A dull rainy start ,but 15 riders led by Russell ventured from Yalding Station heading to Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells. Within half a mile Gary sustained a puncture, but fortunately the weather seemed to improve which made for a pleasant ride to Horsmonden and Brenchley. .A brief detour into Sussex then led through Hawkenbury to the break. By then, sitting out on the veranda was almost too warm.,but the service was really good.. Whilst discussing the return route, Ian Johnson said that he knew of a very quiet way to get to the A 21 cycle path via Blackhurst Lane which proved popular..From there a flat return to the start by going through Golden Green and East Peckham. A distance of 30 miles at about12.5 mph average. Thankyou Russell and Ian.
A very nice morning heralded 17 riders at Chestnut Street,and Richard led out for the break at The Old Mill cafe,outside Eastchurch Prison..An uneventful outward bound through Upchurch and Lower Halstow,until the only puncture befell Chris M near the Queens Ferry Bridge. Later on,the group was forced to go off-road on the grass for a short time as the foot bridge to Barton Point was shut off. From there it was through Minster with lovely views across the Thames estuary and back lanes to the break.with excellent service provided by the In mates kitchen staff. A quicker return , back over the Bridge to Iwade and more quiet lanes to Bobbing and the finish. My thanks to James Gurney for taking the lead at times .A distance of 40 miles at about 13.8 mph average
On a wet morning 9 riders left East Malling for a ride to Paddock Wood. Immediately the group became split happily to be reunited shortly after. The. Group cycled out via Kenward as the drizzle became rain. Undaunted they continued towards Marden with a loop back to one of the favourite stops TOP NOSH on the Transfesa Estate. With the rain still falling the group left the shelter of the cafe to find Tony M had a puncture. Puncture repaired the group continued to East Peckham where a decision was made to shorten the ride as the rain continued to fall. One last incident Tony M had a snapped chain fortunately less than a mile from the start. Distance 36 miles
A pleasant morning ,and 12 mainly Club kitted riders started off from Wrotham with Richard taking the lead. An initial climb up to the top of Wrotham Hill before a lovely long descent through Hartley to Longfield, only occasionally interrupted by a succession of lorries travelling in the opposite direction. After Longfield , it was into the undulations around Horton Kirby and Sutton At Hone,with a big loop to get further miles in before reaching the break at Hawley Garden Centre . It was nice sitting in the outside courtyard,and the service and value was very satisfactory. The return , and the inevitable climb back virtually all the way to West Kingsdown,via Mussenden Lane and Billet Hill to Terry’s Lodge Lane before the welcomed downhill to the Pilgrims Way and the finish,without any problems. A distance of about 30 miles,at 13.5 mph average and 1800 ft ascents. The ride was quite a lot further for some, who rode to and from Wrotham.
After several days speculation regarding the weather it was third time lucky as 12 riders left Appledore for Rye via Dungeness on a sunny dry morning. What was not factored in was the wind which became apparent shortly after starting the ride. Dungeness was eventually reached with only Tony M spoiling the pace with a puncture. The ride continued back to Lydd then Camber directly into strong headwinds which left most wishing they were climbing Ventoux it would have been easier. Rye reached a split for the group on cafe stops, having been fed the group then headed back along Military Road with the wind behind at an average 20 Mph Distance38 miles Average 14.5 mph
With 15 riders turning up at Lenham,on the hottest day of the year so far,it was decided again to split into two groups with some wishing to go to the coast at Tankerton. Richard led with 9 riders intending to have the break in Ashford,and keeping it fairly short due the the heat. However, by the time they got there it was a bit early, so the leader suggested going a few more miles to the Blue and White cafe at Smeeth via the back roads of Singleton and Mersham , where Richard’s internal GPS let the group down and they ended up at a dead end. Fortunately Ian J had a proper Garmin,and with Ralph and a friendly postman’s help it was onto the cafe. The temperature rose even more on the return via Wye and Boughton Aluph, and the sight of dozens of cyclists going in the opposite direction on a London to Paris charity ride, all being well wished by us. Everyone was more than happy to get back to Lenham,feeling quite drained. A distance of 44.5 miles at 14.5 mph and a modest 460 metres ascents.
With 20 riders at Yalding,my thanks to Ralph for easing the burden with numbers.Richard led 15 on a flattish route to the Community cafe at Benenden .by going out via Marden, Frittenden and Sissinghurst.Although the cafe is small, they did well to accommodate and serve us. The return,in lovely sunshine, did a big loop around Hempsted Forest, before Staplehurst and Marden again.. A distance of 42 miles( Although Several riders rode in) at about 14 mph average.
As the numbers grew in the station car park it began to look like an inevitable split of riders would be needed. Following Richards request for an alternative ride group, Ralph volunteered to head up a splinter group. The five riders set off to The Chequers in Lenham Square. A jaunty pace was set as the group set off to Headcorn via Marden and Staplehurst. The only real climb was up to Boughton Malherbe, the five riders attacked the climb with aplomb and stopped to admire the view at the top (put our lungs back in to be truthful). Lenham wasn't far away so the pace was picked up and we were soon tucking in. Following tea and coffee the group set off back to Yalding via Sandway, Kingswood and Coxheath. At Boughton Ralph peeled off for home, which was part of his master plan, so as not to ride home up Yalding Hill. The B group accomplished 37miles at 15.4mph with 1122ft of climbing.
A nice dry morning welcomed 15 riders at Chestnut Street, almost all wearing the Fairies colours. Richard led and headed for Seasalter via a different route than normal by going through the Sittingbourne industrial estate. Thankyou Russell for helping with the Garmin directions through a new housing estate before getting back on the familiar NCR 1. It carried on along country lanes past Teynham and Luddenham to Faversham, before reaching Forget Me Not cafe at Seasalter. The tide was completely out,which proved a challenge too far even for Lisa to go for a swim. A traditional return took the group back to Faversham before heading to Ospringe, Painters Forstal and Tunstall with the final loop through Oad Street,where Russ helped again with the lead. A distance of 43 miles at about 13.8 mph without any problems. Brigitte then extended her journey by cycling back to West Malling.
A fine morning ,and 15 riders assembled at a very busy East Malling car park..A slightly delayed start,with a tyre problem,but thanks to James who provided an emergency sticky pad to cover the hole,and Gary as always. Richard welcomed Alison to the group and then led to Wetherspoons ,Tonbridge High Street. An uneventful journey by going to Offham,Crouch and keeping with lanes to Tudeley., where James’s local knowledge came in handy,by using a very quiet Postern Lane to Tonbridge,and thanks to Bob for guiding a pleasant route along the Medway towpath to the break. Wetherspoons is always great value ,with quick service and sitting in the warm courtyard was very sociable.However,too soon it was back on the bikes and the return by going up to Poult Wood and Mathews Lane to Kings Hill before the finish at East Malling,without incident.A distance of 33 miles at about 13 mph.
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