Long time JST Supporter and London Heavers Branch Chair, Graham Strudwick, recently completed a sponsored bike ride for the Trust – to cycle all 20 of London’s bridges to mark Tenacious at Twenty. Read about his fantastic achievement here:
At about 60km this was a fair challenge for someone who cycles a couple of times a week, mostly on tow paths and local roads for an hour or two.
So, I decided to go a little further in training, crossing the bridges from Putney back to Richmond. I also decided I should get to know the City end, as far as upriver as Wandsworth, as I didn’t know it from a cycling viewpoint.
A recce was required, and a chance to take some photos of the central London bridges and landmarks. It was amazing to see London so empty, something I’ll probably never see again. I did the first six bridges, to Westminster diligently, then decided (a little foolishly) to skip Vauxhall to Battersea bridges as I thought I knew them. Lesson to self – do your homework properly.
After a reasonable amount of training the deed has been done – I have cycled the 20 bridges, and quite a lot of London’s streets/parks etc including about an additional 5Km, or so, due to road works and building works as well as heavy traffic on Nine Elms. This meant I missed the turn onto Chelsea bridge and ended up most of the way down to Clapham!
Despite this the only real downer was the weather. It was forecast to be cloudy with 15% chance of light rain, which seemed OK for the ride, better than the heat of the previous week – HA!! It did drizzle on the way to the station and then rained while I was on the train! It had stopped by the time I got to Waterloo but drizzled on and off all the way.
Overall, the ride was good and little trouble with traffic in the city, but road works everywhere, so I had to be very attentive as not all barriers were in place! The traffic got busier after Westminster and I have to say that the road condition is awful – nearly lost it a couple of times with potholes and uneven surfaces.
It was lovely to get back to familiar routes at Hammersmith and once over Richmond bridge the rest of the ride to Hampton Court is tow path and was relatively quiet due to the weather. I’d stopped for a food break, luckily in the shelter of a tree on Richmond riverside, when the heavens opened and it tipped it down for about 5 minutes. Nice break but just confirmed that one doesn’t believe the forecast.
Being a sailor, and walker, I had a rain jacket so just the legs got wet. As expected, the last section to Hampton Court was quiet and it was so good to get to that last bridge and finish the river crossings. Just a gentle ride home then a hot salts bath and some gentle stretching to ease the aching muscles!
Let’s hope that this event manages to raise a good sum for the Jubilee Sailing Trust that we all love so much.
Thank you for your anticipated generosity and very best wishes to you all – Graham
To support Graham, you can donate here.