Here is the edited summary of my ride, if you want to read the full article, including my candidate for the "Worst Pub in the World" you will find it here http://www.skibike.me.uk/2013/07/urban- ... hames.html
I had an idea that it would be possible to find a suitable route from Greenwich, crossing to the North side of the River Thames, then heading East and following the river bank all the way out to Thurrock in Essex. I would then cross the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, using the free "bike taxi" service and returning to Greenwich along the Thames Path.
I don't think that I would follow this route again, especially in the company of other bikers. Trying to follow the river Thames along the northern side is pretty much an impossible task.
Firstly, there are a number of minor tributaries that you have to cross, each one involves an energy sapping deviation to find a crossing point further "inland".
Secondly, there are too many industrial areas closed off behind giant fences dogs and angry guards.
And lastly, a new cross rail route is under construction, which, in addition to the current railway lines, high speed rail links and trunk roads all serve to carve the area up into one giant soulless transport corridor.
As a result of the above factors you are forced to ride alongside busy roads for the best part of the route, with no respite till Rainham.
I had a few stops along the way, but the loop starting from Greenwich took the best part of 7 hours.
But, I will definitely run an Urban Retro Bike ride along the Thames Path from Greenwich to Dartford and back in the near future. Perhaps with a trip over/under the river to the North side for a quick excursion into Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve.