A lovely warm morning attracted 19 riders for a start from East Malling.Russell opted to lead,and we welcomed his son Josh,who has just finished University. Trying to maintain 3 Groups,the outward bound took the riders through West Malling,Crouch and up Gover Hill,before the descent of Mathews Lane and then bypassed Hadlow.It then carried on through Golden Green and the outskirts of Tonbridge on to the new cycle path towards Pembury.A slight GPS hiccup and a bit of off roading through woods took them into Pembury and onto the stop at Pepenbury cafe,near Tunbridge Wells.Although Russell had notified the cafe,there was only one member of stafff having to do everything,so inevitability service was extremely slow,and riders ,including Angie were having to help the overworked lady out with fetching and carrying of drinks and food.Eventually the group set off again,and Russ led them out on cycle route 18 to Matfield.Unfortunately,a section of the group got split up from the main party,but nothing lost as most knew the way generally.,and all met up again at the top of Kenward Hill. By then riders were really starting to drop off,and following the climb of Red Hill,Wateringbury ,only half remained and continued to the start.A distance of about 36 Miles at about 12.5 mph average. Thanks Russ for taking the lead
On a day when the mercury promised to exceed 30 degrees and the thought that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, Tony Munn led 15 riders on a undulating ride to the renamed Nevs now called Als and Sals. Leaving Wrotham the group dropped down to Borough Green before a stiff climb up Basted lane. The group continued through Platt East and West Malling, Ditton and Aylesford before the climb up through Eccles. Dropping down through St Peters village the group continued to the next climb up to Borstal. Navigating Shorts way with the sharp bend the group continued into Rochester and Als and Sals. To every ones credit the heat still did not stop the usual cooked breakfasts being consumed and soon we were on our way back. Climbing up to the motorway bridge then through Cuxton and the real test of the day Dean Lane, a loop around Fairseat then downhill and the start point. PHEW!!! Distance 37 miles Average Speed 13.5 Climb 2200 ft
A struggle for some getting to the start at Appledore. with an accident at Headcorn and the Tenterden/Appledore Rd closed,but eventually 14 riders turned up . Really good for Tim and Rebecca to join the group and lead the ride. If we thought it would be a nice flat meander around the flat marsh lanes,Tim soon dispelled that idea.Off ,and he took the lead of the lumps up to Kenardington,Orlestone ,Bonnington and into Aldington and the hamlet of Monks Norton.Tim then continued the route by going to Westerhanger and past the old Folkestone race course,then down the steep hill to Botolphs Bridge and the break at Lathe’s Barn,Burmarsh.A nice stop but as it was quite busy it took a long time to get served and back on the bikes again.The return promised to be a lot flatter,and wiggled through a myriad of quiet country lanes sometimes into a fair headwind,to Newchurch and a newly stone chipped road towards Bilsington,with everyone slightly apprehensive about possible punctures,before the final leg through Ivychurch and Brooklands back to Appledore. without incident. A distance of 51 miles at 14 mph average,and 1400 feet ascents.
A good turnout at a chilly Lenham saw 12 riders join Ralph for his lead to Ham Street.In addition,John B and John C,decided to do a different ride and 3 members of C Group were also setting off to do their own thing. Ralph took his group out to Egerton and Pluckley and onto Bethersden and Stubbs Cross before the nice stretch of road past Bromley Green to the break at the The Cosy Kettle Cafe in Ham Street ( a new one for the Midweekers). Whilst there,some more Fairies ,Angie and Clive Nye,Chris ,Gary and a friend rode in,so a nice chat with them.Ralph took similar roads back initially ,again passing Stubbs Cross,but then diverting to Hothfield and across the A20 to Westwell. After that it was along the Pilgrims Way to Charing,where Linton dropped off for an appointment and Ralph tested everyone else’s legs by going up Charing Hill.It was then on the flat to Stalisfield Green and the nice descent of Hubbard’s Hill back into Lenham. A distance of 45.1 miles at 14 mph and around 1900 ft ascents. Great ride,Thankyou Ralph.
A pleasantly warm morning welcomed 13 riders initially at Yalding.Good to see Ray with us again after his altercation with an errant barrier in Calais a few weeks ago).A run out to Hawkhurst seemed like a good idea,so with Richard at the front the outward bound turned out to be a bit lumpy after the first flat roads through Benover.It was then up to Horsmonden and Skirting Goudhurst,before the undulations around Glassenbury and the stop at the cafe at Hawkhurst crossroads who were very welcoming. The return took a different route by going out to Hartley and Cranbrook,before Sissinghurst( love the metal Penny Farthing bike/ flower display in the village) and Frittenden. It was back on the flat after that all the way past Staplehurst,to Sheephurst Lane and Collier Street,by which time a couple of the riders had dropped off for a quicker way home.A distance of 43 miles at about 14 mph average.
Whilst most of the Country basked in glorious weather,the ride out from Chestnut Street to Herne Bay was pretty much a bit dull and into a brisk north east wind.A group of 14 including John the paramedic,and Tim from the B group joined the group .Richard led out through the estates of Sittingbourne and onto Tonge,Teynham and into Faversham before arriving at Tankerton,where Steve left the group for an early return home. The group then took the Promenade route into Herne Bay and good old Wetherspoons.The return was quickly welcomed with a tail wind which remained with the riders for most of the way and allowed a fairly brisk pace taking a similar reverse route,before detouring at Rodmersham and Borden. A distance of 53 miles at about 13.5 mph average.
Ten riders assembled at East Malling on an overcast but dry morning; however, their esteemed leader, Richard Valentine, was away enjoying the sun and the ascents of the French Alps. Tony Palmer insisted on leading because he wanted to retrace the new short-cut, from Powder Mill Lane to Tonbridge Castle, which he had learned on the preceding Saturday. Tony Munn, having devised an impromptu route to Brenchley, reluctantly agreed to Tony Palmer’s resolve, despite having reservations that the latter’s reputation, based upon recent ride leads, would be lumpy and/or too fast. The compromise of cycling through Offham, Plaxtol Dunk’s Green, and Shipbourne to Penhurst and returning back towards Tonbridge was reached with modest enthusiasm. As the group headed further eastwards the cloud began to break up and the sun’s rays helped to warm exposed arms. The road was closed at Charcott, so the group followed a diversion along Compasses Road and then along B2027 to turn left into Moorden Lane (as planned), which bypassed Chiddingstone Causeway. The group cycled through the Penshurst estate road and then turned left to reach Leigh. At Powder Mill Lane, Tony’s memory did not fail him, fortunately, as the group cycled along metalled footpaths and through Haysden Country Park to reach Barden Road. Bob then had one of those “I know where I am now” moments and agreed to lead the group through the park along River Walk, which avoided cycling up Tonbridge High Street. As the group reached the Old Fire Station at midday, after 23 miles, the sun was now shining brightly and several tummies were rumbling fluently. After lapping up the sun and their sustenance, the group returned back ,with Tony resuming the lead along the narrow lanes and footpaths behind Tonbridge School. His memory regressed to its normal (imperfect) state in Dry Hill Park Road, so Ian volunteered to navigate through Higham Wood in order to avoid riding too far along the A26 to get to Three Elm Lane. The group passed through Golden Green and Hadlow to then turn left up Mathews Lane and on to West Peckham and Mereworth. There was only one complaint with the ride of 40.1 miles at 13.1 mph average with an elevation gain of 1,950 feet.
A nice morning greeted 16 riders,some of whom had cycled quite distances to the start,ie Ian Alcock,and Ian Johnson. Due to some riders having to get back early,it was decided to take a leisurely ,short ride to Lullingstone Country Park. With Richard leading mainly,the route was quite traditional along the Pilgrims Way,before Heaverham and Otford. Thereafter to get a bit more miles in,the ride looped to Dunton Green,before returning to Shoreham and the break,and the chance to sit outside in the sunshine.The return went to Eynsford where Ian A peeled off to return to Dartford,and everyone else started the longish haul up Knatts Valley,before the descent back onto the Pilgrims Way and finish. Tony Palmer asked if anyone wished to join him for a climb up Vigo Hill,but met with a very muted response so off he went alone,and later reported that he did it without getting off. Well done Tony.The actual ride was only 25.5 Miles at a moderate 12.5 mph average with about 1780 feet ascents,without any incidents.
Tony introduced a new Midweekers ride that saw 13 riders start from Staplehurst,on an initial chilly morning. Setting quite a pace,the route went out to Frittenden,towards Biddenden and onto Rolvenden and the country lanes past Rolvenden Layne.As the Group was approaching Wittersham Road railway level crossing,the barrier gate was about to shut.The crossing keeper saw the riders through,who then stopped to watch the steam train pass ,and an opportunity for Midweekers photos (Thankyou Ian and Keith)..With the weather starting to warm up nicely,Tony kept to the quiet lanes of the Sussex borders to Ebony and the Reading Street garden centre for the break.The return continued the undulating journey,heading up towards Tenterden,then High Halden,again along lovely quiet lanes.On passing Headcorn Aerodrome,the riders were treated to the site of numerous parachutist dropping(difficult to look up to much as easy to fall off).,before the final leg through Watermans Quarter and Sinkhurst Green to the finish.A distance of 43.5 miles at about 15 mph average.Great ride ,Thankyou Tony.
After the horrendous rain of the previous day,8 riders turned up at Lenham,and with the prospect of country lanes being debris strewn,it was decided to stay where possible on “better” roads. Richard led and headed off to Ashford by going through Platts Heath and Monday Bois to Great Chart. .Just before arriving at the Old Foundry Cafe,Ralph got the only puncture,and walked to the stop.Sarah,who finally finished work this week,insisted on buying everyone’s breakfast.A lovely thought.Thankyou Sarah. Unfortunately most of the drinks got spilt,when an outside bench almost upturned,due to 3 people sitting on one side and no one on the other side.The cafe staff were great,and provided refills free of charge..The return went through Hothfield and Westwell and for some reason was far more puddly,with lake type areas around Charing Heath resulting in virtually everyone’s shoes getting waterlogged.(except Ralph ,who was sensible enough to wear over shoes).It was then finally to Charing Heath ,back to Lenham.A distance of 34 miles at 13 mph average.