club rides – first weekend in Feb

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Johnnie Owen 1 year ago.

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  • #520181

    Johnnie Owen

    I joined the G2 ride as it passed my road in Otford blissfully unaware of the climbing ahead as I hadn’t peaked at the route beforehand. Another great Avanti turnout so plenty of riders to hide behind. This was my fourth consecutive Sunday club run, so was feeling reasonably confident in the task at hand. It was good to catch-up with with Andy South (I used to race with him once upon a time!) but only actually spoke to him at the top of the Ashdown Forest where we heard about ‘Chain-gate’. Kudos to Mr Clarke.

    Not sure what happened but I lost the group between Hartfield and Edenbridge for about 3 miles where the head wind was causing me a lot of distress & pain. Eventually I made ‘the catch’ and sat behind Julian Small who had spent a lot of the ride doing a ‘Kyrienka’ at the front.

    Toys Hill seems to have been extended since the last time I did it – it doesn’t actually seem to end but an incredibly satisfying climb.

    Thanks to all for a very enjoyable morning – getting to quite enjoy the regular Sunday rides! Maybe something a little flatter would be nice this Sunday

  • #520180


    G4 to West Malling never happened, we turned at the bottom of Exedown Hill and headed for Brookside Garden Centre, the home of quick and polite service.After our excellent refreshment we headed home into the awful North biased headwind. Dave in black was in a hurry to get home for his family lunch, so none of us were silly enough to challenge him up Plaxtol. I suggested he carried on and not to wait for the full group to arrive.(Many cheers were heard when I announced Dave’s disappearance ) Getting away from the traffic and lights at Bat & Ball, I towed Rita to the bridge at Polhill, encouraging her to “go for the top”( she is not well versed to “take the Preme” ) What a magnificent climb this new to cycling rider achieved. Although I finished a distant second place, it was encouraging to see how her recent purchase of an inexpensive bicycle had inspired her, Well done ! Total riders 8, total Miles 42, at 12,6 mph

  • #520179

    Michael Coulton

    My first RT
    Hi all, it was good to be part of the Avanti crew on this cold morning at Knockholt. Which was buzzing with eager riders ready to set off on the reliability trial. The group of four Claire, Simon, Andy and myself decided at the start we would stop for tea and fuel on route, so we set a target of 4.5 to 5 hours to complete the 100 km course being hilly and windy. After thawing out my troublesome fingers on the hot air blower in the toilets before the start we set off just after 9 o clock.We stuck together the whole route at a steady pace, a quick chat enroute to some of the G2 crew as they passed near bore place at the bottom of Bayleys hill. Then the long climbs to Ashdown for a well deserved tea we caught up again. The return journey had a cold strong headwind and Toys hill taunting or haunting me ( im not sure which ! ) but it was tough !
    After a couple of banana stops and tea we completed in 4.45 hours, how reliable we were spot on in the middle of the time we set !
    Moving time 4.15.
    62 miles 14.6 mph 4940 ft climbs . I think we done ok . Thank to all for a good ride , from what I’ve seen on Strava the Old Ports were pleased with such a good Avanti turnout !

  • #520174

    Claire Clarke

    Me again folks! Sun G3 ride – I decided this week G3 would try something different and persuaded some of the usual G3 suspects to do the Old Ports RT. I started my day with a gentle ride up to the start in Knockholt Village Hall with Mick C and Julian – thanks guys for keeping it at a steady pace, knowing what we had in store! At the hall Mick and I met up with Simon P, Andy McS, Steve B, Martin D and Steve R. In the end it was actually just Mick, Simon, Andy and me who rode round together; Steve R and Martin stuck together and Steve B rode round with his friend, although we met them at the “cafe” at the top of the Ashdown – ie, the Old Ports Camper with a gas stove in the back making tea! But, at that stage of the ride you couldn’t get better cup of tea, with fig rolls and jelly babies to go with it! The four of us set off just after 9am and made good progress, with the G2 bunch not passing us until the second part of Baileys Hill, where I think they’d been sitting behind us for who knows how long!! We couldn’t have been doing too badly as we did meet G2 again at the previously mentioned Ashdown cafe. It’s a lovely route that the Old Ports have designed, and although a cold day we did actually see some sunshine and no rain! And, 2 deer running across the road on the Ashdown climb. The sting in the tail is going up Toys Hill towards the end of the ride, which I have to say nearly killed me. I actually had to talk out loud to myself not to give in, which I never do!! Really well done to my fellow G3 riders, everyone did brilliantly to get round what is a tough course. I hope you are all still talking to me – the looks on Andy and Simon’s face when we arrived back at Knockholt could have suggested maybe not! Don’t worry, I don’t think I’m leading anymore rides for a while. Cheers all. Claire

  • #520173

    Claire Clarke

    Sat ride: there were 9 keen riders for the Sat ride this weekend, despite the rather damp and cold conditions. Joining me were: Simon C, Sam D, Paul B, John C, Martin D, Neale N and Dan L. Since I was also leading the G3 ride on Sun I picked what I thought was a relatively flat route to Holland to try and preserve my legs! The route did start by going straight up Cudham Lane, but had a fairly flat section in the middle after passing through the village of Holland (sadly no tulips in sight), before going up Ide Hill at the end, you have to get back up somehow! We had a few enforced rests with 3 punctures, mostly due to the state of the roads and dodgy potholes full of water (sorry again Martin). We all kept a sensible pace throughout and made it back to Belmondos in good time only to find it full. Don’t panic, we trundled down the road to the Crescent greasy spoon for bacon and egg rolls and some dodgy coffee! And, we had the nice experience of 6 deer running across the road in front of us on the route, luckily far enough in front not to cause chaos. Thanks all for the usual good riding and company.

  • #520172

    Andy South

    Enjoyed being part of the G2 train on Sunday, despite showing up the full extent of my winter bike neglect, with my scheduled new chain purchase coming in a week too late. Kudos to Mr. Clarke and his mobile workshop for getting me back on the move in 7 minutes. The incident happened to occur at the perfect location to set up the option of a chainless 2-mile downhill roll to my front door, but very glad I was able to do the remaining 45 miles of the Old Ports route instead!

  • #520170

    Steve Rodgers

    Hi all – please write up your weekend rides!
    I’ll mention a bit about the G2 expedition to the Old Ports Reliability Trial.
    Another packed hall at Knockholt – same venue as last week’s Sydenham Wheelers RT.
    This time Claire had mustered a healthy-looking G3 contingent too.
    We had Richard B, Russ, Julian, Andy South, Simon C, John, Keith, J20 and some of Richard’s chums.
    This was a bigger challenge than last week – suffer score 50% higher for similar mileage.
    The route covers most of the KK – apart from Carters, Sundrige, Row Dow and Tinkerpot, and swap Ide for Toys – OUCH!
    It meant the route was easy to remember, but also I knew how lumpy it was going to be – 1800m of pain.
    Still – it was at least Sunny and 5 hours out and about was more exercise than the hour of the cross ride we were going to be out on but which ended up being cancelled.

    Highlights – drinks, fig rolls and jelly babies at the top of Ashdown after a long slog.
    Lowlights – Andy snapped his chain – too many watts – but thankfully Simon managed to fix, also there were lots of riders out and inevitably of variable quality – some taking too many risks in traffic and some weaving around dangerously without paying attention to other riders – but the vast majority were great company.

    Yet another well organised event – my legs are still feeling it!

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