May 10, 2018 at 7:37 am #520860
Just a brilliant SFA sportive. Fantastic weather and company made this a ride not be missed. The G1ish group kicked off at quite a pace and clearly were taking no prisoners which made it both fun and motivating to stay in contact.
There were numerous mechanicals on route which we stopped for, as it was a fair ” no-prisoners” ride more in the spirit of the TDF. These mini breaks were very welcome in all honesty, and turned it into mini interval sessions up until combined Etap failure, hamstring and overheating affected three of the riders, after which the pace dropped.
Everyone is looking on great form and a good indication to the season ahead. Thanks for organising this Tony.
May 9, 2018 at 7:23 am #520855
A great weekend in Avanti Colours, starting with the Tonbridge TT on Saturday morning. Great to see a big Avanti turnout, and lots of good times. My best effort for many, many months as well. Hope to see lots more Avanti participation.
On to the SFA Sportive – and thanks to Tony for organising us all. This is lovely event, and one I first did 9 years ago – I met Adie and Mick Farla on the route and landed up joining Avanti!
Anyway, I know the route – not least the fact that there is the steep Hunton Hill about 5 miles in. I wanted a quicker ride, so was looking to go with the (sort of) G1 cluster at the start line (Graham, Johnny, Marek, Martin, Simon, Dave, Ian….others?). However, I knew I’d have to stick with them up that Hill, which (after some heavy breathing!) I did. According to Strava, I recorded the fastest ever time by someone over 55, weighing over 85kg 🙂 .
I loved the route down, despite puncture hold ups and a badly fitted new chain and cassette (my fault). My average was 34kph moving speed over the first 75km.
As mentioned below, the return leg was basically a tiring group of riders battling against muiltiple mechanical issues. Very different ride back – though enjoyed the final push to Marden, pairing up with Simon.
Great company and support – and,despite the pace down, quite chatty as well!
May 9, 2018 at 6:23 am #520854
Many thanks to Sir Anthony for dedicating his time and organising our club presence for this event!
It is a nice and relatively small & low profile event with friendly riders.
When I was signing in I couldn’t find my name on the list and the person at the desk just looked at my jersey and pointed me at a special sheet with words: “Oh yes, the Avanti crew!”.
It was quite a change to our usual routes in the North Downs area.
It was also good to see many faces I had not seen since Brands Hatch in September.
Thanks everyone for a company!
May 8, 2018 at 8:14 pm #520853
A lovely day to ride the Kent countryside and a large Avanti presence was great to see. A big thank you to Tony who clearly did a great job publicising and organising, so all we had to do was turn up and enjoy.
The first group out comprised GrahamC, ChrisD, MarekS, MartinR, JohnnyE, SimonP and yours truly.
After making a mental note to watch out for gravel at the bottom of the first hill we headed out. Flattish we picked up good speed but kept it social too with everyone taking a turn or two at the front, although the bigger lads did most.
Pace slowed by consensus after Martin hit a giant pot hole on a descent, which was violent enough to puncture his front tyre and hurl his water bottle in the woods.
All back together at the feed stop we enjoyed an array of cakes, protein snacks and bananas as well as hot and cold beverages from our friendly hosts. Was much needed by that point and to sit in the shade for a while was bliss.
We got on our way as that next Avanti group rolled in so freed the seats and bike spaces and pushed off up the hill.
100 yards up the hill we discovered Graham’s new electronic rear derailleur would not shift out of the 32 tooth granny gear. Google advice didn’t help resolve the issue, so we pressed on in limp home mode. The mechanicals continued with Chris having a couple of dropped chains and Marek suffering a front and rear double puncture. We’d worked hard up to that point in the heat so an easy ride back to Marden was welcomed by all.
With a 21+mph average to the feed stop and setting a few KOMs, we ended up with an overall average of 19.3mph according to my Garmin with about 3,500ft of climb.
Perhaps not too lucky with the mechanicals but had a great ride down, everyone looking strong and the weather was glorious.
May 8, 2018 at 1:41 pm #520845
My weekend in Avanti colours
Saturday morning I proudly wore my Avanti T-shirt to my second Archery lesson, great fun and was even hitting the target at 30 yards.
Saturday afternoon I wore full club kit to the training session at the cyclopark brilliantly coached by Lee Staples and Richard Liston. Great for improving your bike skills and confidence with different aspects on riding especially in groups. Only nine people turned up, we need more people to these events especially new members who need more confidence.
Monday was the San fairy Ann sportive a great show of Avanti colours, we were the biggest club turnout I’m sure. we set of after the fast group but I’m sure not far behind, average speed of 19.5 to the tea stop. Where sadly about 200 yards before the stop John Dixon
touched wheels and came off badly cutting his face in a few places. I was right behind and tended to him while we waited for the ambulance, role on first aid course! I have heard from him today and he says he has been stitched up and isnt feeling to bad (luckily) I ride with him on Wednesday’s.
This was a great ride with a great group enjoyed by all, with plenty of cakes and food laid on at the stop and at the finish.
4 hours in the saddle to complete the course 75 miles at 18.5 mph and 3260 ft climbs.
cheers to all for a great day and to Avanti for organising our club entries, brilliant!!
here are some pics-
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May 8, 2018 at 12:03 pm #520844
Tony Le VeyParticipant
What a fantastic day for a ride in the Kent countryside. Quite hot with a slight breeze – perfect conditions and great company. I would recommend the San Fairy Ann Sportive – a good route, which was well organised and marshalled, with plentiful food and drink.
Our day was somewhat marred by the accident involving John Dixon (a friend of Avanti) along the Military Road. I am led to believe that after some hours in A&E being patched up, he has made it home. Get well soon John.
Avanti turned out in force, with 25 riders lining up at the start. With the faster boys out of the way (hopefully someone from that group can fill us in on the trials and tribulations? Sounded quite eventful…), the second groupetto rolled over the line: Claire and Simon Clarke, Rob G and Claire W, Ashley Pearson, John Caine, Nick Patow, Steve Butler, Phil Gray, Keith Cooper, Mick Coulton, Alistair Drysdale, Russ Kearton, Alan Else, John Dixon and myself.
The group rode at a cracking pace (in tidy formation) down to Rye, reaching the drink stop at an average of somewhere around 19mph (faster?). At times the numbers were swelled by interlopers from other outfits and got a little untidy – nothing we could do about that though… Following a puncture a few miles from the drink stop, I arrived some minutes after everyone else (and the accident), accompanied by Alistair who had followed several San Fairy Ann riders off course! Thanks for the company on that stretch Alistair. I was greeted with the words: do you have a spare tyre? Ashley’s tyre looked like it was about to delaminate / explode! She made it safely to Appledore station (I think) and was sat at Marden HQ when we rolled in..
We waited for the ambulance to take John to hospital, accompanied by Alan E, then set off on the slightly more lumpy return route. Some had already gone on ahead so we were down to eight: Claire and Simon C, John C, Nick P, Steve B, Mick C, Russ K and me. We did bump into other Avanti members along the way… apparently Keith missed a turning, so took a detour to see some other parts of Kent and eventually made it back.
Again, a good pace was maintained all the way back to Marden and a welcome cuppa and bite to eat. For me, cramp was setting in with five miles to go – lucky it was mostly downhill… I thought I was drinking enough – perhaps not or perhaps it’s just Old Father Time!!
I had four hours in the saddle, 74.4 miles at 18.5 mph and 3,300ft of climbing (I’m sure someone will provide the numbers in metric)
May 7, 2018 at 7:54 pm #520841
G$ or should I say G4 S & M. We had only reached Pilgrims Way (West) when Charles picked up his puncture. Nothing wrong so far, but he had not fitted the tyre back on properly. BANG The tyre blew off the rim.With dozens of cyclists using the route in both directions, caution was the word. Our arrival at Tullet’s Farm via Turners Hill proved a little later than anticipated. This proved to be no problem as the cafe was empty(everyone visiting the Seaside ?) Suitably refreshed we started home in fine spirits. A request from one G4 rider for an alternative route to bye pass the Notorius Polhill, meant a steep climb off The Pilgrims Way up another two short hills (probably less than a mile in total – honest ) however one climber didn’t find that route very amusing. That was the painful bit. Bloody Sadist ! The time lost getting to the top was out of all proportion. We parted company with two of the group who had to get home before dark. However the pleasure of the 4 mile decent down Cudham Lane, changed the atmosphere entirely. 60 miles 14 mph average. Dave B
May 7, 2018 at 5:24 pm #520840
I went Camping down at Calshot with Mrs N (minus children). We took the bikes for the first time in 20 years, mainly because the weather looked windless (no windsurfing) and Mrs N expressed an interest in cycling through the forests. What a good plan that turned out to be. There are some glorious gravel tracks that just need a slightly hardy roadbike with 28s or bigger. My gravel bike (clue in the name) was perfectly at home. The only “issue” was the plethora of tea rooms to choose from in Lynhurst and of course it would have been rude not to have a cream tea or two 🙂
May 6, 2018 at 6:30 pm #520838
There were 6 of us who met up at the G – 4 (Dave B, Johnnie O, Graham C and Simon P) originally planning to ride the G2 60 mile route and Grant and myself there to ride the usual Saturday morning 40 miler. It was decided we’d all ride the shorter route as most of us were also involved in the San Fairy Ann Sportive on Monday.
The route took us to Ide Hill via Chipstead and Back Lane. Then onto Hever and up to Markbeach, round to Penshurst and home via Baileys and Polhill.
Apart from the first hour, which was a tiny bit chilly, it was a glorious morning – making the scenery look even more stunning. By the time we got to Markbeach we were shedding our arm warmers and donning our fingerless gloves. And whilst at Markbeach we were greeted by a resident who had obviously got out on the wrong side of bed. He made his feelings known to us and I’m sure he was delighted to see the back of us after our mini refuelling break.
Other than that, it was a really enjoyable ride with great company and beautiful vistas. The ride was followed by the necessary coffee at Belmondos…..thanks to Dave for picking up the tab for my coffee. My stats were 87k, 1,130 m elevation and 25.6km/h average speed……but then I had tagged on a mini-loop with Nick before the ride.
May 6, 2018 at 5:13 pm #520834
What a perfect day for a bike ride in the beautiful lanes of Kent. Ten of us, including impressive guest rider Grace set off on the G3 ride to Hildenboro Golf club. Blue skies, warm sunshine and good company followed the Pilgrims Way to Wrotham from where we dropped down to Borough Green. Left and right across the A25 led us to the drag up to the ridge above Roughway, with exquisite views across the Weald. Our climbing was rewarded with a super descent down Park Road to join the road towards Plaxtol, where Andy turned off to keep his dinner date, although he wouldn’t say with whom! On through Shipbourne to the foot of Carter’s Hill where fortunately we turned left and glided down to Hildenboro, taking Steve’s favourite Strava cart track to end up at the golf club. A lunch stop on the sunny garden patio set us up for the return back along the cart track to Tips Cross, Charcott and through the twitchers at Bough Beech Reservoir. A climb up Ide Hill enabled Rob and Phil to display their climbing abilities, closely matched by Grace. Another drop down to Sundridge left only a romp up Polhill to conclude a super ride. We are so fortunate to have such super scenery on our doorstep. Thanks to all who came for supporting this most enjoyable bike ride. 72kms at 24kph average.
May 6, 2018 at 4:41 pm #520827
After the second of three days of beautiful weather over the bank holiday weekend, I’m sure there are a few tales to tell of Avanti riders on the road, track or trails already, and we still have tomorrow’s SFA sportive to come.
It would be great to hear how our riders got on at today’s Tour de Yorkshire sportive, or the epic 300km event round Norfolk I’ve seen in Strava.
If you’re Avanti and you’ve enjoyed being on your bike in any form, not just the club rides, why not share your stories this weekend.
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