A dull,drizzly start from Headcorn,with Brian Kavanagh leading a group of 8.Brian promised a flat ride with a possible lump later on.A lovely route out to Staplehurst,and Marden Beech,then onto Claygate before arriving at the Teapot Island cafe,Yalding.Fortunately the group arrived just before a coach load of walkers,which completely packed the cafe out.After a group photo,Brian took his flock into Yalding village and Lughorse Lane,before the muted climb of Barn Hill( Brian is trying to get some hills in before the forthcoming Alps cycle trip). Jonathan who is also going , was having trouble with his bike.He couldn't change from his big front ring,but very manfully,somehow managed to get to the top,where Gary,the cycle expert,took a look and quickly fixed the problem.Pity he didn't know about it at the bottom of the hill! Down again onto the flat ,via Coxheath to cross the A229,and a stop at Rabbits Cross where Kevyn demonstrated her balletic stretching exercises.(see the group photo section).Carrying on for the final leg through Farthing Green,back to Headcorn.A distance of 31 miles at 13 mph average. Thanks Brian for a lovely ride.
Richard led a group of 11 from Aylesford,on a dry but blustery morning.Going out to Gravesend,the route took the group through Eccles,then over the new Peters bridge,to Upper Halling against challenging westerly winds. A bit of a delay back on the main road as two riders were missing.Darren went back,and discovered that they had taken a wrong turning.However,all reunited the ride continued along Bush Road to Luddenham,then upto Gold Street,and Sole Street,still battling into the wind to Longfield.A respite with a change of direction to Southfleet and the intended stop at the Millbrook garden centre.As bike storage was apparently non existent,the consensus was to carry on to Nells cafe.Firstly having to negotiate around all the cars waiting to get into the waste depot next door.The stop at Nells was very worthwhile with quick service and free second drinks.Out later ,wind assisted was a relief,going to Cobham,down Cobhambury hill,with Darren zooming off in front,then deciding to do his own ride to get extra miles in.Richard's group carried on over the M2 bridge,where Jonathan broke off.The last part continued wind assisted through Wouldham and Eccles to Aylesford.A distance of 37 miles at 13.5 mph average without incident
Please see Jonathan's ride report on the D + forum
Tony Munn led 6 riders from Barming on a day that. promised sunshine and showers and a slightly undulating route. Climbing up to the North Pole and round the back roads of West Malling the town was soon reached, then across the A20 and along the back roads via Addington to Wrotham. A challenging climb up Windmill Lane then via Crouch and the decent to Hadlow followed. Then on the flat through East Peckham and Beltring to the stop at The Village Café in Paddock Wood. The ride back took us through Laddingford, Yalding up Kenward Road Hunt Street, West Farleigh ,and where the best was saved until last, the long climb up from West Farleigh back to the start at Barming Missed the showers, no incidents Distance 34 miles Average Speed 13.5 mph
A dry but windy morning,and Richard led a group of 8 from Snodland.An uneventful ride going out to Upper Halling, and Gold Street to the Cyclopark for a comfort break,and into Gravesend town centre to the Promenade cafe.Darren salivated over his fishmonger,cheese and onion toastie,and we had to drag him away before second helpings.Out again past the canal basin and the derelict factories to Denton and Thong Lane to Cobham for the lovely descent of Cobhambury Road to Cuxton,where Darren left the group to find more Hills,and Kevyn left for home.Shortly afterwards Roger had a puncture and was quite happy for everyone else to keep going,so with the pack diminishing it was then over the M2 bridge to Borstal,where Jonathan peeled off.The remaining 4 riders then finished the ride after going through Wouldham,and over Peters Bridge,where Mike Griffiths gave us a history lesson about the Roman invasions along the Medway.A distance of 32.5 miles at 11.7 mph,in challenging winds.
A very disrupted and delayed start as John a first time rider with the group discovered that he had a puncture on getting his bike out of the car,so Gary as always was straight to the rescue,then Russ also got one,and we hadn't even left the car park at Lenham.So by the time they were fixed,with a bit of difficulty it was some time before Allan could start his first lead,with a group of 13,going to Footprints environmental centre cafe at Singleton.Fortunately the weather was warming up nicely,so no complaints.Allan had only got as far as Platts Heath when John succomed to a second puncture ,so Gary and Brian were on hand again to help.Carrying on ,downhill to the Smarden area,where poor John scored his hat trick ,all with the same tyre.Finding the only suitable place to get off the road opposite a big country house,we were chastised by the elderly female occupier,reprimanding us to move off as we were making her dog bark in the garden!.our apologies fell on deaf ears.With time now really getting on,Allan led to the very nice cafe stop at Singleton,which was well received.A bit lumper,but far less eventful return,through Great Chart up to Pluckley and Charing Heath to Lenham.A distance of 36 miles art 13.7 mph average.Well done Allan.A lovely well planned and picturesque ride.
Please see D group ride reports section re this joint ride.
Really good to have Mike Griffiths riding and leading the group today.He had a fairly big group of 15 to look after,and taking no prisoners,zoomed off heading for the break at The Indulgence cafe,Tenterden.Mike chose a route out via Sissinghurst ,Golford to St Michaels ,finding some nice lanes.Mike had reserved a table,and the service was very efficient,and the usual discount was welcomed .Mike continued his quest to find country lanes on the way back,going around Biddenden and Smarden,into quite strong headwinds.A distance of 32 miles at about 12 mph without any problems.Thanks Mike for a great ride.
Ten riders set off from the King & Queen at East Malling, heading through West Malling and Offham before crossing the A20 to head up Ford Lane. After a gentle climb we joined the Pilgrims Way before dropping down to Wrotham and then resuming our westward trajectory through Wrotham and Heaverham to reach Kemsing. We could avoid the hills no longer and turned north and then back on ourselves, before reaching Old Terry's Lodge Road (believed to be named after a member of the Wednesday Wobblers who stopped there for a "comfort break" and liked it so much he built a house).
The group all made it up the challenging climb without too much pain. From the top it was a nice run through Stansted and Fairseat to the cafe at Trosley Country Park. By this time the sun had appeared and we sat outside - not bad for mid-February!
From there it was all downhill - Vigo Hill to be precise. On towards Ryarsh and then down to the A20. After an impromptu stop at West Malling Cycles (thanks for the free energy bars) we took a loop around West Malling and came back to the start via the East Malling Research Station. Dipped out on the Waxwings feeding on fallen apples in the orchards but got a nice team photo at the church. 32 miles at average 12 mph and just under 2,000 ft climbed.
Due to early snow,the ride was cancelled.Thanks to Russell for goingto the start at Mote Park,just in case someone turned up. Which thankfully they didn't.