Sarah and John worked out a gently undulating route with only one moderate incline, following negative feedback on the steep hill in their last ride!
Sarah led the group of seven (Rachel, Pam, Gary, two Johns, Eddie) from Aylesford on a cloudy but warm day through Ditton, West Malling and then off road via the research station to East Malling. We then followed an undulating course through Offham, Crouch and down Roughway Lane towards Pittswood. Turning off just before Poult Wood Golf Club, we sped down to Hadlow College garden centre, where the cafe staff had kindly reserved us a table and offered us breakfast, in addition to scrumptious cakes and scones, despite our late arrival. During the break, Gary entertained us (is that the right word?) with his endless repertoire of school boy jokes.
Moving swiftly on, we left the A26 at the first opportunity, turning down Common Road then Matthews Lane where we convinced Gary to do the Strava challenge up to Forge Lane to give us some peace from the relentless puns.
We continued through Mereworth, up Butcher’s Hill and through Kingshill, down the cycle path on the dual carriageway where Eddie left us, evidently fearing more of Gary's humour. Taking an embankment led us up to Lavender Road and along various delightful lanes in the sunshine. We eventually reached Kiln Barn Road again and followed the outward route, returning to Aylesford at about 1345. Distance of 30 miles with an average speed of about 12 mph. Oddly, the ride seemed to contain more downhill than uphill sections. Now, how is that possible? See ride photo in the photo section.
It was decided that we would do a group ride so 13 of us set off from St Andrews Road towards Barming Woods. At the end of North Pole Road we turned left and headed towards East Malling via Sweets Lane and then continued on to West Malling. Turning off the High Street, we cycled along Normans Road and on to Offham, where we turned left on to Comp Lane. After a quick drink stop we continued and headed for Crouch and from there we turned off and cycled through windy roads, through Claygate Cross. We eventually joined Puttenden Road, after taking a wrong turn and finally reached our midway destination at Poult Wood. The sun was shining so we enjoyed or lunch sitting out on the terrace. After a quick photo we continued the ride along Ashes Lane, left at High House Lane and then headed towards West Peckham and on to Mereworth. After the long climb up Butchers Lane, we continued on through Kings Hill and then cycled along the cycle path parallel to the A228 and turned off to join Lucks Hill. Just afterwards two people dropped off and headed home and the rest of us continued through East Malling, along the Wateringbury Road and then on the home straight back to Barming. We had completed 31.5 miles , with an average speed of 12.1 and thankfully no punctures!
No leader,please see D+ report
What a shame that only 6 riders turned up at Appledore,Russell,Ray,Gary,Tony M. and RichardV to accompany Mike on his lead from Appledore..Perhaps his earlier circulation about the route being hilly in parts,and the break not offering a big menu may have deterred some. However,the sun was shining,and his merry band set off alongside the military canal.The flat didn't last too long,and the first climb of the day took them up to Iden and quickly into the very picturesque Sussex quiet countryside. Mike found many ,almost traffic free lanes carrying onto Peasmarsh,Beckley and Broad oak,with numerous undulations and fine views. Just before the break,Ray,who was on a heavier than normal bike,and regretting it!,sustained the only puncture of the day,but as usual Gary was on hand to help,whilst Mike took time to regail us with his wild camping experiences.It was then onto Brede Pumping station.A museum and a real geeks treat.(sorry Mike).All the equipment is beautifully kept and in fine working order.They only sold Light refreshments,but very cheap.A guided trip then took the group down into a nuclear bunker,which proved interesting.Still in warm sunshine,the return leg mainly mirrored the outward bound,and just as hilly,but with a late deviation through Ebony,back to Appledore.A distance of 32 miles with 2385 feet ascents at about 12 mph average.Thanks Mike,great route and ride.
Chris Moon graciously took the lead from Staplehurst with a group of 10 on a very pleasant morning,doing a figure of 8 route.Firstly out to Marden,then Headcorn and Frittenden,before heading back to Staplehurst and the Knoxbridge cafe After the break it was out to Sissinghurst and to Cranbrook,where by the windmill,Inci,a new group rider had a puncture,but puncture gurus Chris and Bob soon got to work and repaired it,whilst Natasha took the opportunity of a selfie photo in front of the windmill.It was then a climb out of the town and swift return to Staplehurst.A distance of 31 miles at 13.5 mph average.Thankyou for your efforts Chris.
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.