A cold,dry and sunny start welcomed a very impressive turn out of 20 at Wrotham.Richard led and headed off in a very indirect route to Cliffe on the Isle of Grain.Firstly,the lump of the A20,Wrotham Hill, before the lovely descent to the picturesque hamlet of Stansted with a short stop to regroup and admire the memorial on the green.It was then a flat ride along Hartley Bottom Road,adorned in places with bluebells along the banks,then into Longfield.Carrying on,into the equally pretty village of Cobham,passing it's ancient church and old worldie pubs.Journeying on down hill along Thong Lane to the Lower Higham Road and to the break at the cafe in Salt Lane,Cliffe.It was the first time the Midweekers had used it,and with the numbers,the staff were a bit overwhelmed but with everyone sitting outside in glorious sunshine overlooking the fishing lakes,it was a most enjoyed stop.Reasonably priced,and will be used again.The return became a bit disjointed,with the three groups getting separated at various places,one particularly being the footpath section from Crutches Lane to Shorne Country Park,but the wonders of mobile phones got everyone back together again eventually. (Well done Russ).The last few miles were on more main roads,along the quiet(thankfully) A227 through Meopham and Culverstone Green,then returning to the quieter lanes past Fairseat,back to Wrotham,with all the flock safely gathered in.A distance of 35 miles,over 2100 climbs at about 13 mph average.
Tony Munn led 17 riders on a trip across what is locally known as the fifth continent or the Romney Marsh to the Burstin Hotel Folkestone. With the wind behind us we made rapid progress to Brenzett before cycling through quiet lanes via Ivychurch and St Mary in the Marsh. Our ride then took us to Dymchurch and along the sea wall before cutting inland to the Military Canal and Hythe. We then took the sea wall route directly to Folkestone and the Burstin Hotel. The hotel offers amazing value of a three course meal for £5. Fully filled up we ventured out on the harbour arm before cycling back into the wind. This took us on a slightly different route via Newchurch before rejoining the outward route at Ivychurch. 48 miles at 12.5 mph with of course no climbs just plenty of headwind back.
A Sunny but chilly start from Lenham,with all male riders(,unusually )of 11.Richard led and the group quickly warmed, going up Hubbards Hill and then what seemed a group of descents all the way through the wonderfully quiet roads and pretty countryside to Eastling and Painters Forstal,then Ospringe and into the cobbles of Faversham town centre.As we had got there fairly early ,it was a joint decision to carry on to Seasalter,heading into a bit of a head/side wind. A lovely break ,sitting in the sunshine at the Forget me Not cafe by the sea front. When we were about to pay,Geoff showed Gary a new 2016, one pound coin which Gary seemed to think as it was issued prior to this year,as a special circulation may have additional over the face value.So online enquiries are pending.The way back took the group back into Faversham then out to Teynham Lynsted and Doddington where Chris Cook showed a different Hill to climb up to the Harrow pub.It was then down Hubbards Hill and back into Lenham. A distance of 40 miles at about 14 mph average.
A dull day and moderate wind greeted 17 riders at Yalding,not including the 6 who went out on their weekly ride to Brenchley . Richard led,saying that he would do a flat, big loop ride to get to Headcorn aerodrome,which was met with approval. The way out took them through Hunton,Lambs Cross and a lot of country lanes to Headcorn village and Smarden,to the break.The cafe was empty,just as well as the usual lady serving was on her own when we invaded.She actually smiled at the end for a change,so 10 out of 10 for her efficiency.The way back continued the clockwise direction,to Watermans Quarter skirting Frittenden ,Staplehurst and Marden. Onward to Laddingford,where the road to Yalding was shut,so a diversion to East Peckham and Hale Street,where Andy,the rear marker unfortunately had the only puncture of the day,and got stranded as no one in front knew,until we got back to the station. Gary and Russ then went off and found Andy,so panic over. A longer distance than normal of 44.5 miles averaging 14.4 mph,over the flat roads.
The weather forecast was not good,but 7 still turned up at Chestnut Street,including Bob Elliott out again after his bike accident a few weeks ago.Richard led on a very traditional route to Queenborough.With strong winds,fortunately mainly behind,it was a country lane journey,which involved a road closure ,near Rainham,because of a lorryload of fly tipping rubbish all across the lane.Then over the Sheppey Bridge,with cross winds and raining ,before reaching Queenborough for a quick sightseeing view of the waterfront,and the ornithogists amongst the group,detailing the wading birds..The Klondyke cafe was beckoning,and was as good as ever.The head and side winds going back over the Swale,were really challenging,but at least it had stopped raining.A shorter route back via Iwade ad a distance of 28.5 miles at about 12 mph average.
How lovely to start seeing riders out wearing the new kit,without fear of it being covered in mud.A beautiful warm morning greeted 16 riders at East Malling,and with Tony Munn eagerly leading went off through West Malling to Crouch,and onto the flat of Hadlow.Carrying on to Golden Green and Tudeley,where Rachel suggested that we stop at the church with it's famous coloured windows.Unfortunately,there is scaffolding and plastic sheets covering the outside,so we couldn't see them in their true glory.Tony then took the group to the really great café stop,called Posh Nosh on theTransfesa industrial estate at Paddock Wood.There we all sat outside in the sun.the food ,service and value being first class.The return was again a pleasant ride,to Yalding and laddingford,where we met up with the 5 Yalding Wednesday riders on their way back.The last leg was the little puff of Red Hill,then through the Research centre.A distance of 32 miles at 13.7 mph average. Well done Tony for a great ride.
Wrotham starts always seem to start with dull weather,but 10 riders still turned up in the rain,and Tony Munn offered to take the lead eventually heading for Rochester.Tony took the group out through Borough Green,and Crouch ,then onto West and East Malling before going through the Research Centre,to Aylesford,Eccles,and Wouldham,with a quick stop at the church to view the gravestone of Walter Burke,who was the purser on HMS Victory,and tended the mortally wounded Lord Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar.All suitably impressed by Tony's knowledge,it was onto the Legends cafe in Rochester.A firm favourite for good value,and great hot chocolates according to Tony,the connoisseur of such things.Out again with much improved weather,over the M2 bridge,to Cuxton and up the steady climb of a very grotty Dean Lane to Harvel.Just after Fairseat and nearly home,Ralph got the only puncture of the day,and Tony Palmer stayed with him,whilst the rest carried onto Wrotham.A lumpy ride of about 34 miles averaging about 12 mph.Thanks Tony for the great ride.
The Midweekers first' Where to' ride,and a really good turnout of 15 descended on the Reculver car park,mainly by shared transport,and initially confused over payment ,as the machine had been removed.Russell had suggested the ride and valiantly led past the Towers and along the Viking Trail,wind assisted.Within a quarter of a mile ,Tim got the first puncture,and Gary was on hand as usual to help. Carrying on after ,with lovely sandy bays and a calm sea,all the way to Margate,partly on the concrete esplanade and sometimes on road,it was a fairly leisurely sightseeing route.Rounding the foreland into more wind ,Russ took the group through picturesque Broadstairs,and Ramsgate Harbour on the mainly cycle path to Sandwich.where Roy got the second puncture.Again ,Gary was on hand.The group parted for a while but all eventually carried onto the sumptuous break at the Princes Lodge of the St George and Princes Golf Club,which will host the Golf Open in 2020..A really nice stop(Thankyou Russ for choosing it).It was then returning into a stronger head wind,and going inland through very quiet lanes,Russ's first stopping place was Richborough Roman fort for a quick look,then a fairly direct and faster pace taking in the villages of Westmarsh,Grove Ferry,crossing the River Stour,with small boats berthed along the banks.Then it was through Chislet ,onto Bishopstone with heavy drizzle starting and finally back to Reculver.where Russ produced a loaf sized cake,which was thoroughly enjoyed.A distance of 48.5 miles at about 12.5 mph average. Great ride,Thankyou Russell.
A dull but dry start saw 15 riders get together at Lenham.Russell suggested going to Wye,so the group trooped off,with me out front,on a nice ,mainly wind assisted route to Wye.Going out via Charing,Westwell and Boughton Aluph.Arriving at Wye cafe,we saw plenty of bikes outside,and found them to belong to the Tenterden C.C..However,the cafe was very good and the service was fairly quick,in view of the crowded numbers.With clouds gathering,the return took in a big loop ,mainly into the wind,via Noccult,Brook and Mersham,before the nice flat roads,of Sevington,Kingsnorth and Chambers Green.Inevitably,there had to be a Hill to climb,so it was the puff of Greenhill Road,to Egerton.With rain starting a bit heavier,the last final leg to Lenham was completed without incident.A distance of 41 miles at 13 mph average.
Had a senior moment,put it on the forum and not ride reports Uh!