A lovely bright morning and 14 riders turned up at Ditton Community Centre.Unfortunately due to a publication error in the Milestone,Lisa and Roger went to Wrotham instead. Richard led and headed off through Aylesford and over Peters Bridge to Cuxton,where Angie got a puncture.When repaired,it was up the hill to Cobham and onto the stop at the Salt Lane cafe,Cliffe Woods,where Roger was sipping tea waiting for the group.The staff coped well with the number. On departure,Colin’s tubeless tyre was flat,so he called his wife and bowed out. The return was into busier traffic of Frindsbury and Rochester,before easing again after Borstal and Wouldham. On getting closer to the start point,8 riders dropped off at various points,leaving the remaining to finish via East Malling and the road through the Research station. A distance of 38.5 miles at about 12.5 mph average.
A pleasant dry morning welcomed 20 riders at Lenham and Russell volunteered to lead and decided that Wye would be a good stop. After getting up Hubbard’s Hill, and nearing Stalisfield,Gary got the first puncture.Whilst being fixed,half the group continued,hoping that it would make the cafe break less manic. When done,Richard led the second group ,down Charing Hill,and along the Pilgrims Way,where they passed the first group where Ralph was mending the second puncture. Continuing on ,near Westwell,the road was closed,with a large amount of fly tipping waste,and a PCSO was at the scene.Lisa and Rachel took the opportunity to get close to him for a photo.They would have preferred a fireman,but can’t be too choosy! The third puncture befell Jonathan just before the break at Wye,so he able to fix it before his lunch when the group rejoined. Russell continued his lead after, and retraced the route initially,but poor Jonathan got yet another puncture,near Potters Corner ,so Russell led half the group on ,and Richard waited with the remainder,without further problems,except Russell’s group going through a very deep puddle in Old Ham Lane.An overall distance of about 35 miles at 13 mph average.Thanks Russ lovely,If unfortunately a disjointed ride due to the punctures.
After heavy overnight rain,it was surprising that 8 riders ventured for a start at Yalding Station,but with the forecast of brightening up,they set off heading for Poult Wood golf club,Shipbourne .Richard led and headed off in completely the opposite direction to Collier Street,and up to Brenchley,before returning to the flat of Golden Green and Tudeley to the golf club. A pleasant and reasonable stop. With ever darkening skies,the group set off again to Hadlow,and East Peckham,where the rain started in earnest,and got continually worse for the final stages through Laddingford to Yalding,by which time it was bucketing down,unfortunately for those cycling home through deep puddles.A distance of 28 miles at about 13 mph average,thankfully without incident.
A very clear morning,and 18riders started off from Chestnut Street with Tony Munn leading ,intending to head to Sheppey.Unfortunately,early on Tony’s front tyre went off with a bang,and he decided to call it a day,and with great buddy Gary,they cycled the short distance back to the start.Thankyou Gary.Richard then took over ,and set off for Queenborough.On arrival The Klondike cafe was being bulldozed for a new housing estate,but the leader had an idea that it had located to Halfway,so they headed there and enjoyed the much improved cafe.Getting out again,taking the cycle path to Barton Point and a glimpse of the Thames at Minster Leas,before heading inland. Due to an accident elsewhere on the Island,the traffic was horrendous,but fortunately the joys of cycling helped the riders through quicker than motorists.The remaining route via Iwade was uneventful until the end,when it was found that 3 riders cars had sustained wing mirror damage,allegedly caused by a speeding young motorist. A distance of 33 Miles at about 13 mph average.
17 riders left the King and Queen East Malling on a perfect autumnal day sunny, light winds with lovely autumnal colours from the trees. The route took the group on a westerly track out to Offham and Crouch before dropping down to Hadlow. They continued to East Peckham where a loop was added to take them into Paddock Wood via Laddingford. Nice to see four ex D members at the cafe Ian, Dave, John and Chris. The return trip went via Collier Street and Yalding where the best was saved to last, climbs up Kenwood ,Hunt Street and Malling Road at Teston to The North Pole. Then all downhill to East Malling, Job done !!! Distance 37 miles Average Speed 14 mph 1600 ft climb
A dull and drizzly start which didn’t improve much all morning,awaited 10 riders at Wrotham.Richard led and headed to Caffe Cino at Swanley.The outward route took the group up the A20 and on to Ash,Hartley and Longfield . From there it climbed to Horton Kirby and Sutton at Hone before arriving st the break,where the service and value were good. A fairly traditional return ,going initially through Crockenhill,and the lovely descent to the very picturesque village of Eynsford,and subsequent climb through Knatts Valley .before another downhill to Kemsing and the Pilgrims Way to Wrotham,without any incidents. A distance of 28 miles at 13 mph average.
On a really wonderful sunny and warm morning,the ride was delayed quite a bit ,due to members being held up on the M2 following an accident. Eventually ,23 riders assembled at Reculver and Russell had a great route planned going around the Thanet coastline. It went out initially along the Viking Trail ,Fortunately without the usual strong winds,and going along the concrete off road section to Margate and then on to Broadstairs ,where tourists were sat out enjoying the sun. Russell organised the stop at Wetherspoons at Ramsgate.A really great stop.Lisa and Sarah took the opportunity to go swimming,they said it was warm,but no one believed them.Following the break,the ride continued on past Pegwell Bay,keeping to the pleasant cycle paths all the way to stunning Sandwich.From there the route started inland ,taking in the lovely countryside and lanes and a brief stop at Richborough Fort,before going through the quiet villages of Westmarsh and Preston to Grove Ferry,before the final leg to Chislet and Reculver.A distance of 44 Miles at 12 mph average A great ride ,Thankyou Russell for your efforts.
Ralph offered to take the lead from Lenham,and with a group of 16, which included Brian back for his first ride on his new bike,following his accident whizzed off ,leaving some in his wake on a ride out to Ham Street.Taking quiet lanes ,the route took in lovely countryside with Autumnal coloured trees,to Charing,with the group having to pedal quite hard,so Ralph gererously dropped the pace a bit.It was then out to Westwell,Bethersden and Shadoxhurst to Wyevale Garden Centre,Ham Street. Many of the more senior riders took advantage of the over 60’s cheaper menu.and possibly some of the younger ones may have told little fibs!. Fully refreshed,Ralph kept the pace down a bit on the return,which contained a few more lumps ,via Warehorne Kenardington,and Pluckley back to Lenham,without incident. A distance of 46 Miles at 14.5 mph and about 2000 ft ascents. .Great ride,Thankyou Ralph.”The Rocket”.
After the 3 previous wet Wednesday’s,17 riders turned up at Yalding in almost barmy September sunshine. Ray had to drop off immediately when he realised he hadn’t brought the right shoes, and then Ian Johnson led a classic route out to Chiddingstone castle,with a slight detour along Nizels Lane .On arrival it was already busy with a large group of cyclists employees of the cycle clothing company Rapha,on an Away day.They were quickly joined by dozens more,and bikes were strewn everywhere.There were only 3 members of staff,but they coped fantastically well.The return very much took the usual route,via Leigh and Tonbridge,without incident,except for one white van man at Hildenborough deciding that he had been held up too long and squirted water,or windscreen wash was over riders he overtook. A total distance of 37 Miles at a pacy 14.7 mph average. Thankyou Ian.great ride.
A really blustery day welcomed 16 riders at Chestnut Street,including Andy T.V who had cycled from home! and a welcome back to Lisa following her health lay off. Richard led and with the wind almost mainly behind ,took a longish loop out to Sheppey. Going on the Sheppey Way was a delight ,with strava pb’s.then onto the esplanade at Minster on sea,via Barton’s Point.Continuing on back roads it was then to the break at The Old Mill cafe,outside Stanford Hill prison .Service was really impressive,and several riders took the opportunity to visit the Aviation museum ,which was really interesting.There was a bit of apprehension about the return,as it was completely into very strong head and cross winds staying to the main roads,although quicker was slightly unnerving ,but thankfully without incident via the old A249 and Bobbing. A distance of 36 Miles at about 13 mph. Longer for Andy TV cycling back to Ditton. ♀️