A cold and blustery, but sunny, morning saw six of us set out on a ride to Greenways garden centre near Bethersden (I had advertised the ride on WhatsApp as reasonably flat - only 885 elevation - but it turned out to be almost 1600 ft - my apologies I must learn how to read these gadgets properly!). Lovely ride out in the late autumn sunshine although some of the lanes were very muddy. We got to the café in no time with only minor grumbles about the pace. Café provided great food as usual. The clouds were gathering as set off on the return loop, more generally up hill. When we stopped at the top of one rise a whole herd of young sheep scampered across to their gate to engage in a staring contest with us. We made it back to the car park before the rain started with only one minor dispute between me and my Garmin. Thanks to the group for great company! 29 miles at 12.5 mph
For safety and sanity,ride cancelled
A damp,dull morning saw 4 Sarah’s and three new Group riders,Paul,Bill and Matthew join a gathering of 12 at Staplehurst. Sarah Mullins took the lead and headed off for the break at Silcocks farm shop ,St Michaels.Matthew who had previously ridden with the Easy+’s had a very heavy mountain bike with huge tyres,and found the ride challenging,but did very well. Sarah took a lovely country lanes flattish route out to Frittenden,then by -passing Biddenden to High Halden and St Michaels to the break with light bites at the cafe.Sarah then continued the circuitous journey which was slightly lumpier by going to Golford and into Cranbrook.As Matthew was struggling a bit,Richard buddied him back to Staplehurst by the most direct route,whilst Sarah led everyone else onto Hartley,and the Glassenbury Road ,then passing Blantyre House prison and Curtisen Green to the finish. A distance of 30.5 miles at about 12 mph average.Great ride Sarah .Thankyou.
On a beautiful sunny morning 7 of us left the car park and headed off via West Malling towards Offham led by Angie. Cycling along the Teston Road we were joined by John Wells. We continued through Crouch and along The Hurst and then just after we past Dunks Green, Mo caught up with us! Shortly after we arrived at our lunch stop at Poult Wood and just managed to put in our order from the breakfast menu ending at 11.30. After a group photo overlooking the golf course , the then 9 of us led by myself then cycled off along Puttenden Road. Soon after Alison dropped off to return home and we continued through West Peckham and Mereworth then John left us, before cycling up Butchers Lane, through Kingshill and back to the start. The ride was 25.5 miles in total with an average speed of 11 miles an hour.
As a mark of respect on the Centenary anniversary of the end of the Great War,Tony Munn came up with excellent idea of using the D Groups Village starting points to acknowledge the sacrifice of all conflicts with a 2 minute silence ,the laying of Poppy Crosses and a short tribute at each at Memorial.that could be ridden to on the day. An earlier than usual start,assembling at Mote Park with 26 riders. Natasha also arrived on her bike,but in severe pain after having coming off on route,but still managed to get there using just one pedal.She waited for a lift and it transpired that she sustained a broken ankle in 2 places. The ride then started ,with Allan leading,and the group divided into 4 units. With the aftermath of overnight heavy rain,but improving weather,the route left the park and went directly along the A20 where Donna got the first puncture,but Mike Lambourne was on hand to assist.Eventually with all gathered,Allan conducted the first reading at Lenham Church. The ride then continued on,with the sun starting to shine and headed to the Memorial inHeadcorn, High Street,where on route,young Daniel got the second puncture.So again a delay,but Richard then did the next reading and like all the other dedications a 2 minute silence was wonderfully observed. From Headcorn,Allan and Tony continued to Staplehurst,and this time Tim did the reading in the superbly decorated Church,and afterwards,all really enjoyed hot drinks and biscuits and contributed to their funds. From there,it was on to Marden Church ,seeing the placque of the large numbers of local young men who never returned from WW1. Rachel took the reading in total silence. Immediately after,Lisa,who was feeling a bit unwell left the ride,with Rachel being her buddy,together with Daniel,Donna and Valerie. The next destination was the Memorial at Paddock Wood,where Tony provided the reading,and after the Station cafe offered good wholesome food. The weather continued to remain kind,with Allan and Tony then leading to Yalding Memorial in the High Street,where Mike Lambourne did a very thoughtful off the cuff dedication to everyone affected by the different conflicts. It was then onto the final Memorial of the day,in Maidstone,which was reached by using the newish river towpath into the town.Allan recited the eulogy outside Evans cycle shop,trying to compete with the noisy traffic.From there,several other riders peeled off and the remainders fought their way through traffic back to the park.A distance of about 46 miles at a steady 13 mph average. A further Memorial ride is planned for next Saturday for the other D Groups starting points which were too far away to visit today. Thankyou Allan and Tony,great planning and ride,in pleasant weather
On what surely must be a record, 24 riders left Yalding Station for The Broadview Café at Hadlow College. It was nice to see some new faces and Easy Riders join us. The group cycled out through Yalding Village towards Collier Street before turning and cycling through Marden. The group then turned toward Brenchley via Sheephurst Lane and the main climb of the day Yew Tree Green Road. Stopping at the viewing point for photographs and to phone the café stop they continued via Brenchley, Matfield, Tudely and Golden Green. A longer than usual 22 miles saw us arrive at our stop with reserved seats, worth the phone call. A short 8 miles return via East Peckham saw the group safely back at the start. Well done to the large group for keeping a gap discipline, as a result no abusive drivers. Distance 30 miles Average Speed 12.6 mph 895ft of Climb
On a cold breezy morning a warning of what's to come 9 riders left Yalding Station. It was great to have 3 new riders in the group Sarah, Fiona and Allison. The group crossed Yalding bridge before heading out to Hunton and Marden the only climb of the day. Continuing the group cycled through Staplehurst before taking a loop around Headcorn to the airfield. Cycling back the group avoided Headcorn and Marden before cycling along Longend Lane and through Laddingford. No incidence apart from a disgusting and vile tirade directed at the group from a driver and heard by the girls because he couldn't pass us. 37 miles average speed 13.2
A chilly,but very sunny start welcomed a group of 6 at Headcorn,and with Richard leading set out on a flat ride towards Ashford.The lanes seemed very quiet,and with lovely Autumnal scenery,the route out via Egerton Forstal and Pluckley Thorne to Great Chart and the stop at the Old Foundry Cafe,Ashford was pleasant.With the sun getting very warm,the riders were able to sit outside,and the service and value was excellent. The return kept to the lanes,bypassing Bethersden and Wissenden to Smarden,then eventually looping past the Aerodrome back to Headcorn village.A distance of 30 miles at 12.3 mph average without incident.
Seven of our enthusiastic cyclists set off from Paddock Wood on a grey autumnal morning heading for the hilly twelve miles around Brenchley and Horsmonden; avoiding a number of kamikaze squirrels and an impatient van driver, who ironically overtook us dangerously only to turn right and park! We were pleased to arrive at the café to warm up, only to find they were too busy to accommodate us, a little frustrating as they knew we were coming. Fortunately, Valerie came to the rescue suggesting we try Frankie’s café, which was only a shortly deviation to the route and who were luckily able to accommodates us.
Thankfully the rest of the ride proceeded as planned following the lanes around the back of Marden and Pearson's Green, just in time to beat the rain. We covered 33.8miles at an average of 12.11mph achieving an elevation of 1,453 ft.
Lots of Ds and D+s at Barming this morning and 5 of us set out to Knole. The weather was cool but sunny and we had a lovely ride out, through Kings Hill estate and on past Offham and Crouch to the major climb of the day up through Plaxtol to Ivy Hatch. Then on through beautiful woodland to the Knole Deer Park. Stopping for a photo next to a friendly deer we went on through the park to the house for a break in the sunshine on the terrace. John was the only one to sample the venison sausage baps; however the flapjacks and scones were also delicious and not "deer" (Dave's pun). Following another photo by four young bambis, who ran off, oh dear!, the return journey followed the same route as out. A cheer was exchanged with Richard's group who we passed going in the opposite direction near Crouch. Great ride and great company, 33 miles at 12.5mph. Total rise 1434ft. Route adapted from one by Mike Griffith, many thanks.