VELO FORTE BLOG & RIDE REPORTS

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  • 21/03/2020 16:25 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    VELO FORTE – 2020 GROUP RIDE STATISTICS  4/1/20 – 21/3/20

    Number of Group Rides

    Average Riders/Ride

    Total miles

    Average Miles/Ride

    Total Ascent

    Average Ascent/Ride

    Average Speed/Ride

    10

    6

    513

    51.30

    19450ft

    1945ft

    15.41mph

     

  • 16/03/2020 16:22 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    After storms Ciara, Dennis and Whatever-Its-Name-Was, it seems churlish to complain about a little light rain ... but when it's that fine drizzle that seeps into your soul; it persists for the first 20 miles; and you only escape it to emerge onto the marsh and discover you still have 10 miles of head-wind before the cafe,  there are mornings when you wonder if you shouldn't just have stayed in bed.  Like Del, Dave and Ciaran. 


    However, the hardier VF members (Andy, Ralph, Pauls B and G, with a welcome guest appearance from Anthony - a.k.a the Forte-Five, we happy few) soldiered on and were rewarded with an excellent breakfast at the Coffee Lounge, and a mainly dry ride home. 

    62.4 miles, 1420 feet of climbing at an average of 15.3mph.  And one puncture!

  • 11/03/2020 10:24 | Anonymous member

    Following the recent torrential rainfall we gathered at Marden in dry and relatively mild conditions, a welcomed change from the last few weeks. Our destination was Otford via Yalding. However, many of the roads in the Yalding and surrounding area were badly flooded requiring us to take a short detour. 


    A steady pace took us through Hadlow, Ivy Hatch, Bessel Green and onto Otford covering approximately 30 miles.  The stop at The Cafe on the Pond was, as always, very good. A slightly shorter route back made for an overall very good ride.

    8 riders Paul G, Paul B, Del, Ralph, Ciaran, John, Rick, Dave

    53.7 miles - 2670ft of climbing - 14.6mph average speed - 2 punctures

  • 08/03/2020 12:05 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    VELO FORTE - GROUP RIDE INFORMATION - FEBRUARY 2020

    Date

    Leader

    Riders

    Route

    Café Stop

    Distance

    Ascent

    Ave. Speed

    1/2/20

    Ralph Robinson

    (but couldn’t make it)

    4

    Marden

    Old Romney

    Marden

    Oasis Cafe

    60miles

    1762ft

    15.5mph

    8/2/20

    Jimmy Browning

    7

    Marden

    Bodiam

    Marden

    The Hub

    50miles

    3030ft

    14.3mph

    15/2/20

    Ride cancelled due to Storm Dennis.

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    22/2/20

    Ciaran Johnson

    4

    Marden

    Hamstreet

    Marden

    The Cosy Kettle

    52miles

    1686ft

    15.2mph

    29/2/20

    Ride cancelled due to Storm Jorge

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

    N/A

  • 24/02/2020 16:13 | Anonymous member

    The 4 intrepid cyclists start out from Marden Hockey and Cricket club in search of a flat ride to The Rare breeds centre in Woodchurch. The famous 4 hill dodgers were supposed to be up and down the downs for Anthony's lumpy ride. However the ride leader of the day was coerced into changing it to the cancelled ride from the week before.

    Everything was going well, not much traffic, goodish roads for the time of year and weather was fine and the wind was hiding. The pace was quickish for the first 20 miles and a request to slow down came in as legs were suffering.

    As the route was a hastily put together we decided that we would change it if required. I thought that would mean easier, however Ralph suggested we changed the Café to the Cosy Kettle in Ham street, none of thought it would mean hills and a farmers track.

    We get to the Café and for the second time recently we had punctures, 2 this time literally as we arrived. The same thing happened the last time as we arrived. Perhaps this Café is cursed for Velo Forte.


    Fully fed and watered we ventured back onto my original route and headed home, straight into Storm Ellen, Peddling in treacle was an understatement. and we were all struggling with the head winds. Paul B decides that we need another detour as it would be better for us, ironically past his house.

    So now we are 3 and heading into the wind again. Paul G with the sprint win on his mind as Del absent due to a Horticultural excuse, decided to cut the corner early, about 2 miles early and rode off into the distance.

    Myself and Ralph then limped home.

    4 Riders (Ciaran, Paul B, Paul G and Ralph) 52.3miles, ave speed 15.2mph, Elevation 1,686ft, 2 punctures.

     

     

  • 14/02/2020 12:21 | Anonymous member

    Seven of us assembled in the car park at Marden Sports Club – myself (Jimmy), Paul Grout, Paul Brown, Ciaran, David, an under-the-weather Ralph and a back from injury/illness Del.

    The weather was fine – not too windy and a moderate 7°C.  There were a few puddles left over from the rain earlier in the week – I was riding my summer bike.  What might not have been fine was the route – it was one I had been saving from earlier cancelled rides.  An anti-clockwise loop into the High Weald, around Bewl Water with no respite from hills from Horsmonden until just after Sissinghurst.


    We set off in a bunch, which stretched out a bit once we hit the first climb of the day into Horsmonden.  There followed a few ups and downs (mainly ups) until we hit the road that leads into Wadhurst the highest point of the day.  Checking with Ralph (who’d missed last week through illness) he said he felt sick but was ‘hanging on’.  Then down through Wadhurst, and Stonegate.  Paul G suffered a rear puncture at almost the exact same time as we witnessed a heard of skittish deer bound across the road from one field, through someone’s garden and into another bit of open space.  Fifteen minutes later, puncture fixed, we headed into Etchingham.  Then a particularly lumpy and pothole-ridden lane before we were on the Robertsbridge road.  Through Roberstbridge, and a steep climb out of Salehurst before we rolled into Bodiam.

    We stopped at The Hub (and bumped into the Fast Inters who were just paying up and leaving) at around 11.50 am – twenty minutes after they had officially stopped serving breakfast.  Despite asking very nicely we had to make do with the lunchtime menu.  I had a ‘Something Fishy’ sandwich – very tasty.


    An hour later and we were climbing out of Bodiam.  More rolling hills, through Sandhurst, Iden Green and Sissinghurst, Paul Brown leading the way back to Frittenden where he peeled off.  Ciaran nearly had a coming together with a young lad in a pickup who was on his mobile phone!  Then around the back of Staplehurst where we departed from our normal route back into Marden – all except Dave who was on autopilot and Ralph who appeared to be on his last legs.  I led out down Thorn Road and watched as Del sailed past me to win the sprint.

    A big thank you to Ciaran who gave me a lift home.

    50 miles, 3,100 feet of climbing at an average of 14.2mph. 7 riders.

  • 03/02/2020 11:10 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Work, illness, more work, more illness and the birth of a new grandson were just some of the things that kept the numbers down to four on this Saturday ride 1/2/20.

    I was going a bit stir crazy as, due to illness, I hadn't really left the house much during the preceding days so opted to join the group for a bit of breakfast at the Oasis Cafe in Old Romney.

    As ever the cafe was spot on for food, service and value, - all they need to sort out is the moon crater type landscape of their car park!


    Glenn, Ciaran, Dave and Jimmy were all complaining about the headwind they'd had to suffer on the run across the flatlands to the cafe, - but then again when don't you get a headwind in that neck of the woods?


    After being fed and watered they set of in good voice and fine spirits to complete the ride.

    60 miles. 1762ft of climbing. 15.5mph average speed. 4 riders.

  • 29/01/2020 13:03 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    VELO FORTE – GROUP RIDE INFORMATION - JANUARY 2020

    Date

    Leader

    Riders

    Route

    Coffee 

    Stop

    Distance

    Ascent

    Ave. Speed

    4/1/20

    Dave King

    5

    Marden

    Lenham

    Marden

    Chequers Fish Bar

    47miles

     

    1847ft

    14.7mph

    11/1/20

    Del Leslie

    8

    Marden

    Edenbridge

    Marden

    Minstrel Cafe

    60miles

    2077ft

    16.2mph

    18/1/20

    Jon Craig

    6

    Ride aborted due to crash on ice.


    Weathered and Worn in Hadlow

    26miles

    450ft

    16.5mph

    25/1/20

    Paul Brown

    6

    Marden

    Rye

    Marden

    Quayside Cafe

    60miles

    2743ft

    15mph

  • 25/01/2020 18:04 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Despite 4 of the group hitting the deck in the icy conditions last week, VF managed a turn out of 6 people for the start of today's ride (and we would have been 7 if Dave King hadn't overslept). 

    True, one of those was Jimmy, who decided to slum it with us today because he says he's put on weight and hasn't been out for a while (which might be true, because he did decide to leave us after the climb from Bodiam to Staplecross - but whether that is because we were going too slow or too fast is anyone's guess.  Ever the gent, he insisted it was the latter, and we believed him). 

     

    But Ralph, Ciaran (both victims of last week's pile up), Glenn and Paul Grout (who were there but cleverly escaped injury) and Paul Brown all made it to Rye and back, despite Glenn's wardrobe malfunctions.  60.4 mph, 2743 feet of climbing at an average of 15mph. 6 riders.

  • 18/01/2020 17:34 | Anonymous member

    6 hardy riders turned up at Marden in frosty conditions - Del, Paul G, Ralph, Glenn, Ciaran and myself - and we were due to meet Steve and Rick en route to our planned stop in Otford. 

    A brief chat about watching out for black ice and taking it easy in the conditions followed before we set off. Unfortunately we only made it just past Hadlow before a section of said black ice took out 4 of us on Hamptons Road! 

    Luckily there was no serious damage to either bikes or riders, but we took the wise decision to turn around and have breakfast at the Weathered and Worn in Hadlow, before gingerley heading back to Marden.


    Battered but not completely broken!

    Looking at Strava later in the day showed that we weren't the only ones to have hit the deck!

    26 miles covered at 16.5 average and just 450ft of elevation. 6 riders.


    Please be warned the following images may be offensive to some viewers! A couple of nice examples of gravel rash from Del and Ciaran!



     

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