B+ GROUP RIDE REPORTS

Reports submitted by the B+ Group ride leaders. 

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  • 11/11/2018 20:01 | Anonymous member
    Mark Phillipson led four riders out on a damp morning from Marden to Bethersden with the forecast of sunshine and heavy showers. The previous night’s deluge left many puddles, veneers of mud and clumps of wet leaves on the roads. After reaching Pluckley Thorn, Graham decided, with heavy clouds looming overhead, to head straight to the Greenways Garden Centre at Bethersden. The group then fell into a pattern of carrying out a series of U turns. Mark’s sat nav was low on power and he was being selective as to when he switched it on. And when he did, Mark needed to then find his way back on to his planned route. Just outside Bethersden, Mark offered the group the option of heading straight to the café at Greenways or doing a loop around Shadoxhurst and Great Chart. The unanimous decision to extend the ride soon proved misguided because the heavens opened up not more than two miles down the road. Bedraggled the group dripped their way in Greenways to meet up with Graham and the B Group nestled in café’s cosy warm environment. Still damp, and after hot sustenance, the group sped their way back in the bright sunshine to Marden with close eyes on the grey masses circling menacingly overhead. A distance of 48.7 miles at 16.0 mph average speed with elevation gain of 1,189 feet.
  • 11/11/2018 19:13 | Anonymous member
    On a chilly and bright morning, Tony Palmer led six riders on a very lumpy route from Wrotham Old London Road, via Otford and Ide Hill, to Chiddingstone Village. Tony avoided the popular Pilgrims Way by heading up the A20 towards West Kingsdown to then take, the wooded lanes of Knock Mill Lane and Tinker Pot Lane in a Westerly direction to then drop down on to the A225 via Fackenden Lane. Adrian kept up his running commentary along Rye Lane to the outskirts of Dunton Green. Adrian’s knowledge of Sevenoaks came in very handy to navigate our way around the usual Riverhead gridlock. The group escaped the madding crowd by venturing along the peaceful and gentle climb of Back Lane up to Ide Hill. Belting down Ide Hill and with a favourable wind along the B2027, through Bough Beech, the group soon reached the scheduled break.


    The baked bean connoisseurs in the group were seriously disappointed by the chef’s inability to heat their food thoroughly: their cold delicacies made three return visits to the kitchen. All to no avail, so the connoisseurs chose to abandon their energy fixes and return to the road. The sun came out on the return which vindicated Jonathan’s choice of attire while the remaining wimps had to shed their excess layers, particularly after climbing Moat Road. A distance of 37.5 miles at 13.0 mph average speed with elevation gain of 2,761 feet.
  • 30/10/2018 11:33 | Anonymous member
    Linton led a group of six riders from Aylesford to Trosley Country Park on a dry and sunny morning but contended with a stiff chilly wind from the North. Winter had finally arrived and the group needed to climb some hills to warm up quickly, particularly to thaw exposed fingers. Suitably defrosted, Adrian convinced the group to stop to admire the view of Rochester Castle and the River Medway’s mudflats while perched on the Medway Bridge with the M2 traffic coast-bound roaring close behind. The cold bitter wind encouraged the group to vacate the exposed spot promptly and head towards the quieter country lanes around Lower Higham. Following the long climb up Dean Lane to Harvel some riders’ stomachs began to rumble and Linton guided the famished few to the sanctuary of Trosley Country Park Café. Suitably refreshed, warm and comfortable it was unanimously agreed to use the direct route back by descending Vigo Hill and going through Ryarsh. A distance of 36.0 miles at 12.2 mph average speed with elevation gain of 2,267 feet.
  • 20/10/2018 18:02 | Anonymous member

    A select band of three, Linton, Tony and Phil met at Marden on a bright and sunny morning. We soon warmed up with a climb up Knowle Road to Brenchley. Crossing the busy A21 at Kippings Cross there were beautiful  autumnal colours in the woods we passed through. A good pace was maintained along the long main road through Little Bayham to our café break at Scotney castle where Linton was dismayed to find that his usual snack of a bacon sarnie was unavailable so had to settle for a cheese scone and crisps instead ! We were met at the café by Tony's wife and their lovely dog Bramble who was made B+ mascot for the day. Bramble appeared in the group photo despite not wearing a SFA jersey ! Return to Marden was via Claygate and some quiet lanes.  A total of 35 miles at 14,4 mph.

  • 17/10/2018 15:31 | Anonymous member
    Mark Phillipson led this ride out on a grey and overcast morning with rain forecast to arrive around 3:00PM. The three riders warmed up by tackling Wierton Hill and continued by dropping down on to the Lower Road at West Farleigh. After tackling the ascent at Gower Hill spots of rain started to appear from the heavens. Lacking the capabilities of divine intervention, the three damp souls sought refuge in the Weather and Worn Café in Hadlow. Suitably refreshed, and much drier, it was unanimously agreed that direct return to Marden was the best course of action, now that the heavens had ‘truly opened up’! The soggy three went as fast as lungs and legs could manage; however, a good soaking was unavoidable. A distance of 39.3 miles at 15.2 mph average speed with elevation gain of 1,463 feet.
  • 17/10/2018 15:09 | Anonymous member

    On an unexpectedly sunny and warm morning Tony Palmer and Tony Wells set out from Yalding Station towards Burwash into a brisk southerly wind. The lanes of the wooded valleys of Great Sandhurst Wood, Oxpasture Wood and Camden Wood minimised the impact of wind; however, the route was very lumpy to Wadhurst. Upon ascertaining that the Lime Tree Tea Room in Burwash was closed Plan B was invoked to break at the Greedy Goat Café in Ticehurst. The midday curfew at the Greedy Goat Café was avoided by 15 minutes.

    The return route along busier roads through Flimwell, Hartley, Goudhurst and Horsmonden, aided by a stiff tailwind, ensured that the two riders made good haste back to Yalding.

    A distance of 42.2 miles at 14.2 mph average speed with elevation gain of 2,385 feet. 


  • 06/10/2018 22:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Just a select group of 4 turned up on a cold, foggy and damp morning.  The forecast of rain later led to agreement to shorten the planned route.  A warm welcome to Angie for her first B+ ride.

    Starting off with the climb to Borden followed by the climb of Stockers Hill to Rodmersham warmed us up. Using the quiet lanes to arrive at Faversham to negotiate its streets and make our way out of town to Graveney.  A fast run to the coast with it getting noticeably colder.  Excellent service in the Forget Me Not cafe taking the option of eating inside.  Back out in the cold for a photo shoot on the coast then back wind assisted to Faversham.  Having escaped the town, not without the challenge of an unscheduled exploration of an estate, we joined NCR1 to get to Teynham and back to Rodmersham.  Retracing our route back to the start we arrived back before the rain picked up avoiding a drenching.

    36.5 miles at an average of 13.7 mph with 1750 feet of climbing.

    Route on Strava

  • 01/10/2018 08:23 | Anonymous member

    Jonathan led 4 riders out of Lenham with Keith feeling a little delicate after a visit to the pub the night before. It was another lovely sunny day with hardly any wind and it didn't take long to blow the cobwebs away. We took the roads to the south of the M20 skirting Egerton, Pluckley, and Bethersden before looping round Ashford and arriving at Smeeth via Mersham. 

    After an enjoyable stop at the Blue and White cafe we climbed gradually through Brabourne and onto Wye. From there we headed to Westwell where Tony had to make an emergency stop at the accommodating Wheel Inn - not for a pint of beer. We passed through Charing village and made our way back to Lenham via Charing Heath Rd and Lenham Heath Rd. We covered 46 miles at an average of 14.9 mph and 2,300ft of climbing through some splendid countryside.

  • 15/09/2018 20:48 | Anonymous member

    On a glorious bright and sunny day Phil Harvey led a group of six riders from Headcorn to Brogdale fruit farm on the outskirts of Faversham. After climbs at Boughton Malherbe and Hubbards Hill, quiet lanes with open views of the countryside look the group through Lenham and Painters Forstal to the café stop at Brogdale. Despite a coach party and a large group of Sittingbourne triathletes resplendent in their smart red and black club jerseys service was quick and food excellent. The return took us through Charing Heath, Pluckley and Smarden. In total, a distance of 36 miles was covered at an average speed of 14.1mph with 1844 feet of ascent.

  • 09/09/2018 18:52 | Anonymous member

    Jonathan Engwell led ten riders out on a chilly but dry day.  The gates were closed at the far end of the East Malling Research Centre, so Jonathan's ad hoc navigation skills were put to the test. Adrian peeled off at Comp Lane to leave nine riders to enjoy Jonathan's well planned route which included some new lanes. The cafe in the country park proved popular with dog owners; however, their quick service had us on our way again. Suitably fuelled several riders attempted some PBs up  Kenward Ramp and Red Hill on the return journey.

    Distance of 40.9 miles at average speed of 13.7mph average speed with elevation gain of 1966 feet.

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