October 15, 2018 at 3:12 pm #1022120
G3 Open Day to Speedgate
G3 consisted of Denis M, Patrick N, Andrew S, Claire W and myself, with the weather deterring a couple of potential newbies (Hopefully they will be able to join us for a run out when the weather is a bit more hospitable).
As the weather forecast was not looking too good G3 set off on a shortened route out via Shoreham to Pilgrims and up Old Terry’s (missing out the loop to Plaxtol and Ightham) where we cruised round the back of Brands Hatch for an enjoyable yet early break at Speedgate, where the ladies were eagerly waiting for the Avanti onslaught. Refreshments were enjoyed by all as we discussed our options for our return route.
As the weather was holding off, we decided to undertake the planned route back via Longfield, Sutton-at-Hone, Farningham, the top of Shoreham and back to Orpington via Chelsfield Lane. We managed to stay dry until the final approach to Orpington, when the heavens opened and we were hit by a wall of water.
Despite the shortened route we had a very enjoyable ride in good company. Stats: 34 miles @ 14.8mph and 2,264ft of up.
October 14, 2018 at 4:08 pm #1022118
Dreadful weather forecast – and no guests for G2! However, a surprisingly large group assembled for a G2 (ish) ride. Actually it was a bit of a light spin in the end with almost as much time at Speedgate Cafe as on the bike! I cycled from home and we then went from the G to Poll Hill, Otford, Pilgrims, Old Terry’s and then Speedgate Hill. Post cafe, back via Crockenhill. I did a grand total of 40 miles – but really enjoyable and largely dry.
Speedgate Cafe did excellent cakes, coffee and “crispy” bacon in sandwiches. If they were on trip advisor, would be a decent rating after some negativity!
Led by Toby – and a peloton of Dave, Graham, John, Martin, Neale and me.
Enjoy the week.
October 14, 2018 at 12:36 pm #1022117
Prior to the big Open Day, the early Saturday ride rolled out with 14 riders set to enjoy the warmth and sunshine. Sadly this morning hasn’t offered up quite so nice conditions, but I hope all who rode today have enjoyed their ride.
Two groups were formed in short order after my late arrival at the G. With me were Simon V, Steve B, Neale N, Julian S, Andy Mc and Ade.
Claire kindly assumed order over the second group (Thank you), as we set off towards Worlds End Lane. The route was basically a Tuesday night route pinched from the Staples back catalogue, but re-mastered to include an extra loop so as to complete the regulation 40 miles that is the Saturday ride.
Out to Shoreham, and up Fackenden, down to Pilgrims then Heaverham and up to the A25. (the Tuesday turning point), before going on to Ivy Hatch.
On the run out, after Fackenden has flattened Graham Channon came by, having raced up the hill off the front of the second group , before turning at the top of Row Dow to rejoin them.
So, from the A25 we were beyond Tuesday, and venturing into out and out Saturday territory. This took us down through Plaxtol, and a loop round to the climb back up through Ightam Moat. By this point the head wind of the first 20 miles was now working more so with us.
All were riding well, and we stopped at the top of the climb for a brief refuel. It wasn’t long before Claire’s group arrived, to join us on the forecourt of the Plough Pub. Photos aplenty were taken and can be viewed in Strava.
Setting off first again, we made our way back to the A25, to rejoin the Tuesday route back to Heaverham, then up Cotman’s Ash before the long descent down to Eynsford. Up to Crockenhill, and across to Chelsfield brought us to within touching distance of the coffee, and by now things seemed to be getting a little bit competitive for the the seats at Belmondos. Waiting at the junction to cross onto Warren road two groups had become one, and a spritely scamper down the hill was on to secure a prized seat. Adam and Graham (one from each group), had the pick of the seats.
In the end the cafe wasn’t too busy, so everyone was accommodated, so all were happy. Lots of bread pudding was ordered and two rounds of coffee drunk before we all headed off home.
A really enjoyable ride, in amazing conditions, albeit a little windy, but for October you really couldn’t ask for anything better.
Well done to all.
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