Our mission is to recruit new members, nurture and train them as necessary, and promote them to their appropriate group when ready. There is also a core of regular riders - mature members who only want a gentle ride and have neither the ambition or the ability to move to another group. These are receptive to the special needs of newcomers and are a source of advice if required.
We also welcome existing members who need a recovery ride following illness. Ideal for those who simply prefer a gentle ride, this is a great opportunity to bring the family (one adult per child please!). Route sheets are available and training can be given to anyone who is interested in leading a group.
Attendance varies widely according to the weather and other factors. Ten is typical, two to twenty possible but we split the larger groups for safety reasons.
We have seen a wide range of riders, male and female, out on racing bikes, tourers, mountain bikes, shoppers, folders, tandems, tricycles and recumbents, in fact almost anything with wheels and pedals, but no unicycle yet. Electrical assistance is fine but we draw the line at "infernal" combustion engines.
Our youngest rider, at thirteen months, slept most of the way on the back of her Mum's bike. Other accompanied children have used a third wheel, tandem or their own bike. Our strangest participant was "Patch", a Jack Russell Terrier, being towed in a trailer by his faithful owner - our current coordinator John Roberts.
Start points vary see: see the calendar above, but are usually within ten miles of Maidstone with parking and toilets available. We meet on Saturdays at 9.45 for a prompt start at 10.00 and usually return at about 13.00 or shortly after. We ride about 20 miles, mainly on quiet roads, lanes, and occasionally good tracks. Pace about 10 mph, less if anyone has problems or the route is hilly (although we avoid major hills and are not ashamed to walk if necessary). A refreshment break about halfway gives an ideal opportunity to talk to other members and make new friends.
An "Even Easier Ride" of 10-15 miles at 7-10 mph may be available from the same meeting place. Contact Brian Williams on 01622 752193 for details.