A really pleasant morning greeted 11 riders at Chestnut Street,with Andy T. V having ridden to the start from Ditton. Russell graciously took the lead yet again, and with 2 well distanced groups headed off for a break at Seasalter. A brisk outward bound took the group through Rodmersham, Bapchild and Faversham, then after Graveney to the Forget Me Not cafe. With the current restrictions the group had to eat outside on the sea wall opposite,which in fact turned out to be very nice. Russell then started off again ,tracing back to Faversham, before Ospringe Kingsdown and Tunstall before arriving back at Chestnut Street,without incident (,and Andy rode home) . A distance of 36 miles at about 13.4 mph and 550 metres ascents.
A great turnout of 12 SFACC members and a guest at the King & Queen for our planned ride to Dunorlan Park. Despite the overnight storms and continuing windy conditions we set off in 3 distinct bubbles, each having its own leader with route and a back marker. A previously tried and tested route took us to West Malling, Offham, Comp and Crouch. On approaching Tonbridge we met the challenge of the A2014 roundabout to get us on to the celebrated A21 traffic free cycle route to Pembury. Just before the hospital we took the bridleway across the A21 to be met by our only fallen tree of the day in Robingate Wood. Cycling along the A264 segregated cycle path to get to our sunny detsination of Dunorlan Park. A socially distanced gathering enjoying our take-aways refuelled us for a walk through the park around the lake to exit on Hall's Hole Road for an undulating back lane ride into Pembury. Back through Brenchley and Yalding losing a few riders seeking their direct routes home at Wateringbury. 37 miles, 2600 feet at ban average of 11.8 mph.
Route on Strava
Despite a really rainy morning,9 riders ventured to Wrotham,for a ride to Biggin Hill airfield cafe,with Russell leading. A brisk outward bound route with 2 bubble groups ,took them along the Pilgrims Way,through Otford then the main climb of the day up Brasted Hill ,with plenty of soaked gravel to contend with. It continued with the ups and down around Cudham before reaching The Lookout cafe at the airfield,with low mist making it impossible to watch planes once they had taken off. Due to coronavirus restrictions,the group was required to refresh outside ,with the rain making the beans on toast very soggy . It was decided due to the heavy rain,to take a more direct return,by going down Westerham Hill,with brakes pulled up tightly on the wet surfaces and vehicles speeding by. It was a relief to get back onto the quieter Pilgrims Way ,then Dunton Green ,Otford and the bridle way to Heaverham before getting back to Wrotham,thoroughly soaked,but thankfully without any incidents or punctures. Some of the riders then had the extra few miles to ride back home. A distance of 34 miles and 2300 ft ascents.
The first sanctioned Midweekers club ride since lockdown, and Russell organised an away day ride. On an extremely hot day, five riders drove to Hawkhurst, but then decided to cut the ride a bit shorter ,so drove again to Staplecross,in Sussex and started the ride. Going out through quite hilly country lanes,it became quite challenging even before the slightly cooler breezes of the coast at Hastings and a stroll onto the pier. It was then onto the promenade through to Bexhill for a beach side cafe stop. After ,Russell led onto NCR2 off-road to Pevensey,where at the end of the path,one of the riders had the misfortune to collide with a low bollard,fortunately only sustaining slight injury,but scratches etc to his carbon framed bike. Inevitably some hills then had to be climbed on the return,with even hotter weather,but all returned safely,tired and parched back to Staplecross,and the luxury of air conditioned cars. At distance of only 33 miles,and 2000 ft ascents,which was more than enough on the day. Thanks Russ for a great route.
Another strong turnout of 18 riders on a bright, breezy, and mild day and great to have Ralph out again on a midweek ride. The 18 became 19 when Tony Palmer, free of dog duties, caught up the main bunch on Long Mill Lane just prior to a major road flood causing us to do a brief detour. The climbing started up to Plaxtol and the route remained pretty lumpy all the way to the Teal cafe. Service and food were up to usual standards.
The route home was notable for David's saddle snapping so he pretty much stood in the pedals the whole way - some feat! The climbs of Gover Hill and Butchers Lane gave the lungs a good blow as usual and we returned to East Malling in good time after miraculously suffering no punctures on the ride. My stats were 31 miles at an average speed of 12.6mph and 2,650ft of ascents.
A good turnout of 17 ,with Richard leading left Wrotham on a dull morning for a stop at Beeches nursery and cafe at FourElms. A lumpy route took them out to Ivy Hatch and Stone Street, then the lovely descent of Carters Hill to the flat of Under River,and past Chiddingstone to the cafe. Fortunately another large group of cyclists were just leaving, and all our group was very impressed with the total refurbishment and quality of service,and will certainly be going there in the future. With rain threatening, Richard led off again, initially on the flat to Leigh and Hildenborough, where the puncture devil struck twice in a short distance with the groups separated. Tony Palmer later took the lead with a group, whilst Emma and Angie set too with expertise to mend Emma’s ,with arrangements to all meet up again at the finish. Inevitably,there had to be a hill to get up beforehand,and everyone managed Mote Road passing Ightham Mote to Ivy Hatch again with a few heavy gasps. By coincidence, both groups met up again and got back to Wrotham together with the rain falling quite heavily. A distance of 33.5 miles at about 12.5 mph and 2320 ft ascents.
A slightly delayed start at Ditton Community Centre,with a puncture repair,and most riders touring around the car park to keep warm on a dry but cold windy morning. Richard then led a group of 17 ,mainly directly into that westerly wind and headed to Poult Wood Golf Club for the break. The route was fairly traditional ,going out via Offham, Crouch and Dunks Green. The staff looked after the group well, and provided a pleasant break. .Hoping that the wind had not changed direction, Richard then led up to Plaxtol and fairly grotty country lanes to Ightham .and on to Wrotham and Birling before returning to Ditton without any incidents. A distance of 33.5 miles at a sedate 12.5 mph and 2326 ft ascents.
A sunny and dry start for the 16 setting off from Dickley Lane. Collecting Daniel at Lenham, a puncture on Windmill Hill and Matthew at Smarden. 18 of us descending on the Footprints Cafe at the Singleton Environmental Centre having escaped flooded roads and having negotiated some unnecessary road closures. Our own meeting room reserved for us we considered an impromptu extraordinary general meeting before being efficiently served and fed. Two bikes got the sulks whilst we were in the warm and deflated a tyre each. One puncture fixed in record time (watch out Gary - Mick is outsmarting you!) left a first group heading home in the drizzle through Pluckley and Charing Heath to reach Dickley Lane by 14:30. The second group down to four suffered another two punctures leaving them getting back after 15:00. A great ride although not without some challenges. 36 miles at an average of 13 mph with 1600 feet of ascents.
Once again the sun shone in between many rainy days, and 16 all male riders started off from Yalding Station with Richard leading. An uneventful route via Marden to Grays cafe at Brenchley. Although a lengthy stop due to the numbers ,they coped very well and offered good value. On the return, Martin a new member’s chain snapped,and despite the Groups concerted efforts they were unable to fix it properly, Martin then left the group and walked with the bike to the cycle shop in Paddock Wood ,where it was fixed . For everyone else it was a flat ride back to Yalding via Golden Green and East Peckham. A distance of 30 miles at 13 mph average.
A pleasant sunny morning welcomed 14 riders to Yalding. Richard offered to lead and took a very looping route to Tonbridge, via Marden,Paddock Wood and Tudeley, They arrived just in time at Wetherspoons to take advantage of the breakfast menus,which was as good as ever. Getting back out after, and a shorter homeward bound route was equally uneventful via Poult Wood and East Peckham. A distance of 34 miles at about 13 mph average.
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