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Route Advice - South West London to Westminister - National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist.

wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,992
edited October 2018 in Commuting chat
Hey,

Heading from Down South to the big smoke this Saturday (13th Oct) for the National Funeral for the unknown cyclist in Westminister,

There are 4 adults plus a 8 year old who want to get to it, so going to be driving somewhere, and then cycling in - looking at about 10-15 mile ride from drop off to the Lincoln fields.

I've got options of entering London on the A3 or the M3 - I was thinking possibly dumping the car somewhere near Kingston/mitcham/Wimbledon area, possibly Richmond Park, and then picking up "proposed" Quietway 4 at Wimbledon Station and then CS7, but have heard some pretty nasty things about "quietways", and CS7 doesn't seem to be much better in places..

I understand a lot of members this way start out at RP - is anyone able to provide some advice on a suitable route?

Bikes will be hybrids, or mountain/gravel bikes, so although a safe tarmac'd route would be great over that distance, it's not essential..

Ta
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  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    CS7 isn't suitable for an 8 year old, especially on a weekend. Parked cars force you into fast moving traffic.

    There's a good route from Richmond Park to the centre along the old LCN 3 and then the new Q5 route. I'd be happy to cycle that that with a competent 8 year old.

    However - parking restrictions are relaxed at the weekend. You could park out by Paddington and ride in via the canal tow path and the NW cycle superhighway, then back out via the EW cycle superhighway past Buckingham palace and through Hyde Park. That's the most touristy car-free route i can think of.
  • From RP, take priory road (there's a cycle path along the pavement), take a right at the end and follow the road all the way to Putney bridge (take a slight left when the road forks, to avoid CS7 and head towards Putney)

    Go North over Putney Bridge and take CS8 which should be OK on the weekend. Only bit to be wary of is along New Kings Road (lots of side roads) and Putney high street (which is a bit narrow).

    I don't have children so no idea how competent an 8 year old is.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    From RP, take priory road (there's a cycle path along the pavement), take a right at the end and follow the road all the way to Putney bridge (take a slight left when the road forks, to avoid CS7 and head towards Putney)

    Go North over Putney Bridge and take CS8 which should be OK on the weekend. Only bit to be wary of is along New Kings Road (lots of side roads) and Putney high street (which is a bit narrow).

    I don't have children so no idea how competent an 8 year old is.
    I have a 12-year-old, who races most weekends and rides 3 miles to school on her own. I don't think I'd be happy riding that route with her. It's not so much the mechanics of riding the bike correctly in the right position on the road; it's the fact that you constantly have to have your eyes peeled for drivers doing silly things, and be ready to take appropriate action very quickly.
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  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,992
    Cheers.
    We are hoping to be flying SKC flags the entire ride in, and intend to have the little one in the middle of our 2 up "peloton", when on the road to increase our visibility.
    Supposedly the little one's a great rider, currently does 12 mile stints at the weekend on the flats of Portsmouth without too much problem, but it's not them I'm worried about, it's the idiots in the cars...

    I've been looking at Cyclestreets and the TFL cycle route planner - will be sitting down to chat through those options, and the above routes over a pint tomorrow night; I quite like the idea of this, as a generally more relaxed route anyway.
    inbike wrote:
    However - parking restrictions are relaxed at the weekend. You could park out by Paddington and ride in via the canal tow path and the NW cycle superhighway, then back out via the EW cycle superhighway past Buckingham palace and through Hyde Park. That's the most touristy car-free route i can think of.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    If you're coming in via the A3, you could park in Kingston, get the train into Vauxhall, ride over Vauxhall Bridge in the bike lane, turn right down Millbank, over Lambeth Bridge roundabout* to Parliament Square.

    At Parlt Sq, you have two options, I think: take the Birdcage Walk exit, or take the next exit after that to head down Whitehall. The advantage with the latter is that you get the benefit of the bike lane lights on the inside of Parlt Sq giving you a headstart. I think you can then push your bike through Horseguards on the left hand side of Whitehall. On the other side, it's easy to join up with the bike lane down the side of the Mall, which leads all the way up to Hyde Park, where there's a pleasant three mile loop in a dedicated/segregated bike lane. You can get onto Horseguards from Birdcage Walk, but they were doing something funky with that right turn when I was there earlier this year.

    *you can get off before the r'abt and walk over the pedestrian crossing to your left, and remount on the other side.

    Like the others have said, there's really no great route, I'm afraid. There's parking just off Millbank, around Lord North Street and Dean Stanley St, but I think it's limited on a Saturday.
    FCN 2-4.

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    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    tgotb wrote:
    From RP, take priory road (there's a cycle path along the pavement), take a right at the end and follow the road all the way to Putney bridge (take a slight left when the road forks, to avoid CS7 and head towards Putney)

    I have a 12-year-old, who races most weekends and rides 3 miles to school on her own. I don't think I'd be happy riding that route with her.

    Same. The Putney Bridge route is fairly safe but it would be intimiating to someone not used to London cycling because it is fast and busy even on the weekends.

    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28756736 would be my suggestion from RP to central London.
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    This is what the alternative loop from Paddington might look like.

    You'll need advice from a local on where you can park in the Paddington area. (Or take the train in.)

    A little bit of the Union Canal tow path is shut. I think I've routed around the right bit, but not sure. Buyer beware.

    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28758412

    Tow path - car free except where it is shut. Diversion likely to be pretty quiet.
    KX to Blackfriars - segregated cycle superhighway in the main. Otherwise quiet roads with cycle facilities.
    Blackfriars - map is slightly out of date, but there's a fully segregated link from the NS to EW cycle superhighway.
    Blackfriars to Northumberland Ave - fully segregated.
    Northumberland Ave - busy but with cycle facilities. Depending on your 8 year old I'd be prepared to take to the pavement at the Trafalgar Square end but it isn't far if you have to dismount and walk.
    The Mall - segregated cycle route to the North of and parallel to the road but it isn't signposted or easy to spot if you don't know it's there.
    Constitution Hill to Paddington - fully segregated. Mind the peds!
  • Personally there's no way I'd ride any of those routes with an 8yo. The sheer weight of traffic is extensive and you need to be totally on it with drivers. I wonder how much of a pleasurable ride it will be unless you're going so early that roads are quiet.
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    Thigh_burn wrote:
    Personally there's no way I'd ride any of those routes with an 8yo. The sheer weight of traffic is extensive and you need to be totally on it with drivers. I wonder how much of a pleasurable ride it will be unless you're going so early that roads are quiet.

    That's not really helpfull unless you say which routes or parts of routes you object to and why. After quite a lot of research and test riding, I'd ride the one's I've suggested with a sensible 8yo.

    Some bits of London are great (much better than smaller cities or the suburbs) and some bits are awful and all of it requires active parental involvement to identify the difference.

    Specific information, criticism, or route advice can help them work out what's right for their child. Being dismissive just puts people off trying.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    tgotb wrote:
    I have a 12-year-old, who races most weekends and rides 3 miles to school on her own. I don't think I'd be happy riding that route with her. It's not so much the mechanics of riding the bike correctly in the right position on the road; it's the fact that you constantly have to have your eyes peeled for drivers doing silly things, and be ready to take appropriate action very quickly.
    Just thought about this some more; my 12-year-old has paid attention in Bikeability training, and is quite risk averse; I think the biggest problem would actually be making any headway at all, especially along New King's Road.

    Cycle lane? Not going down there, Dad, it's impossible to stay out of the door zone. Round the outside? No way, what if someone comes the other way. Can't ride over this zebra crossing; look, there's a pedestrian over there who might want to cross. Down the massive gap between the two, obviously stationary, cars? No thanks, what if everyone opens their doors simultaneously and one of the cars then moves sideways and squashes me against the other one.

    tl;dr: filtering through traffic with kids who are sensible enough to ride on the road in the first place is basically impossible...
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  • Two thoughts, I support CJ's comment on train, parking in New Malden is free as opposed to Kingston so dump your car in Cambridge Avenue just around from the station. It's the same train line and just off the A3 as opposed to Kingston.

    Have a look for any of the feeder rides being run by local LCC groups. This way it may be easier to tackle more challenging routes in from the suburbs.
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  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,374
    I really wouldn't be riding with an 8 year old from Kingston into central London, take the train into town as others have suggested and make your way there from Vauxhall or Waterloo.
  • inbike wrote:
    Thigh_burn wrote:
    Personally there's no way I'd ride any of those routes with an 8yo. The sheer weight of traffic is extensive and you need to be totally on it with drivers. I wonder how much of a pleasurable ride it will be unless you're going so early that roads are quiet.

    That's not really helpfull unless you say which routes or parts of routes you object to and why. After quite a lot of research and test riding, I'd ride the one's I've suggested with a sensible 8yo.

    Some bits of London are great (much better than smaller cities or the suburbs) and some bits are awful and all of it requires active parental involvement to identify the difference.

    Specific information, criticism, or route advice can help them work out what's right for their child. Being dismissive just puts people off trying.

    I'm trying to be dismissive - I think cycling in Central London for a child, unless there are closed roads is dangerous. It's not a place for an 8yo. I totally get it's up to every parent / carer what they'd do. But I cycle and drive a lot in London and have a 10yo. There's no way I'd let them on roads in central London. None of the routes suggested are in quiet suburbs. By definition given where OP is going, it's central.

    One caveat to all of this is what about a tandem?
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    edited October 2018
    Thigh_burn wrote:
    None of the routes suggested are in quiet suburbs. By definition given where OP is going, it's central

    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28756736 is almost entirely on quiet roads which are a damn sight better than you'll find in the surburbs.

    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28758412 is mostly not on roads at all (although the bit at mile 17 needs a close look - must be a better option).

    But I agree with people suggesting the train. Despite the longer distance getting off at Vauxhall is probably slightly safer than getting off at Waterloo because you cross the river on a segregated lane. The last bit of https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28756736 is the best route I'm aware of with children.
  • AIm for Barnes village, park as close to the river as you can then ride the path alongside the Thames (its unmetalled most of the way from Barnes to Putney Br, then either metalled or paved). There's a little diversion when you get to Battersea power station - you either cross the river there and pick up the CS (not ideal) or divert south around it and rejoin just west of Vauxhall Br.

    There are other smaller diversions when you get to the Refuse transfer centre just west of Wandsworth Bridge and at Battersea Heliport but that's v straightforward.
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  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    On G66's post, you could ride from Kingston through Richmond Park to Barnes - there's a cycle lane down Priory Lane. I checked a mate's route, and he's ridden along the river to Putney as per Greg.

    EDIT: thinking about it, depending on what time you get back, you might be able to park in Richmond Park.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • elbowlohelbowloh Posts: 4,161
    cjcp wrote:
    On G66's post, you could ride from Kingston through Richmond Park to Barnes - there's a cycle lane down Priory Lane. I checked a mate's route, and he's ridden along the river to Putney as per Greg.

    EDIT: thinking about it, depending on what time you get back, you might be able to park in Richmond Park.
    If you think you might get back after the gates close, just park on the road called Roehampton Gate, just outside the gate, first left. Loads of space there to park, i used to do it often.
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  • Just to echo others that 10-15 miles in London when you don't know the route will be very stressful

    why not do a lap of the park and get a train from Richmond.

    Personally I think it is more dangerous out of rush hour as there are less cyclists and cars move (slightly) faster. I think a ride from Vauxhall or Waterloo will be more than enough
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,992
    Thanks all for the feedback.
    We would normally do the train to waterloo, but the issues of bikes on trains worries us, given the expected turnout - not to mention the cost of the tickets for all to get there at £130. when driving will cost us less then £30 in fuel, and be quicker.

    We've considered tandeming, but the 8year old, who really wants to do it after some time in the Netherlands over the summer, has really got it that they want to do it indepantly - they've written, without any prompting, a little speech if they get asked by anyone with a camera as to why they are there...

    The discussions above all show exactly why this call is so important, so I really, really appreciate the time put in by those to dig out possible routes. Tonight is planning night.

    Thanks for the heads up re RP closing time - had completely missed that!
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Thigh_burn wrote:
    One caveat to all of this is what about a tandem?
    A tandem would be fine, but only if both you and the stoker are used to riding together, preferably with a bit of traffic around. In particular, your stoker needs to be comfortable staying clipped in when you stop, and need to understand they can't move their body around when you're going slowly. You need to be comfortable holding the full weight of the bike and stoker when you stop, and setting off promptly.

    It can actually be quite a useful tool for teaching kids how to ride in traffic, because you can talk them through what you're doing, what you're looking out for etc, as you ride.

    Here's tgotb junior at the age of 8, mid way through our first 10 mile TT...
    dave-astrid-tt.jpg?resize=1024%2C634
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  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,992
    tgotb wrote:
    Thigh_burn wrote:
    One caveat to all of this is what about a tandem?
    A tandem would be fine, but only if both you and the stoker are used to riding together, preferably with a bit of traffic around. In particular, your stoker needs to be comfortable staying clipped in when you stop, and need to understand they can't move their body around when you're going slowly. You need to be comfortable holding the full weight of the bike and stoker when you stop, and setting off promptly.

    It can actually be quite a useful tool for teaching kids how to ride in traffic, because you can talk them through what you're doing, what you're looking out for etc, as you ride.

    Here's tgotb junior at the age of 8, mid way through our first 10 mile TT...
    dave-astrid-tt.jpg?resize=1024%2C634

    Nice shot! Of course, that's sport, not transport!

    the family's who 8 year old it is, has ever tandemed, so no chance to get that sorted out by Saturday. I'm still trying to get junior WB to have a go with the followme tandem, just wants to be independent, which is great, but slightly frustrating for test riding longer routes.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    Nice shot! Of course, that's sport, not transport!
    8)

    We actually used it quite a lot for the school run too - I could drop her off at school and then continue to work. Particularly useful if dropoff and pickup were in different places, making riding her own bike a logistical pain.

    Filtering on a tandem is non-trivial, even riding solo. Tight turns round stationary cars are almost impossible because of the long wheelbase, and it's quite a bit harder to squeeze through narrower gaps because there's so much of it behind you. On the positive side, I was expecting a slew of (oh so funny) comments about having lost someone, but I never heard one...
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  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,992
    tgotb wrote:
    Nice shot! Of course, that's sport, not transport!
    8)

    We actually used it quite a lot for the school run too - I could drop her off at school and then continue to work. Particularly useful if dropoff and pickup were in different places, making riding her own bike a logistical pain.

    Filtering on a tandem is non-trivial, even riding solo. Tight turns round stationary cars are almost impossible because of the long wheelbase, and it's quite a bit harder to squeeze through narrower gaps because there's so much of it behind you. On the positive side, I was expecting a slew of (oh so funny) comments about having lost someone, but I never heard one...

    Sorry, I'd been having an argument with someone about cycling for sport vs transport, and I brought it into this one.
    That's one of the reasons I've been looking at co=pilot trailers as well; easier to store, ability to leave one part behind locked up at school, and then continue the ride on the normal bike. able to filter.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    That's one of the reasons I've been looking at co=pilot trailers as well; easier to store, ability to leave one part behind locked up at school, and then continue the ride on the normal bike. able to filter.
    It's a bit horses-for-courses. I get the impression co-pilot and other tagalongs are better suited to younger kids who are more likely to be "along for the ride". Riding a tandem is much more a team effort, and your stoker needs to collaborate quite closely. On the flipside, like lots of team activities, it's quite rewarding when it comes together, and it's a great opportunity for a younger child to experience things they otherwise couldn't (riding safely in traffic, going for longer rides, racing at 25mph on a flat road).
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  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Plenty of free places to park around New Malden - or as I do - Motspur Park (although the station is up over a bridge) - then get the train (much more cheaply) in ...
    But for this one I'd suggest going further in and riding in - we've seen free parking around Kew Gardens - then you can take the river bank path all the way in - it's very nice apparently (not done it ourselves yet)
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,992
    Thank you everyone who spent time on routes and suggestions for this.

    Unfortunately,. It all went to pot as the family with kid car broke down on the way to picking me, and I ended up train w&nkrring IIT to Waterloo and cycling from there
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    censored . Did the kid enjoy the riding?
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,992
    cjcp wrote:
    censored . Did the kid enjoy the riding?

    They didn't make it; they were in the broken down car.

    viewtopic.php?f=40012&t=12573143&p=20434270#p20434270
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Duh - sorry, I mis-read your post.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,992
    cjcp wrote:
    Duh - sorry, I mis-read your post.

    No worries. They were not happy; It had been agreed that they needed both parents with them to keep them safe, i'd not ridden with the kid previously, so didn't know their standards at all, and wasn't willing to take the risk, especially as i'd never ridden in london myself before.
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
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