A great turnout of some 44 riders for the 4 SFACC groups meeting at Bell Lane. 13 chose to follow Russell's lead to Tenterden. A warm welcome to 2 new members, Colin and Mark. Out through Frittenden and High Halden using quite lanes to reach Cycle Route 18 to get to St Michael's. Arriving at Silcocks Farm at the junction with Readers Bridge Road. A well prepared and warm welcome with a 'Reserved for Cyclists' notice on our outside table. Great service and value, a definite must for another visit. More flat quiet lanes following CR18 leaving it to get to Sissinghurst on our return. Chris M getting the puncture of the day just before Frittenden. Arrived back at the same time as others returning from their different rides. 28.5 dry miles at an average of 13 mph with just 1230 feet of climbing.
Route on Strava
Having realised I was about to lead a group of 18 (including a new rider Mark), trepidation set in, although I needn’t of worried as having split the group into three sections I had great support from the sub-leaders/back markets who included: John, Chris, Mike, Chris and Jo.
We headed off on a somewhat undulating ride initially cycling through East Malling Research Centre, circling around East Malling and headed up to Offham and along to Crouch, flying down Hurst Hill and negotiating the 270 degree right turn continuing to drop down towards Dunk’s Green along Roughway Lane. At this point we met a number of tractors heading up the hill which caused young Mathew’s brakes to be tested and subsequent urgent maintenance carried out.
The final stretch of the mornings ride included a climb up to Plaxtol before heading to Borough Green for lunch at Melias Café.
The ride back was event free and included the pleasant lanes around Kemsing along the Pilgrims way, Ryash and Birling. We totalled 29.6 mile riding at an average speed of 11.6mph and ascending 662M.
For my first D Group lead 10 of us (including a new lady Karen) left Mote Park on a slightly cool but Sunny morning in the direction of Weavering Street to Detling. On the Pilgrims Way Natasha successfully had a blast for a Strava segment PB and met us at the Dirty Habit. Then we headed towards Harrietsham via Greenway Court Road and luckily the places I thought might be flooded weren't. We then took East Street to Lenham where unfortunately Natasha had 2 punctures to her front tyre in quick succession!! Coffee stop was at the church which as usual was very welcoming. The return leg saw us heading to Grafty Green before conquering Ulcombe Hill.
Nice run along Kingswood and Chart Sutton to Boughton Monchelsea and Boughton Lane where we started to say goodbye to people..... Valerie, Bob and Jane
Then we navigated Pheasant Lane before turning into Cranbourne Avenue and entering Mote Park via the Claygate entrance.
Ride was 28.2 miles at 11mph with climb of 1373ft
Heard from Natasha that unluckily she had a 3rd puncture to the back tyre on her way home but luckily it was close to her home so not too much walking.
Please See D+ ride report
Mike said that he thought it would be his final lead/ ride with the D Group,but with a really nice group of 12 he dutifully set off from Headcorn with a planned route to Sissinghurst NT . He chose some lovely quiet lanes,firstly going north towards Ulcombe before changing direction and crossing the A274 onto Plumtree Road and Craddocks Lane to Frittenden and the stop at Sissinghurst.Sitting outside under an awning shaded from the hot sun was most pleasant. Mike continued the ride ,initially along the fairly busy A262,before turning off at the Three Chimneys Pub,thankfully returning to picturesque leafy lanes and again crossing the A 274 via Hareplain Road.He continued on past the Smarden Bell and Swifts Green before returning to Headcorn along the Lenham Road.A distance of 28 miles at about 13 mph average,without any problems. Thanks Mike,and hope you have a change of mind about staying with the D’s.
please see her report and photos on the D Group forum
With only one leader available,Richard led a joint group with 12 from a really hot Brenchley.It was so good to have an ex member ,Ian Rawlinson join for the day,.He was up from his home in Devon visiting family for the weekend and decided to have a ride and catch up on old times.An uneventful outward Route through Matfield to Tudeleley and East Peckham to the break at Teapot Island Yalding. The return took an alternative route,seeing various San Fairy Ann groups that went to Hunton,and Claygate before the only slightly challenging hill of Yew Tree Road back to Brenchley village.A distance of 31 miles at 13.5 mph average..All getting back well in time to watch the England v Sweden football match.Good day all around.
With several of the riders doing the Audax 100 the next day,a shorter than normal ride was on order.Richard led with a group of 9 from Barming,and headed off through the Kings Hill estate to Offham and the break at Borough Green cafe,by which time it was really hotting up,but sitting out in their partially shaded garden was pleasant and good value.Keeping to the steady ride pace,the return was uneventful,going back to Offham and West Malling where the group met up with Jo and her 3 D+ riders and both groups cycled along chatting merrily all the way through North Pole woods road to the finish. A distance of 27.5 miles at about 12 mph average
Four riders decided to join Gary for his D ride to Sal & Al's Café (formally Nev's) on the Medway City Estate in Strood. This included two new riders to the group, moving up from the Easyriders, Paul and Nigel. Riding out through Snodland to Birling, down Birling Road over the M20, across to Park Road and a right through Leybourne up to the junction with the A20. Then over onto the cycle path towards Kings Hill for a short distance to pick up the path left onto the road to East Malling and through the Research Centre with a strong headwind most of the way. A fast run down Kiln Barn Road to the lights and across to Aylesford old bridge. Left up the High Street and Bull Lane through Eccles, then left on the Pilgrims Way through Burham and the fast descent to the junction under the M2 bridge. A short climb up before the descent down Shorts Way into Rochester. Then over the bridge and right into Canal Road to pass the Russian Sub onto the Medway City Estate to Sal & Al's Café. Excellent value as always and good quick service. Distance to Café 18 miles, so only 8 back. Route retraced back over Rochester Bridge and up Boley Hill (High Street closed to traffic and group decided not to walk through). Along St Margaret's Street, Borstal and through Wouldham to take St Peter's Bridge back over the Medway and through Snodland to Brooklands. Both Paul and Nigel enjoyed the ride and pace and look forward to joining the group for future rides. Total distance 26 miles at 12.9 mph
John Blakeley reported that he led a group of six from Lenham. The three Johns’ on the ride were joined by Sarah, Neal and Anthony. Early on in the ride Anthony suggested a detour through a new housing estate at Lenham but John B thought this might confuse the bike sat nav, not to mention also confusing himself!The route through Ulcombe, Hawkenbury, Lashenden to the coffee stop at Headcorn Aerodrome followed many pleasant and quiet country lanes. Leaving the aerodrome the route continued via Headcorn, Egerton and Lenham Heath back to the start point. On what was a mostly sunny day the group enjoyed the generally quiet country lanes and the slight incline here and there.
On arriving back at Lenham it was realized by John B that the average speed of the ride was 13mph and he apologized for exceeding the guidelines.
A distance of 30 miles, average speed 13mph and elevation 1139ft.