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  • 05/08/2019 17:35 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    0844hrs on 4th August 2019 saw me, Paul Grout and Paul Brown setting off on the Prudential 100 from the Olympic Park in Stratford. Up ahead was Jon Craig from Velo Forte who had an earlier start.

    Paul Brown had opted to forego his scheduled start time of 0708hrs and instead gatecrash our later starting wave. They normally police the gates quite closely but on this occasion they seemed far more relaxed about that sort of thing.

    This was the fifth time at this event for Paul G. and me but the first for Paul B.

    We set a good pace of 18.5mph for the first 38miles when stopped at one of the Hubs to replenish the water bottles and grab a quick coffee and bacon roll.

    Leaving here we ran slap bang into our first traffic jam at 39 miles caused by nothing more than the huge volume of riders at a narrow bottle neck of road.

    Between 39 and 43 miles we were held up more times than an angler's prize trout and did a fair bit of walking on this stretch.

    Because of these holdups we were diverted around Leith Hill and straight onto Box Hill which shortens the overall distance to 92 miles.

    At the top of Box Hill we took another refill of the bidons and also caved in to another coffee and bacon roll.

    At this point I suffered from a front derailleur malfunction and couldn't get onto the big chainring and we also picked out Jon Craig in the crowd. His earlier start meant he hadn't been diverted from Leith Hill.

    As the now group of four embarked on the last stage back to London I was unable to maintain the pace due to the derailleur problem and dropped back during the next 20 miles or so. My little legs could just not go any faster!

    Holding back slightly in the hope I would catch up Paul G.  got separated from the other two and so briefly stopped at the last Hub at Wimbledon for a water refill whilst Paul B. and Jon, who were both going really well, carried on as a pair. I considered stopping at the Wimbledon Hub but thought better of it, and low and behold just as I was passing, saw Paul G. exiting the Hub! At this point I had another go at changing on to the big chainring and was successful, - so now it was head down and backside up in an attempt to make up some time!

    I'm normally rubbish at the last 20 or so miles of a century ride but the coffee and bacon rolls had worked their magic and along with Paul G., who always seems to finish strongly on this ride, managed to come in at a really good pace. 

    As always at the end of the Pru 100 there are thousands of people at the finish so hooking up with Paul B. and Jon was going to be a tall order.

    Little did we know that our two pairs had crossed the finish line just over a minute or so apart!

    My total saddle time was 5hrs 54mins with an average of 15.4mph. Total ride time was 7hrs 02mins.

  • 03/08/2019 21:05 | Anonymous member

    My first lead from Marden Hockey ground, we left Marden heading out to Biddenden with four other riders (Ralph, Dave Paul and Will ) on to Tenterden, Smallhythe, Wittersham, Four Oaks and on to Northiam. We had a very pleasant stop at Will's Bakery and Cafe, only marred by the very persistent wasp population!

    We all shared the load and it was a pleasure to lead the ride.

    We returned via Ewhurst Green, Bodiam, Sandhurst, Benenden, Hartley and Marden Thorn. We finished the ride with a 'traditional drink' in the bar. Average speed 16.2mph, 53 miles, 2663ft

  • 21/07/2019 11:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AMICI SFA – 2019 GROUP RIDE STATISTICS 5/1/19 – 20/7/19

    Number of Group Rides

    Average Riders/Ride

    Total Miles

    Average Miles/Ride

    Total Ascent

    Average Ascent/Ride

    Average Speed/Ride









  • 20/07/2019 18:55 | Anonymous member

    The 5 brave Steel Baroudeurs were to set out on a steel trip to the Rare Breeds Centre for the second ride of the year. However the threat of lightning and rust put pay to that idea. So a decision was made to use modern bikes for the same ride. This allowed Paul and Miranda to join myself, Paul G, Ralph R, Del who has recently completed his Tour of France for Team Volvo and Dave L on his 50s fixie.

    We left the sports centre at 9.15 in slightly changeable weather and put our rain jackets on, 5 mins later they were off as we were too hot. We headed out towards Frittenden and Biddenden at a good pace where we hit a traffic jam.

    With no milk to be had we carried on to the Rare Breeds Centre where Dave was hoping to hand pick his Bacon sandwich (Only joking kids a rare pig was too expensive). We managed to get within 1 mile of the said sandwich when double trouble came out. 

    Miranda got a puncture, and we found out that Continental tyres are too tight for any rims, however once Miranda had loosened the tyre, myself and Paul managed to get it off with a joint effort. Little did we know that behind us Dave also had a puncture.  

    As you can see Del and Ralph adding great support. By this time Paul G was already enjoying his Bacon sandwich. You will never hear me championing tubeless (Glenn). Anyway new inners all sorted and we went for breakfast.

    We then headed home to Marden in glorious sunshine with a uneventful ride except we were buzzed by 2 Spitfires close to Headcorn. The group photographer was too slow to catch them. 

    When we got back we had a nice coffee and watched a bit of Cricket or rather we were watching for the Batsman to hit cow corner where Pauls car was parked.

    43miles. 1631feet of climbing. 15.9mph average speed.

  • 13/07/2019 16:17 | Anonymous member

    An overcast threatening sky saw six riders set off from the new club house to Waldens at Seasalter, being a first for the Amici group. The route took us up the Downs via Hart Hill and onto the A2 passed Painters Forstal. The M2 was shut causing complete grid lock in and around Faversham, which caused some particularly intense cycling. The run in via Graveny saw quite an increase in pace as four Amici decided to chase down a group of renegade cyclist and match them all the way to the cafe. This had the unfortunate effect of dropping two of the group. As the 'four' dropped the chase and turned into the cafe we watched the two lantern rouges happily cycle by into the distance. Following a very pleasant coffee break the regrouped six headed for home via Doddinton and Lenham. An uneventful return saw figures of 63.5miles at 15.1mph with 2500 feet of climbing.

  • 12/07/2019 09:10 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our first start from the new Sports Ground on Maidstone Road began with just four of us (Paul Brown, Paul Grout, Andy MacKay and Phil Crane) but on our way through Marden we picked up Miranda and Paul Weller.  Gorgeous run down to Rye through Frittenden, Benenden, Newenden, Udimore and Winchelsea, with just one puncture (Andy) to slow us down.  It was a warm day, so the shady lanes through Beckley Wood were much appreciated.  Breakfast at the Cafe on the Quay, where Phil left us to get home early, before continuing back via Warehorne for a welcome drink on the balcony of the new club house (Note to future ride leaders:  leader buys a round may become the new tradition).  All in all, just under 65 miles with 2650 feet of climbing at an average of about 15.9 mph.

  • 29/06/2019 21:07 | Anonymous member

    Leaving Marden with Dave King and Ralph Robinson, heading towards the Hawkhurst Fish Farm on the hottest day of the year. The heat must have got to me as Ralph had to shout out to me to turn left instead of straight on - obviously Ralph must have a better Wahoo than me! The heat didn't seem to slow Dave down on the hill climbs and it didn't affect Ralph and myself on the way down either!  We were glad to arrive at the Waterside Cafe and we were lucky enough to be given a table on the veranda. I was reluctant to leave and face the heat again.

    It was an uneventful journey back apart from the occasional dodgy motorist, all was well until we got to Hartley Dyke Farmshop where I was struck down with double cramp. Ralph came to my rescue and I had to hang on to his shoulder with me pulling my legs back to try and relieve it. It must have provided a funny sight for the passing vehicles! Dave suggested a drink in the farmshop to restore our equilibrium and 3 green teas later we were back on the road to Marden. Ralph summed it up well 49 miles, 14.6 mph, 2679ft of climbing and VERY HOT!


  • 26/06/2019 21:36 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On June 23rd me, Paul Grout, Ciaran, and Paul Brown from Amici, along with Jon and Glenn from Velo Forte, rode the 150K route from the SFA summer series of Audaxes.

    Starting and finishing from Bethersden Village Hall these routes are designed to be as flat as possible so that newcomers to this type of event can have a go with abetter than average chance of completion.

    On the whole the weather was kind to us. It was overcast and quite warm which made for a humid atmosphere. The wind kicked in as ever in the vicinity of the Romney Marshes and Dungeness.

    We rode well as a group and it was only after about 55miles, into the section at Dungeness (think Chernobyl on Sea), that the wind really made its presence known. It is probably just me but it always seemed to be in our faces whatever compass heading we were on!

    Jon and Glenn are by far the stronger riders in these conditions and pulled away from the group here. After the food stop in the cafe, which sits in the shadow of the power station, the same trend continued but we hooked up with them again at the final food stop with about 20miles to go.

    These events aren't races but none of us could resist a sprint for the line as we made the approach to the finish at Bethersden.

    All in all a good day out. A great route, fine weather and good company. We all made it home safe and sound with no mishaps save for an annoying puncture to my front tyre and Paul Grout leaving his phone at the last cafe stop. Thankfully we were only a couple of minutes down the road when he realised!

    Well done to Bob Watts who does all the organising and also his band of stalwart helpers who man the checkpoints and food stops.

  • 21/06/2019 17:06 | Anonymous member

    Wanted, for hire or sale a child's hybrid or mountain bike suitable for our 11 year old grandson. He is coming with us to the New Forrest, in August, and we plan to ride the Forrest trails. If so please contact Ralph Robinson on 07845 169647.

  • 18/06/2019 10:13 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It was my lead this Saturday and following the deluges that had occurred midweek decided to take a ride down to New Romney keeping off of the really minor roads that I thought might still be strewn with debris washed off of fields.

    Five initially lined up at Marden for the ride and then Paul and Miranda Weller joined our ranks in the search for a faster ride than they might have been expecting in their usual group They had rode with us earlier in the year and it was really good to have them on board again.

    Sadly we were very soon down to six riders as Dave King broke a spoke before he had turned two corners and despite initially thinking he might be able to continue the ride eventually accepted the advice of the rest of the group and decided to walk the bike back to his car.

    Cafe stop was the Oasis Cafe. Its new decor hasn't quite shaken off the transport cafe image but for food, service and prices it makes a great place to stop. 

    The weather was great, if not a little blustery at times, and the clear, flowing route made for a fairly pacey ride. Paul and Miranda got the longer, quick ride they wanted and were right up there every pedal turn of the way.

    All got home safe and sound achieving the an average speed of 16.7mph for the 58miles and 1949ft of climbing. A good day all round!

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