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.
A Wrotham start,and really lovely to have Linton and Dee Swartz with Julie Colver join our ride,to make up a group of 8. Richard led out on a fine sunny morning,firstly through Borough Green and Crouch,before the lovely descent of Long Mill Lane,before skirting Hadlow.Carrying on through minor roads to East Peckham and Laddingford to the break at Teapot Island cafe.There,a lady named Julie met us,and asked to join the ride for a while .Sitting outside was delightful as the photo on the website shows.The return took us out again to East Peckham along the A26,to Mathews Lane and the beginning of the climbs.At the bottom of Gover Hill,Linton,Dee and Julie C,left to make their own way home,and the remainder carried on up the hill,where at the top,the other Julie,left us also to get back to Yalding.With 5 riders left,it was on to Crouch,down to Basted then up to Borough Green and Wrotham.A distance of 30 miles at about 12 mph average.
Before the ride start,Chris who led,suggested a minutes silence to remember the Manchester bombing,which was well received.He then took a group of 7 out towards Marden,through Linton,Headcorn and Frittenden,before returning to Staplehurst,for a well earned break.Wendy left to get chain problems sorted,and Terry bailed out.The remaining 5 then cycled to Cranbrook and back.A very pleasant ride of 26 miles at 13.4 mph average.
Thankyou Jo for placing report on the D forum