my first lead for a long time started from aylesford to king George’s sittingbourne. I was told by the group (8 intrepid fools) that most of my rides are pub related but I would like to refute this. Here is the route.
aylesford to lower bell, then up blue bell hill to the old upper bell, we then headed of past crematorium and down past the bredhurst bell, then out to hartlip and the rose and crown then down to chestnut street and up school lane before the Tudor rose, then left past the maypole at Borden then down riddles road past the beauty of bath and into St. George’s. the munch munch crunch crunch sip sip ( lovely food) the off through bredgar past the sun up to top of hollingbourne unfortunately we had to divert so off to hucking hook and hatchet and down to pilgrims way. Along to the black horse and then the cock at detling. Continue along pilgrims and down past kings arms Boxley then up grange to the vine, then onto the Malta and back to aylesford 32 odd miles at roughly 11.5 and more hills than intended
11 of us set off from Brenchley on a lovely sunny morning. There were 3 new faces, Roger, Chris & Daniel,, with Bob leading a ride for the first time. The outward 20 miles were fairly lumpy taking us along Route 18, round the back of Goudhurst, through Hartley and into Benenden. It was at this point, after riding through the very busy high street with cars, coaches, wedding guests etc, that Bob noticed he was all alone, having inadvertently managed a one man breakaway from the peleton. A quick phone call and we were all re-united. Coffee stop was at Sissinghurst Castle, sitting in the sun. The return leg was short and mostly flat, apart from the Castle Hill Sprint that was won by Donna. 34 miles, 1800 feet of climbing, 12.5 mph average
On the hottest day of the year so far 6 of us left Barming and cycled via West Malling then on towards Plaxtol to reach Poult Wood. We eventually arrived at our destination after cycling a couple of extra miles, due to taking a wrong turn down Crouch Lane instead of Basted Lane, apologies folks!Thankfully we had an uneventful trip back and arrived at Barming having completed 30 miles but was too distracted by.the heat to check the speed!
Twelve of us set off for Silcocks Farm cafe on a beautiful sunny morning. I was feeling a little apprehensive, this being my first lead, and was not helped by the fact that no other than Geoff Wiles our club president joined us! After a couple of incorrect turns I settled down at the front of the peloton and managed to get us to the cafe stop. The only hiccup was temporarily losing our rear marker Darren on the way!
The farm cafe was fabulous as always and gave us all an opportunity to welcome our new member Chris B and admire his stunning 1978 classic Peugeot.
Big thanks to all who supported my first lead and apologies to Darren.
We covered a flat 32 miles at just over 12 mph
John Blakeley led a group of seven from Lenham which later increased to eight when Sarah M joined at the coffee stop. The main hill on the ride was Ulcombe Hill but fortunately it was ridden in the easy direction, downwards!
The weather forecast for the day was windy with showers and although the group experienced the wind, they were very lucky to avoid the heavy rain that arrived just after the ride had finished.
After Ulcombe the group headed to Headcorn Aerodrome for a relatively early coffee stop. Due to the conditions the airfield was quiet and the café was not busy. Leaving the aerodrome, the route continued via Egerton Forstal, Charing Heath and Lenham Heath before returning to the start point. The majority of the route was on quiet country lanes which was appreciated by everyone on the ride.
Distance 28.4 miles, average speed 13 mph and elevation 1230ft.
Despite the absence of the 10 Tourmalet challengers there was a good turnout for the 3 groups meeting at Wrotham. B+ bagged the majority leaving D+ with 4 and D with 5 riders. A tried and tested route out through Crouch and Plaxtol for a great descent to Seal before the climb to the Pilgrims Way at Kemsing. Sharing the back lanes with many other cycling groups we had a great break at Lullingstone. Refreshed we descended into Eynsford before the long steady climb along Knatts Valley. The sharp descent of Coleman's Ash Lane to meet the Pilgrims Way for our return to Wrotham well before the other groups. No incidents and no punctures. 27.7 miles, ascents of of 2250 feet at an average of 12.4 mph.
Route on Strava
A very pleasant morning,and over 30 cyclists from B+,and the D Groups congregated at Bell Lane Car Park,Staplehurst. Russell seconded a group of 13 to join him on a ride to Hawkhurst. A flat route to Frittenden then through the lovely lanes past Benenden Hospital,where it became much more lumpy but the views across the landscapes more than compensated as the group approached Hawkhurst via The Moor. Russ had phoned the cafe on the crossroads,and the service was excellent.The return was considerably shorter and flatter via Glassenbury and Colliers Green past Hush Heath vineyard to the finish.A distance of just under 30 miles,but Sarah B.V did a hill a couple of times to make the 30. Ascents of about 1800 ft at about 12.5 mph average
10 of us ventured out led by myself and Mo Wells who kindly provided the route. We had an incident free ride through Platt and Ivy Hatch then had a break at Mo’s daughters cafe on Seal High St. Birch’sWhole Good food Cafe. They provided refreshments plus a birthday cake for me suitably nourished we carried on to Heaverham Wrotham then back to East Malling . 31 miles at an average 11.5 mph
Eleven of us left the car park and within minutes, a dog crossed my path, took me out, then nearly did the same to Ray! Continuing along the country lanes, soon after climbing Church Hill (Jelly Babies were at the ready!) we had the 1st puncture of the day! A heavy downpour then swayed me to cut the route slightly shorter to Lenham and we arrived at the Corner House, dripping wet! On the return across the Downs, we had a compulsory stop for our 2nd puncture! Eventually we arrived back safely having completed 32.5miles at an average speed of 11.9 mph. Thanks to Rachel and Chris for being chief photographer and puncture repairer respectively!
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