Reports submitted by the Midweekers ride leaders. 

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  • 19/01/2022 16:26 | Anonymous member

    An overall turnout of 26,most of whom started at Aylesford and some joining on route, including Brigitte,who had only got home at 9.30 am following a long flight from Thailand,and was feeling the cold. Colin Shea arranged the route and ride to Pittlands Lakes,near Paddock Wood. With such numbers,it was split into 3 bubbles,with Colin,Jonathan E and Mike taking the leads. A lumpy outward bound up to Coxheath and then on the flat through Chainhurst and Marden to the break. Jonathan’s faster group arrived first ,and was able to get their orders before the other 2 groups,and  then able to leave before most of the others had been served. A pleasant return via Yalding and Wateringbury,with riders dropping off,and the only incident was Gary getting a puncture near the end. A distance of 35 miles and 1400 ft ascents.

  • 12/01/2022 17:53 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A sunny, clear blue sky and crisp morning welcomed 19 riders for Richard V's planned ride to Swanley a substitute destination as Sundridge Garden Centre was closed.  Welcome to Jonathan Leeson, a new member of the group.  Double cafes arranged Oaks Cafe, Manse Parade and TipTop Cafe, Station Road, Swanley.  Tony Palmer leading the 'Breakaway' only for three of them to be caught by Richard's 'Peloton' when Jonathan E took a puncture for the team.  A great route with many new roads with lots of downhills to repay us for the iniitial climb up Wrotham Hill leading us through Fawkham Green, Longfield and South Darenth.  Negotiating a tight gap between an on coming truck Steve F was assaulted by a hedge leaping out at him and ripping his new leggings.  Well nourished from our Swanley cafe stops it was a gentle climb to Crockenhill then a long descent to Eynsford with some small groups of cyclists meeting the challenge of their long climb in the oppoosite direction.  The slow ascent of an unusually quite Knatt's Valley due to a road closure through which we were able to pass through with the water engineers allowing us to cross their newly dug trench.  All arriving back at Wrotham by 2.00 after a very enjoyable 30 mile, 2000 feet ascent ride at a good pace.  A really great route and ride - thanks Richard.

  • 05/01/2022 20:14 | Anonymous member

    Russell had arranged an Away Day ,but 17 other Midweeker riders decided to stay local, and Tony Munn graciously offered to lead from East Malling to Grays cafe, Brenchley. Thankfully an uneventful ride, but with the sun so low in the sky,it was almost blinding on occasions. The  cafe was extremely busy and the service was eternal  unfortunately to such an extent that those who had finished  eating left before some had been served. A distance of 34 miles on a very sunny but cold day.

  • 05/01/2022 19:30 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Very cold but clear blue skies for our Viking Trail coastal ride planned and led by Russell.   A little confusion with the parking spot and some traffic issues led to a delayed start with 12 meeting up at Reculver Towers,  Little did they know that by the end of the ride they would be the Dirty Dozen.  A wind assisted stunningly beautiful ride along the traffic free sea wall to Minnis Bay then around the coast to Botany Bay (a top 10 beach in the UK), North Foreland and Broadstairs to Ramsgate.  Too early for a break there so onward to Sandwich where Lisa introduced us to a fantastic new cafe stop, The Drill Hall on the quay.  Return trip was shorter passing Richborough Castle and Grove Ferry.  Having crossed the Thanet Way we were faced with a challenge as a railway bridge on our route was closed.  Tony Palmer consulted his OS map and proposed a solution - a 'public bridal way which might be a bit muddy'.  Muddy it was completely clogging Mike's wheels to their mudguards, the downside of mudguards.  Eventually emerging from our Cyclo Cross we chose a road route back to the start.  Admirably all declared they thoroughly enjoyed it with no recriminations for the muddy challenge although when bike cleaning later there may well have been some. 43 miles at an overall modest pace.

  • 29/12/2021 17:17 | Anonymous member

    The last ride of 2021,in what has been a very successful set of 39 rides since opening from lockdown,mainly thanks to Russell for his great organisation,which is extremely appreciated. It was a Heart of Kent,Golf Club start on a very dank,drizzly but  mild morning with 18 riders,welcoming Graham and Josh( Russell’s son). Maria Marchesini volunteered to lead 9 for the first time,with several of her B + buddies for a 50 miler. Russell opted to lead a shorter 35 mile one,with both groups stopping at Silcocks Farm Shop, St Michaels for the break.A lumpy journey out ,through puddles galore,with Russell and Jo having gearing problems,going through Frittenden, Sissinghurst, Sandhurst and Rolvenden to the stop.With slightly brightening skies, the return for both groups was flatter,with Russell taking a fairly direct route avoiding the main roads,and Maria’s group carrying on to Woodchurch ,Shadoxhurst and Bethersden to the finish without incident.

  • 22/12/2021 20:04 | Anonymous member

    A very cold, frosty but sunny morning welcomed 14 shivering riders, including Mr and Mrs Santa ( Steve and Jo) at Lenham.  Russell led the route out to The Old  Foundry cafe,  Ashford.  A lovely country laned route with white frosted fields passing through Pluckley to Bethersden.  A good value break with most still opting  to sit outside. It was soon on the road again, with Richard V getting a puncture, but  helped by John, Tony M and Mark. The others carried on to Charing just before which Russell also succumbed to the villainy of the puncture devil which with thanks to Mike ,Steve and Bob for their help was soon sorted.  At the bottom of Charing Hill Mike Lambourne’s derailleur drop out snapped and ended his ride.  Everyone carried on with Mike remaining in the village shivering as the promised cafe had closed up. Russell returned to Lenham and went to collect Mike with his car.  When Tony got home by car  he then found he had not escaped either, finding two flat bike tyres.  Other than that it was a lovely ride of 34 miles.

  • 15/12/2021 18:54 | Anonymous member

    A group of 27 congested the car park at East Malling, and the organiser Tony Munn had the job of sorting out the bubbles. He offered to lead one, Tony Palmer also took a faster group and Richard V, led the remainder. All with 9 each. The weather was dry and mild, and each set stayed clear of others. Tony M chose a lovely route out to Rochester City Centre ,then looped back to two cafe stops at Snodland ,where his and RV’s sat outside the Pavilion cafe, and Tony P took his to the newly opened Mood Lift cafe in the village.It was then out again by going out to Wrotham before returning to East Malling. A distance of 33 miles.  Tony P later reported that “No accidents,no punctures or aggressive drivers, “‘Tis the season to be jolly” They enjoyed the Mood Lift cafe,with excellent coffee,snack and cakes.Recommending the apricot and almond frangipani..

  • 09/12/2021 10:00 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Pessimistic weather forecasts reduced our numbers from last week's record of 27.  The forecast and the attraction of a more local start for many resulted in just 6 opting for the planned Hothfield to New Romney ride with 8 choosing an East Malling start for a ride kindly lead by Tony Munn to Posh Nosh.  Jo and Lisa (our Club Woman of the Year) cycled in from Maidstone to join John Gibbons, Jonathan Engwell, Mike Lambourne and Russell at Hothfield.  With no rain and only moderate winds we took an urban route exploring the cycle paths of south Ashford to join a well tried and tested route to Stone Cross and Bilsington where Jo left us to short circuit our route to get back in time for her daughter's nativity play.  Down to a now Famous Five we traversed the marsh to get to Dymchurch where we were treated to blue skies for our seawall ride to New Romney and a great cafe stop at the Coach House Coffee Shop.  Our return had Lisa leaving us at Ivychurch and just 4 returning to Hothfield via Ruckinge and Hamstreet.  Remarkably no rain or floods to contend with; just proves you should not be put off by weather forecasts.  43 miles at an average of 13 mph.

  • 09/12/2021 09:53 | Anonymous member

    In order to stay local,and with a poor weather forecast Richard V suggested a start from East Malling,whilst other Midweeker members decided to go with the scheduled Hothfield ride. As it turned out ,the weather turned out much better than expected. However, Tony M offered to lead from East  Malling,starting off with 6, but later joined by 2 others at Wateringbury. From there it was a nice route out to Top Nosh cafe at Paddock Wood via Brenchley.An uneventful return taking in Mathews Lane,Mereworth before most of the group dropped off at various stages towards the the finish. A distance of 33 miles at  12.5 mph average.

  • 01/12/2021 16:21 | Anonymous member

    Ths first official  day of winter didn’t deter a gathering of 27 at East Malling. With such a big group,it had already been decided to split them into 3. Tony P set off with 11, whilst  Russell led 8, and Richard V a further 8 in the direction of Paddock Wood. Russell had pre phoned Pittlands Lakes cafe,who were happy to take around 20, so Tony’s and Russells’ groups made their way there, via Offham, Crouch and Govers Hill, before the flatter section of  Golden Green and Tudeley. They were very well catered for, and spent time for a photo  on Santa’s sleigh at the cafe. Due to the numbers,after taking a very similar route, Richard opted for a quieter stop at Top Nosh cafe in Paddock Wood, which is a firm favourite for value and good grub. All 3 groups then made their way back individually ,via Yalding and Barming ,with several riders dropping off on route. A distance of 36 miles and 1800 ft ascents at various speeds

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