Teddington is a difficult location to lead from as you pass other day centres in most directions unless you head North. So North it was. As North of the Thames is my home patch it was an easy task to pick a route.
I wanted off road as much as possible as the ground was still very dry. Off along the Thames to Isleworth and Syon park with 14 riders following and Tony Hooker as back marker, good choice as he was the only one in Orange and easy to spot. A short section on road and onto the Grand union canal. Hanwell was soon reached and a few back roads brought us to more off road and across Brent Valley Golf course, Brent Valley park and Perivale park and onto the cycle path along side the A40 which is better than it sounds, across Marnham fields and into Norhtala Park and a nice climb up to the view point. At this point the rain started but didn’t deter the group from admiring the views across London to Canary Wharfe and South East to Box Hill. The hills were constructed using the spoil from the demolition of the old Wembley stadium.
The loo’s at Northala were well attended but Vic, having left his bike out of sight was left behind and it was only a mile further on that Dave W noticed him missing and went back to find him agreeing to meet us at lunch. Now we were on side roads for a while but rain and hail blighted our progress with everyone beginning to feel the cold. One more section off road and we were at Stockley park Wetherspoons for a welcome warm up and lunch.
We did linger over lunch and were joined by a good friend of mine, Tony Cates, the secreatary of another CTC group, the Uxbridge Loiterers who accused us of Loitering more than the actual Loiterers. Tony joined us for a mile or 2 on our way to Hayes and a stint on the Grand Union canal. We were soon cycling through Osterley park and to Isleworth, just before our arrivel at tea the majority of the group decided not to stop but continue and head for home.
Just 4 of us had tea at Syon park GC and after which I said my goodbyes for my long 1.2 mile cycle home.
The group seemed to enjoy the foray in unknown parts of darkest North London, for me a great day on the bike with a really good bunch of like minded cyclists. One point I must mention is that Dave W and Vic never did meet us for lunch but I did get a txt from Dave saying they couldn’t find the pub were headed home via Heathrow.
Thank you all for your company.
Photos Courtesy of Dave Ward