From East Malling to Tonbridge via Penshurst on 20 June

21/06/2018 13:46 | Anonymous member

Ten riders assembled at East Malling on an overcast but dry morning; however, their esteemed leader, Richard Valentine, was away enjoying the sun and the ascents of the French Alps.  Tony Palmer insisted on leading because he wanted to retrace the new short-cut, from Powder Mill Lane to Tonbridge Castle, which he had learned on the preceding Saturday. Tony Munn, having devised an impromptu route to Brenchley,  reluctantly agreed to Tony Palmer’s  resolve, despite having reservations that the latter’s reputation, based upon recent ride leads, would be lumpy and/or too fast. The compromise of cycling through Offham, Plaxtol Dunk’s Green, and Shipbourne to Penhurst and returning back towards Tonbridge was reached with modest enthusiasm. As the group headed further eastwards the cloud began to break up and the sun’s rays helped to warm exposed arms. The road was closed at Charcott, so the group followed a diversion along Compasses Road and then along B2027 to turn left into Moorden Lane (as planned), which bypassed Chiddingstone Causeway. The group cycled through the Penshurst estate road and then turned left to reach Leigh. At Powder Mill Lane, Tony’s memory did not fail him, fortunately, as the group cycled along metalled footpaths and through Haysden Country Park to reach Barden Road. Bob then had one of those “I know where I am now” moments and agreed to lead the group through the park along River Walk, which avoided cycling up Tonbridge High Street. As the group reached the Old Fire Station at midday, after 23 miles, the sun was now shining brightly and several tummies were rumbling fluently. After lapping up the sun and their sustenance, the group returned back ,with Tony resuming the lead along the narrow lanes and footpaths behind Tonbridge School. His memory regressed to its normal (imperfect) state in Dry Hill Park Road, so Ian volunteered to navigate through Higham Wood in order to avoid riding too far along the A26 to get to Three Elm Lane. The group passed through Golden Green and Hadlow to then turn left up Mathews Lane and on to West Peckham and Mereworth. There was only one complaint with the ride of 40.1 miles at 13.1 mph average with an elevation gain of 1,950 feet.


  • 21/06/2018 23:32 | Anonymous member
    Well done to everyone.Bet it was a lovely ride,involving plenty of Chiefs. Tony,I have to précis the report a bit for the Milestone.
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