The ground was still icy when we left Dickley Lane car park but the sun was shining brightly in a cold, blue sky. John Caves led our group of five up Stede Hill but Inci’s and Sarah’s fingers and toes were still frozen when we reached the top, despite multiple layers. We paused to enjoy a clear view of the Thames and Medway estuaries, the island and the countryside beneath us. We cycled through Tunstall and laboured up Stocker’s Hill where John Blakeley and Roger led us to the top. Waving to the cyclists enjoying breakfast in the sunshine on Rodmersham Green, we sped past them towards Bapchild. Once over the A2 we continued our almost traffic-free ride along the Lower Road, through Teynham and then took a right turn down Four Oaks Road. We zig-zagged along narrow lanes, tackled the sharp incline of Coxett Hill (too roughly tarmac’ed for hybrid tyres), passed the ancient church on Water Lane and doubled back along Vicarage Lane to reach Brogdale Farm. We were promptly served in the cafe but the leader decided against the free cider-tastings (John C. told Sarah to focus) and tempted us back into the cold for the climb up to Painter’s Forstal. We then enjoyed a slog into a headwind up the steady incline to Eastling and Warren Street to reach the top of Hubbard’s Hill, before whizzing down through Lenham and back to the car park. 31 miles; 1,215 ft elevation; 11 m.p.h. average speed.