Russell took the lead at short notice from Paddock Wood,following a GPS route and it was inevitable that there would be some proper lumps . Six opted to join Russell on the out route up to Brenchley and then crossing the A21 at. Kippings Cross to Bells Yew Green and the very quiet leafy lanes to Frant. . From there ,the climbs and dips continued ,and a real puff getting up to Langton Green into the usualTunbridge Wells area heavy traffic. Continuing through Fordcombe it was the final climb after Penshurst to a new stop at the environmental Kingdom cafe. Surprisingly it was card payment only, which caused a few problems., but the views from the veranda across the Weald was stunning.The return leg was much less leg crunching ,taking the concrete road through the Penshurst Place estate to Haysden and Tonbridge town centre,and the nice flat of Five Oak Green and Capel back to the finish. A distance of 33 miles at about 12 mph average,and 2500 ft ascents without problem.
Even before setting off from Barming,Sarah B.V found she had a puncture in her tubeless tyre,so as usual Gary was on hand to help. Unfortunately,not taking into account the gunk liquid inside,which promptly splattered his shorts and the pavement,but unperturbed he fixed it with an inner tube. Richard then led off with 9 riders and headed down to the river towpath on route to the Maidstone Cycle Fest in the town centre. Getting there was a bit fraught ,taking a very gravelly path,fortunately without punctures,but a few humorous mutterings . (Apologies).The towpath route thereafter was fine,and on arrival at the Fest,Lise,Russell and Chris Bishop were amongst others helping on the stands. Whilst there ,several had a go on the turbo machine ,testing their speed over 30 seconds.The Fast Inters then turned up to further represent the Club. From there,Richard continued his lead along the towpath to Aylesford,before getting back on the road to Eccles,and over Peters Bridge into a strong headwind and to the break at the Jungle cafe,Addington.The return was probably the shortest ever,by going through the Kings Hill estate,where Phil Gerry took the lead for a while,before splitting off,and the remainder carried on along North Pole Road to Barming. A distance of only 25 miles at a very moderate pace,but thankfully without incident.
The new starting point at Marden Sports Car Park was warmly acknowledged,and on such a beautiful day,it was hardly surprising that Linton managed to recruit a group of 11 for his lead,especially when he said it was flat. The riders almost equally split between men and ladies,set off amid several other groups and headed out to Milebush and the lanes to cross the A229 near Frankies . On a couple of occasions ,the B+ group seem to arrive at the same junctions,which ensured a jocular banter. The ride continued past Frittenden,when several of the ladies grabbed the lead on occasions and chatted most of the way to the break at Bethersden Garden Centre..Following a nice stop,Linton ensured a very flat return by keeping to the quiet lanes near Smarden and through Headcorn and Staplehurst back to the car park. Thoroughly enjoyed by all and a distance of 33.3 miles at 13.3 mph average and 116 metres only of soft undulations. Thankyou Linton
A glorious sunny Autumn morning,and Tony Munn led a group initially of 13 ,out of the car park at Snodland,to be increased with Phil Gerry who arrived at that moment. Tony took a route out via Ryarsh and Offham to Dunks Green ,then onto Hadlow ,East Peckham and Laddingford to the break at Teapot Island. It was truly delightful sitting out in the warm sunshine. Richard Barsley ,who cycled from Matfield to the start,bade us farewell,and everyone else with Tony leading headed back via Yalding,Kenward Hill and Red Hill Wateringbury, where Phil left, then taking the main road before Teston and upto the North Pole pub.A nice run towards East Malling,where Linton veered off and with numbers rapidly declining ,including Darren the remainders got back to Snodland via,West Malling and Birling.A distance of 31.5 miles at 13.3 mph. Great ride,Thankyou Tony.
First signs of Autumn weather with a chilly and dull start from Lenham,but a really large number of riders went off in various groups. Richard led with 7 others and headed very indirectly to the Old Foundry cafe at Ashford,via Platts Heath ,down Liverton Hill and Grafty Green. From there it was country lanes almost all the way to Great Chart and the break. It has to be one of the best value stops on any of the rides,really good wholesome food and great service.With dark clouds looming,the group set off again ,returning via Hothfield and Westwell with Russell helping out with the lead on occasions,before reaching Charing. From there a straight run along Charing Heath Road to Lenham. A distance of 35.5 miles at 13.5 mph average and 1760 ft ascents,without any incidents .
On the last official day of Summer,the weather remained kind to the group of 6 that accompanied Neal Welch on his lead from Wrotham. He promised a fairly lumpy ride,but it started off fairly flat along a busy Pilgrims Way to Otford, with plenty of other cyclists around. The first climb took the group up to Knockholt Pound then through the lanes and the nice descent to Brasted, before tackling Ide Hill and yet another downhill through Weald to the stop at Teal cafe near Hildenborough.A chance to rest the legs. Too quickly however,it was back on the bikes for a shorter return ,again keeping to quiet lanes and the final ascent of Mote Road up to Ivy Hatch,,before meandering through Ightham back to the finish,at about the same time as the B+ and D Group where convivial ride experiences were exchanged. A distance of 30.5 miles at 12 mph and about 2500 ft of leg crunching. Thankyou Neal and the back marker John Blakeley for devising the challenging ,but thoroughly enjoyable route without incident.
Great turnout for the 3 groups meeting at Bell Lane. The B+ and D+ sharing Linton's route to Bodium with the D+ leaving a little later to avoid overloading The Hub, our cafe stop. 7 D+ riders followed the route to Frittenden where Phil joined us having missed his B+ start. A great route skirting Biddenden and through Sandhurst with a few stiff climbs to get to The Hub to find the B+ already seated under a parasol and being served with some great food causing us some serious food envy. Fed and watered and minus Phil, who joined the B+ group for his return, we were back on our bikes for the climb out of Bodium for a route back taking us up Conghurst Lane to avoid Hawkhurst. Through Hartley south of Cranbrook for a fast run to cross the A262 where we then enjoyed a great run down Goudhurst Lane back to Staplehurst. A great route, thanks Linton.
35 miles at an average of 12.5 mph with 2350 feet of ascent.
Route on Strava
On a pleasant Saturday seventeen D+ riders set off from East Malling , heading westwards passing through West Malling , Offham, then up the only hill of the morning; Wrotham Water Road, on to The Pilgrims Way . A dismount at the busy London Road near Wrotham, then back on the Pilgrims Way to Otford, we headed north from Otford, passing through Shoreham eventually arriving at Lullingstone Country Park.
After lunch we retraced our route back to Shoreham, then on to Otford by a longer route, back onto the Pilgrims Way heading eastwards, via Kemsing and Heaversham, around here we lost Richard , who helped a cyclist in trouble, lost Gary (our expert mechanic) who was helping a tail ender back to the start via a shorter route. We did go back, to look and waited, but we had to go on.
The rest of the route took us on a few hills through Seal Chart, Plaxtol and Crouch via Long Mill lane, through Offham . Back to base covering 34 miles at 12.5 MPH with 2400 feet of ascent.
Allan Brown decided to cancel ride on grounds of safety due to high and gusting winds
Ride report submitted via email will be included in the next Milestone