A rainy start at East Malling only attracted 6 riders,but Richard led for the break at Poult Wood Golf Club. By the time they reached Crouch it was time to strip off the waterproofs and with the sun out it was pleasant cycling through the lanes of Dunks Green and Hadlow to the stop. On the return ,the leader tried to stay on the flat as long as possible by going through Golden Green and Mereworth,before the climb of Butchers Lane. and the nice cycle path descent of the Kings Hill bye pass back to East Malling. A distance of 29 miles at 13 mph average,with the rain just starting again.
A chilly but beautiful morning attracted 17 riders at Wrotham,with some newcomers bolstering the figures. Richard led after deciding to go to Cliffe Woods as the stopping venue which firstly took them up Wrotham hill and onto Stansted. Unfortunately one of the new riders felt the pace very early,but many thanks to several rear riders,including,Gary,Jonathan, Tony P and John G, for their stalwart support in helping out. The ride continued along lovely quiet country lanes ,including Hartley Bottom Road, to Longfield ,Sole Street and Shorne before getting nice views across the estuary and Lower Higham to the cafe at Cliffe Woods Lakes. The staff were not overwhelmed by the numbers,and sitting outside overlooking the Lakes was pleasant. Richard decided to take a less undulating return, by going up Thong Lane to The Inn on the Lake,where workmen informed the group that it is to be the starting point for the new Thames crossing due for opening 2027. There followed numerous waits ,which continued all the way back to Wrotham ,via Camer Country Park ,Meopham and the A 227. On arrival at the end, an ice cream van turned up,and Peter, one of the first time riders bought the leader an ice cream,which was really appreciated. A distance of 36 miles,at a very steady 12.5 and exactly 2000ft of ascents.Gary was one foot short so lifted his bike in the air.
A dull day for a WhereTo ride which started from Reculver for 10 riders which Russell led. With a following wind,it was pleasant cycling along the traffic free Viking Trail all the way into Margate,before rounding North Foreland and Ramsgate into a strong headwind. Gary suggested a new break stop at the Lido cafe near Ramsgate,and it proved very reasonable . Carrying on after, Russell led the group into picturesque Sandwich town then past Richborough Fort , Chislet and Grove Ferry back to Reculver. A challenging finale returning the the Bishopstone Lane Car Park up the grass track into the wind again. A distance of 43 miles at about 12.5 mph.
Tony Munn led an alternative local ride from East Malling for Midweekers who 5 who didn’t want to go to Reculver. His ride went to the very popular and reasonable Top Nosh cafe at Paddock Wood covering a distance of 38 miles , averaging a respectable 13.3 mph .
On route the rain poured down , but with true Midweekers endurance 12 riders still turned up at Lenham ,including John Gibbons who rode from Barming( and back later) .Fortunately the rain Gods looked down favourably and very soon it dried out. Richard led and took a really looping route out to Headcorn aerodrome by going to Harrietsham then up towards Ulcombe before the steep descent of Liverton Hill and into Grafty Green. From there it was virtually flat all the way through the lanes to the break. The weather had cleared enough to sit outside and view the parachutists coming down. The return was in pleasant sunshine , and continued the extended route by going through Smarden up to Pluckley and onto the Charing Heath Road, where Angie sustained the only puncture but as always Good Old Gary and others were on hand to repair it. It was then a short leg back to Harrietsham and the finish. A distance of 30 miles at about 13 mph average.
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.
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