More like January weather than April,but Tony M led with Mick,Dave Law and Richard V, for a trouble free ride to Otford via,Crouch and Wrotham..The break saw the group sitting on a bench outside the church,and realising how busy traffic wise the picturesque village was. Tony then continued back through St Cleres Estate,and Trottiscliffe.A distance of 36 miles,avoiding the rainy forecast.
After some debate about the weather Jo, (welcome to a new member) Jill and Russell lead by Mike left Mote Park for Sittingbourne. The aim was to get there and have a break before the rain set in. A route via the pilgrims way was chosen, a quick sprint up Hollingbourne Hill ( we passed a jogger!) and a run down all the way to Sittingbourne Centre where Greggs provided the refreshments. Suitably refreshed we headed back via the gentle gradient of Warren Lane to Boxley Hill. It was light rain at this point, Jill needing a picture of cycling in the rain for a family challenge we had to empty our water bottles over Jill for the family photo! It then rained a little heavier so we diverted from the original route to see Russell home. He made it safe and sound. Stats 32miles 12mph. 2100 feet no incidents. Good company good ride
Richard V, led out with a group of 6 from Ditton,with a group of 6. An uneventful route took them out to Tonbridge,via, West Malling,Plaxtol and Tudeley for the break sitting on a wall beside the River Medway. It was then trying to warm up again,for the return via,Hadlow,through Kings Hill estate to the finish.A distance of 35.5 miles,without incident
On the first Saturday group ride since lockdown 5 members left Ditton for Camer Park. A breezy cold day saw the group ride out via Wouldham and Cuxton. Surprisingly there was no queue at the cafe at Camer Park,so the group were soon on the return via Vigo. Distance 33 miles Average speed 11.7 mph 1860 ft climb.
On the first Saturday out since lockdown the Yalding 1 group of 6 headed for Goudhurst. Mick, Ange, Jill, Jim and Dave lead by Mike followed a flattish route via Hunton, Staplehurst, Headcorn, Frittenden, Four Wents and the Bakery at Goudhurst. 29.2 miles. The group sat by the pond enjoying their break and watching the fountain as planned. The sun came out very briefly to remind us of what might have been on this very very cold day. A good pace was set on the return leg via Horsmonden, Claygate, Laddingford to Yalding. Stats: 41miles, 13.5mph no punctures, a way-ward saddle that needed correcting! Roll on next week
A total of 19 riders elected to join 4 combined joint groups starts,which had to be organised to ensure COVID regulations. Neal took a group of 6, from the main car park in Snodland and set off to Borough Green for a ride of 27.5 miles and succumbed to the only puncture of the day. Angie started from Brooklands Lakes with 5 and went to Tonbridge. Their ride endured several mechanicals,including a broken chain link..The 3rd Snodland Ride only had Tony M and Mark ,and they left from the railway station and went to Sally’s Emporium,Otford for an expensive takeaway and an overall distance of 32 miles and 2243 ft ascents. The last alternative ride went from Mote Park,with Russell leading with his 5 others. It went without incident,except everyone getting their boots soaked going through the flooded streams getting out of the park. The stop was a takeaway at Headcorn aerodrome,with an overall distance of 35 miles and about 1600 ft climbs.
Having to conform to COVID restrictions and the popularity of group riding, it became necessary to divide the ride starts with two groups of 6. Nick De Smith started off from Lenham,and headed for their break outside at Footprints cafe,Singleton ,covering a final distance of 38 miles and 1640 ft ascents. Richard V led the alternative group from East Malling,and without any incidents,except Heather almost ending up in a hedge when she took her eyes off the road for a second. Everyone seems to be getting used to having to take the break outside of cafes these days, and the benches in Hadlow were welcomed ,where most enjoyed their bacon rolls ,care of Hadlow bakery takeaway. A distance of 29 miles in total at about 12 mph average.
Trying yet again to comply with self distancing restrictions,two small groups set off from different parts of Yalding with Neal leading one group of 4 and Bob another of 4. Unfortunately the predicted heavy rain forecast proved very accurate with a deluge. Neal still managed to complete the ride despite the awful conditions,completing a distance of 37 miles and 1550 ft ascents at 12.5 mph average. Bob intended to go to Penshurst,but decided to forego the break,and 2 caught the train back to Tonbridge whilst Bob and Sarah swam their way back to Yalding. A distance of 33 miles ,975 ft ascents at 11.5 mph average.
A joint group ride always attracts numerous riders, and so 3 rides were arranged from different places. on an extremely windy day, Russell set off with a group of 5 from Hothfield Common for a break at Bakery 34 in New Romney High Street. A challenging head wind for most of the way out,but a lot easier on the return. A distance of 42 miles and about 12.5 mph and 1130 ft ascents. Richard volunteered to lead another bubble of 6, and opted for a start at the Riverside Country Park,Lower Rainham,again wind buffeted and headed to The Swan cafe Faversham.,an overall distance of 46 miles,again about 12.5 mph average and 2000 ft ascents. On route they very briefly met up with Jo Ellesmere and her group of 6 , near Faversham ,on route to Brogdale. Jo had the toughest ride,having started at Allington and taking in some big hills on route.An overall distance of 48 miles and 3000 ft ascents. Fortunately none of the rides had any disrupted incidents,despite the very challenging winds.
Trying to stay socially distance was a real challenge at the Headcorn start,with at least 5 groups assembling there. Russell took his bubble of 4 and Richard left it a few minutes and then followed with a group of 5. They heading to the Footprints cafe,Singleton ,on a route via Egerton Forstal, Bethersden and Shadoxhurst. They met up again at the cafe,who had set a large room aside for them . Leaving separately ,the return was on lovely flat,dry country lanes via Great Chart,and Smarden taking slightly different routes back to Headcorn,with distances between 33 and 36 miles,,
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