10 of the riders meeting at the car park elected to join Russell on what was to be a challenging and mucky ride up to the North Downs and to the Kent Gliding Club at Challock. Through Lenham, across the A20, up Hubbards Hill and along Waterditch Lane to Stallisfield Green. Some challenging lanes and undulations to Throwley Forstal. After leaving the picturesque hamlet a miniature Neolithic spearhead found its way through a Marathon Plus front tyre. As always fate choosing a windy wet exposed stretch of road to effect the repair, Ian coped well with the task. On to the A251 for a short stretch then the A252 to the Gliding Club for our coffee break. Not 1 mile later a mechanical befell Jonathan's bike, the chain and large chain ring tangling themselves. This further delay encouraged us to cut a couple of challenging miles off our ride and so we went down Charing Hill and down the potholed Pluckley Road to re-join the planned route along Egerton Road. Some more mucky lanes before the muckiest of them all, Runham Lane, took us back to Harrietsham. 31.9 miles at an average of 11.9 mph with 2,051 feet of climbing.
A group of ten riders left Wrotham, lead by Richard Byatt. A tough climb up Fairseat Lane took us to the top of the Downs. After that it was pretty much downhill all the way to the break. After a swift descent of Vigo Hill the route was through Trottiscliffe, across the motorways and A20, through Offham, West and East Malling to the cafe at Aylesford Priory. Fully fuelled, the return leg was through Eccles, up and then down to Peters Village to cross the new bridge over the Medway. Through the back lanes of Snodland to emerge at the bottom of ... Birling (Holly) Hill! Everyone got up in various states of breathlessness. A few more undulations and a minor accident later the group returned to Wrotham via Vigo village. About 25 miles at an average of 12mph with 1,500ft of climbing.
A cold,clear morning,and Richard led a group of 9,including Martin out on his first D+ ride,from East Malling going to Otford.Staying to quiet lanes,but having to detour at Offham due to a complete road closure,then bypassing Borough Green to Ightham,then onto the Pilgrims Way,through Kemsing to the break the Pond View cafe by the Otford Pond.A really nice stop,with welcoming staff.so very enjoyable.The return leg,took the group through an estate to Kemsing then onto Heaverham.With dark clouds gathering,it continued without incident onto Wrotham,Trottiscliffe,Birling and West Malling.A distance of 31.4 miles at 12.4 mph.
Five brave souls, Jonathan, Bob, Alan, Tony and Russell followed Mike out of Mote Park on a very wet Saturday heading for the Tuck Inn at Newington. The location is such a route over the North Downs had to be followed Mike decided Hollingbourne Hill was the best for this fit group. From Mote Park the riders traversed Bearsted before tackling Water Lane the Pilgrims Way and Hollingbourne Hill the rest of the ride to the Tuck Inn was flat and followed mainly country lanes to Newington. The lanes were wet and leaf covered which demanded a lot of care. Arriving at the Tuck Inn it had stopped raining although the riders were very wet and enjoyed a warm plentiful and good valued meal with little wait. Excellent! Feeling refreshed the route back followed the Queen Down Warren to Bredhurst and Lidsing before descending Boxley Hill following the Pilgrims way again, before crossing over Jade's Bridge and descending the hill to Weavering Street and into Mote Park. A distance of 31 miles at a good pace with one incline! No punctures due the good condition of everyone's tyres as the lanes were litter with debris. "Thanks for joining my ride"
Chris Moon valiantly led and reported that 15 riders set off from Yalding station,and warmed up very quickly by riding up Barn Hill.From there to Coxheath and down into the Loose valley.Chris then took the group up to Boughton Monchelsea,then down through Headcorn and Frittenden,and arrived at Cranbrook with 25 miles under their belt.The homeward bound was made harder by a stiff headwind as they cycled through Staplehurst,and Marden to Yalding. A distance of 40 miles at 13.5 mph average.
Thanks Chris,as always
Thanks to Brian K,Jonathan E,Allan B,Rebecca M,RayE,Tony P,Richard B for joining me on the 53 km Reliability ride from Claygate.Sorry to Darren ,who got a double puncture when travelling from home and didn't make the start in time.
A good finishing time of about 2hrs 18 minutes,with a short stop halfway.Allan and Brian zoomed off towards the end,so their time was a bit quicker. Please see photo ,taken at the finish.
A good turnout of 14 travelled to Biddenden for a longer away day ride.It didn't start off too well,with one rider hitting a car park barrier with the bike on the roof,but fortunately very little damage.A very dull morning,with Richard leading and going out via country lanes towards Tenterden where Alan got a puncture.Gary as always was on hand to assist.It has been suggested that he put stickers on his crossbar,for successful missions,like fighter pilots in the last war!After an unintentional loop around Tenterden,the group carried on towards Woodchurch ,down to Appledore,then around the very quiet lanes to St Mary's in the Marsh,where the mobile phone sat nav' s came in very useful.Thanks Guys for your help.A nice ride along the esplanade from St Mary's Bay then to the stop at Dymchurch,where Jo found a lovely peaceful cafe,and lots of big plates of fish and chips were enjoyed.With time really getting on,the return leg was more direct via Newchurch,Bilsington and Ham Street(thanks Tony for your directional support),back to Tenterden and Biddenden,without incident. Distance of 52 miles at 12.5 mph average.
A lovely sunny Autumnal start from Headcorn,with Richard leading a group of 13 on a very flat ride heading to Ashford.A loop towards Egerton,then out to Pluckley,and Bethersden on very quiet lanes.A short section of the busy A28 into Great Chart,before getting back to tranquility through Great Chart,before the heavy traffic going into Ashford.The break at the Old Foundry cafe was excellent as always in value and service.An even flatter ride back through the Etchenden Forest and Wissenden,passing Budd's farm,of Darling Buds of May fame to Smarden before the finish at Headcorn ,without incident.A shorter than normal ride of only 30 miles,at about 12.5 mph average.
I had promised a few climbs and led the ride out of Aylesford with 15 other riders and started the day's climbing taking the Old Rochester Road towards Bluebell Hill. We made our way up part of Boxley Hill and joined the Pilgrims Way and followed this through Detling and on to Hollingbourne and then Harrietsham where we climbed Stede Hill. When we got to the top if felt considerably cooler and the drizzle started which stayed with us until the cafe stop in Rodmersham.
We came across the C group inside the cafe and with another 16 to serve this became a bit of a challenge. The patient wait was interrupted by Steve's exploding tyres - not once but twice! After a stop lasting one and a half hours we returned to our bikes and started the second half of the ride in the sunshine. We passed through Tunstall, Oad Street and crossed the A249 taking the steep incline up to Stockbury. We headed to Yelsted and made another steep climb where we joined up with Darren who had made a bit of a short cut (avoiding the hills!) At this point we realised half the group were missing so after Ray spoke to Richard the remaining riders made their way through Bredhurst and down Boxley Hill - those climbs really were worth it! We made our way back to Aylesford and completed 37.5 miles at an average speed of 12.3 mph. Within 10 minutes Richard and Kevyn arrived from the group that had separated. No doubt Richard will add a note explaining what happened but hopefully all riders made it home safe and sound.
Richard Byatt led a group of 15 from West Malling to Hadlow.A few riders were on older steel bikes and appreciated the rolling route out via Offham,Plaxtol and Golden Green.They received excellent service at the Broadview Gardens cafe.,with several people getting much too comfortable.Back via West Peckham and Mereworth,with just Matthews Lane and Butchers Lane to make people regret that extra slice of cake.No incidents,except one puncture before the start,which was swiftly fixed with a textbook display from Gary. The heavens opened as they arrived back at West Malling,having covered just over 24 miles at an average 12.7 mph.