Seven of us set off from Staplehurst on an icey cold but beautiful sunny morning, wary of the possible conditions ahead. But the sun had done it’s job almost perfectly and we found ourselves dismounting only a couple of times to avoid mishaps.
At the first hill somewhere after Cranbrook, I informed everyone that, according to my reading of Strava, this would be the toughest hill on the route. But they all knew better than me … that Rachel still hasn’t got the hang of Strava! Having tried too diligently to apply Kevin’s out of the saddle training (Tuesday evenings), I was too exhausted by the time we got to The Hill (12%, re Russell) and ended up walking. Ray very kindly kept me company on my walk which gave me an excellent opportunity to compliment him yet again on his amazing parsnips. We’re all looking forward to the 2018 harvest. Sorry about that hill folks. Chris Moon knew it would happen – that’s why he offered to lead the D group! Coward!
After Cranbrook we took the loopy route to Rolvenden to take in the views. Navigation of unnamed roads meant I had to keep taking gloves off to consult Strava, slowing progress, so I learnt to ‘swipe and wipe’ with my nose to sniff out our route. We successfully arrived at The Bakehouse Café in Biddenden having done 20 hilly miles, to find the B group sitting rather too comfortably at our prebooked table! They were so apologetic, we decided not to fight them for it and waited patiently for them to finish. After an excellent breakfast, Brian expressed a need for cake – which he had and ate. I might have helped a little. A long break but very welcome sitting out in the sunshine on such a chilly day.
The remaining ten miles via Frittenden and Hawkenbury were ‘flattish’, enabling us to run off the lactic acid from earlier hills (thanks Kevin, Tuesday evenings).
Total 32 miles at 11.8 mph, 1900 ft. Thanks Team.