A Group of 8 led by Linton set off from Snodland.Really good to see Dan Beckham out again after a lengthy break. They went to Poult Wood Golf Club for their break,and in blustery conditions cycled 27 miles at 11.4 mph and 2000 ft of ascents.
Well Done everyone
John Blakeley reported that he led a group of twelve from Lenham (this was originally thirteen but Inci made a last minute decision to join the D+ Group). The first significant hill on the ride was Ulcombe Hill but fortunately it was in the easy direction, downwards!
The weather was quite blustery during the ride but luckily it stayed dry with sunny periods. After Ulcombe the group headed to Headcorn Aerodrome for a relatively early coffee stop. Due to the windy conditions there was little happening at the airfield and therefore the café was fairly quiet. Leaving the aerodrome, the route continued via Egerton Forstal, Charing Heath, Lenham Heath and Harrietsham before returning to the Lenham start point. The majority of the route was on quiet country lanes which was appreciated by everyone on the ride.
A distance of 28.4 miles, average speed 12 mph and elevation 1230ft.
A great turnout for the 3 rides meeting at Old London Road. After some number balancing 12 elected to go on Russell's 'flat' ride to Lullingstone Country Park. A warm welcome to Darren, whose work commitments have prevented him from joining us, who proved his metal by riding in. It was south through Borough Green to Crouch and Plaxtol taking on a few climbs in the process. Some more inclines to Ivy Hatch and Seal Chart to cross the busy A25 for an unscheduled circuit of Seal! Joining the Pilgrim's Way at Kemsing going through Otford and Shoreham to get to the country park which was very busy with ramblers who fortunately had already eaten. Good fayre consumed by all but a noted lack of eggs, hard boiled only!. Then a fast descent into Eynsford before the long and relentless haul up Bower Lane, good training for the Tourmalet challengers. A welcome descent of Cotman's Ash Lane with a photo shoot and to get back on the Pilgrim's Way for a much used run back to Wrotham. 26 miles with 2,303 feet of ascent at 11 mph average. Route on Strava
A Really Spring Like morning greeted about 35 riders from 3 Groups at Staplehurst.Richard led a group of 14 and set off heading for a new stop at Benenden Community cafe. A nice flat route took them out through Hawkenbury and into Frittenden,before heading towards Biddenden It was then onto very quiet lanes passing Hempstead Forest to Golford and the only main climb of the day to Benenden.for a warm and efficient break, mainly sitting outside in glorious sunshine.Richard later diverted slightly to view the wonderful Church on Benenden Green. The return took them into a very busy Sissinghurst,then returning to Frittenden and the flattish lanes to the finish.A distance of 28 miles at 13.4 mph average without any incidents or punctures.
Nine riders left the King and Queen on a damp foggy morning to Paddock Wood. Navigating through the gloom they headed out to Wateringbury before the stiff climb up Bow Road before descending into Yalding. The route then took them through Hunton before looping back to Marden. The fog had now lifted as they left the village, well nearly a town with all the new development, and via Sheephurst Lane and Claygate into Paddock Wood and The Village Café. Its always an efficient speedy service café and very reasonable (no I don't own shares in this café as well) and we were soon on our way back via East Peckham and Hadlow with two climbs up Matthews and Butchers Lane which saw us safely back at the start. Distance 35miles Average Speed 12.7mph Climb 1400ft
John Blakeley reported that he led a group of twelve from Mote Park. The main challenge for the ride was the hill in Ulcombe but Chris provided positive words by saying that the wind would be behind us as we tackled the hill!
The weather recently had been quite rainy and windy so the group prepared for wet and muddy roads. The forecast for the day looked good and the group set off via Boughton Monchelsea, Hawkenbury to Headcorn Aerodrome. Due to the windy conditions there was little happening at the airfield and therefore the café was fairly quiet. Leaving the aerodrome, the route continued via Egerton Forstal to Ulcombe where everyone successfully climbed the hill. On the journey back to Mote Park via Kingswood and Downswood the group encountered some very muddy roads but luckily everyone negotiated these roads without incident. The group tackled a number of large puddles during the journey but the ‘mini lake’ on the path in Mote Park was certainly the largest.
A distance of 31.4 miles, average speed 11.8mph and elevation 1188ft.
Headed off from a cold snowy and icy West Malling this morning to find Yalding bathed in sunshine. Five of us turned up for the D ride and rode through Marden Staplehurst and Headcorn before stopping at the lovely warm Inn The Bell and Jorrocks in Frittenden where we had a cosy lunch by the wood burning stove. Hard though it was to tear ourselves away we continued back to Yalding on an incident free ride of around 34 miles at an average 11mph made slower by myself anticipating worse weather taking a heavy clunky mountain bike. We were all glad we made the effort as we didn’t see any snow or come across any ice at all! Lots of big puddles though !
With a new start place for the D / D+ rides, and the possibility of a large turnout, a D ride was offered to split the numbers a bit. As it turned out both C and B+ were also starting from the same place, so lots of bikes at the start. Five of us set out in a "John sandwich", John C at the front and John B at the back. Round the lanes at a rapid pace, through Hartlip, Upchurch and Lower Halstow then across to the Island (Sheppy) for a well deserved break at the Klondike café. Mega sandwiches inside us we set out for the coast and a photo stop by the beach at Minster. No-one not being tempted to go in for a dip we battled the wind back across to the mainland, then meandered back through Iwade to the finish. Average speed 11.5 and a distance of 32 miles. Many thanks to the group for making it a fun ride.
A bitterly cold morning welcomed 12 riders for this ride to the Footprints Café in Ashford. As always a huge thanks to my back marker Jo Ellsemere great job. Also, to Chris Daly and Tim Fox for their roles when the groups split. Team effort, thank you.
Despite the cold; the chat and banter from the off was a great distraction as we headed along Kings Road out through Forge and Oak lanes to get onto Smarden lane. Bedlam lane took us up to Forstal Road, flat all the way to Egerton Forstal then up to Egerton via Rock Hill, a lovely hill, not too steep or long in length to make it a classic but a test all the same.
New road took us along to Pluckley, where we joined Station Road, for the long fantastic downhill and flat into Bethersden. We continued along to the A28. This was where our backmarker Jo, came off, a bit of a bang from hitting a pothole. Damage to the elbow but gladly nothing too serious. Did she complain, no, she got on with it!
We had a stop at the Footprints Café (TN23 5LW). I called ahead and booked a table as this place can get busy. We were served quickly with good quality café food.
We headed back through Singleton to join the cycle path to underpass The Great Chart bypass, up onto Ninn lane then right up to Waterfall Road into Hothfield. We had a nice steady climb from Hothfield through Little Chart back up to Pluckley. Down the hill and right onto Smarden Bell Road to Bell road. We then headed for the Airfield and back into Headcorn.
Overall, I think this route lacked the challenge needed on group rides, ie some elevation and more interesting scenery and not a 10 mile flat run in. The group were ‘class’ company and the road discipline was fantastic.
The route was 30.1 miles at regulation speed for D Group at 12.8 mph with approx. 360m climbing.
Eight of us gathered for what was supposed to be a typical January ride; all wrapped up shielding from the cold, but, it wasn’t that bad and laid the foundation for an enjoyable ride to Borough Green. Firstly, I must thank my back marker Tim Fox for helping throughout, very much appreciated.
We headed out along Forstal Road to Eccles, and joined the new road to Peters Village, a little head wind but a really nice part of the ride. I felt using the cycle path was good and helped with the safety along that part of the road.
Once through Snodland the ride became a little lumpy, through Birling, Ryarsh and Addington up to Offam. We turned left at Crouch to Basted lane where came across a flood right at the bottom of the hill, bit tricky but all through, a little wet but unscathed. Up Quarry Hill and into Borough Green for teas and stuff in the Village Café and Sandwich Bar. Very pleasant and would certainly use it again.
I promised the group it was a little easier on the back, well, maybe apart from Crouch Lane, and along the Hurst to the top of Gover Hill! But the pleasure going down Gover Hill to West Peckham was the reward for all the hard work. However, only to be confronted with the little lump of Butchers Lane! Through Mereworth, Kings Hill and East Malling church yard to the research centre , down to Ditton and finally along the flat road to Aylesford.
Thanks to Heather, Chris, Tim, Mathew, Ray, Sarah and Rachel for making this an enjoyable ride.
The route was 30.4 miles at regulation pace for D Group at 12.3 mph with approx. 600m climbing.