For a second week,Tony Munn arranged a Memorial ride for the D Group starts that were not done last week.On a glorious sunny morning he led and was joined by a group of 14 from East Malling. It was immediately across the road to the Memorial where Allan paid the first tribute followed by a 2 minute silence.With the M20 being shut it was quite noisy nearby with heavy traffic . Tony then started the ride going out to Barming,via North Pole Road ,along with many vehicles congesting it as a cut through. Richard did a very impromptu tribute and as at all the Memorials,a Poppy Cross was laid. From there it was off road a bit,avoiding Hermitage Lane,and Chris Daly took the paths behind the hospital to Allington,and on to Aylesford Church. Allan,this time sang beautifully a couple of verses from “The Green Fields of France”. Very moving. The ride carried on through Eccles and over Peters Bridge to the large cemetery at Snodland ,with multiple surnames on the Memorial,and Tony read the poem from Flanders Fields.With the sun shining bright ,everyone realised how lucky they are nowadays .However stomachs were rumbling,so the Jungle cafe at Addington was a welcomed and refreshing break. The last Memorial to be visited was at Wrotham,and on going through Borough Green,it was hellos to the B+ Group going the opposite way..Tony did the final tribute and informed the Group that over the 2 Rides,£102.70had been raised which he would send to the British Legion.From there it was back to East Malling via the Pilgrims Way and villages. A distance of 36 miles at a steady 11.7 mph.
A massive turnout of 36 D riders at Yalding with 12 up to the challenge of the D+ ride. Out through Collier Street and straight on past the Yew Tree Road climb to Horsmonden turning right into Furnace Lane for the alternative climb to the Castle Hill viewing point and a group photo. After Matfield it was south of Pembury through Grerat Sandhurst Wood and Hawkenbury for a great coffee stop at Dunorlan Park. Too early for the fireworks but a sunny break on the terrace overlooking the lake, fantastic for November. Joining the A21 cycle route after Pembury Hospital to struggle a bit with the signage to get on to Dislingbury Road for the puncture of the day befalling Mo. Yet another great effort by Gary soon had it sorted. A quick run back through Tudeley to get back to Yalding shortly after the D group. 32 miles at a modest 12.7 mph.
Route on Strava
D+ Ride – Headcorn to Bethersden – Allan Brown
A cold but sunny morning welcomed 14 riders for the D+ group ride to Bethersden. Firstly, a huge thank you to Gary Pearce who as always steps up for rear marker and helps anyone in need. I think its probably the most important part of any group ride and the way Gary goes about his business is a huge stress relief for the leader.
We all wrapped up well and headed up to Ulcombe, which is a slight incline to Eastwood Road. The tops soon came off after that! We then had a lovely flat open ride down Lenham road and along to Egerton Forstal. We all then climbed the little ‘Rock Hill’ to the centre of Egerton. With the weather just improving every minute we headed to Pluckley, down the long downhill and flat of Station Road to Bethersden. Safely managing the A28 to our stop, Greenways Garden Centre. A busy place but group were happy with food and service.
Our route back was absolutely fantastic, no wind, sun still beaming down on us, good roads and apart from a couple slight inclines it was flat. Plenty of great chat and banter along the way. We headed through the lanes of Hoads Wood, Hothfield and Little Chart, up to Pluckley where we loved the downhill to the Smarden turn off. Up past Egerton Forstal once again, onto Bedlam Lane and into Headcorn.
A great ride made up of a nice route, the sunshine, and wonderful people who clearly love their cycling.
A point made by several riders today was the group discipline by all was first class, so well done all. You deserved your flapjack.
The route was 34.8 miles at an average of 15 mph with 400m gain.
A huge turnout of 35 riders swamped the car park at Aylesford,then split up almost equally with Linton leading 17 others on a beautiful morning. Trying to keep in 2 Groups, he headed off for the break at the Pleasant View garden centre,Chart Sutton. The route took them out to Boxley then along the Pilgrims Way towards Hollingbourne where Tony M sustained the days only puncture. For ease of service at the break,Linton carried on with his front group,whilst Gary,and Allan set too helping Tony fix it .Richard then took the lead to the cafe,via Broomfield ,Kingswood and Sutton Valence,where the entire group met up again.The service and value was excellent,and the staff didn’t seem overwhelmed. Suitably refreshed,and Linton led off to Boughton Monchelsea,Loose village ,and down to Barming Bridge,before the climb up and continuing on along North Pole Road,To Ditton and Aylesford. A distance of approx 30 miles at 12.5 average. Thankyou Linton .Lovely ride
A large assembly at the Memorial car park,Paddock Wood,with the Easy + riders starting from the same point as the D Groups,on a very dull morning.Richard led and took a really flat ride to Headcorn,with Brigitte,Ray,Bob and John C. Without any incidents ,the route went out to Marden Thorne,Staplehurst and Frittenden,before arriving at the Aerodrome.Fortunately it was very quiet,as airborne activities had been cancelled. There they were briefly joined by a largest B Group,so pleasantries were exchanged.The return,with rain threatening,took an equally flat route,through Headcorn,and Hawkenbury to Marden,and to the finish. a distance of 36.5 mikes at 14.3 mph average,just as the rain started in earnest.
A nice morning welcomed11riders at Barming,and with Richard leading took the opportunity to show support for the 3rd annual Cycle Fest At Jubilee Square,Maidstone.Lisa ,Russell and several other very established Fairy members were on hand at the SFA stand to promote the Club and Maidstone safer cycling forum,.Well done and Thankyou. The route in and out of the town was by the river towpath,which is starting to need a bit of cleaning up with tree debris causing puncture concerns,and a larger area is now designated as No Cycling. After some riders had their bikes security stamped it was onto Aylesford ,back on roads to Eccles,then over Peters Bridge to Ryarsh and the break at Spadework garden centre,Offham.Richard then continued the ride by going to Crouch and Gover Hill,where Ray got the only puncture,and even with the superb expertise of Gary ,it took quite a long time to mend.,but eventually the ride carried onto Mereworth and up Butchers Lane and finally through the Kings Hill estate and North Pole to Barming. A distance of 34 miles at about 12.5 mph.
A dull morning ,and a sparse turn out with only Russell,Bob,Ray and John W deciding to join Richard on a ride from Marden to Hartley. It was quite lumpy on the way out,going up Hush Heath Hill and Curtisen Green to Glassenbury .The route continued to Nineveh along fairly remote gravelly lanes,where unfortunately John W came off ,landing in thick mud,which covered him and his bike.In the circumstances it was decided to take an early break,at the Hartley Farm shop for him to clean up.With rain starting quite heavily,the return to Marden was very direct,to Goudhurst and up Winchet Hill to the village.A distance of only 26 miles at about 13 mph,and 487 metres ascents.
Eight riders left Brookland Lakes in fine conditions intent on escaping the busy local traffic due to the M20 closure. We were soon climbing Cobhambury Rd and took the footpath across the M2 to Singlewell, following the path past the Cyclopark and back across the M2 at Northfleet Green. We then followed the lanes through Southfleet and Hook Green with the air becoming quite agricultural given the time of year. Through Fawkham we turned into Speedgate Hill which was a bit of a testing slog just prior to the break at the cafe on the Equestrian Farm. Service was super speedy and the food enjoyable.
After the break we climbed gradually crossing the A20 at West Kingsdown and finally, to the group's relief, descending to Kemsing Road, passing through Wrotham and then following the Pilgrims Way and the route back via Ryash and Birling. A few of the riders peeled off in the last couple of miles and four arrived back at base after an incident free ride. We completed 34 miles at an average speed of 12.4 mph and with 2,300ft of climbing.
Ten riders set out on a brighter day than forecast with Sarah leading the group up the North Downs via Stede Hill. We passed near Borden, through Tunstall, up Stocker's Hill to Rodmersham, on to Bapchild and through Teynham, where hop-harvesting reduced visibility, although we enjoyed the aroma. Turning down Faversham Road we laboured up Coxeet Hill, the sharpest of the ride and wended our way past the old church outside Ospringe and up to Brogdale, where we enjoyed prompt service and warm weather in the courtyard. After the break, we struggled up to Painter's Forstal and began the slow incline via Eastling and Otterden where Sarah led from behind. We then raced down Hubbard's Hill and regrouped before heading back through Lenham. 31.5 miles at an average 13mph; elevation 1,661ft; an adaptation of Rachel's original ride.
A lovely day greeted 11 riders at Wrotham,and Richard led heading to Swanley. After going up the busy Wrotham Hill,it was on far quieter roads to Fawkham and into Longfield.Some more lumps and it was onto Horton Kirby,Sutton at Hone and Hawley,before busier roads through Hextable,Wilmington to the coffee stop at Caffe Cino,Swanley.There we were joined by Bill,an Inters rider . We were able to sit out the front in very warm sunshine enjoying good value Fayre. When it was time to return,Darren left to do his own ride,and Richard then headed to Crockenhill,and Farningham before the climbs started along Knatts valley to Lullingstone.After a bit of a puff ,it was a nice descent to the Pilgrims Way near Kemsing,and the straight stretch to Wrotham,without any incidents.A distance of 32 mikes at around 14 mph average.