It was intended to go to Benenden,but with 20 riders assembling at Yalding,it became clear that a larger cafe was needed. Richard set off leading and taking a very flat route that went out to Marden, Staplehurst and Frittenden before arriving at Headcorn aerodrome and the stop. As always the staff came up trumps catering with the big group. The return ,and the route took a big loop around Headcorn to Hawkenbury then onto Staplehurst ,Marden and Hunton back to Yalding. A distance of 38 miles at 15 mph average. Several had cycled in,so their mileage was considerably more.
Due to the weather forecast of high winds ,the ride was switched from Chestnut Street to Ditton to be more local for the 10 riders who ventured to the start. With a certain amount of trepidation,as the westerly wind was strong,Richard led and very soon everyone was up to their pedals in a huge puddle 6 inches deep in Kiln Barn Road. Undeterred,but with wet shoes the riders carried onto West Malling and Offham. Fortunately the winds had not brought much debris on the roads and with it being dry and sunny the rest of the outgoing route to Basted,Ightham and Wrotham was incident free. The break was at the Village cafe in Borough Green High Street,and the staff looked after the Group well. Having headed into the wind earlier,it was with relief to know that the homeward section would be easier wind assisted. Richard tried to keep to the quiet lanes and the journey continued to Platt,then Trottiscliffe ,Birling and Ryarsh before going through the East Malling Research Station to the finish. A distance of 28 miles at 12 mph.
A good turnout of 13 males started off from East Malling,on a blustery ,but thankfully dry morning. With Richard leading,the route went to Offham and Crouch,before the nice descent of Long Mill Lane. On reaching Dunks Green, a broken spoke curtailed Chris Moon’s Ride,and he summoned a taxi which took him back to East Malling,£ 25 lighter in the pocket. Everyone continued to a very welcome break at Poult Wood Golf Club,with Dave Law flying up all the hills on his fixed wheeled bike,leaving all his fellow mortals in his wake. The return,and Richard took the group along the A227 through Shipbourne and ,Plaxtol to Borough Green via tiny lanes. From there ,it was into St Mary’s Platt Offham,and West Malling to the finish,before the rain started.A distance of only 27.5 miles,at 12.5 mph and 1770 ft ascents.
Flesh was on display everywhere for the first time this year as we all basked in the February sun. Those who hadn't cast a clout were already beginning to regret it. Very quickly it became apparent that the Midweekers were leaderless, an unusual occurrence. Following a quick discussion the finger of responsibility was pointed at Ralph. Without further ado the group set off to Polhill garden centre via the Pilgrims Way to Otford. Otford appeared far to early for the plan to succeed. Ralph called for a team talk and we all agreed to extend the ride to Westerham, where upon Chris Moon checked his bank balance. The group progessed via Sundridge and Brastead, an extra loop was added by turning right off the A25 and entering Westerham from the North. Westerham was buzzing with spring life as we entered the cafe leaving 'Winney' outside enjoying the sun. Without to much damage to our wallets Ralph returned North, heading for the Pilgrims Way to take us back to Otford. Leaving Otford via Kemsing some members of the group felt not enough energy had been expended and suggested a hill climb, to which Ralph had no objection but declined to take part as he needed an early return. However as opertunities arose to don the Polka dot jersey enthusiasm waned and all followed Ralph back to Wrotham. 29 miles at a steady pace.
11 met up on a sunny February morning at Hamstreet Football Car Park, some not being able to make the ride through injury (get fit soon Mick) and some through other commitments. After one of Russell's false starts (following his planned route in reverse!) we were off. Through Ruckinge and Bilsington to Mersham then a short stretch of the A20 avoiding the temptation of a very early break in the Blue and White Cafe. Next it was left through Smeeth then a short stretch of a quiet Canterbury Road to follow a picturesque route along the bottom of the Downs from Stowting to Postling. More A20 to get to the Airport Cafe at Westenhanger where we were very well fed. A quick run past the Port Lympne Animal Sanctuary before a sharp descent to cross the Military Canal and on to the Marsh for our windy return through St Mary in the Marsh and Ivychurch. Crossing the fast A2070 to test our road bikes on some gravelly lanes before climbing to Warehorne and back to the start at Hamstreet. Some great new roads for us with some minor challenges.
39.95 miles at an average of 12.4 mph with 1713 feet of ascent.
Link to Route on Strava
Link to Relive
A great turnout of 21 managed to make it Lenham after delays for roadworks on the A 20 on a bright ,dry but cool morning. Russell offered to lead yet again. Thanks. Russ, and had a route planned out to Chilham. After the warm up of
Hubbard’s Hill, it on the top of the ridge through Stalisfield onto Shottenden along lovely country lanes down to the picturesque village of Chilham and eventually into Wye.The cafe did the group proud,as looking after such a large number is never easy. The return took more of a traditional route to Boughton Aluph and Westwell ,then Charing and Sandway back to Lenham. A distance of 34 miles at about 12 mph and over 1800 ft ascents without puncture or incident. Thanks Russ for a ride on some new roads to the Midweekers
Sometimes the joy of getting out on the pedals overrides common sense. After heavy overnight frost,ice and small snow accumulations, 5 riders still ventured to a Yalding start. Richard led with Russell,Lisa ,Paul and John G,and initially on the flat out towards Collier Street,all seemed fine. However,that changed going up towards Brenchley,when the road was covered in ice,resulting in Russ taking a tumble,Fortunately without apparent injury.From then onwards,it was walking and sliding with the bikes,even down most of the descent of Knowle Road,with large areas of black ice.Getting back on the flat was most welcomed,and the ride to the break at Paddock Wood was slow but uneventful.With the sun really getting hold ,the short return to Yalding via Laddingford was a lot easier. A very sedate ride of only 16 miles,at a speed which wasn’t worth recording on strava.
With temperatures barely above freezing,it was quite surprising that 8 riders still turned up at Chestnut Street.At least it was dry and Richard led the group on a traditional route out to Faversham,via Borden and Bredgar . Sarah L got the first puncture of the day near Rodmersham,but Gary was on hand as always to assist. Everyone then tried to warm up again heading to Teynham and the Lower Road to Faversham,for the break at the Swan cafe in the town.It is always a very good watering hole,with value and service. The return,and everyone got fully togged up again,as the temperature was showing -1 degree.Sarah popped into the local bike shop to get a tyre fully inflated,and it was then off to Ospringe and some climbs to Newnham and Kingsdown. Just before Tunstall,Gary got a slow puncture ,but after a couple of stops to put more air in,it was on to the finish via Borden. Adistance of 31 miles at 12 mph average and about 1450 ft ascents.
A very dull,but thankfully dry day that still attracted 13 riders for an East Malling start . Richard led and went out through the Research station,and housing estates of Ditton and Aylesford. It continued up Pratling Street and along the narrow Pilgrims Way to Burham , Wouldham and Borstal,before arriving at Rochester and the cafe break on the Frindsbury estate. It is always a great stop,so quick,efficient and cheap!. The return,started to follow the same route,but crossed the River Medway,by going over the M2 footpath,then down to Cuxton and off the main road. The quieter lanes were immediately welcomed by going to Upper Halling and through the Holborough housing complex and Birling village,for the final leg of West Malling to the finish.,without any incidents or punctures,and just in time before the rain started. A distance of 30 miles,at about 12 mph average and climbs of 1760 ft.
A cold dry start awaited 12 riders at Wrotham,Russell offered to lead yet again,and planned a route to the Weald area. The outward route took the group to Borough Green,Crouch and Plaxtol up to Shipbourne .From there it continued along many quiet lanes to Hildenborough towards Chiddingstone and Bough Beech,before arriving at Weald village and the stop at Teal cafe on A225.There, we met up with Lisa ,who cycled from Bearsted to join the group.A welcomed break,with good service. Russ reminded everyone that the main climb of the day,One Tree Hill was to be conquered very soon after,so with a bit of consternation they set off again,and all managed it at different plods.With spirits high,the ride continued to Seal,Kemsing and Heaverham before getting back to Wrotham. A distance of 34 miles with 680 metres ascents and about 12.5 mph average,without any problems..Great ride Russell,Thankyou.