Cycle ride - Tilbury & Gravesend, the industrial Thames
Where: Tilbury & Gravesend, the industrial Thames When: Saturday 12 October 2013 Meet: 10:00 @ Cutty Sark Gardens, London SE10 9LW (by the foot tunnel entrance)
Brought to you by LCC’s South East London Commissariat for Social Cycle RidesPlanning (aka the Dog & Bell Crew -@dogbellcrew), an early autumn exploration of the industrialThames from Greenwich to the river estuary atTilburyandGravesend. Apologies for the short notice, but only today have I been able to confirm my domestic arrangements for next weekend.
The ride begins with a 55 kilometre spin fromGreenwichto the Thamesestuary at Tilbury, following the north-side riverbank wherever possible. We cross the riverfor the second time using the ferry to Gravesend, and ride another 50 kilometres alongNational Cycle Route #1back to Greenwich viaDartford,Erithand theThames Path.
In a little more detail, from Cutty Sark Gardens we walk our bikes through the foot tunnel and follow the Thames Path on its northbank throughDocklandsto North Woolwich. From there we then wend our way aroundGallions Reach, before emerging byBarking Creekonto the A13 cycle path (CycleSuperhighway 3). Shortly after Barking Creek we head back toward the river, and ridethrough Barking Riverside toward Dagenham, emerging onto theRainhamroad.
On reachingHornchurch Country Parkand theRiver Ingrebourne, we head south throughthe Ferry Lane industrial area, before re-joining the Thames Path byColdharbour. Afterpassing the concrete barges and diver statue, we then ride along the side ofRainhamMarshes, stopping to feed and water at the RSPB café by the mouth of theRiver MardykeatPurfleet.
From Purfleet we continue along the riverbank, past theDartford Crossing, and throughThurrock (aka UKIP-land), GraysandTilbury Port. This is a particularly interesting part of the ride,especially thegraffiti wall between the Dartford Crossing and Grays. The path isrough in places, but just about manageable on road bikes with skinny tyres. We shall have todismount to negotiate a few obstacles.
At Tilbury and Gravesend the weary bones can take the train home, while the fit and thriftycan continue with me back to Greenwich along NCR1 from Gravesend to Erith viaDartford. From Erith Pier we follow the Thames Path for the final25 kilometres back to Maritime Greenwich.
Please ensure that your bikes are in good working order, with tyres free of debris, andpumped up hard! Bring lights, tools, a spare couple of inner tubes, and a puncture repair kit. Alsopack plenty of water and energy rich snacks, especially if you are intending to do theentire 100 kilometre ride.
RSVP, but it’s OK to turn up unannounced on the day.
Francis Sedgemore (07840 191336 - no texts please)