Get the flavour of London on this spectacular 105k ride which has been so much enjoyed by all those who have ridden it. Don’t miss the opportunity for a breathtaking cycle tour of the sights of London using mostly cycle paths, cycle routes and quiet streets.
The London Sightseer 105km starts in Hampton Hill Middlesex and mainly using established cycle routes, river paths and park roads where possible takes you to the O2 Arena (Millennium Dome) and back via many of London’s most spectacular sights. In more detail the route takes you through Twickenham, Richmond and Old Isleworth to Brentford and then via Kew and the riverside to Hammersmith. Next come Kensington, Portobello Road and Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace and along the Mall to Trafalgar Square. Then to the City of London via St Paul’s Cathedral before St Catherine’s Docks and historic Wapping following the canal to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Then to the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and Docklands. Next, the most spectacular view in London from Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory before returning along the river to Greenwich and the Cutty Sark visiting Rotherhithe on the way to Tower Bridge. Follow the embankment past HMS Belfast and The Golden Hinde and see spectacular river views and old cobbled streets to Westminster and Parliament Square. Then follow the Embankment to Chelsea through Battersea Park and via back streets to Putney Bridge and then Richmond Park. Next its along the river again to Teddington and Kingston to Hampton Court Palace and, finally, through Bushey Park to Hampton Hill and the finish where refreshments are available.
The Wednesday Midweek Sightseer is the same as above but after visiting the Olympic Park the Thames will be crossed using the Emirates Airline cable crossing to the O2 Arena. This will mean a stunning aerial view of the Dome, Docklands, the Thames and surrounding areas There is a £4 charge (less if you have a TfL Freedom Pass or an Oyster Card) for the crossing payable at the ticket office, bikes can be taken in the cabins.
On Wednesday you will see London at work with roads fairly busy and the parks and river banks quiet and, of course, plenty of activity in The City and Docklands; on Sunday The City and Docklands are almost deserted, the parks and river paths very busy and the roads quieter. So for atmosphere Wednesday is best, for quieter roads Sunday is best. The Sunday event will not use the Emirates Airline.
The Event Headquarters is at 225 High Street, Hampton Hill, TW12 1NP which can be reached by train from Waterloo to Fulwell Station on the Shepperton Line. There is plenty of free on-street parking in the neighbourhood which is a low crime area. If you need a hotel there are Travelodges at Teddington, Sunbury and Feltham all within 2 miles of the start. Any type of bike can be used but there are some unmetalled paths and cobbled sections. Tandems and recumbents will also have to be lifted over obstructions in places. Riders are provided with a route sheet that gives detailed instructions on the route to be followed.
There is a gpx file available for those who wish it but if you are using the route sheet which necessarily has many instructions you are advised to have a facility for mounting your route sheet on your handlebars such as a Polaris map holder available from http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/among others. A waterproof bag will be provided. If you wish to carry a map with you the route is covered by the standard Geographers London A-Z Guide
If you have never ridden a randonee before, the procedure is quite simple. The objective is to complete the course within 10.5 hours by using the very detailed route sheet or GPS and checking in at controls within a certain time. At the start you must collect your brevet card containing the control details, which must be stamped or completed as appropriate. The route sheet, which contains detailed instructions, will alert you to the location of each control of which there are two types:
- Information controls at which you need to write the answer to the simple question on the brevet card
- A Fixed Control at which you need to obtain a sticker for your brevet card from the controller.
At the finish you MUST hand your brevet card in to the organiser having been signed by you. if you want an AUK certificate the time allowed for the event, which is around 60 miles or 105k is 10 and a half hours.
To enter one or both of the events enter on-line or download an entry form by accessing the Audax calendar at http://www.aukweb.net/events/ and accessing the events on the the appropriate dates form the Audax Dates page. Entry costs £6.00 in advance with a £2 insurance supplement if you are not a member of Audax UK or Cycling UK or £7 on the line or via PayPal. Two stamped addressed envelopes are required for postal entries but not for on-line entries.