December 3, 2018 at 3:58 pm #1522698
G4 were again short in numbers, ( sorry but unless you spend big bucks to go into the Southern Hemisphere ) you won’t get much riding done this winter. A warm dry day greeted many club riders at the Green. Four of us headed for Hilden Golf with Jenny showing great fitness up Ide Hill. Although the roads were wet, with considerable flooding in the lanes we chose a sensible route via B roads,no punctures, and without too many cars. Averaging 14.5mph we stepped off at Hilden Golf at 10.45pm. It was almost empty except for Kent Velo Lady Francis who had her Di2 battery seriously emptied while out with her club. (I know the feeling) Our journey back via Shipbourne and Plaxtol, had Jenny again in second place. Finally she slipped back a touch on Polhill. we finished early at 1.00pm, our legs ached, so we new the reason why. 41 miles, 14.2mph. Different ride leader next Sunday, watch the website for details.
December 2, 2018 at 6:05 pm #1522696
G3 was well attended with ian S leading, Dave,Simon, Sadie, Alan, Alethia, Dennis?, Claire W and myself.
Off to the priory, i had a rear pumcture a few hundred yards from the green, a nasty shard of glass. This was my second rear pumcture this week, different bikes but both with close fitting mudguards, i have a theory that debris gets stuck on tyre, go up between musguard and brake bridge and bang!
Anyway quickly fixed and onwards along dirt strewn wet lanes but at a nice steady pace. We seemed to roll along nicely with few stops and soon arrived at the priory.
I think its under new manamgement, because they now serve proper coffee, soup in a bowl which was really nice and metal cutlery!
The return journey was again at a good steady pace and a good burn up down pilgrims way. 51 miles at 15’s and a good ride all in all, we were lucky with the weather.
Thanks Ian for leading
December 2, 2018 at 5:37 pm #1522695
Great turn out at the G today for the G2 ride that both ride leaders couldn’t attend, but plenty of other experienced riders available to take up the mantle. It was decided to split into two groups and the natural split was those feeling fit go in the first group and those that hadn’t ridden recently, or were getting over man-flu, would go in the second group away. So SamD, GilesD, MartinR and I went into the first group leaving Graham, Marek, Hamish, Simon, Sefi, Matt, Julian and one or two others that had just arrived to leave a few minutes later in the second group.
Out via Shacklands and Shoreham we tackled the first climb of the lumpy start of the ride up Fackenden. Giles, Sam and Martin pushed hard early while I made a racket behind them with my front mudguard stubbornly rubbing on the tyre and gaining volume on the steep sections. Martin spent maybe 3 seconds making a tiny adjustment that worked flawlessly – I never was much of a mechanic. All went a bit more smoothly after that until we turned left half way up Bates Hill onto Mill Lane. It appears the gusty winds had dumped a ton of leaves on the road. That with bits of branches, gravel and quite a broken surface with puddles in the holes made the lane quite treacherous, especially on the descents where it was tricky finding anything substantial to brake on to shed speed. Martin’s approach to just let the bike go worked better than my failed brake dabbing efforts.
No much further on Sam’s rear mudguard decided to snap in half so was laid to rest in a nearby bin. The wind had started to pick up by this point and the 30mph gusts made progress tough, but four sharing duties at the front got us through. At the 25 mile stage it did feel as though we had ridden much further so we opted to take a slightly more direct route back from Hadlow than originally planned. Back through Plaxtol, Ivy Hatch and Seal we were soon at Poll Hill and pushing the last bit to the much promised pub/cafe stop at the end. The Rose & Crown was chosen as the rendezvous point and was well attended by both of today’s G2 groups. A shorter ride in Winter with a stop at the end does make sense, rather than half way and getting cold on the restart. Must remember to eat more on the ride though!
Stats for the days 50 social miles: 16.6mph average, 3,200ft climb – pretty much bang on what ChrisD had planned.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Dave Barker.
December 2, 2018 at 7:28 am #1522694
Thanks for the cunning route. It helps to know you can bail at any moment with home nearby. As you mentioned, only enjoyable with company. Massive disappointment with my so called top end rain jacket. Might as well go back to baggy hard shells.
December 1, 2018 at 9:24 pm #1522693
The attendees this morning just about stretched to plural, with Andy Mc and Neale N joining me in the rain at the G.
Our route for the day took us along as many tree lined lanes as possible in an attempt to defuse the rain and provide a degree of protection. It was never going to keep us dry, but maybe it helped a little. What it did do however, was keep us close to home with many early turning options along the way.
Over Old Hill, and up High Elms lane was first, and then from Downe we made our way to Shampan.
With the conditions as they were, the pace was sensibly gentle with puddles a plenty to risk a wheel in along the way.
From Shampan, it was a left to Knockholt, Halstead, and down to Shoreham. After a number of conversations and grumbles about various items of waterproof clothing not living up to the advertisers claims, thoughts were gathering as to the best place to turn homewards.
At the top of Fackenden the conclusion was reached to come back via Knatts Valley, Eynsford, Crockenhill and Chelsfield.
So we were back not long after 10am. Andy and I headed to Belmondos to leave some puddles on the floor (and have a coffee), while Neale headed straight home for the warm shower.
On a day like today I could only ever see myself going out in a group, so it was great Andy and Neale fancied the ride, and provided such good company. Somehow its always easier to cope with the conditions when you’re in a group, sharing a determination to get round, and making light of the conditions along the way.
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