A really pleasant morning greeted 14 riders at Chestnut Street. Richard led a fairly traditional route out to Bartons Point, Minster via Upchurch and Iwade.It was lovely sitting on the veranda of the cafe overlooking the lake.Sarah L decided that as the tide was in that it was an ideal day to go for a swim,much to the disbelief those who didn’t know her too well. No surprise to the regulars though. How she managed to dry her off for the return was any bodies guess. A pacy return in parts,slightly wind assisted and several went for it on the road leading off the Island. From there it was back to Iwade ,then Newington to the start.A distance of 36,5 miles at 13.7 mph average.
A turnout of 20 riders assembled at East Malling on a dry but windy morning. For the first time, Chris Moon led a shorter alternative ride going out to Paddock Wood with a group of 5. Russell took the lead for all the others and set off heading to Dunorlan Park ,Tunbridge Wells. With the northerly wind assisting,it was good progress ,going to Crouch then up Gover Hill then bypassing Hadlow to Golden Green and Tudeley . Russ then took advantage of the lovely cycle path that runs all the way from Vauxhall,Tonbridge to the outskirts of the Wells..Traffic as always getting to Dunorlan Park was heavy,but with keeping to another cycle path made it easier. With it being Easter School holiday the cafe was busy with families,but the staff were quick,and sitting outside in the warm sunshine was lovely..Carrying on thereafter, Russ led again going to Pembury and Matfield into a strong headwind then up to Brenchley,before the flat of Laddingford and Yalding. From there the climbs started up Kenward and Red Hill,back to East Malling. A distance of 37.5 miles at about 12.5 mph and 2000ft ascents,without any incidents. Thankyou Russ.
A Wrotham Start,with the weather only about 4 degrees,but at least dry.It didn’t prevent 13 riders,including Anthony on his first Midweekers ride.. Richard led a fairly traditional route out to Ash,Hartley and Longfield,before arriving at the pretty village of South Darenth and the lanes to the stop at Swanley. Thecafe was under new management,and they looked after the group well. The sun even shone for a few minutes and for some,sitting outside was pleasant. It wasn’t to last though,and the return via Crockenhill saw wintry hail and a severe temperature drop. Carrying on however through Knatts valley to the Pilgrims Way and Wrotham was uneventful. A distance of 28 miles at about 13 mph average.
A large turn out of 20 riders managed to make it to Lenham,despite some encountering lengthy delays getting there due to road works.It was decided on the cuff that with the numbers that a large coffeee stop was needed ,so Woodchurch was nominated. Richard led and set off with three groups,going to Boughton Malherbe,then Egerton and the pleasant flat lanes of Smarden and Bethersden to the stop at Woodchurch Rare Breeds Centre. The return and the staff allowed the riders to cut through the centre,then it was onto Shadoxhurst ,before a short stretch of the busy A 28 to Great Chart,then more quiet lanes to Hothfield ,Westwell and Charing,before arriving back at Lenham.A distance of 45 miles at 14.5 mph average,1600 ft ascents without incident.
It was intended to go to Benenden,but with 20 riders assembling at Yalding,it became clear that a larger cafe was needed. Richard set off leading and taking a very flat route that went out to Marden, Staplehurst and Frittenden before arriving at Headcorn aerodrome and the stop. As always the staff came up trumps catering with the big group. The return ,and the route took a big loop around Headcorn to Hawkenbury then onto Staplehurst ,Marden and Hunton back to Yalding. A distance of 38 miles at 15 mph average. Several had cycled in,so their mileage was considerably more.
Due to the weather forecast of high winds ,the ride was switched from Chestnut Street to Ditton to be more local for the 10 riders who ventured to the start. With a certain amount of trepidation,as the westerly wind was strong,Richard led and very soon everyone was up to their pedals in a huge puddle 6 inches deep in Kiln Barn Road. Undeterred,but with wet shoes the riders carried onto West Malling and Offham. Fortunately the winds had not brought much debris on the roads and with it being dry and sunny the rest of the outgoing route to Basted,Ightham and Wrotham was incident free. The break was at the Village cafe in Borough Green High Street,and the staff looked after the Group well. Having headed into the wind earlier,it was with relief to know that the homeward section would be easier wind assisted. Richard tried to keep to the quiet lanes and the journey continued to Platt,then Trottiscliffe ,Birling and Ryarsh before going through the East Malling Research Station to the finish. A distance of 28 miles at 12 mph.
A good turnout of 13 males started off from East Malling,on a blustery ,but thankfully dry morning. With Richard leading,the route went to Offham and Crouch,before the nice descent of Long Mill Lane. On reaching Dunks Green, a broken spoke curtailed Chris Moon’s Ride,and he summoned a taxi which took him back to East Malling,£ 25 lighter in the pocket. Everyone continued to a very welcome break at Poult Wood Golf Club,with Dave Law flying up all the hills on his fixed wheeled bike,leaving all his fellow mortals in his wake. The return,and Richard took the group along the A227 through Shipbourne and ,Plaxtol to Borough Green via tiny lanes. From there ,it was into St Mary’s Platt Offham,and West Malling to the finish,before the rain started.A distance of only 27.5 miles,at 12.5 mph and 1770 ft ascents.
Flesh was on display everywhere for the first time this year as we all basked in the February sun. Those who hadn't cast a clout were already beginning to regret it. Very quickly it became apparent that the Midweekers were leaderless, an unusual occurrence. Following a quick discussion the finger of responsibility was pointed at Ralph. Without further ado the group set off to Polhill garden centre via the Pilgrims Way to Otford. Otford appeared far to early for the plan to succeed. Ralph called for a team talk and we all agreed to extend the ride to Westerham, where upon Chris Moon checked his bank balance. The group progessed via Sundridge and Brastead, an extra loop was added by turning right off the A25 and entering Westerham from the North. Westerham was buzzing with spring life as we entered the cafe leaving 'Winney' outside enjoying the sun. Without to much damage to our wallets Ralph returned North, heading for the Pilgrims Way to take us back to Otford. Leaving Otford via Kemsing some members of the group felt not enough energy had been expended and suggested a hill climb, to which Ralph had no objection but declined to take part as he needed an early return. However as opertunities arose to don the Polka dot jersey enthusiasm waned and all followed Ralph back to Wrotham. 29 miles at a steady pace.
11 met up on a sunny February morning at Hamstreet Football Car Park, some not being able to make the ride through injury (get fit soon Mick) and some through other commitments. After one of Russell's false starts (following his planned route in reverse!) we were off. Through Ruckinge and Bilsington to Mersham then a short stretch of the A20 avoiding the temptation of a very early break in the Blue and White Cafe. Next it was left through Smeeth then a short stretch of a quiet Canterbury Road to follow a picturesque route along the bottom of the Downs from Stowting to Postling. More A20 to get to the Airport Cafe at Westenhanger where we were very well fed. A quick run past the Port Lympne Animal Sanctuary before a sharp descent to cross the Military Canal and on to the Marsh for our windy return through St Mary in the Marsh and Ivychurch. Crossing the fast A2070 to test our road bikes on some gravelly lanes before climbing to Warehorne and back to the start at Hamstreet. Some great new roads for us with some minor challenges.
39.95 miles at an average of 12.4 mph with 1713 feet of ascent.
Link to Route on Strava
Link to Relive
A great turnout of 21 managed to make it Lenham after delays for roadworks on the A 20 on a bright ,dry but cool morning. Russell offered to lead yet again. Thanks. Russ, and had a route planned out to Chilham. After the warm up of
Hubbard’s Hill, it on the top of the ridge through Stalisfield onto Shottenden along lovely country lanes down to the picturesque village of Chilham and eventually into Wye.The cafe did the group proud,as looking after such a large number is never easy. The return took more of a traditional route to Boughton Aluph and Westwell ,then Charing and Sandway back to Lenham. A distance of 34 miles at about 12 mph and over 1800 ft ascents without puncture or incident. Thanks Russ for a ride on some new roads to the Midweekers