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Richmond Park and the Dark...

I moved to Putney in June ago which means morning rides before around Regents Park are no longer possible.

Morning rides in Summer around Richmond Park (a 3km journey away for me) are easily done and pleasurable.

My question is though, what about Winter!?!? There are no lights in the park and I imagine that the deer, in particular the stags get a lot braver! Obviously I'll have a light on my bike but I've no idea how good it'd be with no light from buildings and street lights around me. I just have this vision in my head of coming down a hill and being confronted by an 18 pointer Stag!! :shock:

Does anyone here ride in Richmond Park either early morning or in the dark during the evenings? What's it like? Are there other routes people use during the hours of darkness in the weekdays rather than the park? I am by Putney Heath, so that'd give you an idea of what is/is not doable for a 60 -90 min pre work ride.

Many thanks

Vive les All Blacks!!! [:D]

Posts

  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    Best time to ride in Richmond Park is when the gates are locked and the hoards of motorists are kept out.

    If you are going fast you need good lights. But I personally just enjoy it for the experience itself. A group of us used to regularly ride from central London and into the park for half an anti-clockwise lap then turn back through the narrow cycle path through the middle, then back into town. We'd pass deer standing next to the road and lots of runners and dog walkers.

    There's usually a deer cull over the winter months and so the park is completely closed some evenings after dark during November and February.
    See: http://www.royalparks.org.uk/docs/richmondpark/diary/November08.pdf

    I've not done it before sunrise, but I'm sure it's lovely to ride at 6am and see the sunrise (about 6.55am this time of year).

    Bin
  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    Update on deer cull:

    All gates will be locked from November 1 for six weeks between the hours of 20.00 and 07.30 for the cull. Don't get locked in like some of you muppets have...

    Bin
  • Its fine if you have a decent light, if it is a clear night you can see pretty far (sometimes i can still read my speedo even though it desnt have a light on it)
    I would suggest that you ride the route a lot during light ours to get familiarised with where the corners and potholes etc are.
  • I cycled round there for the first time in the 'proper' dark the other night at about 8pm. Fog and my censored little light made it a fairly unnerving experience! Unnerving but fun.

    Deer cull?! Oh no! I was just about to start regular evening rides. Will have to keep an eye on gate shutting time.
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  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    I've only done one "proper" dark ride. It was a wet and windy wednesday evening and the park was deserted. Felt quite unnerving having the place to myself. That drag up dark hill was not the most pleasant experience either.

    I will be doing more once the deer cull is over.
  • NWLondonerNWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    binlinus wrote:
    Update on deer cull:

    All gates will be locked from November 1 for six weeks between the hours of 20.00 and 07.30 for the cull. Don't get locked in like some of you muppets have...

    Bin

    6 weeks!!!


    Give the job to Clarkson :twisted: He'll get it done in a couple of hours :shock:
  • Just bought a new front light, nice and bright - last couple of days I've done a couple of laps at dark , quite strange as its so quiet, no one else around (well, today I saw 2 cyclists)

    Noticed the signs today that they'll be closing the gates from tomorrow at night for the deer cull, which is a shame.

    Will just have to try and get a lap or 2 in the morning before work.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,365
    NWLondoner wrote:

    6 weeks!!!


    Give the job to Clarkson :twisted: He'll get it done in a couple of hours :shock:

    We have this discussion every year. The idea of a cull is to improve the overall quality of a herd by reducing the quantity. Rather than indiscriminately shooting deer they come across until they reach the agreed number, the park rangers will identify the old and infirm and cull them. This takes time.
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