Ride from Headcorn to Bethersden and around Hothfield, was lead by Allan and attended by 14 Club members. A 32 mile route with an average pace of 13.8 mph with a climb of 1187 feet.
Thankfully the weather was good to us which naturally puts the quality of any ride a few grades higher. We headed out of Headcorn and along the very flat Smarden road, up Bedlam to and up one of the rare hills of the day to Egerton. Up to Pluckley, where the junctions were the usual either nothing doing or chaotic; we experienced both today.
A lovely long down hill to Bethersden, to the Greenways Garden Centre for the usual scoff. Good food served here.
We then headed along a fantastic cycling road to Hothfield, long flat, pothole free and very quiet.....magic. Today we were honoured to have some high flying cyclists and chatter boxes from the Inters, Martyn and Joseph and along with Dave all had their fix wheel bikes. Delighted to see you guys and hope to see you again soon.
We then wiggled our way up our second and last hill of the day back to Pluckley, down and along to the Egerton Forstal back to Headcorn.
A lovely predominantly flat route around an area which is fantastic to cycle. But what made it a success was the people who attended, great company and great fun. PS….To have the final word on the topic of Dr Who and the gender change, personally I am delighted!!
Thanks for a lovely day D+ Loyal.
Tony Munn led 12 riders on a slightly undulating ride to Gray's at Brenchley. Cycling out via East and West Malling the group headed for Offham, Platt and Crouch before dropping down to Hadlow. Continuing on the flat they passed Golden Green before a series of climbs after Tudeley in preparation for the dreaded climb up Crittenden Road to Matfield. The first steep climb of the day was made with just one rider having problems with his chain. Continuing the group reached Gray's only to find the Easy Group leaving having cleared the cafe of most of the food !!!!! The route back was via Laddingford ,Yalding up Kenwood and the second dreaded climb of the day up Red Hill before the drop to Aylesford via Ditton. Distance 37 miles Average Speed 13.1 mph
please see D Group ride reports and photos for the day
Tony Munn received no takers for his intended ride from Barming to Rochester,so he joined a group of 13 for a D group ride led by Chris Moon to Paddock Wood.
Thankyou Tony for your endeavours especially at such short notice.
The report is on the D Section..Where are all the D+ riders?
As only two turned up at Lenham,Mike Lambourne and Gary,they decided to join Rachel and Sarah on their D ride to Brogdale.
Seven of us headed off towards Borough Green through Crouch the back of Hadlow, Golden Green across the A26 to Shipbourne (how do you really pronounce it?) and on to Hildenborough. I needn't have worried about not having done a recce as Rachel was a great back up, helping with a few detours to avoid the traffic.
We stopped for a break at Teal cafe and enjoyed the sunshine on the outdoor terrace. This was a new stop and everyone seemed to agree that the food was really good but the service less so.
Leaving the cafe we headed up the A21 on the pavement. It was a stiff climb up to a Saint Julien Road where we left the main road and skirted Knowle Park through Godden Green and up to Seal. We continued on the drag up to the Pilgrims Way and at the junction we contemplated an extra loop or a straight journey back to Wrotham. I was heavily outnumbered as the group decided they wanted to do the extra loop. We had feared the worst as a couple of other cyclists, one of whom had suffered an embarrassing fall at the junction, had warned us that the first turning on the right was a nasty hill. So that is where we headed. On turning into Rowdow Lane the sign said a gradient of 14%....it really was like being back on Alpe d'Huez!
Thinking that was the hills done, we soon hit Magpie Bottom where the gradient was 16% in places. Thankfully everyone had their climbing legs on and it was not long before we were descending and back on the Pilgrims Way towards Wrotham.
In all we covered 32 miles at an average speed of 12.3 mph. It ia also worth mentioning we climbed over 2,800 ft. A great effort by everyone.
ps a special mention to Kevyn for bringing some fresh gooseberries. I confirm that having just eaten a gooseberry cobbler they were delicious!
When both D groups met at Staplehurst,Chris Moon suggested that we had a one minutes silence in memory of the Manchester bombing,which was naturally absolutely observed by everyone. Richard then took 9 riders on a ride heading off to Woodchurch rare breed centre.Taking many lanes ,in breezy conditions,the route went out via Smarden and Bethersden before the break. Sitting out was delightful in the sunshine.Peter and Denise then dropped off as they had started earlier from there,and the rest went through the centre,having a chance to see some of the animals.The return was back via Shadoxhurst and Bethersden again,before carrying on to skirt Egerton and Pluckley then Headcorn.A fairly flat ride overall of 46 miles at 14 mph.
Tony Munn led six riders on a route using two sections that would have been impossible a year ago. The ride started with a circular tour around East Malling before heading out to Barming, then dropping down Queens Road into Maidstone and through Whatmans Park. The ride then took the Medway Towpath including the new section to Aylesford. There then followed a climb through Eccles, the top road past Wouldham and the drop down Shorts Way into Rochester. Returning the group climbed up to Borstal before dropping down to Wouldham and crossing St Peters Bridge opened Sept 2016. The group continued through Snodland Birling and Ryarsh before returning back through West Malling.
Distance 32 miles Average Speed 13mph