Challenges

Round Trip Ride – Wimbledon 走一轉系列 – 温布頓

In my previous posts, I had mentioned that I found it a bit boring cycling in parks within Kingston. So I changed my mind and planned to visit nearby areas on my bike. Not only served as great exercises for me, but also help me to understand more about the areas nearby.

To ride to nearby areas, I have to cycle on the roads. And according to Highway Code, cyclists cannot ride on the pavements unless explicitly specified. Caught on first offence normally ended with a warning but a fixed penalty of £30 would be imposed otherwise.

As a new comer to UK, cycling on the road sounded a bit difficult and also posed certain risks to me. So I decided to search over the internet for routes that others used before and luckily I found Kingston Cycling Campaign (KCC), a local subgroup of the London Cycling Campaign. The objective of the group is to promote cycling in Kingston and speak up for all cyclists.

KCC hosts regular events and organises cycling activities. Routes taken normally utilised Bridleways, Towpaths and avoiding busy roads whenever possible to provide a safe and relaxing journey for all the participants. As such, people like me riding on thin-tyred roadbikes will find it not so relaxing.

上一篇提過在 Kingston 市內公園踩單車有點悶,於是改變想法,打算到鄰近地區走走,運動之餘又可熟習其他地方。

要到鄰近地區,走的當然是馬路。根據英國 Highway Code,如非特別指定,單車是不可以踩上行人路。初犯一般是警告了事,再犯就會被罰 30 鎊。

初到貴境人生路不熟,踩馬路會有一定的困難及危險,於是嘗試在網上尋找前人走過的路線。碰巧找到 Kingston Cycling Campaign (KCC),一個 London Cycling Campaign 在 Kingston Borough 內的地區分部,目標是在 Kingston 內推動單車文化及為所有踩單車的市民發聲。

KCC 會定期安排一些單車活動,行走路線多以馬道Bridleways)、河流或運河傍的小路Towpaths)為主,另外會盡量避免行走繁忙道路,以提供一個安全而輕鬆的行程。有得自然亦有失,如你像我一樣是踩公路車的話,就要辛苦一點!


For my first “On-the-road” ride, I found a relatively short route from KCC’s route database. Destination was Wimbledon on the eastern side of Kingston and with total distance of about 23 Kilometers.

For most of the rides hosted by KCC, the journey would normally started from Kingston Old Market. Cycling along Brook Street to leave Kingston town centre. Major Point-Of-Interest (POI) are:

  • Lower Marsh Lane in Surbiton
  • Berrylands Railway Station
  • Elmbridge Meadows Open Space
  • Motspur Park
  • Wimbledon South town centre
  • Raynes Park Railway Station
  • Raynes Park Recreation Ground
  • Cycleway 31
  • Kingston Cemetery
  • Fairfield South

Before starting my journey, I downloaded the required route from KCC’s website and synchronised it to my cycle computer via mobile App.

When everything was ready, pressed Start to kick off the ride.

第一次踩馬路,先在 KCC 的單車資料庫找來一條較短的路線,目的地是 Kingston 東面的 Wimbledon,全程來回約 23 公里。

一如大部分 KCC 的活動,行程會在 Kingston Old Market 開始,經 Brook Street 離開 Kingston 市中心。沿途會經過以下幾個主要地點:

  • Lower Marsh Lane in Surbiton
  • Berrylands 火車站
  • Elmbridge Meadows Open Space
  • Motspur Park
  • Wimbledon South 市中心
  • Raynes Park 火車站
  • Raynes Park Recreation Ground
  • Cycleway 31 單車道
  • Kingston Cemetery
  • Fairfield South

出發前在 KCC 的網站下載路線檔案,經手機 App 同步至我的單車電腦上。

一切就緒,按 Start 便開始行程。

Lower Marsh Lane Walking Trail to Berrylands Railway Station

Upon leaving the rail bridge of Berrylands Railway Station, Elmbridge Meadows Open Space came to sight at the end of Surbiton Hill Park.

In UK, there are large number of Open Space or Common similar to Elmbridge Meadows and they are basically unfenced pieces of lands available for use by the public. Common is a concept originated in the medieval times, and currently the land referred by the common is owned and managed by the landlord. Public has limited rights to use the space for activities like walking, running, climbing and walk dog. Cycling and horse riding are only allowed if explicitly permitted by the landlord. Nevertheless, vehicles are generally not allowed to enter.

According to government statistics, Kingston Upon Thames is currently the borough with the most Open Space or Common among the 32 London Boroughs. In fact, most of the routes that I will show in future will make use of the Open Space or Common in the nearby areas.

離開 Berrylands 火車站橋底,踩至 Surbiton Hill Park 盡頭,便到達 Elmbridge Meadows Open Space

英國有很多像這類的 Open SpaceCommon,是一種沒有圍欄,可供公眾使用的土地。Common 是一個沿自中世紀的概念,現時所指的土地是由地主擁有及管理,公眾則有權利作限定的活動如散歩、跑步,攀爬及放狗,而騎馬、踩單車等則需得到地主同意方可進行。但肯定的是,車輛一般是禁止進入。

根據政府數據,現時倫敦 32 個自治市London Boroughs)內擁有最多 Open Space 或 Common 便是 Kingston Upon Thames,日後同大家分享的其他單車路線便大多會穿過這些地方。

Elmbridge Meadows Open Space

To go to Motspur Park, one needs to cross the A3 main road. No concern, there is a pedestrian/bicycle subway built on the side of South Lane.

要到 Motspur Park 必須穿越主幹道 A3,但不用擔心,在 South Lane 路傍已建有隧道供行人及單車使用。

South Lane tunnel crossing A3 Kingston Bypass

Despite not every parts of UK have cycleways, as a bicycle friendly country, cycle lanes are assigned along roads whenever possible. Otherwise, cyclists should ride close to the road side. However, it is quite common that vehicles are parked along the road side or blocking those cycle lanes. Cyclists inevitably have to move towards the centre of the road.

Drivers in UK generally have very nice driving attitude and will maintain another form of “social distancing” with cyclists. Base on my experience so far, most of them would move slightly away from cyclists while overtaking. If situation not allowed, they would just keep driving slowly behind. Of course, without sounding their horns!

雖然英國並非所有地方都有單車徑,但作為一個單車友善的國家,道路傍盡可能都會畫出單車線。如果路面不設單車線,就要小心靠路邊踩。不過在一些地方,路邊會有車輛停泊,單車還是要踩出一點在路上。

一般來說英國人駕車態度非常好,會與單車保持一定距離。就我暫有的經驗,當超越單車時,他們大多會偏移至隔離線,如路面情況未許可,他們會慢慢駛在你後面,而且絕不會響號。

Bicycle lane at Motspur Park

One thing that is quite common while cycling in UK is using Level Crossing. Statistics showed that there are currently around 6000 railway crossings in UK. Recalled when I was travelling on a train in Japan or Taiwan, I found it interesting seeing cars and pedestrians stopped behind the barrier gate waiting for the train to pass by. However, being role swapped, I felt myself quite anxious. Wondering if my wheels will get stuck in the rails, or fail to move across before the gate is lowered again. Frankly speaking, I was over concerned and time should definitely be enough.

Once you moved across a number of times, using level crossing is just a piece of cake. You only have to wait in front of the barrier gate, wait for the green light and pedal steadily towards to the other side of the level crossing.

Remember, never “Run a red light”!

在英國踩單車,有一樣經常會遇到的是橫越鐵路道口,而據官方數字,英國現有約 6000 多個鐵路道口。以往去日本或臺灣旅遊,在火車上見到路上車輛及行人在閘前等待火車橫過,覺得有趣。今次角色掉轉,感覺又不一樣,有點緊張,一方面擔心單車輪會卡在火車軌上,另一方面因路上還有其他車輛,又怕自己趕不切在閘降下前穿過。當然這些固慮是有點多餘,時間應該是足夠的!

踩過一次後其實又不是想像中複雜,基本上都是在閘前等待綠燈,在閘升起後盡快踩過對面。

但謹記,切勿衝燈!

Level crossing at W Barnes Lane

Another thing is using Public Footpath as a shortcut. Just like the section from Merton Park to my current destination Wimbledon South, I had taken advantage of the public footpath to cross the level crossing of the tram rails. According to Highway Code, cyclists must be demounted while using the public footpath.

The tram service mentioned here was introduced by Tramlink South London in year 2000. Service started from Wimbledon, passing through East Croydon and terminated at Beckenham Junction. Other route extensions to Elmers End and New Addington are also in service.

第二樣是使用公眾步道(Public Footpath)作捷徑。就像今次由 Merton Park 往目的地 Wimbledon South 的一段,便利用公眾步道橫過温布頓市內的電車軌。而根據 Highway Code,單車使用者是不得在公共步道上踩單車,應下車推過。

這裡提到的電車服務是由 Tramlink South London 於 2000 年引入,路線由 Wimbledon 開始,途中經過 East Croydon,終點站 Beckenham Junction,另有支線往 Elmers EndNew Addington

Public footpath to Melbourne Road

Soon I arrived in Wimbledon South. Had a short stay before continuing with my return trip. As I was too focused on strolling around the high street, I forgot to take any pictures. The only thing I can do now is to capture a few Streetview snapshots with Google.

很快便到達 Wimbledon South ,稍作休息後便回程,其間因忙於逛街,忘記影相,唯有再次求助 Google 大神,capture 數張 Streetview 作路線紀錄。

The return trip started from Hartfield Crescent in Wimbledon South town centre and along cycleway in suburb Wimbledon Chase. This suburb is a residential area with one primary school Wimbledon Chase Primary School, plus a small number of local shops serving basic needs of the residents.

The journey continued on Kingston Road after leaving the cycleway. At the traffic light next to Raynes Park Library, turned right to Coombe Lane where the Raynes Park Railway Station was located. Just as other areas near railway stations, there were a number of restaurants and cafes here and should be a nice place for taking a rest and had some refreshments. Regrettably that it was too early in the morning, I left and returned home for lunch.

回程在市中心的 Hartfield Crescent 開始,再經過 Wimbledon Chase 小區的單車徑,這𥚃主要是住宅,有一所小學 Wimbledon Chase Primary School 及小量店舖提供日常基本生活需要。

離開單車徑後就是 Kingston Road,再走一小段路就便到達 Raynes Park Library,在燈位後轉右至 Coombe LaneRaynes Park 火車站 就在眼前。一如其他鄰近火車站的地方,這裡有很多食店及 cafes,頗適合停下來休息,吃點 refreshments,不過當天時間實在太早,還是回家吃午飯吧。

Cycleway along Wimbledon Chase Front Field

Next I left Raynes Park Railway Station along Coombe Lane. Taking Taunton Avenue to arrive at the Raynes Park Recreation Ground and Cycleway 31 was right at the left. The one mile long cycleway provided a fast-path between Raynes Park and New Malden. In between, you have to stop at the New Malden Railway Station and carefully cross the busy Coombe Road (B283).

沿 Coombe Lane 離開 Raynes Park 火車站,再取道 Taunton AvenueRaynes Park Recreation Ground,左轉進入一英里長的 Cycleway 31。其間會經過 New Malden 火車站,及需小心橫過頗繁忙的 Coombe Road (B283)。

Raynes Park Sports Ground towards Cycleway 31
New Malden Railway Station, Coombe Road

Finally exited Cycleway 31 at Poplar Grove. Pedalled through New Malden, Norbiton and along Kingston Cementery, Fairfield South and back to Kingston town centre.

最後在 Poplar Grove 離開 Cycleway 31,經 New Malden、Norbiton,沿 Kingston CementeryFairfield South 返回 Kingston 市中心。

Exit of Cycleway 31 at Poplar Grove

Comparing with those journeys I made in parks, cycling on the streets to nearby areas sounded more solid and lively to me. Not only could I experience the living environment of UK residents and all those day to day activities, a better understanding on the nearby areas could also be achieved. Making me more easily to adapt to living in UK.

相比起之前的公園路線,在馬路上踩單車往其他區域比較實在。可以感受英國人的居住環境、街道及商店活動之餘,亦讓我對鄰近地區多點認識,有助於日後定居。

Round trip to Wimbledon
Round trip ride from Kingston to Wimbledon

If you are interested in my rides in UK, click here for more details.

有興趣看看我其他在英國的單車遊,可按這裡


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12 replies »

  1. 好詳細啊。你個單車電腦好用嗎?我以前騎陌生的路,都係跟大隊,人家單車頭裝了一個小型電腦,好似手機咁,可以帶路。紐約呢邊近十年因為單車組織不斷推廣,市內已有很多單車徑,不過司機對單車人士還是不太友善,去年還是前年,紐約全市單車遊的創辦人之一,就是在騎單車時被小型貨車撞死了,消息都幾震撼單車界。等我有機會都搵番啲騎車舊文重溫吓。

    Liked by 3 people

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