Russell planned a new route ride ,and led off with 21 on a bright dry morning from Yalding.Trying to stay in 3 Groups is never too easy,especially on hills,but was maintained well,initially through Laddingford and before the climb to Brenchley. Regrouping,it was then through Matfield to Pembury,and onto the newish cycle path that runs beside the A21 dual carriageway. The path which is smooth tarmac,goes all the way to Vauxhall Lane,Tonbridge,and in the main is downhill most of the way. It was then into Tonbridge,and a great stop ,sitting in the garden of the Humphrey Bean,,Wetherspoons pub in the High Street.As always,extremely good value. Bob volunteered to lead part of the way back,and with his local knowledge the ride continued through back roads,then the pleasant “private road” of Postern Lane to the Tudeley Road,and Golden Green.Russ then retook the reins,and a lovely flat ride saw the group return to Yalding,via East Peckham.A shortish distance ride of 26.2 miles at about 12.2 mph average,with climbs of just over 1000ft. Thanks Russ and “New Leader” Bob for your efforts.
An overcast but dry morning welcomed 14 riders at Chestnut Street.It is probably not the best of ideas to head out to the Island,with a brisk northerly wind blowing,but ha ho!,and no one made any muttering,so off they went with Richard sometimes in front.Good to have Ian Alcock,join for an occasional outing,and congratulations to Brigitte for turning up,after her epic 100 miler last Sunday. The outward bound was a much used passage to Rainham and Upchurch,where they met some San fairy Ann members,who were out with a walking group,before going into a blustery head wind onto th Island,to reach the cafe stop at Barton Point,Minster.From being empty,the poor young assistant,suddenly had 14 hungry souls to look after with very little help,but the service and value was excellent.The wind really seemed to pick up,and a brief look at the rough sea at the Leas,even made Lisa think twice about taking a dip.The upside was that the return was mainly wind assisted,which enabled the flyers,Ralph,and the two Ian’s to hurtle along the Sheppey Way back to the Queensferry bridge,before regrouping.The remaining leg was a bit more sedate,through Iwade and Newington before another dash to the finish,from Danaway to Chestnut Street. A distance of 34 miles at about 14 mph for the faster ones!.without incident.
A lovely morning welcomed 19 riders at East Malling,and Gravesend seemed like a decent destination.Richard led and took a wiggly outward route,going to Aylesford,over Peters bridge and taking a little diversion along the river front path (and grass)! At Halling then to Cuxton,where there was a long hold up for a puncture,and whilst being mended ,another riders inner tube exploded.Eventually the ride then carried on up to Gold Dtreet,and past Jeskyns Country Park to the break at the Promenade cafe, overlooking the Thames at Gravesend .It was really busy,but the service was pretty quick,and sitting out in the glorious sunshine was very pleasant.After a photo,it was off again,taking a more direct route,through Denton,and up Thong Lane to Cobham,and the great descent of Cobhambury Hill,continuing to Cuxton and Halling,and the final leg through Snodland village and Larkfield to the finish.
A distance of 36 miles at about 12,.5 mph with 1900ft of ascents
Russell was good enough to arrange a ride which started at the Wincheap park and ride,Canterbury,with a decent turnout of 10 riders.Ralph initially led off through the housing estates,before getting out onto gloriously quiet country lanes,where Russell took over.On the way to Adisham a pedal on the bike Tony Palmer was riding,suddenly dropped off,with bearing problems.A temporary repair,then it was on again through Barfestone and Eythorne,where the problem occurred again,but he resiliently carried on to St Margaret’s at Cliffe,and the lovely flat wind assisted ride along the shore line path through Walmer and Deal to the break at Princes Golf Club,Sandwich.Lisa ,who had cycled directly from Canterbury ,joined the group and with Sarah,decided to go for a swim.They said the sea was warm,but no one believed them,especially when they were white as chalk afterwards.Getting to Sandwich afterwards,Tony went into a local cycle shop and they gave him an old pedal,which sorted the problem.The return leg,was mainly into a challenging westerly wind,and Russell kept almost completely to NCR1,which went past Richborough Roman Fort,onto Westmarsh and Preston to Stodmarsh,before arriving back at a busy Canterbury without incident.A much longer day than usual,covering 54 miles at a steady 12.3 mph.Thankyou Russell for a great day.
From the very start the sun shone and the 12 who turned up at Lenham were for once in shorts.A general consensus was that it would be good to go to Seasalter.Richard led on a traditional route over Hubbard’s Hill,then the gentle descent virtually all the way to Painters Forstal,wind assisted.It got busy getting through Faversham,but the quiet lanes past Graveney to the Forget Me Not cafe at Seasalter was pleasant . Sitting outside,with good service and an extra full breakfast that no one ordered was quickly devoured by Gary,Brian and Ian, after their meals. Too soon,it was back on the saddles,and Richard took the group out to Brenley corner( sorry ,as it was really busy), before diving off on pretty ,open country lanes again,that eventually reached the A251 at Sheldwich,then to Baddlesmere ,and the Faversham Road,to the top of Charing Hill.( thanks Ralph for giving the leader a break on part of the route).A quick whizz down to the A20,then turning to Charing Heath,and Sandway,where Ian and Ralph peeled off,leaving the rest to make the short trip back to Lenham.A distance of 40 miles at 14 mph average,with ascents of about 1800 ft.
A Group of 12 led by Richard left Yalding on a misty coldish morning.A flat start through Hunton to Rabbits Cross before the rise to Sutton Valence,then onto Kingswood,Platts Heath and the break at the cafe,Lenham Square..Andy was still getting over a bug,and peeled off to return home,whilst Russell joined the group.A lengthy stop,before starting off again,continuing a circular route to Boughton Malherbe then on the flat for the remainder of the ride via Headcorn,Staplehurst and Marden to Benover and the finish.A distance of 40 miles at about 13.5 mph average.
At least the day was dry,but with a very blustery wind that seemed to change direction at every turn,it was quite challenging on occasions.A Chestnut Street start,welcomed 10riders,and it was off to Faversham,with different riders taking a lead including Ralph,Richard and Russell.A ver well used outward bound route to Borden,Bredgar and Teynham. Angie succumbed to the only puncture at Deerton Street,but good old Gary was on hand as always to fix it.Whilst doing so,the majority of the group carried on to the Swan cafe at Faversham,which as always provides good value nosh. A traditional return also,to Ospringe into a headwind. Angie and her husband Mick had done an 80 miler the day before,and she was struggling,so told the group to just carry on. Russell was kind enough to stay with them to guide them back. An uneventful final leg,through Tunstall and Borden to the finish. A distance of only 30 miles,( but on occasions felt like more with the wind) at a mediocre pace of about 12.5 mph.
Suprisingly,with constant rain falling and large puddles everywhere,Four riders still turned up at East Malling,Richard,Russell,Mike Lambourne and really nice to have Ian Allcock join the group. With the weather being as it was,it was never going to be a long and challenging ride,so with Richard leading out,the journey went through West Malling,Offham,Crouch to the village cafe in High Street,Borough Green.A really nice little break,which the group hardly ever uses. With no let up from the rain,Russell led for most of the way back,via Wrotham,and the Pilgrims Way to Trottiscliffe,Ryarsh and Birling.Mike dropped off at West Malling to cycle home along the A20, and the other three took the back road to the start.A distance of only 21.2 miles,but quite enough on such a grotty day.
At last ,It felt like a bit of warmth had penetrated the endless clouds of late,and 11 still fairly well togged up riders ventured off from Wrotham in the dry and temperatures above freezing,which suited Angie and Mick who have just come back from cycling in India. Richard led and did a fairly traditional ride out to the cyclo cafe at Westerham. The route went to Otford and the lanes past Chevening,mostly against the wind,but quite sunny,There were plenty of other cycling groups around,so the hibernation looks to be coming to an end. The cafe has been altered inside to provide more seating,and apparently we were the first group to stop there this year,but hopefully the business will pick up now. The return was partly the same,but diverted to Chipsted and Dunton Green then Otford to Heaverham before returning to the Pilgrims Way .and Wrotham. A distance of 30 miles,at 13 mph average,and 1800 ft of climbing,without any problems. except having to negotiate so many darned potholes!.