A new start ,saw 14 riders ,including a new couple ,Jenny and Rob, and with Richard leading,set off from Wouldham on a pleasant,dry but windy morning.There was also a welcome for Phil Gerry . In the main,it was nice to have the wind in our favour,and the route was undulating,going to Halling,Cuxton and up to Cobham before Shorne Ridgeway and the lower road to Higham Station.From there,it was open countryside with the wind varying in directions,to Cooling,High Halstow to the break at Rose’s cafe,Stoke village.The group pretty much filled the small cafe,but the staff were accommodating and efficient.It was fairly inevitable that the return was going to be with headwinds,so it was more direct, but it provided good views overlooking the Medway estuary, past Kingsnorth to Hoo St Werburgh and Upnor. The quieter roads gave way to fairly manic traffic through the Frindsbury Industrial Estate, and into Rochester,passing the castle and Cathedral before Borstal and the finish at Wouldham. A distance of 40 miles at about 13 mph and over 2000 ft of climbing,but fortunately,without incident or punctures
On arrival at the starting point of Lenham,it was raining so hard that the general consensus was to call it a day. A shame ,as 10 people had turned up,including Ralph who had cycled in from Boughton Mon,and Brigitte who had cycled part way. Ralph decided to cycle back home,instead of a lift,as he said he couldn’t get any wetter.Very brave! Typically the weather seemed to improve a bit later in the day,but too late by then.
Roll on the better weather !
Please see Tony’s report which he has put on the Midweekers forum.
Tony Munn led 16 members on a calm cold morning to Frinsbury. The route out took them via East Malling Offham and Wrotham Heath before looping back via Ryash and Birling. The group then skirted Snodland before cycling over St Peters Bridge,( where the wind had now noticeably increased,) Wouldham and the sharp climb up to Shorts way. The group continued along the Esplanade and into Frinsbury industrial estate, a warning of what was to come came as shock as we peddled directly into 18 mile winds along White Wall Way. Nevs is always efficient and 17 meals were soon served. (No I don't have shares!!!) The journey back was into incessant wind climbing up Burham Road and along the Pilgrims way before the drop to Aylesford. The group then cycled through Ditton with a small loop around the research station before arriving back at the start.
Distance 30 miles Average Speed 12MPH 1800ft Climb
A new ,and I think popular starting point saw 10 riders gathering at the Memorial car park,Paddock Wood.Really good to see Allan out again,after a lengthy break.The general idea was to head out in the direction of Ashford,and see where the ride took us.Richard led and with the wind firmly behind and the rain having stopped. it was a brisk outgoing journey on the flat through Marden,Staplehurst,Headcorn and on to Bethersden for the break at the Garden Centre.With perfect timing,the rain started heavily just after we arrived,and on queue stopped just before leaving.The return was a bit more challenging,often into a headwind,but still fairly flattish,to skirt Pluckley and Egerton.On going through Headcorn,Richard Bardsley said he wasn’t feeling great,so he peeled off to catch the train to Paddock Wood.Tony M said that he would give the leader a break and took overThen it was a matter of retracing some of the route.Unfortunately at Marden,due to a road obstruction,Russ and Gary were held up and the group got parted.They made their way back via Pattenden Lane and Laddingford,whilst the main group took a more direct route.So the distances varied between 48.5 and 51 miles at an average of about 14 mph,with only about 900 feet of ascents.
What a stalwart bunch some of the Midweekers are.On a really windy and rainy morning,7 still managed to get to Lenham for a date with Georgina.( the storm that is). Russell ,together with Andy W. Chris G. Chris M,Tony P,Brian and Gerry, battled off and headed to the cafe at Wye,or as Russ said Wye Not! A traditional route and getting back just before the heavens opened. but still slushing through the puddlesA distance of 32 miles .Well done super heroes.I feel like a proper wimp now.!
A windy,cold but very sunny start from Yalding,with 11 riders.Tony Palmer graciously offered to lead and headed off for a very traditional ride to Chiddingstone,into a very brisk headwind. Without incidents thankfully ,the route went out to Hadlow and Hildenborough.On arrival at the post office cafe,Chiddingstone,the lady owner came out to say they were refurbishing,so Tony came up with plan B ,which was Penshurst Place.To get there entailed quite a few lumps,but sitting with the warmth inside,and the bright sun streaming through the window made it a good stop.The return journey was a lot flatter,and made even better with being wind assisted.Tony led to Leigh,and then skirted Tonbridge,and on to Golden Green and East Peckham to the finish.A distance of 40 miles at 13.3 mph average. Thankyou Tony for a lovely ride.
On a day that was dry,and with a hint of warmth in the sun,16 riders started from Chestnut Street,and with Richard leading headed off towards the Isle of Sheppey.Doing the usual route through Upchurch and Lower Halstow,but on the bridge approach,then turning back to Iwade .The road to Newington was closed, due to a large amount of fly tipped waste ,but it was ok to get around for cyclists.At Newington,the group was held up by a very large traveller type funeral courtage.Several with open backed vans decked with flowers and memorabilia.From there it was only a short distance to the break at the A2 Tuck Inn transport cafe.Always a great stop,and managing to get in just before it became fairly packed.On coming out,Russ had to leave for a meeting with the Maidstone cycling forum,and Philip also peeled off,as he hadn’t cycled recently.The return went off in a different direction to Queensdown Warren,where yet again the road was completely blocked,with fly tipped waste,necessitating the riders to carry their bikes around .(Please see the photo on the group photo section).it was then up to Bredhurst for a big loop on country lanes before returning to Bredhurst,and then into Parkwood,Rainham and the M2 services,before the descent to Hartlip.The final stages had a couple of hold ups with Chris Moon getting a slow puncture,Tony M having problems with a mudguard and with 100 yards from the finish Tony P also getting a puncture.A distance of 35 miles at about 12 mph average.
With storm Elenor passing through,it was surprising that 10 riders still turned up at East Malling.Although extremely windy,it was dry.Richard led after deciding to go to a new cafe stop at Longfield.It was straight into challenging and gusting westerly winds,Trying to remain to fairly sheltered roads,the route went to West Malling,Offham and Crouch,before Borough Green and Wrotham. Russell,who had still not got over his flu bug,decided to peel off ,whilst the remainder took the path up the side of the A20 Wrotham Hill,and getting onto the quieter lanes of Ash to Fawkham Green and the break at Dolly’s Diner,Longfield.This was a New stop,and a very good reasonably priced one.The prospects of a wind assisted return leg was appreciated,by going to Meopham and Cobham,then down to Cuxton.The final few miles was by way of Snodland and Birling to West and East Malling.A distance of 36 miles at about 12 mph average,without incident