Group of 9 started from Snodland including Richard who had cycled in from the cafe stop at king George’s. along the way we picked up Julie at Aylesford bridge and Russell on bluebell hill ( great photos of the group from the bridge). We headed out towards king George’s through the pretty village of hartlip skirting newington, through Danaway and Borden to the stop at king George’s. lovely stop then back on road to the long slog up to the top of hollingbourne through Tunstall and bredgar. Once down the hill we went along the pilgrims way through detling and Aylesford back to the start at Snodland 39 miles at just under 12mph with no punctures or mechanicals and good weather
A warm morning welcomed 12 riders at Lenham and Mark Eyres led with two bubble groups on a lovely planned route to Silcocks cafe at St Michaels. He kept to many quiet lanes ,through Egerton and Biddenden,where a new taster rider had the initiation of failing to unclip in time,and taking a tumble but fortunately without too much injury or bike damage. It was then on to the break and being able to sit out in the courtyard in the sun was very pleasant. The return continued with more lanes,bypassing High Holden and Headcorn,then the only climb of the day up Windmill Hill before getting back to Lenham. A distance of 38 miles,approx 1500 ft ascents at 13 mph average.
With a group of 11, socially distanced,Richard led from Wrotham,on a dull morning and headed for the break at Hawley Garden Centre.An uneventful ride took the group to Ash,Hartley and Longfield,before reaching South Darenth to the break. The staff had reserved tables for us outside,but under cover,so quite satisfactory. The service and value was good,so it was enjoyed by all. Inevitably the return had to include a few lumps,after Horton Kirby,by getting up the drag of Mussenden Lane ,and Billet Hill to Ash. From there a further climb of Terrys Lodge Lane,and the whizz down to the Pilgrims Way back to Wrotham. No incidents or punctures fortunately. A distance of only 29 miles,with about 1550 ft ascents at roughly 12.5 mph average.
A Paddock Wood start,and NealWelch led with 2 groups of 6 and headed off to Headcorn Aerodrome. He certainly chose a lumpy route out,firstly up Pixot Hill then out Horsmonden and up Winchet Hill to Blantyre House prison,and the A262 to Sissighurst,trying very hard to retain separate groups,but with the difficulty of congregating on the hills. Neil continiued on a long loop to get to the aerodrome by going out to Golford and Biddenden . At the cafe stop they were treated to intrepid wing walkers being flown on a biplane. Following the break,Neal assured all that the return would be a lot flatter,which was most welcomed, by going out towards Frittenden then Staplehurst. Just before getting back to Paddock Wood,Ray had double tyre punctures when he hit a deep pothole,but Gary and Neal were on hand to help. A ride distance of 38 miles ,with about 1550 ft ascents at an average of 13 mph.
On a very wet morning two groups social distancing left East Malling for a ride to the Aircraft Museum at Shoreham Kent. As the group continued their ride the weather worsened not what was forecast. Having ridden through Platt Borough Green and Ightham a decision was made to abort the ride to Shoreham and cycle more locally. The group headed to the Jungle Cafe (closed) then Spadework at Offham (closed) the will to continue cycling was now lost and the group headed back to East Malling. A distance of approx 20 miles.
Mote Park saw the welcome return to SFACC Group rides with a good turnout for both D and D+ rides. 8 joined Russell’s route to Rodmersham so 2 bubbles of 5 and 4 set off through the Park to join the Pilgrims’ Way at Detling. Through Lenham to the climb of Hubbards’ Hill. The great slow descent to Eastling then to Newnham and Doddington. A great outdoor socially distanced stop on Rodmersham Green enjoying take-aways. A revised route home left us climbing to Wormshill for a return to Mote Park along the Pilgrims’ Way. No issues on a 40 mile ride with 2600 feet of ascent at an average of 11.2 mph.
Route recorded https://www.strava.com/activities/3882853351
An unusually small group of 5 ,led by Tony Munn set off from Snodland for a very looping route to Legends cafe,Rochester. Negotiating puddles galore,and often heavy rain showers,the route went out to Birling,West Malling and Eccles to the stop. Tony had an app on his phone,which every time he stopped,unfortunately emitted a WhatsApp type alarm,which was frustrating for him in the cafe. After the very good break, Tony led the group over the M2 footpath onto Cuxton and Up Dean Lane ,trying to avoid numerous potholes and gravel debris, before the descent of Holly Hill and the return to Snodland, somehow miracously without a puncture or mishap. A distance of 32.5 miles,at about 12.5 mph and 1820 ft ascents.
A huge turnout for the D's and B+'s at Lenham on a dry morning. Take up for the D+ lumpy ride was slow but 6 set off first to climb Hubbards Hill before a fast run towards Eastling then the fun began. Floods having subsided no real challenges before a climb of Haywards Hill with very mucky roads. A few more lumps then a delightful run before crossing the A251 Ashford Road to go through Selling and Old Wives Lees. A great cafe stop at Badgers Hill Farm & Cidery before warming up again with a climb up Soleshill Road. Negotiating some flooded roads with no hidden dangers, more challenging lumps after re-crossing the A251 and appreciating the village of Throwley Forstal. Descending Hart Hill to cross the A20 and our return along familiar roads to Lenham but not before the leader was nearly wiped out by a low flying pheasant - not very pleasant. 33.7 miles with 2770 feet of ascent at an average of 11.1 mph reflecting the mucky roads and lumps.
Route on Strava
With heavy rain falling before the start, it was decided to cancel the ride
Marden Sports Club hosted numerous groups as a starting point on a very dull and windy,but dry morning. Brian K offered to lead for the second week running and zoomed off from the car park with 5 others hanging off his tail. I think it was because he wanted to beat Sarah BV and her D Group to the cafe stop at Teapot Island, Yalding but had a greater distance to get there. With a swirling wind,that seemed always to be against,Brian took an unusually flat route for him, but appreciated by everyone else, with the only climb up Yew Tree Hill towards Brenchley before a speedy descent to Laddingford and getting to the cafe stop in time to join the D ‘s in the cafe queue. After a lot of banter,both groups went their separate ways, and Brian resisted the lumps again ,and kept to some quiet mucky lanes via Hunton and Staplehurst ,mostly into strong headwinds back to Marden without any incidents ,arriving as the D’s were leaving, and hearing all about Sarah’s problems with “Rainbow” ,her bike. A distance of 32 miles at 14 mph average. Thanks Brian.