A group of 6 met up as a bubble at East Malling,and welcomed Sarah and Colin Shea,as non regular riders with the group on a dry morning. Richard led and took the group on a very looping ride out ,via a sightseeing trip firstly through King Hill ,Hadlow and Tudeley,before the break at the Village cafe, Paddock Wood.Fortunately there were seats outside which were welcomed. The return saw the only item of interest,when traffic was held up because of a stray dog running loose on the road,but it was quickly scooped up and put in a car. After that it was onto Yalding ,and the rises back to East Malling via,Kenward and Teston. A distance of 35 miles,at about 12 mph and 1500 ft ascents.
It was great to be back riding with the Midweekers, after a 11 months forced break, even better to lead it. I promised a flat relaxed ride, it was flat however the group dictated a faster pace. Tonbridge was buzzing after the quiet of lockdown 2. With the group supporting Greggs it was pleasant to have coffee over looking the river.
Stats 33miles 13.5mph elevation flat!
Good to be out again on a Club Run. Two Bubbles of 6 planned their separate rides with separate start points. Mike Lambourne kndly planned his route and lead his 5 riders to Tonbridge for an outdoor coffee break by the river in Tonbridge.
Russell lead his 5 riders out through Collier Street and Hush Heath to join the A262 for the ride into Goudhurst and a coffee stop on the green with hot coffee and food supplied by Weeks Bakery. A lovely run down (for a change) the hill to join NCR 18 with its lumpy bits. The puncture of the day belonged to Paul and was soon fixed. Back to the start by way of Horsmonden and Castle Hill to get back to Yalding to find Bubble 2 had beaten us back. £1 miles, average 11.1 mph and 1663 feet of ascent.
Two different rides with different start points to accommodate the numbers. A very wet day and real soaking was in store. Mark led his group of 5 over the downs to a new cafe stop at Oare on a 31 mile ride and Russell his group of 5 to Badgers Hill Farm at Chilham on a 34 mile lumpy ride. All roads were very mucky and with rain lashing down all had very challenging rides. All returned safely to dry out at home.
With sunny blue skies and no wind 11 riders in 2 separate and distanced groups started out from Appledore Village Hall on a 50 mile excursion to Winchelsea. Each group using a similar routes went through Ivychurch to get to Dymchurch for an 8 mile stretch of coast to Dungeness. Inland to Lydd and then more coastal paths to Camber Sands and Rye. Through the Rye Harbour nature reserve to get to our Winchelsea Beach cafe stop, all outdoors and distanced. Our only climb of the day into Winchelsea to pay hommage to Spike Milligan ("I told you I was ill") buried in the grounds of St Thomas'. A fast return to Appledore with only a couple of punctures befalling one group. 48 miles averaging 13 and 15 mph with total climbs of just 300 feet.
It would have been so easy to cancel the rides,on a thoroughly wet morning,but 12 riders who assembled in two different areas of Yalding Station still turned up. Russell had already preplanned the personnel for each ride,and he led a group of 6 for the break at Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells,and Mark Eyres volunteered to lead the others to Bedgebury Pinetum. Unfortunately for Gary , soon after the start his bike sustained an unrepairable gearing problems,so had to abandon the ride and walk back.Both groups took lumpy routes outward bound,and enjoyed good cafe stops under cover. With the rain easing a bit both groups made their way back,with several riders dropping off at various locations,and arriving at Yalding almost together having both covered about 31 miles.Thankyou Russ and Mark for leading on such a rain soaked morning.
Only 8 started off from Chestnut Streeet,in 2 equal bubbles,with Jonathan and Richard leading and going off in completely opposite directions,but coincidentally meeting up briefly at the Kingsferry Bridge,as it was up to allow a barge through.. Starting off again,Jonathan tried a new route by trying to go through the Nature Reserve,but the Warden turned them back due to disruption of nesting birds. At Barton’s Point,Richard’s group decided to stop there for their break,and again by coincidence,Jonathan’s Group just happened to see them,so joined for lunch.Sitting outside in the sun and out of the brisk wind was most pleasant. The return was wonderfully wind assisted,and the use of the new cycle path,away from the main road was really appreciated . Both groups took a similar route back without incident.A distance of 31.5 miles at 12.5 mph .
It took plenty of planning to organise 3 different bubble rides from East Malling. Russell went off from a different car park with a group of 5 for a ride to Knole Park. Jonathan then went off with 4 and Richard set off 5 minutes later with 5 ,and both headed towards the coffee break at The Tudor Cafe, Chiddingstone.by taking different routes. Fortunately it was a lovely sunny day,and each of the 3 rides which varied in distances from 30 miles to 45 miles finished without any problems.
With 12 riders trying to socially distance at a Wrotham start,it had been decided in advance to do 2 different rides. Richard took a group of 6 and headed off for a new cafe stop at Coblands Garden Centre, Sundridge ( as advertised in The Milestone) .It turned out to be very agreeable,and will be used again.With rain forecast ,it was only a 25 mile ride at about 13 mph average. Jonathan volunteered the other lead, ,going off in a different direction for the stop at another new venue,of Turners Cafe,South Darenth.That ride was more lumpy,but again very enjoyable with a distance of 30 miles.
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