A gloriously warm morning greeted 11 riders at Chestnut Street,and a trip to the coast was inevitable.Taking a tried and trusted route,Richard led out via the usual haunts of Hartlip,Upchurch and Lower Halstow into a fairly strong head wind,which kept the temperature down.The ride continued onto the Isle of Sheppey to Halfway before getting to Minster and the lovely stop at Barton's Point.Sitting out on their veranda overlooking the lake was most enjoyable,as was the good service,quality and price of the food..Looking forward to having the wind trailing on the return,it was first off to the Leas,at Minster,to take a peek at the sea,and Sarah,in all honesty wishing she could take a swim.I would have had the camera very close at hand if she did.!Anyway,it was then off the island and without incident returning via Iwade and Bobbing back to the start.A distance of 33 miles at 13.5 average speed.
Really nice to have a new leader volunteering,which Tony Palmer did,and take a group of 11 on a ride to Brenchley including our two Alps mountain mashers,Lisa and Rebecca.Going out,mainly into a stronish headwind,Tony led to Wateringbury,via the lanes,then up Bow Hill before getting to Yalding..Sticking to almost traffic free country lanes,around Claygate,then up Knowle Road,it wasn't long before reaching the break at Brenchley.As it was a mother and toddler group morning,it was lovely to sit outside in the sunshine away from the noise.Tony then took the group out to Horsmonden past the church and skirted Goudhurst ,before the lump upto Blantyre House prison.Several undulations later it was back on the flat again to Marden Thorn,where two cars speeding around a blind bend almost made skittles of a few riders,but fortunately no harm done.It was then on to Marden and Chainhurst,before Lughorse Lane,which must be the most pot holed Road in Kent,to Yalding.The inevitable climb back to East Malling,entailed Kenward Hill and Teston Hill,where Rebecca and Phil H ,left,and the remainder got back after 39 miles at 13 mph average,and 2000 feet of ascents.Thankyou Tony.Great ,well recce'd ride.
A pleasant morning,at Wrotham,and really nice to have Angelo and Andy Attwood join the group,also we didn't expect to see Russell,after his recent clamber up the Alps,with other members of the Saturday D+ group.Really well done,Russ.Richard suggested going to Westerham,so off 9 riders trooped ,via a fairly traditional route of Kemsing and Otford. A slight deviation followed going up to Chevening House estate gate,then back on track to Westerham along the Pilgrims Way.We overwhelmed them a bit at the cycle cafe,and the staff had to nip out and buy more loaves for the munchies.After a nice break,the return took a slightly different route back,going through Chipstead and Dunton Green,before Heaverham to Wrotham.A distance of 31.5 miles at 13 mph,without any problems.
Many ride reports start with the words perfect weather. This was really one of those days light clouds and more importantly light winds for our ride across the Romney Marsh to Dungeness and Rye. Tony Munn led 12 riders on the ride that headed out from Appledore towards Brookland, then through Lydd before heading out to Dungeness and a stop. After the break back to Lydd and through to Camber via the route 2 cycle path and the sea wall. Rye reached, some riders decided to find their own lunch stop while the majority headed to the Kettle o Fish. A longer than anticipated stop saw the cancellation of the ride to Rye harbour resulting in a brisk six mile ride back to Appledore.
Distance 38 miles Average speed 13.75 mph
Russell offered to lead,and do it as a recce for a forthcoming ride.Starting off from Lenham with a group of 13,with the road drying out after heavy overnight rain,Russ took the group,including a new Midweekers member,Graham,firstly through Lenham village.then the inevitable climb over the downs,via Hubbards Hill,by which time everyone was warming up nicely.Taking virtually all very quiet country lanes,Russ carried on past Stalisfield and Throwley,before the clamber back up to Painters Forstal.It was then through Norton before crossing the A2 at Teynham. Geoff sustained the only puncture of the day,but with plenty of help,and even more onlookers,it was onwards again.Russ took a bit of a detour to Conyer Creek,before heading off again for a well earned break at the Cafe at Rodmersham Green,who wished us to be known in future as the "scrambled egg group".After a fairly long wait for all to be served,the return leg,was the slow climb up to Wormshill towards Ringlestone,and the long descent of Stede Hill,with Allan flying down it,before returning to Lenham.A lumpy ride of 32.5 miles at about 12.5 mph average with 2001 ft of climbing. Well done Russ.Great ride.
After last weeks Chestnut Street grotty weather when only Tony Palmer turnedup,then left to do a local ride from home,it was different today.A large crowd congregated at Yalding station. Including the Yalding alternative group of approx 10 riders.Their number was reduced slightly at the onset,when a loud bang from Wendy's inner tube blew the tyre wall off in part,so she gave up,and the rest went off heading to Paddock Wood. It was suggested that Chiddingstone Castle is always a nice ride,so Richard led off with a group of 12,and took the usual route ,with a nice following wind.After Hadlow, Ralph offered to lead for a while,and carried on past Hildenborough and Chiddingstone Causeway to the Castle.Chairs and tables were already positioned outside the courtyard in the lovely warmth of the grounds,so it was a very relaxing stop.The return leg maintained the usual route,via Leigh ,Powdermills and Tonbridge,before the country lanes around Golden Green and East Peckham.A distance of 36 miles at about 14 mph average,without incident.
Thirteen riders left East Malling for a ride via Maidstone to Frinsbury. The ride through Barming up Lower Bluebell Hill and along the Pilgrims way to Burham went well until a member had a puncture. The problem turned out to be more serious and the stop took about an hour. Due to time constraints and the cold it was decided to cycle down to Wouldham and into Snodland and The Pavillion Café. Whilst enjoying some warmth and food the heavens opened so it was decided to head back to East Malling as soon as possible. Distance 25miles Average Speed 11.7mph.
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.