Niall, in answer to your questions:
I have never done a ride with a group before
- well this is a great introduction, we ride at the pace of the slowest rider, the whippets spend more time talking whilst the rest of us humans catch up.
I have hardly ridden in 6 months
- The route covers a fair few miles, if you haven't been on a bike in a while then you might well struggle to make the full loop. Perhaps joining at Greenwich and leaving around Victoria would be more achievable.
If I can make it, what is recommended to bring with?
- Light cross-country type MTB or hybrid type bikes work best, 26 x 1.75 or 700 x 35 are ideal tyre sizes. Puncture proof tyres are highly recommended. Most carry a back pack with an extra top layer, puncture repair kit/spare inner tube, bike multi-tool plus light snacks and fluids as per personal preferences.
Is it a flat out spin through the city?
- Not really, the roads are too crowded and dangerous, we err on the side of safety. The key is variety, within minutes of leaving East Croydon you could be fooled into thinking you are deep in the countryside. There is a fun underground foot tunnel, canal tow paths, gravel tracks, a BMX circuit, a trip past the only road in the UK where you drive on the right hand side of the road and many other curiosities.
Is there tea?
- 2 tea stops and a pub stop 2 miles from the completion of the full loop.