A group of 9 started off from Chestnut St,including Steph,out on her first Midweekers ride,Lisa in preparation for her London 100 ride,and a non Fairy rider relative of Russell's also doing that ride.Richard led on an overcast morning,on a very roundabout route to Faversham.Firstly going out to Iwade,then through the Ridham dock industrial site and around the Eurolink business park maze,before emerging on the newish bye pass ,and NCR1 route to Teynham,which actually took the group into a dead end farmers garden.!.So back tracking ,it was then on to Tonge and Luddenham before arriving at the Swan cafe ,Faversham.Always a good value and hearty break.The return followed a similar route,partially in the rain,through Teynham,where Steph came a bit of a cropper after her wheels got caught in some ruts.Thanks Tony P,for looking after her.After that,it was a well known pedal to Rodmersham,Borden back to Chestnut Street.A distance of 36 miles at about -12.5mph average.
Fourteen turned up at East Malling,including a few we haven't seen for a while,Ian Alcock Kevin and Del,on a dull morning.Richard led out to the Isle of Grain,firstly going out to Aylesford,then onto Cuxton and up the hill to Cobham. On then to Lower Higham before getting to the cafe at. Cliffe,only to find it closed. Ian suggested that we try the newly opened Rose's tea rooms at Lower Stoke,so off we went via High Halstow. The break was really nice and very reasonable.On leaving,Brian found he had a puncture,and unfortunately the new inner tube got pinched so it took a bit longer to get started again into a challenging headwind to Hoo and Chattenden.There Bob took a tumble and hurt his arm and knee ,but with a quick bit of first aid treatment,it was on again to the Medway Enterprise estate,(wish I had gone another way as it was so busy). With time really getting on,some of the riders started peeling away ,whilst the remainder carried on to Snodland and Larkfield to the finish.A longer ride than normal of 51.5 miles,but for some quite a longer as they rode in.
After heavy overnight rain,it was still a very grotty,drizzly and cloudy start from Wrotham.Suprisingly,8 riders still turned up,and with Richard leading ,headed off further into the low clouds via the A20. By the time they reached Ash,everyone was pretty soaked,and the dreaded cyclists shout of " puncture" was heard.Steve was on tubeless tyres,but still managed to get a flat,so it was a quick inner tube job,and away they went,a bit wetter and colder into a northerly wind.However Mother Nature became kinder,and the ride continued along Fawkham Valley Road,to Longfield with it clearing,and by the time the group reached Hawley Garden Centre for the break,all clothing was dry.Strangely,the outward bound didn't seem particularly down hill,but the entire homeward seemed uphill,going out to Hextable,before Sutton at Hone,and those long drags of Mussenden Lane and again up to West Kingsdown. Before the nice down hill to Pilgrims Way and Wrotham.A distance of 28.5 miles ,at about 12.4 mph and 1700 feet ascents.
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!
Seven Midweekers assembled at Dickley Lane car park. Once the group realised that it was leaderless Ralph offered to lead the group to the Oase cafe at old Romney. However Sarah had already planned at route to Oare. We headed off to Stede Hill but took the wrong right turn. After that first mistake the group found themselves in the lap of the Gods. However the Gods were not pleased and after only 4.5 miles we had suffered 7 punctures. As time elapsed and Andy was suffering an annoying slow puncture the group collectively decided to have the cafe stop at Rodmersham, allowing Andy to mend his puncture. After the welcome cafe stop (even Steve got what he wanted) we set off to Oare. Well into the afternoon Steve and Andy needed to get back by three o'clock. Ralph decided to abandon the Oare destination and turn the ride homeward via Teynham and Doddington on good fast roads to get the lads back in time. At Teynham Ralph got the tenth puncture of the ride. However Steve and Andy did make it back in time. I have no idea what the stats are and quite frankly I was passed caring. A day best forgotten. Come back Richard!
On a day that promised to see the mercury hit the 30s Tony Munn decided to lead a "no thrills no hills" ride to Headcorn Airfield. After welcoming Brian a potential new member the group left on a classic route. This took them via Laddingford, Marden, Staplehurst, and a loop around Headcorn to the airfield .Returning the group by passed Headcorn before heading back this time via Pattenden Lane Marden. A welcome stop was made at a fruit stall where Sarah and David bought strawberries and cherries which they shared out. The ride then continued back to Yalding where the temperature was 34 degrees phew !!!!!! Distance 34 miles Average speed 13.7
A gloriously warm morning greeted 11 riders at Chestnut Street,and a trip to the coast was inevitable.Taking a tried and trusted route,Richard led out via the usual haunts of Hartlip,Upchurch and Lower Halstow into a fairly strong head wind,which kept the temperature down.The ride continued onto the Isle of Sheppey to Halfway before getting to Minster and the lovely stop at Barton's Point.Sitting out on their veranda overlooking the lake was most enjoyable,as was the good service,quality and price of the food..Looking forward to having the wind trailing on the return,it was first off to the Leas,at Minster,to take a peek at the sea,and Sarah,in all honesty wishing she could take a swim.I would have had the camera very close at hand if she did.!Anyway,it was then off the island and without incident returning via Iwade and Bobbing back to the start.A distance of 33 miles at 13.5 average speed.
Really nice to have a new leader volunteering,which Tony Palmer did,and take a group of 11 on a ride to Brenchley including our two Alps mountain mashers,Lisa and Rebecca.Going out,mainly into a stronish headwind,Tony led to Wateringbury,via the lanes,then up Bow Hill before getting to Yalding..Sticking to almost traffic free country lanes,around Claygate,then up Knowle Road,it wasn't long before reaching the break at Brenchley.As it was a mother and toddler group morning,it was lovely to sit outside in the sunshine away from the noise.Tony then took the group out to Horsmonden past the church and skirted Goudhurst ,before the lump upto Blantyre House prison.Several undulations later it was back on the flat again to Marden Thorn,where two cars speeding around a blind bend almost made skittles of a few riders,but fortunately no harm done.It was then on to Marden and Chainhurst,before Lughorse Lane,which must be the most pot holed Road in Kent,to Yalding.The inevitable climb back to East Malling,entailed Kenward Hill and Teston Hill,where Rebecca and Phil H ,left,and the remainder got back after 39 miles at 13 mph average,and 2000 feet of ascents.Thankyou Tony.Great ,well recce'd ride.
A pleasant morning,at Wrotham,and really nice to have Angelo and Andy Attwood join the group,also we didn't expect to see Russell,after his recent clamber up the Alps,with other members of the Saturday D+ group.Really well done,Russ.Richard suggested going to Westerham,so off 9 riders trooped ,via a fairly traditional route of Kemsing and Otford. A slight deviation followed going up to Chevening House estate gate,then back on track to Westerham along the Pilgrims Way.We overwhelmed them a bit at the cycle cafe,and the staff had to nip out and buy more loaves for the munchies.After a nice break,the return took a slightly different route back,going through Chipstead and Dunton Green,before Heaverham to Wrotham.A distance of 31.5 miles at 13 mph,without any problems.
Many ride reports start with the words perfect weather. This was really one of those days light clouds and more importantly light winds for our ride across the Romney Marsh to Dungeness and Rye. Tony Munn led 12 riders on the ride that headed out from Appledore towards Brookland, then through Lydd before heading out to Dungeness and a stop. After the break back to Lydd and through to Camber via the route 2 cycle path and the sea wall. Rye reached, some riders decided to find their own lunch stop while the majority headed to the Kettle o Fish. A longer than anticipated stop saw the cancellation of the ride to Rye harbour resulting in a brisk six mile ride back to Appledore.
Distance 38 miles Average speed 13.75 mph