When 4 Groups ,B+,C, D+ and D ‘s all start from the same location,you know that it will always be very busy.And so it turned out. However when they all sorted themselves out,Richard was joined by a group of 15 and headed off to The Old Mill cafe,outside Eastchurch prison. With the wind firmly behind it was pleasant cycling on a mild,dry morning,. Going out through country lanes to the Sheppey Bridge,then Halfway,before taking the cycle path to Barton’s Point and Minster.After earlier flat cycling,the lumps started all the way to the break. Unfortunately the cafe had run out of bread,but offered other tasty fayre.Several took the opportunity to visit the onsite Aviation museum which was very interesting.It was inevitable that the return was going to be almost completely into the wind,so progress was a bit slower through Iwade and Newington to the finish.A distance of 35 miles at 12.5 mph and about 500 metres ascents,without any incidents.
Russell valiantly took the lead at short notice at Headcorn and opted to go to Hawkhurst. On a chilly morning,he led with a group of 11,including Jules and Graham,who normally ride with the B Group,and Matthew who wanted to give the D+ a go.Russ set off and on a lovely route that went out towards Smarden and Biddenden to Benenden. Thereafter came the start of some challenging lumps via Iden Green and Hawkhurst Moor ,before the break in the village cafe at Hawkhurst crossroads.The staff were most accommodating and served good wholesome fayre at reasonable prices. After starting off again,Russ kept the hilly theme going to Glassenbury and Colliers Green,before arriving back on the flat near Staplehurst and a leisurely run to Headcorn. A distance of 35 miles at about 12 mph average and 2050 ft ascents. Really good ride.Thankyou Russ.
As usual,a large turn out for a ride from Aylesford. Richard led with a group of 12 and headed off on a slightly round the houses route to Paddock Wood. Without incident,the outward journey went via the lanes to Wateringbury,then up the lump over Kenward Hill and down to Yalding.From there it was on to Collier Street,and partly up Yew Tree Hill,before Churn Lane and the break at the Station cafe,Paddock Wood. A table had been reserved, the service and value was excellent as always.Out again,and the circuitous route continued to Five Oak Green ,Golden Green and Hadlow,before the inevitable climbs of Matthews and Butchers Lane,Mereworth. On arrival at Kings Hill,riders who had cycled to the start began peeling off at various locations,leaving only 6 to make it the finish via East Malling and Ditton. A distance of 37.5 miles at 13 mph average.
We all gathered in Brenchley having vaguely decided to amalgamate D, D+ and B+ into two rides due to the lack of Cafes being open. But there was good turnout so after much fat fingering with poor signal, another route was found and we set off. We climbed a few hills skirting around Goudhurst and wended a flatter way over to Hawkenbury to spin out the lactic acid. At this point signal dropped and the Strava route disappeared so I decided to wing it whilst pretending I knew exactly what I was doing. This resulted in a much better stop than The Knoxbridge as the doors of The Bell and Jorrocks, Frittenden opened as we were passing. We were given a very warm welcome from a lovely lady who handed us all not one but TWO menus and offered us tables right next to the woodburner. One for the Café Map we thought, Ron, although they don’t open until 12.00 on a Saturday. This warm welcome kept us all going against a horrible cold wind all the way back to Brenchley.
Seven cyclists (including Phil a new cyclist from Ashford) in this D+ plus group set off on this the last group ride of 2018 from St Andrews Road, heading due west along North Pole Road, catching up to the B+ group. We worked our way to the Birling via East and West Malling , then onto Trottiscliffe, carrying out all small circuit passing the church of St. Peter & Paul, ending up at the base of Vigo Hill, leaving that hill for another day. We stopped for lunch at SpadeWorks arriving there via Ford and Aldon Lane.
After a good lunch, we headed for Hadlow via Crouch , we headed along the A26 in a northerly direction turning off at Goose Green, heading for Seven Mile Lane, we took said road turning off and heading up a steep hill to the Church of St. Michael's at the top, mini rest here, then through some muddy and stony lanes ,passing a folly on our left. We worked our way back via the slope of Red Hill, and retracing our route back along North Pole Road.
We covered 35.9 miles , with 2372 feet of ascent at an average speed of 12.5 mph.
Report being submitted on D Group ride reports
A great turnout for the 3 groups meeting at Dickley Lane. 7 choosing to join Russell's ride comprising an anti-clockwise circuit of Ashford. A good pace saw us visit Sandway, Lenham Heath and Charing Heath before turning south to go through the delightful hamlet of Barnfield with its large pond and swans. Then Pluckley, Hothfield and Little Chart where, before crossing the busy A28, the puncture of the day befell Paul Cook who soon had it fixed ably assisted by Colin Campbell our back-marker. Then Stubbs Cross and Cheeseman's Green before going through Mersham to arrive at the Blue & White Cafe at Smeeth. A warm welcome from the 10.00 a.m. Inters who were already tucking into their breakfasts. Great food and service to fuel us for our return west down the A20 before turning right to Nacolt and Wye. A first in a long time was the open level crossing. On to Boughton Lees and Lenacre Street to Westwell and Charing where a referendum was held to remain on the planned climb of Charing Hill or to leave it for a straight run down the A20. Lisa, the lady who is not for turning, swung the remain vote despite a lay down protest by Rachel. A scenic route along Bowl Road and the descent of Hubbards Hill led us back to our start still dry but mucky. 43.19 miles at an average of 12.8 mph with 2,228 feet of ascent.
Route on Strava
For safety reasons .ride cancelled
9 of us set off from Bell Lane Car Park on a dull but thankfully dry morning. Through Frittenden and on to Headcorn for the first time. From here we rode out to grafty green and took on the challenge of Liverton Hill. Everybody made it up the long hill, 20% in places. Back down Ulcombe Hill for refreshments in the corner cafe in Headcorn. Luckily nobody needed to use the cash point which had disappeared since our last visit. We headed back past the aerodrome where we had a puncture which was quickly fixed. Through Linton towards Marden along Battle Lane to Staplehurst. A cheerful ride on a bleak day. 36 miles Average Speed 13.5 mph
For a second week,Tony Munn arranged a Memorial ride for the D Group starts that were not done last week.On a glorious sunny morning he led and was joined by a group of 14 from East Malling. It was immediately across the road to the Memorial where Allan paid the first tribute followed by a 2 minute silence.With the M20 being shut it was quite noisy nearby with heavy traffic . Tony then started the ride going out to Barming,via North Pole Road ,along with many vehicles congesting it as a cut through. Richard did a very impromptu tribute and as at all the Memorials,a Poppy Cross was laid. From there it was off road a bit,avoiding Hermitage Lane,and Chris Daly took the paths behind the hospital to Allington,and on to Aylesford Church. Allan,this time sang beautifully a couple of verses from “The Green Fields of France”. Very moving. The ride carried on through Eccles and over Peters Bridge to the large cemetery at Snodland ,with multiple surnames on the Memorial,and Tony read the poem from Flanders Fields.With the sun shining bright ,everyone realised how lucky they are nowadays .However stomachs were rumbling,so the Jungle cafe at Addington was a welcomed and refreshing break. The last Memorial to be visited was at Wrotham,and on going through Borough Green,it was hellos to the B+ Group going the opposite way..Tony did the final tribute and informed the Group that over the 2 Rides,£102.70had been raised which he would send to the British Legion.From there it was back to East Malling via the Pilgrims Way and villages. A distance of 36 miles at a steady 11.7 mph.