Please See Kevyn’s report on the D Group forum
Friday night John C. and Sarah L. decided their plan to lead an undulating ride over the Downs to Brogdale Farm might risk mucky roads and slush, so they left the snow search to Russell and the D+ group. John mapped a flatter route to Bethersden and led a group of 12, which included a new rider -welcome to Neil - and a returning rider. They went south, under grey skies, along fairly quiet, occasionally undulating, country roads, passing banks of snow. The route took them past Egerton House and Pluckley station, to arrive at Greenways Garden Centre cafe. The friendly manager had reserved tables and provided prompt , efficient service. The rain had started to fall during the break, so John set off apace over the gradual incline back to Lenham. He led up through Little Chart crossing over the M20 towards Charing Heath. Just before the Red Lion, John B and (young) Sarah, bringing up the rear, spotted a pair of glasses on the road, which they kindly stopped to recover. During this time the group had turned right but had not left a backstop in view. Apologies to all. As a result John and Sarah sailed by and after several searches and phone calls, they opted to continue, clocked up extra mileage and arrived back before the rest of the group! The glasses were gratefully received by their owner. Snowdrops spotted: many; mileage: 29.5; average speed: 11.1 mph; total elevation: 883 ft.
Too icy to safely ride.
please see his entry on the D Group forum of 24/2/18
On a sunny winter's day nine of us set off to Otford via West Malling, then along Comp Lane before turning off at Crouch down Basted Lane. After a climb back up, we continued along Mill Lane then cycled through Ightham and joined Fen Pond Rd until we reached the Pilgrims Way and cycled past Kemsing and down to Otford.Thankfully we had booked as there were two other cycling groups at Pond View tea room too! After a slightly longer lunch break due to the cafe being so busy we rejoined the Pilgrims Way and retraced our tracks due to a technical problem with Strava but did manage a slight detour along Crowhurst Lane and then up Winfield Lane to join the road back through Comp and back to the start. My apologies for nearly losing some of the group, causing a few to cycle further up the hill from Ightam! The ride was just slightly over 30 miles with an average speed of 11.8 and climbimg approx 1900ft.
John Blakeley led the ride to Staplehurst on what started as a cold and sunny day. The group of 6 left Mote Park and headed through Downswood, Boughton Monchelsea, Linton (south), Collier Street and Claygate. There was a sigh of relief when, at Marden Beech, it was discovered that a road closure allowed easy access for cycles. On the way to the coffee stop at Staplehurst the weather changed to rain.
Having warmed up at the coffee stop, the group then headed through Hawkesbury before attempting the 11% gradient hill at Chart Sutton. There was general agreement from the group that this would be a good ride to return to in the summer months. A distance of just under 30 miles at 11.8 mph average.
Yalding Station was totally packed with about 40 riders ,as it was the starting point for Both D and both Easy Groups. After each group sorted itself out,Mike Griffiths led the D Group with 7 riders.Taking a lovely flat route ,in very cold damp weather, he took them out to Benover,Collier Street,where Richard got the only puncture of the day.Carrying on after, and trying to warm up ,it was staying on quiet roads.A brief stop in Grave Lane to read a wooden cross obituary to Flight Officer Clifford,a 21 year old RAF pilot,who crashed after being shot down at the spot in 1940. It was then on to bye pass Staplehurst and to the break at the cafe in Headcorn High Street. Mike maintained the flat return journey,out towards Ulcombe then Farthing Green and Lamb’s Cross,before crossing the A229 to Hunton and into Yalding.A distance of 30 miles at 12.4 mph average.Great ride ,Thankyou Mike.
Welcome to Anita who joined us for her first ride with the D's and welcome back Sarah. Nine of us set off from Wrotham along the country lanes through Heaverham, Kemsing and on to Seal before the long climb up through Godden Green and to Underriver before descending Carters Hill. We continued on towards Hildenborough, then via Higham Wood to our lunch stop at Poult Wood. With the sun still shining on our return, we continued the undulating ride to Dunks Green and along Long Mill Lane to Crouch. From there we headed to Ightham and then up to Kemsing Road and back to the start point.We completed 27.9 miles with an average speed of 10.7, having climbed nearly 2000ft.
Please see D + reports
A lot more than figgy pudding slowing up this ride! Please can we introduce a new SFA rule? When overtaking Your Leader, you are obliged to huff and puff and at least pretend it's hard work!! Not that it happened that often or course .... good job we love the Irish. So we set off from Brenchley via the flat plains of Marden, Staplehurst, Frittenden and on to Cranbrook and Hartley Cafe where we pipped another large cycling group at the post and had a very satisfactory break. We returned via Goudhurst and wended our undulating way back to Brenchley, thanks to our Human Satnav, Mr Valentine. Rumour has it that he 'lost signal' last week but he certainly redeemed himself today, thank you. We welcomed a new member, Anthony and we hope to see you again! Happy New Year All.