After 120 km and 829m climbing I have finished today’s ride in Greenwich, a big contrast to the start of the ride!
To prepare me for the business of the capital, the route followed lovely, country lanes into Bedford before popping out on the eastern side and turning south to follow more little lanes down to Hitchin and then Stevenage. Stevenage has sussed its bike lanes (first place on the whole ride I could say that, with the exception of the route that parallels the A9 in the Highlands, but that was very different.)
Stevenage has built parallel cycle and walking routes wide enough to take both users comfortably and totally avoiding with, under and over-passes, all of the road network. Very impressive and for once cycling didn’t feel like it was a second thought and done in a way that affected the car user the least!
Leaving Stevenage, there was a short steep climb to the village of Datchworth and a visit to the village Pro9mary School to catch up with Steph who I was at college with but haven’t seen for nearly 30 years. The Y1s had spent the morning practising their cycling and had made a lovely banner wishing me luck. As I left, they counted me down from 10! Fabulous, lovely kids and great to see Steph, catch up and eat flapjack!
It was on then to see Josh at Cufley Active Learning Centre, nr Potters Bar. A quick natter and a cup of tea and it was away again. Into London and via on road cycle paths and some lovely off-road, paths along the Lee Navigation and Regents canal which eventually popped me up at Canary Wharf – what a contrast to earlier! It was then under the Thames via the Greenwich foot tunnel and finally a short ascent to our fabulous airbnb for the night. The last day tomorrow.