Reports submitted by the B+ Group ride leaders. 

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  • 13/01/2019 21:36 | Anonymous member

    The D Groups and the B + Group all met up on an overcast by dry morning at Aylesford Station Road to offer three different routes. Tony Palmer was unable to recruit some of the D Group riders because his planned route to Penshurst Place included ascents totalling 2500+ feet. Four undeterred riders set off towards Wateringbury in a very mild temperature of 10°C which necessitated the removal of apparel after climbing Bow Hill. Adrian, Brian and Anita took full advantage of Tony’s bulk by sheltering behind him as the group headed into the strong wind on their route to Tudeley. A warm welcome to Adrian Cole who contributed significantly to the conversation while we munched our bacon baps. Suitably refreshed the group tackled the remaining hills, notably Moat Road, on their return journey.

    Distance of 48.2 miles at average speed of 13.3 mph average speed with elevation gain of 2,666 feet.

  • 05/01/2019 17:17 | Anonymous member

    The car park at Brenchley was heaving with riders looking to work off some of their Christmas stodge. Eleven left base on a cold but dry morning but this soon became ten as Darren peeled off due to a lack of recent riding. Having navigated the short stretch down the A21 we made our way to Ticehurst, passing Frant and the lumps of the A267 to Mark's Cross on the way.

    The Greedy Goat café normally closes at noon on Saturday but they stayed open for us and it was well worth the wait for our food. After leaving the café we skirted Bewl Water and made our way through Kilndown and on to Goudhurst. Riders were reasonably spread out at this point but we regrouped before the final climb up Castle Hill and back to the start, with Gary unleashed from his normal back marker duties and showing an impressive turn of pace up the climb. My stats were 35.5 miles, average speed of 13.1mph, and 2,657ft of elevation.

  • 01/01/2019 20:50 | Anonymous member
    For various reasons there were four different leaders on this ride comprising ten riders. Phil Harvey led the ride out, on a gloomy but still and dry morning, from Barming, through West Malling and Shipbourne, to Hildenborough. Paul hit a large hole at Underriver causing him to fall off and bend the cage plate on his rear derailleur. Gary’s excellent roadside assistance temporarily fixed the offending mechanism but the delay threatened Phil’s plans to get back early in order to get the Gills home game that afternoon. Tony, appreciating Phil’s unerring desire to watch the Gills, took pity and volunteered to lead the group on the return journey. All was going well until Yalding when Tony, upon hearing intermittent hissing noises, discovered a large screw stuck in his tubeless back tyre. While there were many volunteers eager to help the group did not get the tyre to sit properly on the rim. Russell then took over the lead from Tony at Kenwood Road, leaving Tony to wobble back slowly to Wateringbury. Russell then left the group at Barming Bridge so that he could cycle along the Medway towpath, as he had planned. This desertion left David to lead the group up South Street to arrive back at St Andrews Road. A distance 39.9 miles at 13.1 mph average with elevation gain of 2,152 feet.
  • 21/12/2018 18:27 | Anonymous member
    The B+ shared the start at Dickley Lane, Lenham with the D groups. As a decent morning’s weather was forecast, the turnout was excellent, with a fairly even split between the three rides. Rachel handed round the mince pies to give us an extra boost for the task ahead. We reversed the route so that we could pick up another three riders as we passed Lenham train station, so making eight in our group. The downside was a head-wind all the way out to Hartley, via Egerton, Headcorn, Frittenden and Cranbrook. Those nice people at Hartley Coffee had reserved a table for us. Brian partook in a very healthy bowl of beetroot salad, including chickpeas & onion… I decided to go even healthier with two sausage rolls, a local delicacy! Well it did come with a side of ‘mixed leaves’. Not surprisingly, but very welcome, we had a tail-wind on the return leg. Out via Benenden, Biddenden, Smarden Bell, Grafty Green, Platt’s Heath, over to Harrietsham back to Dickley. Just as we got back to the cars, it started to rain. What luck! I do like to experiment with navigating the odd ‘obscure’ lane or two, but today some said that we probably went more off-road than on! It was all to do with yesterday’s rain I’m sure. Just over 40 miles, 12.9mph average, 650m of ascent.
  • 21/12/2018 18:23 | Anonymous member
    Just like the football cliché, this cycle was a ride of two halves. Five set off from Snodland, led by Tony Palmer, on a cold day towards Swanley Village. The lanes through Cuxton, Istead Rise, Southfleet and South Darenth were dry: there was no ice but rain was forecast. While the five munched through various delicacies at the Oak Café Deli, worth visiting, the weather deteriorated with the wind increasing in strength and light rain falling. It was quite a battle heading into the wind up Knatts Valley and ascending Tinker Pot Lane was  treacherous. The thin veneer of muddy slime on the steepest parts of the hill caused the back wheels to spin: the only safe option was to walk. The raining got heavier and fingers in wet gloves became numb, which was not helpful as the group descended cautiously down Holly Hill. All were wet, bedraggled and cold but arrived safely back. A distance 43.0 miles at 12.1 mph average with elevation gain of 2,804 feet.
  • 03/12/2018 15:13 | Anonymous member

    Abandoned at 8:30AM due to wet weather conditions.

  • 27/11/2018 06:49 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A dull but dry morning for a mass meet up at Bell Lane with the D's but just a magnificent 7 for Russell's lead to Tenterden Garden Centre.  Out via Frittenden and Buckhurst along the back lanes to High Halden for a short stretch of the A262 to reach the Green and to join Cycle Route 18.  Along a quite Plurenden Lane to Great Engeham Manor and the great sweeping descent of Shadoxhurst Road into Woodchurch.  Then Appledore and on to Reading Street and the Garden Centre.  Great service and then a photo shoot with both Mr & Mrs Claus out for the first time this year and not even December yet!  It was back through Wittersham and Rolvenden to Benenden and Glassenbury.

    Kept dry, some mucky roads interspersed with some new tarmac and best of all no punctures.

    45 miles at 13.7 mph average with 1900 feet of ascent

    Route on RideWithGps

  • 20/11/2018 11:29 | Anonymous member
    The car park behind the king and Queen Inn in East Malling was packed to the gunnels with riders from the D Groups and the B+ Group. Brian Kavanagh led the B+ Group, comprising of 8 riders, on this sunny and pleasant morning out to Lullingstone. Before setting off, Brian announced, much to the rider’s relief, that we would not be tackling Vigo Hill and he had elected to use a flatter route out along the Pilgrims Way and the A225 from Otford to then turn off at Shoreham. Riders from the Redhill Cycling Club joined us at the café at Lullingstone, which was useful to obtain the customary snaps, before commencing return lumpy route. The long climb up Bower Lane ensured that we quickly warmed up again; however, the traffic jam up Tinker Pot Lane forced many riders to abandon their climb up the steep gradient. An impromptu loop around Borough Green to return via Comp Lane enabled Brian to reach the minimum B+ Group target distance. A distance 35.3 miles at 12.5 mph average with elevation gain of 2,677 feet.
  • 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.
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