August 22, 2016 at 11:34 am #15906
G3/G4 to RYE. Despite requests from members, there were no shows for this epic ride. No rain and a tail wind all the way to a sunny warm reception at our usual cafe, gave Brian and I a 15.8mph average.This would have been higher had my chain ring not defaulted to the climber size only at Tonbridge.Thus 20mph + was about the limit.Hawhurst and Staplecross hills were not a major problem, with a 10 minute break viewing Bodium Castle, a rare sight indeed. Our ride back via Appledore was almost uneventful, but turning due north the head wind proved a challenge until we got into the lanes and enjoyed the shelter of the trees.Suddenly the “Baa, baa” of a bleating sheep had Brian off his bike trying to rescue the stranded animal stuck in a deep sided pond. Some 20 minutes later Brian eventually notified a helpful neighbour who promised to inform the farmer.
Unfortunately the delay, plus the strong headwind as we left the sheltered area meant we were too late for coffee & cake at Brookside. Not to be denied we pleaded at Hadlow College for refreshment, despite they also had closed. Suddenly two plastic mugs of coffee and cake were served in the garden area. This did help enormously, and with renewed energy we nearly finished the ride in fine style. Frustratingly the battery on my bike finally gave out at Bat & Ball, Sevenoaks. The new default situation reduced me to 15mph, but at least I had no problem climbing Polhill. 110miles, 15.2mph 5,304ft
August 22, 2016 at 10:47 am #15904
G3 had 12 riders who braved a ride out to the Isle of Grain while the storm winds of Saturday had not fully subsided. Steady pace out to Cobham where Alan and Greg turned for home anticipating how windy it would be when we dropped down onto the Thames marshes. “it will be fine” our leader said, Ian should know as he lives in this area. He took a new route on the drop down to Lower Higham with all followed except Steve C who took the old route through Shorne with a new member in tow and wondered where the rest of us were when he reached the bottom. A quick phone call arranged a re-grouping at Higham Station before a speedy ride out to Cooling. As we emerged at the castle we interrupted a bride and groom having their wedding photos taken on the grass island by the castle gates. When they see the proofs they will wonder who invited a group of Avanti cyclists to their wedding?
Turning back towards Gravesend and lunch we faced the still strong headwind, but the lead was shared so we soon reached the cyclopark for lunch.
The short ride back was via Longfield, Eynesford with the usual blast up the climb to Crockenhill then the drop down to Orpington and home.
62 miles at 15.2 mph average.
August 22, 2016 at 8:29 am #15900
Without prior website notification and just sixth sense, five turned out at the sunny G early Saturday for no particular route and no leader, fully expecting a joyous ride in good weather. Julian, Claire, Paul, Patrick and myself. A swift nomination saw me take a reluctant lead with only a loose route in mind. We headed out into the wind in a direct route to Four Elms, via Cudham Lane and Toys Hill, then proceeded to make a figure of eight by looping back from Bough Beech (at which Point Patrick wisely headed for home) to Chiddingstone Castle, Cowden, climb up Fordcombe heights to Speldhurst and drop back at warp speed via Poundsbridge & Penshurst. Hale Oak farm Rd offered shelter from the increasing winds and after dropping back down from Baileys to Bessels Grn, we were hit by sudden dark skies and a monsoon. We took brief shelter, but too late – Claire’s new bike was wet and she was devastated. Anyway there was no respite and we had to push on for home via Chipstead and the rain eased a little, but we were soaked through by the time we hit the G. Clearly the weather forecast was just a little out. Just two for coffee at Belmondo’s due the slight overrun in the established timing and distance – I think it was something like 75Km – 47miles and a fair bit of climbing into headwinds just to slow it all down a bit. A good ride though with everyone in good form and perfect training conditions for Julian’s forthcoming Lands End to John O’Groats trip.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Steven Butler.
August 22, 2016 at 7:39 pm #15911
Thanks very much Steve for being volunteered to lead us on Sat!! It was a great route, and we all loved the hills really! My bike has just about recovered, but when I went to get it out on Sun I had a puncture, probably from all the ‘yuk’ on the road from the downpour! Thanks for all your efforts on the front in the wind. Claire
August 21, 2016 at 4:17 pm #15893
G1 – To Bewl.
Roll call: Steve R, James H, Marek S, Graham C, Sam D. We picked up Ian D, Patrick and Russ at the Sunridge crossroads on the way a a heap of strong riding through Ide Hill, Groombridge and on to the Beals Barn Cafe near Bewl. We veered off my prescribed route close to the cafe to follow Steve’s more traditional choice of lanes – a great option.
Super food and views at Beals Barn as ever and then a fast return via Horsmondon with all doing what they could to pull on the front and then give it some up to Plaxtol.
We had also taken a little detour around Yalding that actually was quite a good option. Quiet lanes that avoided running the gauntlet of parked cars in Yalding. Nice.
With people joining late and leaving early at the ends of the ride the peloton was shape shifting for some of the time we were out, but most of us managed around 70 miles at about 18.5mph. All due to naturally working as team like it was second nature to us. A fine, satisfying ride in pleasant late summer conditions. Thanks to all.
August 22, 2016 at 9:13 pm #15913
Cheers Simon – enjoyed the ride today.
I really like this route and cafe – always seems to be just enough seating for us whenever we arrive.
My fav moment was when, sat overlooking Bewl Water – Russ asks – “where’s the water?”
Good to get out on a ride with Russ again and with JamesH (for the first time I think).
As Simon said we all rode well together naturally – I think we’ve all clocked up some good miles together by now!
Thanks for leading – and cheers to everyone for the company.
I reckon next time we do Bunny Lane we can take the KOM on Strava – I think we could’ve nabbed it yesterday if I hadn’t slowed down way in advance of the T-junction. Patrick moaned that tearing along at threshold for a couple of miles wasn’t a good way to prepare for the hill that was about to come, but he was first to the top along with Ian and so I don’t think it did him any harm 😉
August 22, 2016 at 12:47 pm #15909
A very nice route designed by Simon Clarke! I had not been to the Bewl Water on the bike before so it was cool to explore new lanes.
The group worked well together, it was an enjoyable ride and we even managed to team-time-trial on fast lanes on the way back.
The cafe must be one of the most romantic organic cafe in the Southeast with views of the Bewl Water, a vegetable garden right next to it and crates full of organic produces inside. The tea was served in lovely posh cups and cakes/sandwiches were very generous.
Thanks to Simon for leading us fearlessly and to everyone for a company!
August 21, 2016 at 4:13 pm #15891
August 20, 2016 at 10:00 pm #15890
Please post your cycling experience from the final weekend of the biggest sport festival – the Olympics. The MTB race is on tomorrow!
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