November 27, 2017 at 6:17 pm #19883
G4 to Kelly Holmes at Hildenborough was as predicted, safe roads, no frost or ice. 6 of us commenced from GSG, Jenny and Rita turned early. (perhaps the thought of Tubbs Hill made the decision for them.) We arrived very early at 10.20am. Hardly any other customers of note, probably all shopping in Tonbridge (Black something or other) There were another large group of cyclists from Oxted CC who were tucking into their breakfasts.Feeling inclined, I ordered porridge and fruit which was ideal as I felt hungry, maybe burning more calories due to the cold weather. Greg left after an hour (thank goodness we all agreed) Charles then treated us to another round of coffees. Our return via Shipbourne and Plaxtol(half way up) and a detour down a Dave Smith special route (all our yesterdays) brought us out to Ightham Village, Pilgrims Way, Kemsing and Shoreham. Maypole Hill was the chosen climb home.Just under 40 miles. Shower and dressed for lunch with the family in Bromley. Excellent winters ride.
November 26, 2017 at 9:17 pm #19814
November 26, 2017 at 6:20 pm #19812
Sunday G3 – Phil H stepped in at the last minute to lead this weeks G3 ride to Hilden golf club as Simon L was ill (get well soon Simon). Thanks Phil, and thanks to Alan E for supplying the route. I knew most of the route so it was a team effort today. 10 set off from the ‘G’ – Phil, Ken, Simon P, Toby, Steve C, Yvona, Neale, Andy, Tony and me! Apologies if I’ve missed anyone. We set off towards Otford and the Pilgrims Way in beautiful, if a bit chilly, conditions. On to Borough Green, Crouch, staying on top of the ridge until dropping down towards The Hamptons and on towards Hildenborough. Close to the cafe stop we met up with Alan E, good to see him out, who joined us on the sneaky loop he’d put in before reaching the cafe! A few icy patches on the shaded side of the road were avoided, thanks to Alan for warning us. The cafe at Hilden golf club was interesting today, not only was it rather cold but too many people on a Sun morning had ordered eggs and they ran out! A few of us had to re-order which all seemed to take an age. So, a slightly longer stop than planned and apologies to those who had to wait!! Home via Ide Hill and Star Hill.
Thanks very much to all for good team riding, and sharing the work. I had 70’ish km at just below 24km/hr (that’s 44miles at 15mph). Although I’m a bit slow on the hills at the moment so some of the others probably had a faster average speed!
November 26, 2017 at 3:49 pm #19811
There were three riders up for the Early Bird run this morning, myself and Rich Short set off from the G at 8am sharp wearing what looked like every item of winter kit we owned. Forecast was for very low temps but glorious blue skies and it’s fair to say they were spot on today too. The sunrise over Polhill was something to behold as we whisled along at a decent lick. We went route 1 along Pilgrims and down Exedown into Ightham where we collected a spritely looking Ian Daley who was also fully togged up for winter. Pressing on south towards Hildenborough with one eye on the frosty sections of tarmac and the other on the stunning autumnal scenery on display we were soon turning westbound into a cold headwind en route to Lingfield via Hever. I’d plotted a route with an emphasis on the smooth and the flat which seemed to go down nicely and despite all the chat we found ourselves flying through Oxted in no time with our sights on Hogstrough Hill, the feature climb of the morning. Ian inconveniently headed for home along Pilgrims at the foot of the hill leaving Shorty and I to bundle our way up and over for a well earned blast down Cudham Lane to the G and a nice early 11.15am finish. Very enjoyable ride in the winter sunshine with all on good form, 53miles, 1000m @ 18s.
November 25, 2017 at 8:35 pm #19810
Chilly, but sunny it was this morning for nine setting off from the G.
Colin P, Lee S, Claire C, Yvona V, Alistair D, Martin D, Simon V and Sam D made up our number
when we set off towards Polhill.
The first striking view was across a white looking Broke Hill Golf course, and this provided confirmation as if any was needed that it was really cold. Luckily, the sun was making its first impression on the day by now, so things (apart from toes and fingers), were warming up.
The usual rules were out the window today, with the down hill sections seemingly less popular than the uphills. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but the warming effect of the climbing was appreciated more than normal, with the 18 minute creep up Bower Lane proving effective for all but those previously mentioned extremities !
A little bit of up and down brought us out into the sunshine on Pilgrims Way as we headed to Ightham before climbing up to Ivy Hatch. Not far on from there and from my mid pack position, I’m pretty sure I saw a deer run across in front of the leading riders as we rolled towards Fawke Common (was I imagining that, no-one mentioned it ?).
Lots of little ups and downs followed as we continued over to the top of Ide Hill, before the refreshing descent down to Sundridge. On the way up to the last climb of the planned route (Star Hill), Alistair suffered a puncture just before the M25 bridge. Colin was on hand to assist in a small sunny lay-by, whilst the rest us us sought our own sunny spot to keep warm as best we could. After some minutes it was clear we needed to get a few of the group moving again, so a split was necessary. That left Alistair, Colin and myself with a simpler solution than racing off post puncture to catch the others – we went up Sunridge Hill, a steeper, but shorter route. This proved successful in closing the gap on the bunch, as we saw them go past right to left on their way up to Cudham as we neared the end of the lane.
After our mini regroup, again the option was a chase after them, or the quicker but presumably longer downhill via Rushmore. Rushmore won, and in the end it gave Colin and I the honours of first back to Belmondos (Alistair peeled off in Knockholt). Less than a minute later Mick C and Dave H came rolling in from their own ride, with the balance of the Saturday crew no more than 30 seconds behind them.
A Belmondos invasion started, and as ever, the guys there were very accommodating to our bunch, this time bringing in extra chairs and moving tables to fit us all inside, an absolute must to help the fingers and toes begin the warming process.
Thanks to all for the company today on a progressively warming ride, I’m sure it would have been quite pleasant around lunchtime !
I had 65km’s at 23.5kph with 940m of heat generating climbing. A surprisingly hilly route for one with just one big hill – Sundridge for me, alistair and Colin, Star Hill for others – today.
Wrap up warm if you’re out tomorrow.
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