Please see John's ride report on the D group. Forum
Firstly welcome to Donna and Inci who were joining the D's for the first time. After having a group photo with the D+ group and a few of the Easy Riders in the background, 10 of us ( 7 ladies & 3 men!) set off towards Lenham. We headed out through the park, dodging all the dogs and owners who seemed to be out in their masses. Having cycled through Downswood and Otham, being considerate cyclists we pulled over to allow a car to pass us, but unfortunately in doing so myself and Eddie found ourselves lying into the grassy bank! Thankfully no injuries but so glad i have decided not to use cleats! We continued on through Kingswood and enjoyed the descent down Ulcombe Hill. At Grafty Green we cycled up Church Road to Boughton Malherbe, which was definitely the most challenging part of the ride, but the view was worth it! After a quick drink, we cycled the last couple of miles to get to our lunch stop at the tea room in Lenham village. It was lovely to be able to all sit outside as I'm pleased to say the weather was sunny and warm! After lunch we headed back down the high street and turned off at Ham Lane and continued through the lanes until we reached the Ashford Road. Carefully crossing over the main road to Harrietsham village we followed the back roads, with a slight detour, to Hollingbourne and climbed up the hill to be able to turn on to the Pilgrims Way. We continued along the Pilgrims Way as far as Detling and then descended Hockers Hill, through Weavering and back through the park to the car park. Our average speed was 10.9 and total distance was just under 28 miles. Thanks to everyone!
We started with 11 and by the time we’d dropped in on the Yalding toilets, we were down to 8! We climbed Lughorse Lane, carried on through Chainhurst, round the back of Marden to Sheephurst Lane where we encountered the Easy Riders. Quick chat and we battled the headwind along Sheephurst Lane, attacked the long climb up Pearsons Green Road and on to Brenchley to find the very welcome Grays Café. Impeccable service (total respect and recognition of The Leader awarding them extra Brownie points) and food much appreciated, we set off home via Horsmonden, stopping only for Sarah to buy some local produce for her famous paniers! A good sprint home to avoid the rain, we were back by 1.30 having done spot on 30 miles average 12.7 mph.
A longer than normal joint ride,still attracted 14 riders at Ditton Community Centre,a new and good parking location.Richard led and set off for Chiddingstone by going out to Offham,Dunks Green and Hildenborough before arriving at the cafe in Chiddingstone.The fayre mainly consisted of expensive cakes and drinks,but sitting outside was pleasant. Rain was expected and it started just as we were leaving,but only showery,and the return in general was flatter going through Leigh and outskirts of Tonbridge before the climb up from Mereworth to Kings Hill.Carrying on through the estate to the North Pole pub and back to Ditton,where Chris Moon sustained a puncture just before the car park!. A distance of 45 miles at about 11 mph average.
Please see Mike's eventful report of the ride on the forum section of the D group.
With it being a nice start to the morning weather wise ,20 riders turned up at Aylesford car park.The majority wanted to do the D+ ride with Tony Munn,but 6 others opted to go with Mike Lambourne to Rochester. Mike went out through Eccles and over the new Peters bridge to Upper Halling then over the M2 bridge into a very busy Rochester,where roads were being closed for later activities around the castle.On reaching Legends cafe ,the rain was starting but fortunately had stopped by the time the group was ready to set off.Mike then took the riders up to Burham and down to the new .esplanade at Wouldham,where a distraught lady was looking for her father who had dementia and had wandered off from home in Burham.Rachel took her details and the group set off in various directions looking for him,unfortunately without success,but later on discovered from the lady that he had been found.Mike then carried on to Snodland and out to Stangate,before returning via Leybourne Lakes pathways to AylesfordA distance of about 25 miles at about 11 mph average.Thanks Mike ,for a lovely ride.
For the fourth week running,it was another joint group ride.Fourteen riders managed to find the start at Higham,including Steph,out for the first time with us and also Darren,Brian Richard B and Jonathan,who had ridden there.Richard V led and set off to Grain,on a morning which started off a bit dull.Going out to Cliffe and Cooling on the country lanes before the incline to High Halstow,for a photo opportunity,with the charity stuffed dolls in the churchyard.(see D group photos ).After fully catching their breaths,it was on to St Mary's Hoo and into Stoke village.For the final leg to Grain,there was no option,but to go on the A228,which fortunately was very quiet.Arriving at Grain,it was a brief excursion to the head land to soak up the views across the Thames estuary,before taking the break at the delightful Beach Hut cafe.The service and prices were excellent,and sitting out in their small courtyard in the warm sunshine was delightful.Inevitably,it came time to stretch the legs again,and an uneventful journey took the group back past Kingsnorth,with good views of the Medway estuary ,then through Hoo St Werburgh and Chattenden,before the last little lump of Dillywood Lane to the start,where the riders who cycled in,set off for more miles under their belt.Fortunately,no problems,and a distance of 31.5 miles at a very steady 11.5 mph.
A big Thankyou to Chris Daly for looking after Steph at the back,and to Tony M,for trying to keep the whole group together when it was stretched.
please see D group forum for the report.
No one had stepped up to lead the D+ group,and the 12 who turned up at Snodland,were happy to do a joint ride for the second week running.Les was the D group leader and on a gloriously hot morning took the group out to Poult Wood Golf Club.His route went out through Birling and Ryarsh,onto Offham then Crouch up the Hurst,before the long descent to High House Road,and up to the Golf club.A restricted food offering due to the breakfast meals finishing just as the group arrived.However,still a very pleasant stop.The return,and Les took his flock to Plaxtol,then up the hill to Crouch and finally through Addington,and Birling to Snodland.A ride of only 26 miles at about 12mph,but enough in the very hot weather.Thankyou Les.
From Rachel Chacon
Important things first, thank you Kevyn for the gooseberries which were put safely in our cars. We had a tricky decision with just seven of us, D or D+ ride? D ride won when we all heard that Sarah Lewis had brought her "heavy" bike in order to load it up with cherries from Brogdale. Mike Lambourne's D+ ride was put away for a rainy day. Kevyn then discovered that she had left her shoes behind. We reassured her of all the daft things we have all forgotten (at least she remembered the gooseberries) and sent her off to get them, agreeing to meet up in Oad Street after our climb from Lenham onto the North Downs via Stede Hill to Bicknor. Thanks to Mike's knowledge of the roads, Kevyn did manage to rejoin us although not at Oad Street due to my lack of knowledge of my own route - this was a slow start and Sarah needed to be back for a 3.30 appointment, so we got our skates on and headed at pace through Tunstall, Rodmersham Green, Bapchild, Teynham and on to Oare. There is a beautiful nature reserve at Oare (Saxon for marsh/fen) and many birds to be spotted, but to save time we missed this loop and pushed on for Brogdale having done 22 miles. We settled for a surprising break ... surprising because there was just one solitary carton of cherries left at Brogdale (national fruit collection!) and no other fruit of any kind to be seen, let alone to buy for Sarah's panniers. John wisely jumped on the last box of cherries which we all enjoyed. Sarah was sadly obliged to fill her panniers with plastic bottles of cider, heavy bike now loaded with heavy cider and me thinking we need to get Sarah back for her appointment with 10 undulating miles to go with a cider wagon in tow. We pedalled on and as I was making very good progress (I thought) up a rather long Hill I was overtaken with great ease by said cider wagon! Bravo Sarah. We descended into Lenham via Hubbards Hill and made our way back to the car park, welcomed by unsweetened gooseberry compote as the sun had been beating down on our cars. Gary's gadget told us that we had done 31.7 miles, 1700 feet at 11.6 mph, and thank you Gary for reuniting Kevyn and bike with her car back in Oad Street. Team working at its best. A lovely ride thanks to everyone.