What is it about the weather on Wednesday’s lately.For the third week running it was wet and miserable. However,that didn’t stop 15,some of who rode considerable distances to an East Malling start.It was initially decided to head to Hawley garden centre,and with Richard leading the route went to Offham and Crouch to Basted,where Phil Gerry got the first of the days punctures. As always good old Gary stepped in to help. Suitably fixed the ride continued out to Ightham and the Pilgrims Way,where Phil Harvey got the first of his three punctures,so the ride was held up somewhat.It was then the drag up Terry’s Lodge Hill,with a decision made to change the break for the Hollyville cafe at West Kingsdown. It was quite busy and with our large numbers putting pressure on the staff with mainly cooked food it was a pretty long break.However it did give Phil the chance to repair the second puncture in the warmth of the cafe,again with Gary’s expertise.Eventually it was back on the road and into the rain again.The return proved a bit lumpy,going down to Fawkham and up again to get to Ridley,where the puncture devil descended again on Phil’s rear tyre,by which time he had run out of inner tubes but Tony Palmer was on hand with a spare.Thanks again Gary.With time really pressing on,the route was shortened a bit,by going through Culverstone Green,down Vigo Hill and back to the start,via Ryarsh and Birling.A distance of 33 Miles at 13 mph average.Just seemed longer!
Another morning where it would not have taken much to cancel,but 10 well dressed up riders turned up at Wrotham. Russell took the wheel and his initial idea was a stop at the cyclo cafe Westerham,but a phone call by him changed things when it was closed for the day. So Plan B was a stop at Chartwell.and with water splashing the Group headed off . It was pretty much hills all the way.The route went to Crouch and up to Plaxtol and Stone Street,on to Bitchets Green and the back of Knole Park ,then the climb of Toys Hill,where on better days the views are lovely. A welcome break at Chartwell,even managing to sit outside. Russ then continued the circular route,by going through Westerham,and onto Otford.Unfortunately the Pilgrims Way was closed towards Kemsing,but with no one working they got through okay.It was then onto the final leg to Wrotham.A distance of 33.4 miles with 2387 ft ascents.Great ride, thanks Russ.
There are three clichés to describe todays ride WET, WET, WET. Eight brave souls left Ham Street in slight drizzle for a tour of the Marsh via Dymchurch, Dungeness and Rye. When we reached the sea wall near Dymchurch the drizzle had become a downpour. As we sheltered under a bus stop in Dymchurch we watched miniature Niagara falls pouring off guttering. Continuing our ride and guided by the flashing lights and foghorn of the Dungeness lighthouse we found the Railway café at Dungeness. After several hot drinks supplemented by curry chips, hot pies and anything else hot, along with frequent visits to the loo to use the hot air dryer a decision was made to shorten the ride. After convincing the staff that we were not incontinent, great pools of water under our table, we headed home via Lydd, Brenzett and Ivychurch to a dry Ham Street!!!! 39 miles average speed 13.2 mph
A good turnout of 18 at the Dickley Lane meeting point on a dry morning. Russell led to Wye and why not? Taking an anti-clockwise circuit taking in Ham Lane, Sandway, Chilston Park, Egerton and Pluckley before passing Goddington Park. Crossing the A20 to go up Sandyhurst Lane to pass Eastwell Manor then taking the A251 to Boughton Aluph and escaping a scary moment when a speeding blue light flashing police car headed straight for us on our side of the road. Arrived at the Wye Coffee & Kitchen cafe in Church Street where service was excellent and they coped with us taking over their busy cafe. On leaving discovered a lonely bike had repaid us for our lack of attention by presenting its owner with a flat. Thanks to Gary P yet again for his assistance. On our way retracing our steps to Eastwell Manor and taking Lenacre Street (NCR 17) to Westwell and Charing. Then our climb of the day, Charing Hill to return via Warren Street and Hubbards Hill. 33.3 dry miles at and average of 13 mph and 1900 feet of ascent.
Route on Strava
There being no other suggestions Russell led a group of 19 following a route to Scotney Castle downloaded from the Club's account, such a valuable resource. Great to have Andy TV out with us. Out via East Peckham, Golden Green and across the A228 to climb Crittenden Road to Matfield. Picking up on NCR18 to Baker's Hill and then the fast descent to the challenging A21 roundabout to get on the B2162 for Lamberhurst. 5 of the group unfortunately missing the connection and finding their own way to the castle. All reaching the castle tea rooms at a similar time along with half of the UK's population of wasps. From the castle to Finchcock's along the scenic traffic free route leading us rejoin NCR18 and skirt Goudhurst. Attempting to get through a road closure on route to Horsmonden and having to re-trace our pedalling to take a short diversion, thanks to Gary for yet more mechanical support along the way. A fast descent out of Horsmonden for a short climb of Castle Hill for a final descent and a flat return to Yalding with some of the group peeling off before the station. A great route, thanks to whoever plotted it. 32.5 miles, average 12.5 mph with 1950 feet of ascent.
For the second week running,Russell valiantly offered to lead,and on a cooler morning than of recent weeks started off from Chestnut Street with a group of 14. With the wind behind,Russ took the group out to Seasalter,via Borden,Tunstall and the lovely lanes through Kingsdown to Ospringe.Initially the intention was to stop in Faversham, but in order to get a few more miles in before the break,Russ continued out to Seasalter.Sitting outside the Forget Me Not cafe was most pleasant and service efficient.After the delight of wind assisted outward bound,it was back into it on the return ,which took the group into Faversham and onto the Lower Road towards Teynham,with a diversionary loop through Luddenham. At Teynham,Russ peeled off along the A2 ,in order to get home earlier,and the rest of the riders made their return via Rodmersham,and then retraced the ride again through Tunstall to Borden.,where an insect managed to sting Ray through his helmet,and Chris M and Brigitte left to cycle back to the Maidstone area .It was then .a quick dash down from Borden to Chestnut Street. A distance of 38.5 miles at about 13 mph average
A lovely warm morning attracted 19 riders for a start from East Malling.Russell opted to lead,and we welcomed his son Josh,who has just finished University. Trying to maintain 3 Groups,the outward bound took the riders through West Malling,Crouch and up Gover Hill,before the descent of Mathews Lane and then bypassed Hadlow.It then carried on through Golden Green and the outskirts of Tonbridge on to the new cycle path towards Pembury.A slight GPS hiccup and a bit of off roading through woods took them into Pembury and onto the stop at Pepenbury cafe,near Tunbridge Wells.Although Russell had notified the cafe,there was only one member of stafff having to do everything,so inevitability service was extremely slow,and riders ,including Angie were having to help the overworked lady out with fetching and carrying of drinks and food.Eventually the group set off again,and Russ led them out on cycle route 18 to Matfield.Unfortunately,a section of the group got split up from the main party,but nothing lost as most knew the way generally.,and all met up again at the top of Kenward Hill. By then riders were really starting to drop off,and following the climb of Red Hill,Wateringbury ,only half remained and continued to the start.A distance of about 36 Miles at about 12.5 mph average. Thanks Russ for taking the lead
On a day when the mercury promised to exceed 30 degrees and the thought that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, Tony Munn led 15 riders on a undulating ride to the renamed Nevs now called Als and Sals. Leaving Wrotham the group dropped down to Borough Green before a stiff climb up Basted lane. The group continued through Platt East and West Malling, Ditton and Aylesford before the climb up through Eccles. Dropping down through St Peters village the group continued to the next climb up to Borstal. Navigating Shorts way with the sharp bend the group continued into Rochester and Als and Sals. To every ones credit the heat still did not stop the usual cooked breakfasts being consumed and soon we were on our way back. Climbing up to the motorway bridge then through Cuxton and the real test of the day Dean Lane, a loop around Fairseat then downhill and the start point. PHEW!!! Distance 37 miles Average Speed 13.5 Climb 2200 ft
A struggle for some getting to the start at Appledore. with an accident at Headcorn and the Tenterden/Appledore Rd closed,but eventually 14 riders turned up . Really good for Tim and Rebecca to join the group and lead the ride. If we thought it would be a nice flat meander around the flat marsh lanes,Tim soon dispelled that idea.Off ,and he took the lead of the lumps up to Kenardington,Orlestone ,Bonnington and into Aldington and the hamlet of Monks Norton.Tim then continued the route by going to Westerhanger and past the old Folkestone race course,then down the steep hill to Botolphs Bridge and the break at Lathe’s Barn,Burmarsh.A nice stop but as it was quite busy it took a long time to get served and back on the bikes again.The return promised to be a lot flatter,and wiggled through a myriad of quiet country lanes sometimes into a fair headwind,to Newchurch and a newly stone chipped road towards Bilsington,with everyone slightly apprehensive about possible punctures,before the final leg through Ivychurch and Brooklands back to Appledore. without incident. A distance of 51 miles at 14 mph average,and 1400 feet ascents.
A good turnout at a chilly Lenham saw 12 riders join Ralph for his lead to Ham Street.In addition,John B and John C,decided to do a different ride and 3 members of C Group were also setting off to do their own thing. Ralph took his group out to Egerton and Pluckley and onto Bethersden and Stubbs Cross before the nice stretch of road past Bromley Green to the break at the The Cosy Kettle Cafe in Ham Street ( a new one for the Midweekers). Whilst there,some more Fairies ,Angie and Clive Nye,Chris ,Gary and a friend rode in,so a nice chat with them.Ralph took similar roads back initially ,again passing Stubbs Cross,but then diverting to Hothfield and across the A20 to Westwell. After that it was along the Pilgrims Way to Charing,where Linton dropped off for an appointment and Ralph tested everyone else’s legs by going up Charing Hill.It was then on the flat to Stalisfield Green and the nice descent of Hubbard’s Hill back into Lenham. A distance of 45.1 miles at 14 mph and around 1900 ft ascents. Great ride,Thankyou Ralph.