Cheam and Morden did not run their traditional New Year's Day ride to the Roehampton Gate cafe in Richmond Park because it did not seem wise in the context of the huge surge of Covid cases and the large crowd that traditionally gathers there.
A few of us wanted to ride something close to the traditional ride but more safely; a half dozen or so C Group regulars had gone from Worcester Park earlier in the morning, and Ken, Roger, Anna, Maggie and I met in Sutton centre at eleven.
We picked up Sue B at Green Lane and made our way through Old Malden and New Malden, up Traps Lane and into Richmond Park through Ladderstile Ride. The Park was full of zooming cyclists and families out walking and who should we pass almost as soon as we set out along Broomfield Hill but Chairman Dave, cheerily travelling in the opposite direction!
Down to Robin Hood Gate we cycled past Roehampton Gate (the queues there, in fact, were no worse than on a normal Saturday), then Westwards along the approach to Sawyer's Hill, but turning left up past the Ballet School (where the queue at the cafe was ridiculous) and West through the middle of the Park over the top to Ham Gate.
At the Ballet School
Down the hill to Ham and then we used the cycle path off Northweald Lane to reach the river and the Thames Cycle Path to go under Kingston Bridge and into the market place. There, after a bit of Government-style indecision, we ended up in a sparsely populated square eating Turkish wraps (which were splendid) with our tea in a place we could watch our bikes; essential in Kingston.
Home past Berrylands Station, a decent, enjoyable, safe New Year's Day trip.
Written by Paul