Route rating(2) Reviews
An easy-going ride to the Welsh Harp reservoir and the nearby parks. This ride is suitable for beginners who are comfortable on their bikes but haven't cycled on roads much. It is a relaxed visit to see the natural beauty of the Welsh Harp at our doorstep! Children are welcome as long as they are confident on their bikes and can ride the whole distance under the supervision of a relative/carer.
It may sound surprising that this is a relaxed ride as we need to cross major busy sections like the North Circular, but it's possible and most of the ride is through quiet roads and segregated crossings away from traffic. We will have to join one or 2 busy roads that we may have to dismount to cross on the pedestrian crossing. For that reason, this is a great opportunity for those who have started or restarted to cycle recently and haven't felt confident to ride on roads yet. We will start from Roundwood Park crossing through the park of Willesden Sports Centre and take easy roads until Gladstone Park. We will then carry on to cross the North Circular using a subway and then a shared pedestrian and cycle pavement on the carriageway. Later on, another pedestrian crossing at Blackbird Hill will lead us to the Welsh Harp where we will go around its cycle and pedestrian path. We will stop at Birchen Grove Garden Centre where we can have a coffee and toilet break - please note that we are not supposed to consume our coffees inside so we will have to come out for our break, but the garden centre is open for a look around (or even a quick spot of shopping!). On our way back, we take the busiest road of this route, Bridge Road in front of Wembley Park station. It's only a short section with easy turns taking us into quiet industrial roads of Wembley until we reach Brent River Park. From there, we safely cross the North Circular again and lead back to our starting point through Neasden Temple and Gibbons Recreational Ground. The Welsh Harp terrain is not recommended for very skinny road tyres (especially if it had rained recently), unless you are very confident on your bike. All other bikes are suitable. It's mainly a flat route with the odd slope over bridges. We go at the pace of the slowest and don't leave anyone behind.
Helmets aren't compulsory but advisable. Please bring a mask to get inside the Garden Centre. Following government rules for outdoor sports, we must keep at least one metre distance from each other while riding, and 2 metres when we stop for breaks. We mustn't share any equipment, so please make sure that your tyres are pumped and you have a spare inner tube and all necessary tools to change your own in case you have a puncture mid-ride (and if you don't know how to change a tyre, please ensure you have a card with you in case you decide to take the train from the closest station home). Places are limited and get booked up very fast, normally with a waiting list. If you develop Covid-19 symptoms or have been told to self-isolate before the ride, or can't make it for any other reason, please ensure to cancel your space so someone else can join. Only riders who booked themselves on the ride will be allowed to join. Children must also be booked in - you will have the option to book additional riders as soon as you sign yourself up (as long as there are still available spaces). Maximum 2 children per responsible adult, who must supervise them at all times (ride leaders can only supervise the group as a whole). Unless the weather takes a nasty turn making it unsafe or unpleasant to cycle, this ride will go ahead even if it rains. Dress for the weather and bring a rain coat just in case.
We especially welcome newbies!
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