A large gathering at the King & Queen with a minute's silence for Richard Byatt. 21 then undertook Russell's lead out on what in parts turned out to be an assault course, nothing unusual there said some! Out via Aylesford, Eccles and the best bit of tarmac of the day to Peters Village. Closure of the north cycle path across the Medway bridge at Rochester was the start of the assault course culminating in footpath only diversions in Canal Road. Then Medway City Estate to get to Upnor. At Chattenden the option was declined to split the group into a shorter ride with a stop at Shorne Country Park and the longer to Buckland Lake Reserve at Cliffe. A telephone call discovered they were up to the challenge of feeding 21 cyclists, something maybe they later regretted. On to Hoo and High Halstow with the joy of the descent along Cooling Road. Cooling Castle then the cafe stop, so long that Richard V escaped before the last 9 taking his sheep homeward. The rest enjoyed a fast ride back with the delights of Cobhambury Hill before an unpleasant short stretch of the A228. to get to Upper Halling and back via Snodland and Leybourne Lakes. 44 miles and 2300 feet at an average of 12.6 mph.
The Midweekers B ride was a very pleasant experience in the company of Mike Lambourne, Dave Law and Angela and Mick O,Flaherty. Nice to see Mick back after his injury. A lovely sunny morning saw us journey through Linton and follow leafy lanes to Headcorn. We were joined at the aerodrome by Marian who popped in for a cuppa with us. Back to Yalding via Frittenden, Staplehurst, Marden and laddingford.
35 miles, average 13.5mph, flat ride
A glorious morning attracted 17 riders nearly all wearing Club kit at Wrotham.Russell offered to lead and with 3 well disciplined groups, headed off to Lullingstone Country Park.He chose quite a lumpy route circling Borough Green,then up to Ivy Hatch,followed by a pleasant descent to Seal.From there it was through Kemsing,Otford and Shoreham to the break,where the group sat out in warm sunshine. Too quickly it was back on the bikes,returning via Eynsford,Farningham and the picturesque Knatts Valley to the finish. A distance of 29 miles,but as many cycled in ,theirs was considerably more. Approx ascents of 2150 fr at about 12,7 mph. Great ride.Thankyou Russell
.It would have been so easy to call off the ride as it had been raining really heavily,but typical of a staunch bunch,9 still turned up at Ditton. This included Marion Boyd,who is in training for the aqua bike championship in Rumania,and representing Ireland in her age group. Chris Moon valiantly took the lead,and after the first deep puddle in Kiln Barn Road,the weather bucked up quite quickly. Chris took the group out towards Paddock Wood,where Marion got to only puncture of the day. Mark tried to make use of his CO2 bottle,which promptly burst the new inner tube through the tyre wall.So it was back to the hand pump for a replacement. At the Station cafe,Paddock Wood,the Group met up with Dave Pannell and Ian Murdoch,from “unofficial” Yalding pedallers.An uneventful return via Yalding and Teston in pleasant sunshine to Ditton,heralded the end of avery pleasant ride of 30 miles at 12.7 mph average.
A big turnout at Lenham,and 13 led by Russell set off on a bright morning heading for the North Kent coast. A bit of a warm up firstly going up Hubbard’s Hill,then the lovely quiet lanes to Eastling and Deering Street before a sightseeing stop at the very picturesque Conyer Creek marina.The break was at a new venue of Crispins cafe in Teynham,which was extremely reasonable value. The return,and Russ continued his lead to Rodmersham and Bicknor ,again keeping to traffic free country lanes ,before the descent of Stede Hill and the finish. A distance of 35 miles at about 13 mph average,and over 2000 ft ascents without incident
Another pleasant ride saw us heading off from lenham for Greenway garden centre in Bethersden. The wonders of ride with gps navigation took us through Platts Heath to Egerton, Pluckley, Little Chart and Hothfield. Refreshments in Bethersden where we got to know the inspirational Marion who will shortly be representing Ireland in an aquabike ( swimming and cycle) competition in Romania. Shortly after the cafe Ian saved the day when one of our chosen lanes disintegrated into an unridable track. He took us another route to Smarden from where we progressed to Egerton Forstal, Grafty Green, Boughton Malherbe and back to lenham.
34 Miles, average 12.7 mph
thanks to Ray, Brian, Marion and Ian for your company.
30 SFA members meet at Yalding Station with 14 choosing the MW ride to Chiddingstone Castle. A fast flat ride out to Hadlow for the start of climbs to Plaxtol and Ivy Hatch. Riding alongside Knole Park before the unavoidable challenge of crossing the A225 to join Gracious Lane and the high level bridge over the A21. Then the delightful descent of Bayley's Hill with its stunning views, along Hale Oak Road to witness 6 deer racing us then crossing the road in front of us. Wow. West along the B2027 to turn left and approach the castle from a direction new to a lot of us. Good service at the cafe then a photo shoot before returning via Leigh, skirting Tonbridge, through Golden Green and East Peckham. 40 miles at an average of 13.6 mph with 1900 feet of ascent.
Route on Strava
A really pleasant morning greeted 14 riders at Chestnut Street. Richard led a fairly traditional route out to Bartons Point, Minster via Upchurch and Iwade.It was lovely sitting on the veranda of the cafe overlooking the lake.Sarah L decided that as the tide was in that it was an ideal day to go for a swim,much to the disbelief those who didn’t know her too well. No surprise to the regulars though. How she managed to dry her off for the return was any bodies guess. A pacy return in parts,slightly wind assisted and several went for it on the road leading off the Island. From there it was back to Iwade ,then Newington to the start.A distance of 36,5 miles at 13.7 mph average.
A turnout of 20 riders assembled at East Malling on a dry but windy morning. For the first time, Chris Moon led a shorter alternative ride going out to Paddock Wood with a group of 5. Russell took the lead for all the others and set off heading to Dunorlan Park ,Tunbridge Wells. With the northerly wind assisting,it was good progress ,going to Crouch then up Gover Hill then bypassing Hadlow to Golden Green and Tudeley . Russ then took advantage of the lovely cycle path that runs all the way from Vauxhall,Tonbridge to the outskirts of the Wells..Traffic as always getting to Dunorlan Park was heavy,but with keeping to another cycle path made it easier. With it being Easter School holiday the cafe was busy with families,but the staff were quick,and sitting outside in the warm sunshine was lovely..Carrying on thereafter, Russ led again going to Pembury and Matfield into a strong headwind then up to Brenchley,before the flat of Laddingford and Yalding. From there the climbs started up Kenward and Red Hill,back to East Malling. A distance of 37.5 miles at about 12.5 mph and 2000ft ascents,without any incidents. Thankyou Russ.
A Wrotham Start,with the weather only about 4 degrees,but at least dry.It didn’t prevent 13 riders,including Anthony on his first Midweekers ride.. Richard led a fairly traditional route out to Ash,Hartley and Longfield,before arriving at the pretty village of South Darenth and the lanes to the stop at Swanley. Thecafe was under new management,and they looked after the group well. The sun even shone for a few minutes and for some,sitting outside was pleasant. It wasn’t to last though,and the return via Crockenhill saw wintry hail and a severe temperature drop. Carrying on however through Knatts valley to the Pilgrims Way and Wrotham was uneventful. A distance of 28 miles at about 13 mph average.