My sincere thanks to Tony for stepping in at the last moment to lead the joint ride.Darren on his brand new belt driven bike,had volunteered for the D Group also at short notice,but with only 12 turning up at Snodland,it was decided to do a Group cycle. On a cold,but gloriously sunny morning,with more than a hint of frost and icy puddles about,Tony took the group on a figure of 8 route.By the time they reached Peters Bridge,the only puncture of the day had befallen Roger,but with Gary on hand,no problem.The delay enabled Richard Byatt,who didn’t make the start on time to catch up.Tony then went off along the bottom road to the M 2 bridge at Borstal,before returning via the upper road to Burhsm and then onto the Lower Bell and Sandling.The new cycle path from the Malta to Aylesford,avoiding the very busy Forstal Road,was well appreciated.It was intended to make the stop at the Hilltop cafe,East Malling,but on arrival it was rammed,so plan B was the Jungle cafe,Addington.On arrival the Easy riders+ were just leaving,so the timing was good.Coming out later,with thickening clouds,Tony maintained the loop ,firstly through Trottiscliffe before Ryarsh and Birling,by which time,riders were starting to peel off.Arriving back at Snodland with only 7 having done 30 Miles at 11.8 mph average with 1888 feet climbing.Thankyou Tony Great ride.
The car park at Dickley Lane Lenham was really packed ,as it was the starting point for both D groups,C group and a lonely usual B + rider. Russell was due to lead the B+ ride,but fortunately he was joined by a few of the D+’eras..So off he went with a group of 9, on a dry,sunny but very cold morning.venturing on quiet lanes,occasionally with ice puddles at the verges,and frost on the fields.Going to Charing and Westwell onto Boughton Aluph and a brief stop at Wye,for a photo.With temperatures still not topping zero very often,there were a few climbs before the very welcoming break at the Blue and White cafe,Smeeth and a chance to warm up and enjoy hot,reasonably priced food.All too soon it was getting togged up again,for the way back,going through Mersham,where Rebecca decided to become unofficial leader for a while and raced off a bit upping everyone’s heart rate,but doing nothing for sniffy noses.For a while,the ride continued on the flat through Stubbs Cross and Bethersden,before the lump of Pluckley Hill. Going on past Egerton and Boughton Malherbe,and Russell wondering why he was finding pedalling hard,only to find that mud was completely caked between his front tyre and forks,necessitating the removal of the wheel to clear it.With the weather getting ever colder,and riders looking forward to getting back to the warmth of their cars,the remainder of the ride was uneventful fortunately.A distance of 44 miles at about 13 mph average. Great ride Russell.Thankyou
As there were only ten of us, Chris generously (everyone regretted this act of self-sacrifice by the end of the ride) handed over the D ride to the D+ ride. ‘Bee ride, not a D ride’ said Russell as a giant bumble bee tried to muscle in on the proceedings. It turned out to be an A+ ride. We climbed out of Ightham, cutting through Basted Mill to climb up to Crouch and along The Hurst, past Old Soar Manor. In Dunks Green we continued across the Shipbourne crossroads and began the climb past Ightham Mote. The next climb took us to St Lawrence Church and across the A25 and minor undulations through Kemsing to Pondview Café in Otford. Worse was to come …. Jonathan: ‘we’re not doing Rowdow?’. Rachel: ‘but you took us up Rowdow, you love it’. J: ‘but that was just after I’d done The Alps!’ R: ‘On your bikes … ‘. Up Rowdow and no complaints (maybe I was too far behind to hear them) and on to the next hill which I had completely overlooked. Knatts Lane, 16%. I was the only one to come to a standstill and fall sideways. Well done Team, the reward was the descent on Exedown and back to Wrotham. Due to a proactive rerouting to accommodate the D riders, we only did 25 miles. And 2457 ft of climbs. Oops. One day I must get the hang of Strava.
A really cold,clear sunny and dry start from Staplehurst,with Russell taking the lead with a group of 10.Looking at the route map and ascents graph seemed a bit daunting for some,but with a few nervous laughs ,Russ set off and headed to Bodiam..Starting off on the flat to Curtisden Green,before the lumps started near Goudhurst.Continuing on then along the Glassenbury Road to Hartley and Benenden to Iden Green,and the very picturesque landscape entering Sussex.After 18 Miles the break was reached at the Hub cafe ,Bodiam,with great views of the castle in the distance.Further climbs awaited on the return,and Russ took his flock out to Northiam and back into Kent at Newenden. and it’s ancient road bridge.It was then onto Rolvenden ,Benenden again to Sissinghurst,before the final leg back on the flat again to Frittenden and Staplehurst.A distance of almost 40 miles at about 12 mph average. Thanks Russ for a great ride.
A very crowded car park awaited 11 riders at Ditton Community centre,and Richard led the group,and made the first unscheduled stop at Richard Byatt’s house in West Malling to get warmer clothing for Russ,as it was really quite cold..It then carried on through Cuxton and up to Cobham,where the rain started in earnest,making everyone pretty soaked.So by the time they reached the stop at salt Lane cafe ,Cliffe,it was a most welcomed and enjoyable break..With constant rain,the route went back to Frindsbury ,and into Rochester,just in time to witness a charity event with a hundred or more Santas,dancing to music,prior to a fun run,in the Castle grounds car park.An ideal photo opportunity.The ride then continued out to Wouldham Eccles ,Aylesford and back to Ditton.A distance of 39 miles,2250 ft ascents at about12 mph average,without incident thankfully.
On a very dull,drizzly morning,only Russell,Darren,Tony M and Richard V,decided to do the ride from Mote Park,with most of the others gathered opting for John Blakeley’s D ride to Lenham. Richard suggested going to the Tuck Inn cafe at Newington,which was well received especially by Darren,as it is one of his favourite stops. Going out from the park to Detling and up the footpath alongside the A249 actually into the low clouds.Continuing on ,via very muddy,leaf strewn and puddly lanes to Hartlip, A loop to give a few more miles prior to the break,and Darren took the lead,showing the others all sorts of places where he grew up.The ride continued to Upchurch and Lower Halstow,before changing direction to get to the Newington. The cafe was pretty crowded,but the food,service and value was excellent as always.Out again and still wearing the waterproofs,albeit it had dried a bit,it was then up Queensdown Warren to Bredhurst where Tony sustained the only puncture of the day.Darren was on hand and with his CO2 gas tube ,it was back on the road again before too long. At Boxley, Darren left the ride to cycle home,leaving Russ,Tony and Richard the final leg along the Pilgrims Way to Detling.and just before the park,Russ dropped off also.Not a long ride,only 28 miles,with about 2000 ft climbing,at a very average speed.
A really big turn out at Yalding Station,with the Easy riders + also starting there with about 20 riders.After early pleasantries,the 3 groups set off to their various routes.Brian with a group of 6 said that his ride would be hilly on the way out and flat for the return.A miserable weather morning that always threatened rain,and the roads were pretty grotty after an over night soaking.Brian pedalled off ,and after Yalding,it was up Kenward Hill,over the top to Small Profits and Shingle Barn Lane before the quite treacherous descent of Barn Hill ,with wet brakes not binding as well as normal.Back up part of Church Hill,then numerous quiet lane and the only puncture of the day surprisingly ,with Bob being the unlucky one.Typically,with no cover the rain decided to absolutely lash down,at that moment,and with rain trickling down the neck,it wasn’t too much fun.Anyway onwards,and Brian found many quiet lanes to get to the break at Coffee Corner cafe,Headcorn.The staff must have looked in Pity at the bedraggled souls who entered their door,wet their floor and chairs,but business is business,I guess.Partially dried out,Brian promised a flat route back,and to keep warm,hot up the pace a bit,and he charged off like a rocket preparing for tonight’s firework displays to Staplehurst and onto the Goudhurst Road.Carrying on at the same pace,with his flock puffing a bit,Brian headed for Claygate and Laddingford before getting back to Yalding,thankfully in the dry.A distance of 36 miles at 13.8 mph average.Thankyou Brian,lovely ride.
Richatd Byatt led a group of 10 from Brenchley on a circumnavigate route around Tunbridge Wells.Going out to Frant for a photo op on the village green,then onto the Broadwater Forest and Fordcombe before arriving at the Porcupine cafe,Penshurst.Rebecca and Lisa left and made their own route back,and the rest to enjoy their lunch in the Autumn sunshine. Leaving Penshurst by going off road up on NCR12, before the descent and crossing the Medway.Then carrying on ,bye passing Tonbridge,to Tudeley and Colts Hill before the sting in the tail of Crittenden Road hill up to Matfield,before getting back to Brenchley.A distance of 30 miles,Averaging 12.5 mph with 2300 ft of climbing
Please see Mike Lambourne’s ride report on the D+ forum
We 4 (Jonathan,Roger, Kevyn & myself set of on the 10.05 ferry which Kevyn as with her custom just made. We headed for coalhouse fort (roger wanted to visit as was opposite one on gravesend side)in east tilbury which had a nice cafe for future use by someone else.
We then trusting in garmin and past rides headed for southend. We headed out to Stanford le hope and eventually arrived in Basildon (through a Mellee of cycle paths which eventually had us stumped so after Kevyn suggested coffee and thinking time we stopped at a cafe in Basildon. A lady was listening to our conversation and suggested a route out to southend which we decided to take rather sooner than anticipated due to what appeared to be 2 drunk guys asking stupid questions about the name San fairy Ann on our tops. Route took us through benfleet,hadleigh onto A13 and eventually to Leigh on sea (loads of traffic lights) and then to southend seafront to lovely fish and chips. Return journey followed much the same route except a better route through Basildon. We then raced to get to 4.45 ferry but due to my error (wrong turning) we eventually made the 5.15. Jonathan pointed out that he thought Essex was flat lol
Big thanks to Kevyn,Jonathan and roger for there support and massive thank you to the ferry driver guy who not only kept kevyns car topped up with parking ticket, he also hid the cash she left on passenger seat and went with her when she picked up car to make sure all was ok top guy.
Approximately 750metres of climbing, 58 miles and avg pace of 12mph 3 x coffees, 3 x cappuccino, 1 x tea, 2 x cakes, 1 x toast, 1 Diet Coke 3 x fish and chips and a portion of chips.
Thought I try a different ride and was pleased with destination and weather was kind to us cheers