed familiar roads through the Colne Valley and eventually reached Hunton Bridge, where we rejoined our morning route. Still 20km to go but a feeling of completion having cycled a circuit of London in a day. It was very late by the time we were home, later than we anticipated but a good day out and fascinating day completed.


I don't think I'll be doing it again any time soon, but it was a good day out and the route worked well. Amazingly quiet roads on the whole considering where we were. I think the route could be adapted from any starting point in London or the South East to make an interesting challenge and I guess if it goes wrong, you're never far from transport links home. Route is here for anyone interested - https://ridewithgps.com/routes/12209029

monaxle

  • Enough is plenty. Good enough will do.
    • monaxle: bike behind!
Re: Round London DIY 300km
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 12:23:24 pm »
Good work. I was thinking about doing this from Kent. Should be easy to plan now I have your route as the template. Thanks!
monaxle: bike behind! 


Diesel

  • or Richard
Re: Round London DIY 300km
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 06:37:34 pm »
Great, if you have any questions, let me know

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Round London DIY 300km
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 07:55:05 pm »
I'll pop this on my list to potentially do :)  :thumbsup:
Regards,

Joergen