A very clear morning,and 18riders started off from Chestnut Street with Tony Munn leading ,intending to head to Sheppey.Unfortunately,early on Tony’s front tyre went off with a bang,and he decided to call it a day,and with great buddy Gary,they cycled the short distance back to the start.Thankyou Gary.Richard then took over ,and set off for Queenborough.On arrival The Klondike cafe was being bulldozed for a new housing estate,but the leader had an idea that it had located to Halfway,so they headed there and enjoyed the much improved cafe.Getting out again,taking the cycle path to Barton Point and a glimpse of the Thames at Minster Leas,before heading inland. Due to an accident elsewhere on the Island,the traffic was horrendous,but fortunately the joys of cycling helped the riders through quicker than motorists.The remaining route via Iwade was uneventful until the end,when it was found that 3 riders cars had sustained wing mirror damage,allegedly caused by a speeding young motorist. A distance of 33 Miles at about 13 mph average.
17 riders left the King and Queen East Malling on a perfect autumnal day sunny, light winds with lovely autumnal colours from the trees. The route took the group on a westerly track out to Offham and Crouch before dropping down to Hadlow. They continued to East Peckham where a loop was added to take them into Paddock Wood via Laddingford. Nice to see four ex D members at the cafe Ian, Dave, John and Chris. The return trip went via Collier Street and Yalding where the best was saved to last, climbs up Kenwood ,Hunt Street and Malling Road at Teston to The North Pole. Then all downhill to East Malling, Job done !!! Distance 37 miles Average Speed 14 mph 1600 ft climb
A dull and drizzly start which didn’t improve much all morning,awaited 10 riders at Wrotham.Richard led and headed to Caffe Cino at Swanley.The outward route took the group up the A20 and on to Ash,Hartley and Longfield . From there it climbed to Horton Kirby and Sutton at Hone before arriving st the break,where the service and value were good. A fairly traditional return ,going initially through Crockenhill,and the lovely descent to the very picturesque village of Eynsford,and subsequent climb through Knatts Valley .before another downhill to Kemsing and the Pilgrims Way to Wrotham,without any incidents. A distance of 28 miles at 13 mph average.
On a really wonderful sunny and warm morning,the ride was delayed quite a bit ,due to members being held up on the M2 following an accident. Eventually ,23 riders assembled at Reculver and Russell had a great route planned going around the Thanet coastline. It went out initially along the Viking Trail ,Fortunately without the usual strong winds,and going along the concrete off road section to Margate and then on to Broadstairs ,where tourists were sat out enjoying the sun. Russell organised the stop at Wetherspoons at Ramsgate.A really great stop.Lisa and Sarah took the opportunity to go swimming,they said it was warm,but no one believed them.Following the break,the ride continued on past Pegwell Bay,keeping to the pleasant cycle paths all the way to stunning Sandwich.From there the route started inland ,taking in the lovely countryside and lanes and a brief stop at Richborough Fort,before going through the quiet villages of Westmarsh and Preston to Grove Ferry,before the final leg to Chislet and Reculver.A distance of 44 Miles at 12 mph average A great ride ,Thankyou Russell for your efforts.
Ralph offered to take the lead from Lenham,and with a group of 16, which included Brian back for his first ride on his new bike,following his accident whizzed off ,leaving some in his wake on a ride out to Ham Street.Taking quiet lanes ,the route took in lovely countryside with Autumnal coloured trees,to Charing,with the group having to pedal quite hard,so Ralph gererously dropped the pace a bit.It was then out to Westwell,Bethersden and Shadoxhurst to Wyevale Garden Centre,Ham Street. Many of the more senior riders took advantage of the over 60’s cheaper menu.and possibly some of the younger ones may have told little fibs!. Fully refreshed,Ralph kept the pace down a bit on the return,which contained a few more lumps ,via Warehorne Kenardington,and Pluckley back to Lenham,without incident. A distance of 46 Miles at 14.5 mph and about 2000 ft ascents. .Great ride,Thankyou Ralph.”The Rocket”.
After the 3 previous wet Wednesday’s,17 riders turned up at Yalding in almost barmy September sunshine. Ray had to drop off immediately when he realised he hadn’t brought the right shoes, and then Ian Johnson led a classic route out to Chiddingstone castle,with a slight detour along Nizels Lane .On arrival it was already busy with a large group of cyclists employees of the cycle clothing company Rapha,on an Away day.They were quickly joined by dozens more,and bikes were strewn everywhere.There were only 3 members of staff,but they coped fantastically well.The return very much took the usual route,via Leigh and Tonbridge,without incident,except for one white van man at Hildenborough deciding that he had been held up too long and squirted water,or windscreen wash was over riders he overtook. A total distance of 37 Miles at a pacy 14.7 mph average. Thankyou Ian.great ride.
A really blustery day welcomed 16 riders at Chestnut Street,including Andy T.V who had cycled from home! and a welcome back to Lisa following her health lay off. Richard led and with the wind almost mainly behind ,took a longish loop out to Sheppey. Going on the Sheppey Way was a delight ,with strava pb’s.then onto the esplanade at Minster on sea,via Barton’s Point.Continuing on back roads it was then to the break at The Old Mill cafe,outside Stanford Hill prison .Service was really impressive,and several riders took the opportunity to visit the Aviation museum ,which was really interesting.There was a bit of apprehension about the return,as it was completely into very strong head and cross winds staying to the main roads,although quicker was slightly unnerving ,but thankfully without incident via the old A249 and Bobbing. A distance of 36 Miles at about 13 mph. Longer for Andy TV cycling back to Ditton. ♀️
What is it about the weather on Wednesday’s lately.For the third week running it was wet and miserable. However,that didn’t stop 15,some of who rode considerable distances to an East Malling start.It was initially decided to head to Hawley garden centre,and with Richard leading the route went to Offham and Crouch to Basted,where Phil Gerry got the first of the days punctures. As always good old Gary stepped in to help. Suitably fixed the ride continued out to Ightham and the Pilgrims Way,where Phil Harvey got the first of his three punctures,so the ride was held up somewhat.It was then the drag up Terry’s Lodge Hill,with a decision made to change the break for the Hollyville cafe at West Kingsdown. It was quite busy and with our large numbers putting pressure on the staff with mainly cooked food it was a pretty long break.However it did give Phil the chance to repair the second puncture in the warmth of the cafe,again with Gary’s expertise.Eventually it was back on the road and into the rain again.The return proved a bit lumpy,going down to Fawkham and up again to get to Ridley,where the puncture devil descended again on Phil’s rear tyre,by which time he had run out of inner tubes but Tony Palmer was on hand with a spare.Thanks again Gary.With time really pressing on,the route was shortened a bit,by going through Culverstone Green,down Vigo Hill and back to the start,via Ryarsh and Birling.A distance of 33 Miles at 13 mph average.Just seemed longer!
Another morning where it would not have taken much to cancel,but 10 well dressed up riders turned up at Wrotham. Russell took the wheel and his initial idea was a stop at the cyclo cafe Westerham,but a phone call by him changed things when it was closed for the day. So Plan B was a stop at Chartwell.and with water splashing the Group headed off . It was pretty much hills all the way.The route went to Crouch and up to Plaxtol and Stone Street,on to Bitchets Green and the back of Knole Park ,then the climb of Toys Hill,where on better days the views are lovely. A welcome break at Chartwell,even managing to sit outside. Russ then continued the circular route,by going through Westerham,and onto Otford.Unfortunately the Pilgrims Way was closed towards Kemsing,but with no one working they got through okay.It was then onto the final leg to Wrotham.A distance of 33.4 miles with 2387 ft ascents.Great ride, thanks Russ.
There are three clichés to describe todays ride WET, WET, WET. Eight brave souls left Ham Street in slight drizzle for a tour of the Marsh via Dymchurch, Dungeness and Rye. When we reached the sea wall near Dymchurch the drizzle had become a downpour. As we sheltered under a bus stop in Dymchurch we watched miniature Niagara falls pouring off guttering. Continuing our ride and guided by the flashing lights and foghorn of the Dungeness lighthouse we found the Railway café at Dungeness. After several hot drinks supplemented by curry chips, hot pies and anything else hot, along with frequent visits to the loo to use the hot air dryer a decision was made to shorten the ride. After convincing the staff that we were not incontinent, great pools of water under our table, we headed home via Lydd, Brenzett and Ivychurch to a dry Ham Street!!!! 39 miles average speed 13.2 mph