A big turn out of over 20 made up from Inters+ B' C ' and D groups turned up at Lenham,so Joan and Richard decided to split into two rides,but both taking different routes to Wye cafe. Joan took the hillier option going up Hubbards Hill,then down to Westwell,before taking the Pilgrims Way to the break.Richard chose a traditional way through Charing then taking a similar way via Westwell and Boughton Aluph,arriving at the cafe before Joan's group.The cafe coped quite well the influx. Richard then set off with his group,and took a longer loop,out to Brook,Mersham and Kingsnorth,before heading to Hothfield,then joining a similar course along the Pilgrims Way,doing 45 miles at 13.6 average. Joan took a shorter route,also taking the Pilgrims Way via Westwell and Charing back to Lenham,arriving back first.
Following heavy early rain,it was creditable to see16 riders still happy to get out,including a couple who normally go with a Colchester cycling club,and were on holiday in Kent and fancied a ride.By luck,the rain decided to call it a day as the group started from Yalding,with Richard leading and headed off for a new break at the Hawkhurst cafe,at the crossroads in the middle of the village.An outward trip of about 21 miles took them to CollierStreet,Horsmonden then to Goudhurst and Glassenbury,to the back lanes to Hawkhurst,where Bob sustained the only puncture of the day.Well done Gary as always for the help.Really good ,reasonable cafe stop,and ear marked for future rides.Richard tried to keep again off the main roads,it's a bit of difficulty,and therefore did a bit of a loop,out to Cranbrook,Sissinghurst and Frittenden,before heading to Staplehurst and a regular route from Marden to Yalding.A distance of 44 miles at 13 mph average.
A pretty good turnout of 14 turned up at Chestnut Street,on a sunny but windy morning.Richard led and it was decided to stretch our wings a bit and go to Herne Bay.The outward bound went firstly to the housing estates of Sittingbourne,then onto the Lower Road of Teynham continuing all the way through lanes to Faversham.We then really started to battle into a strong wind going past Graveney into Seasalter.After Whitstable,onto Tankerton,where Joan and Ann decided that they had had enough of the challenging head wind,and headed off back to a break in Whitstable at Wetherspoons.The rest kept going,taking an off-road ride into Herne Bay along a very pleasant concrete promenade alongside the Thames estuary.We also went into a Wetherspoons,and got great value refreshments.Coming out,it was a joy to have the majority of the route back with a following wind,and our route via Ospringe and Painters Forstal back to Borden was enjoyable.Richard underestimated the total ride distance,which turned out to be 55 miles,with over 2300 feet of ascent,at 12.5 mph average speed Sorry!
Tony Munn led 19 riders from the King and Queen public House East Malling to Nevs cafe Frindsbury. On a sunny early Autumn day the route took them via Rocks Road and Sweets Lane before taking the Wateringbury Road and North Pole Road into Barming. From there we cycled down Queens Road, Buckland Hill and into the Millenium Park. We then cycled to the Running Horse before the climb up Bluebell Hill, turning off onto the Pilgims way and cycling down into Wouldham via the new road. We made a slight detour to cycle along the newly constructed promenade at St Peters Villlage before continuing into Rochester via Shorts Way and our stop at Frindsbury. Our return ride took us back to Wouldham where we crossed the new bridge and then continued to Snodland, Birling and Leybourne before our return to East |Malling. Distance 32 miles at 12.2 mph average.
A lovely morning for a Wrotham start, which was held up for a while when Tim who had ridden from Sidcup had a puncture just as he arrived, but 12 riders led by Richard then set off heading for Cobtree country park, Aylesford.The route went out along the Pilgrims Way through Trottiscliffe and Snodland,before crossing the new bridge to Wouldham, realising how busy it will be when Peters village development is completed. On to the break and sitting outside, possibly for one of the last times this year, in glorious warm sunshine. The return leg continued going clockwise, taking the group through Ditton and lanes around East Malling, where two fast moving cars travelling in the opposite direction nearly had Bob off his bike. Fortunately unscathed we carried on to West Malling, Offham and Crouch to Wrotham. A distance of 33 miles at 12.5 mph average.
A Snodland start with 9 riders on a lovely morning.Richard led out to Poult Wood golf club cafe near Shipbourne.An uneventful journey,via Trottiscliffe,Crouch and finally up Puttemden Lane.Sitting out on the veranda was good,and getting the legs going again,not so good.Back via Hadlow ,Mereworth to West Malling and Offham,around Ryarsh and Birling.A distance of 33 miles at 12.5 mph.
A group of 13 set off from Harrietsham on a warm and sunny morning with Joan leading and went out via Ham Lane Lenham and down Liverton Hill and through the lanes towards Smarden Bell. As we turned left into Pook Lane a cry of 'puncture' brought us all to a standstill. However, it was a front tyre and this was soon mended and we set off again towards St Michaels near Tenterden going via High Halden and Harbourne Lane. The cafe in St Michaels was new to most of us and provided good, reasonably priced food and efficient service although it is quite small. We returned via Readers Bridge Road (Route 18), Tylden, Snughorne Lane and Bell Lane in the direction of Headcorn. We then took Bedlam Lane to Egerton Forstal and returned by climbing up Church Hill passing Boughton Malherbe church and back to Harrietsham. A distance of 35 miles at 12.5 mph average.
Yalding station car park was rammed with cars and cyclists,on a lovely sunny morning Phil Gerry turned up to say hello before cycling off to meet up with the Wednesday wobblers. .The alternative midweek meander group,with about 8 riders,headed out for their ride to Knoxbridge,whilst 15 others led by Richard ,including new members Denise and Peter,set off to Chiddingstone Castle. A very traditional and often used route saw the group go out to East Peckham,Hadlow to Shipbourne and Hildenborough,and the rolling countryside to Chiddingstone.There they met Joan and Ann from C group,who had zoomed off from Yalding just before us,so really nice to see them.The Castle offers very twee refreshments,using china tea ware,so very unlike the normal greasy spoons,and offers a lovely stop.without feeling bloated for the return.Once again a well wheeled route to Leigh,outskirts of Tonbridge and Golden Green,on the flat wind assisted.A distance of 37 miles at about 14 mph average,without incident.
A group of 16 met at the Chestnut Street start to be led by Chris over to the Isle of Sheppey. We took our usual route over the A249 to Hartlip and then crossed the A2 to go through Otterham Quay on the way to Upchurch and Lower Halstow. Because of the long traffic queues on the Minster road after crossing to Sheppey, we went towards Sheerness and then down to the seafront, following the seawall past Barton Point to Minster Leas. We ate outside in the sunshine at the small café which was extremely busy but very efficient service and good food. In the end the temptation of the ice cream m/c proved too much for most of us. The return from the Island was relatively wind free for a change as we then went through Iwade and Bobbing back to the cars. Total of 34 miles at 13.2 mph average
Thank Chris,for a lovely ride from Chestnut Street to Minster Leas,on a really hot day.Nearly missed several of the group at the start,as people parked in slightly different places to usual,but fortunately all came together just after the start.The break overlooking the Thames estuary in the sun was lovely,for us mad dogs who sat outside.