A pleasantly warm morning welcomed 13 riders initially at Yalding.Good to see Ray with us again after his altercation with an errant barrier in Calais a few weeks ago).A run out to Hawkhurst seemed like a good idea,so with Richard at the front the outward bound turned out to be a bit lumpy after the first flat roads through Benover.It was then up to Horsmonden and Skirting Goudhurst,before the undulations around Glassenbury and the stop at the cafe at Hawkhurst crossroads who were very welcoming. The return took a different route by going out to Hartley and Cranbrook,before Sissinghurst( love the metal Penny Farthing bike/ flower display in the village) and Frittenden. It was back on the flat after that all the way past Staplehurst,to Sheephurst Lane and Collier Street,by which time a couple of the riders had dropped off for a quicker way home.A distance of 43 miles at about 14 mph average.
Whilst most of the Country basked in glorious weather,the ride out from Chestnut Street to Herne Bay was pretty much a bit dull and into a brisk north east wind.A group of 14 including John the paramedic,and Tim from the B group joined the group .Richard led out through the estates of Sittingbourne and onto Tonge,Teynham and into Faversham before arriving at Tankerton,where Steve left the group for an early return home. The group then took the Promenade route into Herne Bay and good old Wetherspoons.The return was quickly welcomed with a tail wind which remained with the riders for most of the way and allowed a fairly brisk pace taking a similar reverse route,before detouring at Rodmersham and Borden. A distance of 53 miles at about 13.5 mph average.
Ten riders assembled at East Malling on an overcast but dry morning; however, their esteemed leader, Richard Valentine, was away enjoying the sun and the ascents of the French Alps. Tony Palmer insisted on leading because he wanted to retrace the new short-cut, from Powder Mill Lane to Tonbridge Castle, which he had learned on the preceding Saturday. Tony Munn, having devised an impromptu route to Brenchley, reluctantly agreed to Tony Palmer’s resolve, despite having reservations that the latter’s reputation, based upon recent ride leads, would be lumpy and/or too fast. The compromise of cycling through Offham, Plaxtol Dunk’s Green, and Shipbourne to Penhurst and returning back towards Tonbridge was reached with modest enthusiasm. As the group headed further eastwards the cloud began to break up and the sun’s rays helped to warm exposed arms. The road was closed at Charcott, so the group followed a diversion along Compasses Road and then along B2027 to turn left into Moorden Lane (as planned), which bypassed Chiddingstone Causeway. The group cycled through the Penshurst estate road and then turned left to reach Leigh. At Powder Mill Lane, Tony’s memory did not fail him, fortunately, as the group cycled along metalled footpaths and through Haysden Country Park to reach Barden Road. Bob then had one of those “I know where I am now” moments and agreed to lead the group through the park along River Walk, which avoided cycling up Tonbridge High Street. As the group reached the Old Fire Station at midday, after 23 miles, the sun was now shining brightly and several tummies were rumbling fluently. After lapping up the sun and their sustenance, the group returned back ,with Tony resuming the lead along the narrow lanes and footpaths behind Tonbridge School. His memory regressed to its normal (imperfect) state in Dry Hill Park Road, so Ian volunteered to navigate through Higham Wood in order to avoid riding too far along the A26 to get to Three Elm Lane. The group passed through Golden Green and Hadlow to then turn left up Mathews Lane and on to West Peckham and Mereworth. There was only one complaint with the ride of 40.1 miles at 13.1 mph average with an elevation gain of 1,950 feet.
A nice morning greeted 16 riders,some of whom had cycled quite distances to the start,ie Ian Alcock,and Ian Johnson. Due to some riders having to get back early,it was decided to take a leisurely ,short ride to Lullingstone Country Park. With Richard leading mainly,the route was quite traditional along the Pilgrims Way,before Heaverham and Otford. Thereafter to get a bit more miles in,the ride looped to Dunton Green,before returning to Shoreham and the break,and the chance to sit outside in the sunshine.The return went to Eynsford where Ian A peeled off to return to Dartford,and everyone else started the longish haul up Knatts Valley,before the descent back onto the Pilgrims Way and finish. Tony Palmer asked if anyone wished to join him for a climb up Vigo Hill,but met with a very muted response so off he went alone,and later reported that he did it without getting off. Well done Tony.The actual ride was only 25.5 Miles at a moderate 12.5 mph average with about 1780 feet ascents,without any incidents.
Tony introduced a new Midweekers ride that saw 13 riders start from Staplehurst,on an initial chilly morning. Setting quite a pace,the route went out to Frittenden,towards Biddenden and onto Rolvenden and the country lanes past Rolvenden Layne.As the Group was approaching Wittersham Road railway level crossing,the barrier gate was about to shut.The crossing keeper saw the riders through,who then stopped to watch the steam train pass ,and an opportunity for Midweekers photos (Thankyou Ian and Keith)..With the weather starting to warm up nicely,Tony kept to the quiet lanes of the Sussex borders to Ebony and the Reading Street garden centre for the break.The return continued the undulating journey,heading up towards Tenterden,then High Halden,again along lovely quiet lanes.On passing Headcorn Aerodrome,the riders were treated to the site of numerous parachutist dropping(difficult to look up to much as easy to fall off).,before the final leg through Watermans Quarter and Sinkhurst Green to the finish.A distance of 43.5 miles at about 15 mph average.Great ride ,Thankyou Tony.
After the horrendous rain of the previous day,8 riders turned up at Lenham,and with the prospect of country lanes being debris strewn,it was decided to stay where possible on “better” roads. Richard led and headed off to Ashford by going through Platts Heath and Monday Bois to Great Chart. .Just before arriving at the Old Foundry Cafe,Ralph got the only puncture,and walked to the stop.Sarah,who finally finished work this week,insisted on buying everyone’s breakfast.A lovely thought.Thankyou Sarah. Unfortunately most of the drinks got spilt,when an outside bench almost upturned,due to 3 people sitting on one side and no one on the other side.The cafe staff were great,and provided refills free of charge..The return went through Hothfield and Westwell and for some reason was far more puddly,with lake type areas around Charing Heath resulting in virtually everyone’s shoes getting waterlogged.(except Ralph ,who was sensible enough to wear over shoes).It was then finally to Charing Heath ,back to Lenham.A distance of 34 miles at 13 mph average.
Russell planned a new route ride ,and led off with 21 on a bright dry morning from Yalding.Trying to stay in 3 Groups is never too easy,especially on hills,but was maintained well,initially through Laddingford and before the climb to Brenchley. Regrouping,it was then through Matfield to Pembury,and onto the newish cycle path that runs beside the A21 dual carriageway. The path which is smooth tarmac,goes all the way to Vauxhall Lane,Tonbridge,and in the main is downhill most of the way. It was then into Tonbridge,and a great stop ,sitting in the garden of the Humphrey Bean,,Wetherspoons pub in the High Street.As always,extremely good value. Bob volunteered to lead part of the way back,and with his local knowledge the ride continued through back roads,then the pleasant “private road” of Postern Lane to the Tudeley Road,and Golden Green.Russ then retook the reins,and a lovely flat ride saw the group return to Yalding,via East Peckham.A shortish distance ride of 26.2 miles at about 12.2 mph average,with climbs of just over 1000ft. Thanks Russ and “New Leader” Bob for your efforts.
An overcast but dry morning welcomed 14 riders at Chestnut Street.It is probably not the best of ideas to head out to the Island,with a brisk northerly wind blowing,but ha ho!,and no one made any muttering,so off they went with Richard sometimes in front.Good to have Ian Alcock,join for an occasional outing,and congratulations to Brigitte for turning up,after her epic 100 miler last Sunday. The outward bound was a much used passage to Rainham and Upchurch,where they met some San fairy Ann members,who were out with a walking group,before going into a blustery head wind onto th Island,to reach the cafe stop at Barton Point,Minster.From being empty,the poor young assistant,suddenly had 14 hungry souls to look after with very little help,but the service and value was excellent.The wind really seemed to pick up,and a brief look at the rough sea at the Leas,even made Lisa think twice about taking a dip.The upside was that the return was mainly wind assisted,which enabled the flyers,Ralph,and the two Ian’s to hurtle along the Sheppey Way back to the Queensferry bridge,before regrouping.The remaining leg was a bit more sedate,through Iwade and Newington before another dash to the finish,from Danaway to Chestnut Street. A distance of 34 miles at about 14 mph for the faster ones!.without incident.
A lovely morning welcomed 19 riders at East Malling,and Gravesend seemed like a decent destination.Richard led and took a wiggly outward route,going to Aylesford,over Peters bridge and taking a little diversion along the river front path (and grass)! At Halling then to Cuxton,where there was a long hold up for a puncture,and whilst being mended ,another riders inner tube exploded.Eventually the ride then carried on up to Gold Dtreet,and past Jeskyns Country Park to the break at the Promenade cafe, overlooking the Thames at Gravesend .It was really busy,but the service was pretty quick,and sitting out in the glorious sunshine was very pleasant.After a photo,it was off again,taking a more direct route,through Denton,and up Thong Lane to Cobham,and the great descent of Cobhambury Hill,continuing to Cuxton and Halling,and the final leg through Snodland village and Larkfield to the finish.
A distance of 36 miles at about 12,.5 mph with 1900ft of ascents