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.
On a bright but chilly morning 13 of us set off from Staplehurst towards Curtis Green along the country lanes and had an undulating ride through Brenchley then Laddingford before arriving at Brookside Garden Centre, East Peckham for lunch. Linton, Dee & Anita then made their own way home to Ditton and the remaining 10 of us headed back. The ride home was mainly flat cycling through Yalding, Benover, Hunton (avoiding the hill! ) and after crossing over the A229 at Linton Hill continued along the lanes back to Staplehurst. No punctures or incidents thankfully even though we faced two young drivers on the road with no respect for cyclists. The total distance was 34.2 miles with an average speed of 12.7. Thank you to Rachel for helping me reccie the ride!
D+ Ride – East Malling to Cobham
A group of seven gathered at this popular start point location at East Malling. Joining us today for the first time as a new club member was Julian Friel. Richard, Allan, Tony, Peter, and Roger as expected made him feel welcome.
We headed out through the East Malling research centre onto Ditton and out towards Eccles via Aylesford village. The going was very steady all keeping together picking up the pace to around and averaging around 16.8. The pace was like this along the new road leading to Joseph’s village and onto Wouldham. Once in Cuxton our average dropped considerably as we started to climb up towards Cobham up Warren and Cobhambury Roads. Despite a drop in pace due to the effort required the group was tight and supportive of each other all reaching the top in good shape.
Our café stop today was the Shorne Woods country Park, where it was lively and good food but staff were a bit ‘offish’
Our trip back was a fine blend of open roads with wonderful scenery to the gravel dark lanes of the county. My navigation was to avoid the 25% climb of Lockyers Hill, but somehow we came across it! But the team never moaned and took to the challenge and succeeded to climb be it with a few heavy breaths.
The route back was past Vigo village, which included descending the Vigo hill, with a surface that was not in good shape. A lot of dangerous pot holes! From here it was along the Pilgrims Way to Trottiscliffe and Ryarsh. And in the main was very much down and flat which made it such a pleasant ride back to East Malling.
The route was 35 miles at an average of 13.1 mph with 600m gain.
Allan Brown's report:
A group of seven gathered in the beautiful Mote park in Maidstone. Weather was good, not too hot but the sun was shining. We headed out towards Downswood working our way to what we expected to be wet, muddy and gravelly roads as a result of the recent onslaught of rain, but this was minimal and that allowed us enjoy our cycle to Kingswood and then down to Lenham. We all conquered the pleasant gradient of Stede Hill! Brian Kavanagh flying up this and all other hills with grace and pace.
In my opinion the most pleasant part of the route was from the top of Hollingbourne Hill to Tunstall, a nice surface gradual slope of no more than grade three, which allowed us to pick up a little speed with ease for over 3 miles, lovely and therapeutic.
The café stop was in Rodmersham and once again all good. Not many cyclists around so we all got served pronto and in the sunshine.
The route back was down Stockers Hill and an uphill ride to Wormshill. Still climbing we made our way back up to Hollingbourne Hill where the descent was a little more awful than usual due to the work on drain covers and the silt. We then worked our way along the Pilgrims way to Detling, and then down to Mote park to finish.
Nice to have Clive Bradburn join us today from the B Group, hopefully see you more often with the D+’s. Thanks for the company of Russell, Anita, Bridget, John, Brian all of which made it a lovely D+ ride.
33.5 mile ride at an average pace of 14.1 mph and 581m elevation gain.
A really large turn out on a hot morning at Yalding Station,of D Groups also B+ and Easy + riders.Fortunately everyone sorted themselves out into their respective groups.Chris Moon was due to lead the D+ riders,but having cycled from Loose,he suddenly encountered severe calf muscle problems,and seeing as he is doing a sponsored London to Paris ride in aid of Help for Heroes,he didn’t want to make things worse,so went home.Richard then stepped up and with an overall group of 7, headed off for the break at Headcorn Aerodrome.Taking a real loop outward bound,the ride went to Collier Street,then bypassed Marden,and reached the Cross In Hand Pub,near Staplehurst.after that it was a whole succession of country lanes to the Aerodrome.On arrival,it was packed with a vintage motor cycle rally and parachutists,but service inside the cafe was very quick. The return continued the circular route,by going to the Smarden Bell,before going into Headcorn, It was then to the Staplehurst area where Mick got the only puncture,and before more lanes to Marden Thorn and Benover to the finish. A distance of 39 miles at about 15 mph average
The D group welcomed young Daniel, and Bob who is a recycled Fairy from a few decades ago. The group of five cyclists took the road to Laddingford, turning left into Pikefish Lane, turning right at the end. Staying on the main road we made our way into Sheephurst lane, heading through a road block then onto Curtisden Green, accidentally putting in an extra hill before arriving at Weeks bakery for lunch in Goudhurst. After lunch we headed north, taking a left turn into Blind Lane. Staying south of Horsmonden we cycled through Brenchley, towards Paddock Wood, turning right just before PW. We headed back via Laddingford, then took a small loop via East Peckham, before ending back at Yalding station. We covered 31.3 miles at 11.4 MPH
A group of 9 started off from Riverside Country Park,Rainham,on a mild morning,a relief after the previous very hot days.Richard led and did a looping ride out ,mainly wind assisted to Barton Point cafe,Minster,via Upchurch.At Lower Halstow there was a stop to look at the Edith May barge,moored in the River Swale. It was then onto the Island and using the lovely path from Halfway/Sheerness to the stop. On arrival,the westerly wind was blowing so strong that there were waves and”white horses” on the lake,so it was refreshments inside. It was pretty clear that the return was going to be more challenging,but initially the ride along the esplanade at Minster was most pleasant. It was into the wind back over the Sheppey Bridge,and the rest of the return through Iwade,and the lanes to Upchurch and the finish.A distance of 33..5 miles at about 12.5 mph without incident.