Five riders set off from Bell Lane on a bright sunny but cold morning towards Frittenden. With Tony Palmer leading, the group decided to keep to busier roads in order to avoid the risk of ice in enclosed tree-lined narrow lanes. The group, however, encountered the occasional patch of ice and slush along the roads through Biddenden and along Tenterden Road around Parkgate. The group took full advantage of the stiff easterly chilly breeze at Tenterden by turning right along the A28 towards Rolvenden. The downhill section through Rolvenden Layne, passing Wittersham Road Station, enabled the group to progress at a steady pace into the easterly headwind.
The wind became more noticeable as the group headed through Wittersham and down across the the Isle of Oxney. After 22 miles the café offered welcome respite from the biting wind. The huge cheese scones in the café proved irresistible to all riders. Gary managed to devour two!
The long climb up the B2080 towards Tenterden soon warmed up the riders; however, the short-cut along the lane past Finchden Manor was not a good idea, as there were many patches of ice from several overflowing streams. The flat roads on the return through High Halden, Smarden and Headcorn were much safer and also quicker with the strong tailwind.
Distance 43.7miles, 1772ft elevation gain at 14.1mph average.