Tony Palmer led a group of four riders on a humid morning from Staplehurst Bell Lane along the Goudhurst Road towards Glassenbury. While feeling the heat climbing up to the A262 there were patchy clouds around to provide momentary respite from the glaring sun. At Benenden Jules bailed out because she was feeling tired and her broken wrist did not make riding comfortable. The remaining amigos travelled on through Rolvenden, Wittersham and Iden to then turn right into Deadman’s Lane just before Rye. Having encountered some irate and impatient motorists in the dark and shady lane the three survivors navigated their way around Rye’s fortifications to seek sanctuary in Café Zara. After lunch Derek decided to ride home directly to Northiam having ridden in to Staplehurst earlier. He needs to get in as many miles as possible for his Lands End to John O’Groats challenge. Jonathan and Tony were greeted by a cloud of gnats on their return along the Military Road, which made any meaningful discussion impossible. In silence, covered in little black beasts, they climbed Knock Hill to reach Stone in Oxney where normal dialogue was able to resume. The pair rode at a steady pace up the B2080, along the Cranbrook Road and through Frittenden’s lanes to reach the car park just before 2:30PM.
Total distance of 48.7 miles at 14.9 mph average with an ascent of 2489 feet.