This morning’s gathering at Aylesford had four groups for the start. A bit lively to say the least, not helped by the looming rain clouds just waiting for us, so all thinking to join a ride that would go in the other direction. It was just our luck that our carefully planned ride would take us directly into the darkness. It didn’t deter ten hardy souls to think nothing except the bread pudding and bacon butties at the coffee stop on the distant horizon.
It went well until just after Eccles when wet stuff started to fall, and by Peters Village we were battered by the hail. Huddling under a bus shelter to add clothing seemed the best idea ever! They did say it was going to be only showers today, so it couldn’t last forever right? 30 minutes later, and well past Cuxton and up Bush Road it all got better. Now for the steady climb up through the valley to Harvel. So we got to Trosley CP after bumping along the top. One cycle group was just riding out, and another (Sidcup Cycles) getting ready to leave as we parked the bikes. 17 miles at this point.
A coffee we rubbed shoulders with a big group of CTC Swale, one or two ready for a bun fight, and others much more friendlier…
During coffee we had another shower, just not good timing for our descent of Vigo. The resurfacing down there has made it (almost) a pleasure to ride it. Out through the villages and up to Offham, passing John C’s D+ ride on the way. A quick sprint through the Mallings & Ditton back home in the sun was just the ticket!
Under the circumstances, what with the lumps & the rain, we did a very sprightly 11.9mph average, 28 miles total, approx. 600m ascent. Thank you all those who joined me today.
7 of us left Paddock Wood heading out towards Castle Hill on our way, via Claygate, to Staplehurst before heading west again to our coffee stop in Marden of the newly opened Old Post Office cafe. We sat downstairs but there was also about 10 tables up stairs. Not lots of space for bikes outside but it coped with ours and also Julie who caught us up after heading in from Allington. And we also saw Darren who came to see what it was like. Tasty food and good service. Julie joined us for part of the route back before heading for home and we travelled in the direction of Yalding before heading back to our cars.
Weather was a bit drizzly but thankfully no punctures or incidents. Being a smallish group we made good time and was back just after 1pm.
Everyone was up for a good pace so we actually managed our 28.3 miles (only 686ft climb) in an average of 13.5mph
9 riders left Barming 5 minutes after the D + who were taking the same route as far as Sweets lane. All went well until we met up with the D+ at the junction of Winterfield Lane and again in Norman Road West Malling where chaos ensued as to who was what and where. Sorted the Ds continued in a loop via Ryash and Snodland and across the new St Peters Bridge where Mike G gave an impromptu history lesson. Continuing the group made the stop via Shorts Way and Rochester High Street. Heading back the group met the Easy + Group who where going via Burnham Road the same as us. Passing them we continued along the top road and down via Eccles and Ditton before meeting the D+ group again at the junction of The Heath and Winterfield Lane. The last part back to Barming effectively becoming a joint ride but enjoyed by all.
Distance 32.5 miles Average Speed 12.1mph Climb 1600ft
A huge gathering at Boughton Monchelsea village hall for the annual birthday set of rides. Richard led a joint D Groups ride with 19 . He headed off down Weirton Hill onto the flat of Rabbits Cross then by passing Staplehurst and Marden Thorne to the break at Paddock Wood,where the group divided to various refreshment places. After the downhills of the way out,it was inevitable that there going to be hills on the return,and after the pleasant lowland roads,around Laddingford ,the climbs started going up Kenward Hill to Coxheath,then a quick dash to get to the hall where some stayed for the excellent as always Birthday lunch. A distance of 30 miles. A very big Thankyou to Helen and Jenny for all the wonderful organisation .
A Group of 8 led by Linton set off from Snodland.Really good to see Dan Beckham out again after a lengthy break. They went to Poult Wood Golf Club for their break,and in blustery conditions cycled 27 miles at 11.4 mph and 2000 ft of ascents.
Well Done everyone
John Blakeley reported that he led a group of twelve from Lenham (this was originally thirteen but Inci made a last minute decision to join the D+ Group). The first significant hill on the ride was Ulcombe Hill but fortunately it was in the easy direction, downwards!
The weather was quite blustery during the ride but luckily it stayed dry with sunny periods. After Ulcombe the group headed to Headcorn Aerodrome for a relatively early coffee stop. Due to the windy conditions there was little happening at the airfield and therefore the café was fairly quiet. Leaving the aerodrome, the route continued via Egerton Forstal, Charing Heath, Lenham Heath and Harrietsham before returning to the Lenham start point. The majority of the route was on quiet country lanes which was appreciated by everyone on the ride.
A distance of 28.4 miles, average speed 12 mph and elevation 1230ft.
A great turnout for the 3 rides meeting at Old London Road. After some number balancing 12 elected to go on Russell's 'flat' ride to Lullingstone Country Park. A warm welcome to Darren, whose work commitments have prevented him from joining us, who proved his metal by riding in. It was south through Borough Green to Crouch and Plaxtol taking on a few climbs in the process. Some more inclines to Ivy Hatch and Seal Chart to cross the busy A25 for an unscheduled circuit of Seal! Joining the Pilgrim's Way at Kemsing going through Otford and Shoreham to get to the country park which was very busy with ramblers who fortunately had already eaten. Good fayre consumed by all but a noted lack of eggs, hard boiled only!. Then a fast descent into Eynsford before the long and relentless haul up Bower Lane, good training for the Tourmalet challengers. A welcome descent of Cotman's Ash Lane with a photo shoot and to get back on the Pilgrim's Way for a much used run back to Wrotham. 26 miles with 2,303 feet of ascent at 11 mph average. Route on Strava
A Really Spring Like morning greeted about 35 riders from 3 Groups at Staplehurst.Richard led a group of 14 and set off heading for a new stop at Benenden Community cafe. A nice flat route took them out through Hawkenbury and into Frittenden,before heading towards Biddenden It was then onto very quiet lanes passing Hempstead Forest to Golford and the only main climb of the day to Benenden.for a warm and efficient break, mainly sitting outside in glorious sunshine.Richard later diverted slightly to view the wonderful Church on Benenden Green. The return took them into a very busy Sissinghurst,then returning to Frittenden and the flattish lanes to the finish.A distance of 28 miles at 13.4 mph average without any incidents or punctures.
Nine riders left the King and Queen on a damp foggy morning to Paddock Wood. Navigating through the gloom they headed out to Wateringbury before the stiff climb up Bow Road before descending into Yalding. The route then took them through Hunton before looping back to Marden. The fog had now lifted as they left the village, well nearly a town with all the new development, and via Sheephurst Lane and Claygate into Paddock Wood and The Village Café. Its always an efficient speedy service café and very reasonable (no I don't own shares in this café as well) and we were soon on our way back via East Peckham and Hadlow with two climbs up Matthews and Butchers Lane which saw us safely back at the start. Distance 35miles Average Speed 12.7mph Climb 1400ft
John Blakeley reported that he led a group of twelve from Mote Park. The main challenge for the ride was the hill in Ulcombe but Chris provided positive words by saying that the wind would be behind us as we tackled the hill!
The weather recently had been quite rainy and windy so the group prepared for wet and muddy roads. The forecast for the day looked good and the group set off via Boughton Monchelsea, Hawkenbury to Headcorn Aerodrome. Due to the windy conditions there was little happening at the airfield and therefore the café was fairly quiet. Leaving the aerodrome, the route continued via Egerton Forstal to Ulcombe where everyone successfully climbed the hill. On the journey back to Mote Park via Kingswood and Downswood the group encountered some very muddy roads but luckily everyone negotiated these roads without incident. The group tackled a number of large puddles during the journey but the ‘mini lake’ on the path in Mote Park was certainly the largest.
A distance of 31.4 miles, average speed 11.8mph and elevation 1188ft.