• 29/09/2019 12:19 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Some pretty good average speeds in September, - and three new cafe stops.


    Ride Leader

    No of riders


    Coffee Stop



    Ave. Speed


    Ciaran Johnson with Steel Baroudeurs





    Rare Breeds Centre





    Dave King





    Mulberry’s Cafe





    Andy Mackay






    Tea Rooms





    Del Leslie





    Beach Cafe




  • 28/09/2019 17:48 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    8 riders turned for my lead on todays ride. Well done to Ralph and Ciaran who weren't feeling their best but put their ailments to one side and turned out with us.

    The route was one originally put together by Anthony Warren. I say this only so that we have someone to blame for any bits we didn't like.

    We headed out for the Beach Cafe at Winchelsea. Thankfully a number of the group had downloaded the route onto their GPS which got me out of trouble when my technology failed when we only just about half way there. I don't really know this neck of the woods too well, in fact I didn't really have much idea where the route would take us other than Winchelsea.  

    Eventually the gremlins sorted themselves out and normal service was resumed.

    It was a good day as far as the weather was concerned but it was goddam' windy!

    There was no precipitation, - just some "spume", (according to Ralph), whilst we were at Winchelsea.

    With about 16 miles to go on the way home, Ciaran's ailments hit him with a vengeance when severe cramping made it impossible for him to make any kind of sprightly progress. 

    He waved us on and made his own way back at at a pace he could handle getting back to the car park about 30 minutes after us. Well done for hanging in there Ciaran.

    Given the distance, the terrain and that damn wind we managed a very respectable average speed of 15.8mph.

    8 riders, 62miles, 3125 feet of climbing. 15.8mph average.

  • 22/09/2019 10:49 | Anonymous member

    We were blessed with beautiful weather as eight of us,  Paul B, Paul G, Ralph R, Dave K, Phill C, Mark R from Inters + and Ciaran J. from Velo Forte and myself turned right out of the Hockey Club towards Chart Hill, to make our way to Chilham for breakfast.

    We cycled up Chart Hill, along to Lenham, up Hubbards Hill on to the North Downs, along to Painter's Forstal, across the Ashford Road and on to Chilham Square and breakfast at Shelley's Tea Rooms.

    We had a very pleasant stop and burnt off breakfast riding up Sole's Hill, Shottenden Road, across the A251 onto Charing, Egerton, Hawkenbury,  Staplehurst, Marden, covering 55.5miles at an average speed of 15.1mph, 2644ft. No punctures and no mechanicals.

  • 10/09/2019 14:31 | Anonymous member

    At the beginning of the week it was looking promising for potentially 7 hardy riders on the second Baroudeurs ride of the year. Weather was looking good as well for a sunny ride.

    However due to various commitments such as forgetting that your bike was in bits the night before, working and a dog walkers sudden sickness we were down to 3. (Myself, Del and Paul G)

    We were joined by Paul W and Miranda on their modern bikes to make us 5 who headed off to the Rare breeds centre in Ham street.

    We set off from the Hockey and Cricket club at 9.30 after we waited for to see if we had any stragglers turn up. This took us through Frittenden and  Biddenden arriving at the Rare breeds in good time. Breakfast was quick and to their usual good standards.

    Once fed we headed back through Bethersden and Headcorn to Marden allowing us to enjoy a pint of cabbage water at the club bar and watch some village cricket. It was mentioned that a gym would be good at the club, but not sure if that was for us to use or the fielder at silly point to use.

    43 miles,  Elevation 1,954ft, Ave speed 15.9mph, 5 riders, no punctures

  • 08/09/2019 17:18 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sticking to roads that I know just in case my technology let me down I took Andy, Paul B. and Dave over to Turners Cafe at Horton Kirby.

    The trouble with going over to the north of the county is that it gets a bit hillier, a bit more traffic and a roads that are a bit more rubbish (surface that is) than out in the more rural realms of Kent.

    Turners Cafe is one that we haven't used before but it's well worth a stop. Food is good, service is pretty decent and the prices are right.

    I was trying out my new bike for the first time on a long run and I'm pleased say it performed well, - I'd have been more than a tad disappointed if it hadn't.

    As said perviously there were a good few hills on this run for us to deal with and after 3/4 of the ride was done I think we were all starting to feel the effects of them. This was our first run of over 3500ft for some time and it seems that previously learnt lessons about pacing are easily forgotten.

    8 to 10 miles out though Andy seemed to get a second wind and pulled us home at a sustained 20/21mph.

    The weather stayed good throughout the ride, though thankfully not too hot for us when taking on the hills. 

    All got home safe and sound without incident.

    4 riders. 64 miles. 3583ft of climbing. 14.7mph average speed.

  • 19/08/2019 16:55 | Anonymous member

    As last weeks ride was cancelled due to the inclement weather it was decided to have another go at the same route this week.  With the weather looking reasonable six of us (Paul G, Paul B, Del, Ralph, Phil and Dave) set off in good spirits heading for Silcocks Farm Shop, nr Tenterden.  With total faith and confidence in the ability of the leader no one else in the group had felt the need to load the route onto their “device” believing that it would just be a case of 'follow the leader'. However, it soon became clear that the groups confidence was misplaced as about three miles out we were off route – lost!   After some lively debate and recalculation we got back on route. Another couple of detours and a puncture, we eventually arrived at Silcocks.  After some good food and cheerful service, confidence was restored. However, the mornings disruptions seemed to leave the group a little disheartened as the return journey seemed to take forever. Two dropped off leaving the remaining four to finish at Marden somewhat relieved to be back .

    58 miles and 2741 ft

  • 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

  • 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.

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