Phew, that was a scorcher!
A sultry hazy morning greeted the 14 intrepid sun lovers congregating at Staplehurst’s Bell Lane Car Park. Although, no one actually managed to park their car there because it was full by 9:30AM.
Tony Palmer led the day-out ride scheduled, via a lumpy route, to visit Bodiam, Wittersham and Rolvenden with two stops planned. We headed out towards Bodiam via Glassenbury, Benenden and Sandhurst. Fortunately many of the steeper inclines were shaded, keeping the riders fairly cool as the burning sun made its present felt. We made steady progress as there was little wind and were assisted by some unexpected pacemakers on their way to Rye. At Benenden crossroads, Richard gave the leader a warning and a yellow card for going too fast. Some more climbs brought the pace back towards normality. Rebecca resisted temptation to take an even slower ride on the ancient steam locomotive relaxing at Bodiam Station.
Mark continued back towards Sevenoaks leaving the sun lovers to take in some much needed refreshments at the Hub Café at Bodiam. A fairly new watering hole and a recommended stop for those riders with appetites beyond the staple cyclist nutritional diet of baked beans on toast. Sipping coffee/tea and gulping jugs of water quickly replenished lost fluids. After customary snaps, with Bodiam Castle in the background, we ventured onwards towards Ewehurst Green and even more inclines.
At Wittersham the leader had a convenient bout of amnesia when questioned about the number and severity of the hills left to climb. Luckily his mental dexterity returned in time to pause matters at the Bull Inn at Rolvenden, as the perspiration glowed (and flowed) from the sun lovers. After soft drinks all round, with one exception, we continued back via country lanes east of Hemstead Forest, skirted Biddenden and then went though Frittenden.
A distance of 46 miles at 14.4 mph average speed in riding time of 3 hours 14 minutes with climbing ascent of 827metres. The average temperature was 28ºC with a maximum of 40ºC.
A big thanks to Allan (elbows) Brown for these statistics; however, the 40ºC (claimed as his tyre temperatures when practising his sprinting), I believe is somewhat dubious.
Oh, and for the record, zero punctures this week!