January 7, 2019 at 6:28 pm #1522773
G3 Sunday. For a Sunday morning in early January the turn out at the ‘G’ was quite amazing. We had 10 takers for G3 so decided to split into 2 groups as Simon P kindly volunteered to take a second group – thanks very much Simon. The role call was:
With me – Nick P, Keith C, Jim N, Simon L. With Simon – Mick C, Tony LeV, Andrew S and friend (sorry I can’t remember his name).
After I managed to chase the G2 guys off on their ride we set off towards Rushmore and Star Hill, onto Ide Hill with a lovely loop through Four Elms, Hildenborough, Plaxtol and up ‘Grey Ladies’ hill to Crouch. Soon at Offham we found the Spadeworks cafe Alan had planned for the stop; I’d never been here before, although cycled past many a time not realising it had a cafe! Very nice spot who were very welcoming to noisy cyclists, and I will be returning. We had made good time to Offham and then only had the 20 miles back home to do. Apologies I slowed on the return, was not feeling very strong at all, but made it up Chelsfield Lane eventually! Thanks to all for an enjoyable ride and to Alan for the lovely route. Somehow Alan had magicked himself to the cafe (I think he has a tardis], but did join us for the return part.
January 7, 2019 at 5:32 pm #1522772
G4. Nothing much to add to Charles report. Yes indeed the Council had at last repaired (with new tarmacadam) the stretch of road from the railway bridge along Dwelly Lane to Merle Common on one side of the road (cheap skates) The reamaining road to Holland and Hurst Green remains poor but not dangerous.As Charles commented, we had stopped using this route some time back, which was a shame, as I had spent time in the past designing this attractive course to Oxted (25miles from GSG). I will take the ride next Sunday (weather permitting ) as the nasty stuff is clearing up from my body, nicely.
January 7, 2019 at 4:53 pm #1522771
G4 Sunday. Nice to see a lot of folks at the G on Sunday. 9 riders set off Dave B & C, Jenny, Sandra, Ian, Steve, Chris and potential new member Spencer. We made our way down Polhil to Chipstead and up Back Lane to the top of Ide Hill. Jenny had already turned back and then Dave C stopped at the Ide Café. To do some homework?? He’d brought his laptop out with him…. Surely there must be some sort of fine for that?
The remaining 7 headed off down Ide Hill towards Hever and Edenbridge. The last time I rode this route the road surface past Haxted was pretty grim. God bless the council though, they’d only gone and resurfaced our side. Happy days.
Onward to Oxted where we had a good chat before making our way back along Pilgrims. One section was closed to cars due to some idiot who’d dumped loads of rubbish along a mile stretch. Fortunately we could get past and arrived back at the top of Polhil safely, where Dave C joined us again (homework completed). It was nice to meet Spencer who had no trouble keeping up and to be honest I think could have shown us a clean pair of heels if he’d wanted. Thanks to all who helped out. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. 41 miles at 13.8 mph and 2500 ft of up.
January 7, 2019 at 11:59 am #1522770
Saturday – Cheers for a great route for winter riding! In my group was Simon V, Graham C, Adam D, Andy M, Jamie L, Steve B and John “Diesel” C. Honestly not much to report 🙂 There was lots of leader rotation and it was a pretty decent pace. We were confident of beating the other group to Belmondo’s. We were quite perplexed when we arrived to see them parking up their bikes after our sprint down the A21 led by Graham 🙁
January 6, 2019 at 6:53 pm #1522769
Early Saturday Ride.
Two groups again, quite remarkable this week given just how cold it was.
Off we went along the A21 to Polhill, then down to Otford. A quick bonus run up Pilgrims Way
was taken by four of us, while Claire C was providing brilliant support of new member Stephen, who was finding his way back onto the bike after a recent knee operation. Along to Eynsford, and we said our goodbye’s to Stephen who had planned only to ride circa 20 miles.
So Claire, Simon C, Ashley P, Darryl and I continued. The long drag up to the top of Wrotham helped warm us up, before dropping down, and across to Bates Hill.
Having set the other group off first, and in arriving on Bates’s with the clock ticking over, concern was growing over the availability of seats inside at Belmondos should we arrive second. Thus a plan was hatched to head across to the top of Carter’s rather than ride round to it and up it. From there we reckoned we’d chase down the others to claim the seats.
In fact the plan worked too well, in so far as when going up Polhill, a faster rider passed us and asked “are there two Avanti groups out today then ?”
Clearly the others were behind us, so whilst we were good to guarantee inside seating we were going to have to come clean over our underhand tactics !
In the end we rolled onto the forecourt at Belmondos within a minute of each other, and after a bit of table shuffling we were all good inside.
Well done to all on the day for venturing out on such a cold day. Thank you to my group for the great company, and to Claire for the help she provided to Stephen.
I got out again, and joined a really enjoyable G3 ride round to the Spadegate cafe in Offham.
I’d not been there before, and found it a really nice spot to stop off for coffee and food. I’m sure I’ll be back.
As for the ride itself, I’ll leave others to fill you in on the full details, but thanks once again to Claire Clarke who was our leader on the day.
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