The riders in the group have ridden continuously, each week, throughout the seasonal festivities, customary damp, freezing cold and various Covid-19 exercise restrictions. The three official rides, with a limit of six riders, in this period included rides from Offham to Four Elms, Wateringbury to Chiddingstone and East Malling to Bredgar (which was the group’s Xmas ride in the traditional attire). The riders have also been riding in “buddy” pairs along routes, created using the RidewithGPS application, which are shared in advance via the B+ Group’s WhatsApp messaging medium. The buddy rides have included outings from Wateringbury to Tenterden, Blue Bell Village to Oare Creek, Wateringbury to Biddenden, Marden to St. Michaels and Barming Heath to West Peckham.
All the distances on these rides have been over 40 miles, ascents mostly exceeding 2,500 feet, at a mean average of approximately 13.4 mph. During the cold snaps, the riders have opted to avoid stopping for usual breaks, as taking on board take-away refreshments outside results in the rider’s body temperatures lowering significantly in a short time. While the take-away meals at the Café in Four Elms were delicious the riders were thankful to have Ide Hill to climb immediately afterwards in order to regain warmth and feelings in numb toes and fingers!
The numbers of riders during this reporting period have decreased for various reasons, which include broken shoulders, pulled hamstrings, contracted Covid-19 virus, Surrey residency travelling restrictions, adhering to various quarantine instructions and general whimping declines, with claims of “its too cold”. Anita Clifford, Richard Ramsden, Emma Shaw, Jonathan Engwell, Neal Corby, Arian Cole and Tony (Sherpa) Palmer have formed the backbone of the group during these uncertain times. So, a warm welcome to B+ Group newcomers Maria Marchesini and Tim Holloway, both of whom have now become SFA members.