Meridian Blog

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Members’ Blog

Blog This Blog is intended for entries relating to

  1. Weekly rides, including names of riders, including surnames, in the group (needed to satisfy our 3rd party insurers)
  2. Changes to timetabled events
  3. Comments on pubs / venues
  4. Discussion relating to Holidays and Social Events

These entries will not only be posted onto the web site – they are also circulated to the bulk of the membership by email. Try to restrict your comments to items of general interest.

Entries to the Blog can only be made by club members who are logged in to the site.



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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on September 19, 2021

Message from Gerry Kemps Daughter-
Hi There Some of the club members may remember my father Gerry Kemp, who enjoyed many years being a part of the club. Dad is now unfortunately housebound, and hard of hearing, his wife is in a care home now so finds himself lonely, and fed up. We pop in as much as we can to support him, but if anyone who remembers Gerry would be able to pop in for a cuppa he would be over the Moon! My contact number is 07796615081 or email. Kindest regards Pam

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David Parker

posted this comment on September 17, 2021

B2 ride leaders wanted for the following:

13/10 from Lullingstone
20/10 from Swanley Olympic
27/10 from Polhill Garden Centre

Please let me know your preferred destination for your ride so I can include it on the runs list.

Thanks for your help.

David

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Danny Gazzi

posted this comment on September 16, 2021

B1 train/car assisted ride, Faversham, Wed 15th Sept

7 riders (Mike & Rosemary Wakefield, Pauls McDonnell & Smith, Chris Brett, Bob Stock and myself) set off westward from Faversham, with some gravel track at Swale Marina, through Lynsted and on to lunch at the Red Lion, Badlesmere, where the menu now includess soup and light bites but not sandwiches. Then through Shottenden and downhill to Boughton, before a loop to the Thames at Seasalter, and back to where we started. A flattish ride at moderate pace. Very little traffic, and lots of fruit growing on view.

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Dave Collier

posted this comment on September 16, 2021

B2 ride from Horton Kirby to Coalhouse Fort, Essex

Seven riders, Heather & Trevor Sim, Paul Godfrey, Paul Hills, Tricia Hewlett, Ken Dean and myself set off for Essex on Wed 15th. Paul H (who had just come for the biscuits!) soon left us at South Darenth. At Gravesend ferry we were joined by Brian Weekes and Paul McAteer. We crossed by ferry to Tilbury and then to Coalhouse Fort. As we arrived we met Clive Adams and his friend, out for a days cycling in Essex, with Clive on his newly repaired bike. On the return ferry crossing a passenger advised us to visit The Gurudwara Temple in Gravesend, which we did. We were welcomed, and after removing shoes and putting on a head covering were shown around and given free food (curry of course) and drink. We returned to Horton Kirby via a few back streets and footpaths.
Dave

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David Parker

posted this comment on September 16, 2021

B2 ride from Polhill Wed 15th September.

A select group of three (Nick Leng-Smith, James and myself) enjoyed a ride to The Black Horse in Stansted and a pleasant lunch sat outside in the sun.

David

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rosemary wakefield

posted this comment on September 15, 2021

B1 Riders

Please could the happy band of B1 riders choose a date from the following in October to lead a ride

6th Oct from Polhill GC

13th Oct from Lullingstone

20th Oct From The Olympic Swanley

27th Oct from Polhill GC

Looking forward to hearing from you

Rosemary Wakefield

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ABradley

posted this comment on September 15, 2021

Five Prems (Colin Kane, Richard Bingham, John Baker, Andrew Bradley and guest rider Steve Burns) left Sevenoaks for Downe, via Gatwick and Box Hill. A reasonable pace (18mph+) was maintained on the flat roads to Gatwick, where we toured the various industrial areas and dual carriageways that make up the less-than-scenic southside of the airport. Navigation and pace was soon restored and we rode north through Charlwood, Leigh and Betchworth, where the climbing began. A loop to the north of Box Hill and then the climb itself followed by a coffee stop in beautiful weather at the Box Hill cafe. Then it got really lumpy through a series of lanes to Caterham, including, the particularly unpleasant Whitehill Lane. Once through Caterham it was back on more familiar but still challenging terrain, and we arrived at the (very accommodating) Queens Head in Downe a mere 50 minutes late – the 70 miles to that point having averaged 16.5 mph. Ten further miles back to Sevenoaks resulted in an 80 mile ride with just under 5000 feet of climbing and some tired legs.

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Tony Reeve

posted this comment on September 15, 2021

An intrepid sextet of A1s assembled in Edenbridge under louring skies for a ride to Piltdown via Cowden,Hartfield, and Ashdown Forest. Witches Lane cast its spell on navigation but we were quickly back on track. Lunch followed at The Peacock. The return through Uckfield included a little nip tuckery which brought us to Duddleswell avoiding the main road and back to Hartfield via Jib Jack Hill.
Thanks to: Ray H,Danny E,Chris S, Barry B and Martin G.

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Danny Gazzi

posted this comment on September 13, 2021

B1 ride -Wed 15th Sept. Car/train assisted

We’ll be leaving Havisham’s Coffee House in the Market Sq, Faversham at or shortly after 11am.

Could those who are coming to the pub (Red Lion at Badlesmere) for lunch please let me know so I can contact the pub to let them know the numbers. Thanks, Danny

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Dave Collier

posted this comment on September 12, 2021

Dave’s ride – Wed. Sept. 15th – Horton Kirby to Coalhouse Fort, Essex

We will meet at my house – Forge Cottage, Millen Court, Horton Kirby, DA4 9GR from 9:20am for tea/coffee/biscuits and I hope to set off at 10am. Forge Cottage is at the far end of Millen Court which is a cul-de-sac. For those travelling by car, there is a car park (free) at nearby Westminster Field. The nearest railway station is Farningham Road.
The ride will be at a B2 pace. All are welcome on the ride.
We will ride to the Gravesend to Tilbury ferry and catch the 11:30 ferry. For those with a bus pass or Freedom Pass it is free.
Lunch will be at Coalhouse Fort which has a café and toilets. I would recommend taking a packed lunch as service for hot food can be slow. Buying teas and coffee is no problem. An afternoon tea stop will be at The Promenade Café, Gravesend.
We should be back at Horton Kirby about 4.15 pm.
If the weather is bad and I need to cancel the ride, I will let you know on the blog on the morning of the ride.

Dave

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Colin Kane

posted this comment on September 10, 2021

Oops! Turns out I wasn’t ridding with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, but a entirely different and better person in my opinion. Andrew Bradly. Sorry Andy.
As a postscript: two hours after getting home a thunder storm hit. So maybe summer isn’t over quite yet 😜

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Colin Kane

posted this comment on September 9, 2021

Summer’s last Hurrah!!
So last week’s ride ended with me volunteering sort a ride for this week. Just a vague plan to ride in the badlands (North of the A20) and maybe meet up with some old Prems mates. (not saying they’re old, just that they are ex Prems.I’ll stop digging!)
So I’m having breakfast on Friday and watch Carol on the TV giving the weather report and she tells me there’s a mini heatwave on the way.
I message the team and suggest we have one last long ride of the summer (our favourite one as it happens) to Whistable.
Nobody needs much persuading of course and we are set.
There are many ways to that seaside destination, but the one we took is we think the fastest and least hilly.
We met in Seal at 09:00 and set a brisk pace through Plaxtol and Yalding to make Lenham in two hours.
Refreshed with Coffee and Cake we headed straight for Favershan and then the coast road through Seasalter.
This is where the peloton split as the headwind really kicked in and once dropped there was no way back.
We regrouped on the outskirts of Whitstable and took the back road the the harbour, avoiding the packed high street.
Lunch was taken at The Forge, takeaway hut.
Fish and Chips being the popular choice.
The ride back was thankfully assisted with a tail wind and we were back at Teapot Island just in time to find they close at 4pm.
The Boathouse on the opposite bank which looks closed from the road is actually open via the rear car park onto the riverside terrace, where we relaxed on the deckchairs before taking tea on the beautifully appointed verandah.
From there we took the well trodden and cycled route back to Seal where we made our respective ways home.
My stats for the day starting in Bromley were 122miles with 5200ft of assent.
I was grateful for the company of John Baker, Andy Burnham, Richard Bingham and Dave-new wheels-Hickman.

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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on September 9, 2021

Wednesday 8th September
Seven set off from the Olympic in such fine weather
They were Danny Eagles, Chris Sims, Bob Craig, Martin Gill, Rob Bunce, Ray Hardinge, and myself.
After what most of us thought was a fairly tough ride of 30 miles, we ended up at The Bell Inn, Kemsing which as usual was excellent.

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on September 9, 2021

B2 Ride – 8 September

We were welcomed at the Olympic with the A1’s and B1’s – it was good to have a more normal ‘pre covid’ style start, with the opportunity to mix with the other groups.

On a very hot day we attempted to find a shady route via South Darenth, Green St Green, Gravesend Cyclopark, to Sole Street and Luddesdown Golden Lion, we had our lunch in the lovely Church Yard having passed many acres of newly planted vineyards. The merry group of 11 were: Trevor, Paul G, Paul Mc, James, Joe, Trish, Brian, Peter W, Chris B and Dave C and myself. On our return we met the A2s which also provided an opportunity to catch up with old friends. Thank you for such good company.

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Christopher H Brett

posted this comment on September 9, 2021

IOW
Ken pointed out that my planned B1 ride couldn’t be opened as it was ‘private’. I’ve now corrected this with a slightly changed title:
Now starts FBay
Was FWB
So this will be on the IOW Runs list shortly.

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Christopher H Brett

posted this comment on September 9, 2021

B1 ride 8 September 2021
Lovely to see several groups amassed at the Olympic on a very hot (25deg as we left).
The intrepid 5 were Paul McDonnell ( sorry I got your surname wrong when I blogged my previous ride), Bob Stock, Paul Smith, Nick Leng-Smith and yours truly.
We made our way via Eynsford, Fawkham Green, Fawkham, Hartley, Instead Rise – well named with a concrete surface that looked like a wall as turned onto it. At the top Paul M said he’d have to leave us for grandpa duties and Bob decided to return as well. The remaining three ploughed in now 28deg heat via Windmill Hill, Higham and finally Upnor Castle but oops the northern entrance. We retraced to higher ground where we found shade in which to munch our sarnies. Afterwards we found the south castle entrance at which there’s a fab view of the Medway with Chatham Dockyard beyond. I hadn’t been there for5 or 6 years and was amazed to see the Dockyard site was fully developed from what had been open land!
We then began our epic journey back trying to follow my return Garmin route some how we missed a turn and after a struggle got travelling west – phew! and home. I arrived home at 17.55
Sorry for the delays lads. I hope you ladies weren’t too upset with the late return

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Christopher H Brett

posted this comment on September 6, 2021

Hi all the IOW B1 Group riders.
I’ve just added to the IOW runs list a 40mile ride from Hotel to initially coastal to Blackgang Chine – morning coffee I hope, then inland to Carisbroke Castle for lunch I hope (provided by FH), on to Yarmouth and back to FWB. Normal climbs with nothing too strenuous. All on paved roads.
I trust I’ll have some takers whatever day is selected!
It’s getting close now.

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on September 6, 2021

Christmas Lunch (!) – A date for your diary

We have booked the Meridian Christmas lunch at High Elms on Wednesday 15th December. More details to follow in a few months time.

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on September 5, 2021

B2 Ride – I will be leading a replacement (usual ‘full day’) ride on Wednesday 8th September from the Olympic Swanley to Luddesdown please bring sandwiches if you wish or purchase food at the Golden Lion.

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Dave Collier

posted this comment on September 5, 2021

THE RIDE TO ESSEX ON 8th SEPT. HAS BEEN POSTPONED

To comply with the club instructions that Awaydays should not be held on the same day as the club are meeting at the Olympic, Swanley, I have postponed the Essex ride by one week to 15th Sept.
Even though the ride date was set well before the instruction was issued it was felt that this was the best thing to do.
I will be giving details of the ride on the Blog nearer to the date.
Dave.

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Tricia Hewlett

posted this comment on September 4, 2021

Think you’re getting your Dave’s muddled Paul – it’s Dave Collier leading B2s on Wed… sorry got nothing better to do whilst waiting to go swimming!

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on September 4, 2021

Thanks Trish my error. There is also a glitch on the runs list please ignore any route link adjacent to Dave Colliers’ ride.

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on September 4, 2021

B2 riders – For those not going on David Parkers’ Essex ride on Wednesday I will be leading a short alternative from The Olympic to Otford Pond. Route can be found on the runs list.

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SimonORegan

posted this comment on September 4, 2021

That’s great, Paul, I look forward to joining you! Best, Simon

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David Sims

posted this comment on September 3, 2021

The B2 ride on Wednesday looks interesting and something different, I note the start is Horton Kirkby but exactly where please cheers Dave S

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on September 4, 2021

David, start is from David Coopers’ house which is in Millen Court off The Street in Horton Kirby. Parking is available at the nearby Westminster Fields. Be an idea to let Dave know if you are intending to partake.

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Tony Reeve

posted this comment on September 1, 2021

A grey and overcast start and some confusion as the cafe start point was closed.
Order restored seven of the A1 group’s finest put their faith in one of the groups least experienced ride leaders.
Climbing over Ide Hill, onto Leigh, Hildenborough where the sun finally decided to don his hat just before the climb up to Ightham Mote.
A swift descent through Plaxtol and onto Hadlow and lunch at The Man of Kent. Service at the pub was friendly and quick.
Riders were: Chris S. Bob C. (who left us at Ivy Hatch) Martin G. and the ‘H’ crew – Martin, Ray and Steve. Ride leading occasionally provided by Tony Reeve.

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on September 1, 2021

B2 riders leaving Shorne Country Park and riding the Isle of Grain today were, Pete Ham, Linda Kemp, Brian Weekes, Clive Adams, Ken Dean, Heather and Trevor Sim, Dave Cooper, Dave Parker, Geoff Drummond, John Broadfoot, Paul McAteer, Mike Yeo and myself, on route we were joined by Ken Mould on his shiny new ebike. Very different scenery and a nice spot for lunch at Upnor. Bit of an issue with the last part of the return route by me and there was a mechanical but all ended well. Thanks to all for your company.

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John Baker

posted this comment on September 1, 2021

P1s – A depleted group of just 3 Prems set off from Dunton Green on a circuit around Bewl Water via Speldhurst, Frant and Wadhurst. The first 38 miles to lunch was very lumpy with nearly 4000ft of climbing. Lunch at the Star & Eagle Goudhurst was agreeable and service good. The return leg via Horsmonden and Yalding was flat and much faster although a strong headwind made it hard going for those on the front.

Overall just over 70 miles and 5000+ ft of climbing for the day. Joining me were Richard Bingham and Colin Kane.

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John Thompson

posted this comment on September 1, 2021

The B1 Ride today to Benover was 25 miles.
with me was, Rosemary Wakefield, Mike Wakefield, Nick Leng-Smith, Paul Smith, Chris Brett, Bob Stock, Peter Woods, Joe McClenaghan,
We sat in the garden, with first class drink and food service,
thank you for your company.
John Thompson

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on August 30, 2021

Using Ride With GPS

A number of video tutorials have been produced by Paul Godfrey & myself, which are accessible from the club website.

These can be accessed as follows
Home Page > See Full Runs List > Using Ride With GPS > Video Tutorials.

They will be of particular interest to those with a Garmin (or similar) who are creating/using Wednesday rides and/or rides for the forthcoming IoW trip.

There are a number of gaps that will be filled in the course of the next few weeks.

Comments/ feedback appreciated.

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on August 27, 2021

Following the reintroduction of joint venues for Wednesday starts, we have three venues; Polehill, Lullingstone and Swanley Olympic – all who make us welcome and have facilities to sit both inside and outside. The first two are working fine but we have had a problem with The Olympic in that on our last visit we had low attendance when they had opened early on our behalf. On future occasions it is important that we try to ensure that we have a reasonable turnout to support their efforts. This is a plea for group coordinators to try to avoid AwayDays on dates where the Olympic is on the runs list and for all riders to try and use the facilities that are on offer.

We are now operating with a reduced number of venues and therefore need to support them if they are to support us.’

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Malcolm McIntyre

posted this comment on August 27, 2021

Completely agree. “Away Days” should return to being occasional additional alternatives to normal club rides, not replacing club rides, as has happened a lot this year.

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John Thompson

posted this comment on August 27, 2021

I am thinking about one of the old ride we use to ride from Canterbury, before I try to recall the route, has any member stored the route I could use?
The ride would be away day ride sometime September/October this year [2021]
In anticipation.
John Thompson

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on August 29, 2021

John, I think the ride you are referring to is the Crab & Winkle which starts and finishes in Canterbury with lunch being taken at Minnis Bay. I have uploaded the ride to the runs library on the club website, let me know if you have any problems.

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on August 27, 2021

For Sale Ammaco Folding Bike
For sale by non member.
20″ wheels, alloy frame, 6 speed shimano gears.
Purchased Jan 2021, litle use.
Can inspect and collect from Snodland.
Cost approx £250; open to sensible offers.
Contact Ken for further info.

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rosemary wakefield

posted this comment on August 26, 2021

B1 On Wednesday 25th August, 8 of us meet at the village coffee shop in Headcorn and rode to Tenterden. We had our packed lunch at the railway station. We were able to see the steam trains.

After lunch we made our way to the Headcorn aerodrome and as well as having a cup of tea we were able to watch parachuting. We returned to Headcorn station for our journey back toTonbridge or Sevenoaks.

We all enjoyed the day and had no problem with the route as 3 of us had the route on our Garmins!!

Our next awayday ride is to Faversham on Wed 15th September to be lead by Danny Gazzi

Rosemary Wakefield

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on August 26, 2021

B2 Ride 25/8; Lullingstone to Medway Bridge

Dull start but good to meet up with the Prems at the Cafe; even more pleased to learn that they were only going to Stansted whereas we were off to the Medway Bridge (although that’s a distortion of the truth).
At the start (apart from me) there were David Parker, John Broadfoot, Di, Peter Woods, Neil Kerrison, Linda Kemp, Trish, Trevor Sims, and Paul Godfrey. We collected Clive Adams and Dave Collier ‘en route’, making a total of 13 in the group. On some of the busier sections of the route we rode in two groups with a significant firebreak.

Having crossed the bridge we picnicked on the banks of the Medway at Wouldham here we joined by selected local inhabitants. Pleasant spot , particularly at high tide.

We returned via Peter’s Bridge and a country route to The George at Trotiscliffe where most of the group had well deserved R&R. 45 mile loop from Sevenoaks and 2,600ft ascent.

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Ray Hardinge

posted this comment on August 26, 2021

After a tricky start from Biddenden – (was that Garmin Gremlins again or just a confused leader?) the A1’s – took an unusual and twisty route to Winchelsea via Tenterden, Rolverton, Wittersham and Peasmarsh. Lunch at the New Inn with ice cream dessert on the beach restored the energy levels for the ride home starting, with a 5 mile headwind up the Military Road to Appledore and then back to Biddenden.
The A1 holidaymakers were Barry B., Chris S., Danny E., Bert H., Agnes H, David K., and Martin G (who added a loop from and to Sevenoaks).
A good day out with cheerful company.

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Paul Geradine

posted this comment on August 25, 2021

A long and lumpy road to Stansted – it was good to meet up with the limited number of riders from other groups at Lullingstone this morning even though there were one or two jibes that the Prems were going to be taking it easy with a ride just around the corner to Stansted. Fear not – we got a good workout! John Baker, Richard Bingham, Dave Hickman and Colin Kane joined me for a spaghetti loop via Knatts Valley, Coteman’s Ash, Watery Lane (with a John Baker time trial to the A25!), Stone Street, Plaxtol, Colin Kane taking the Pete Gray Award for the Long Mill Lane sprint and on to Offham, W Malling, Ryarsh, Birling and the day’s feature climb up Birling Hill – a real brute. Then on to the back lanes around Luddesdown – passing Tony Beaumont and a couple of others heading in the opposite direction – to Cobham via a detour through the grounds of Cobham College (to circumvent some very unhelpful road contractors blocking the top of the climb up from Luddesdown) and then Sole Street, Nurstead, Longfield Hill and via Hartley Bottom to fast, friendly service at the Black Horse at Stansted. Just under 39 miles and over 2800 feet climbed. Home via Terry’s Lodge and Pilgrims’ Way.

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Martin Howe

posted this comment on August 22, 2021

Saturday Ride – Otford to Aylesford 21 August 2021 – Martin Howe
A small group consisting of Chris Simms, Bob Craig, David Binks and myself (the Fab 4) left PVC and rode up to Ivy Hatch passing Ightham Mote on our way to Poult Wood 🌳🌳🌳. From there we rode around the outskirts of Hadlow where Bob peeled off. The Fab 3 continued via East Peckham, Nettlestead to Wateringbury. As we cruised up Red Hill 😰 it started to rain ⛈ and we donned rain jackets for the last stretch down Sweets Lane through Ditton and into Aylesford where the rain stopped as we reached the Chequers pub…typical! We waited nearly half an hour to get a drink 😞 and about an hour and a half 🕜 to get an average sandwich. Even the beer mats were looking increasingly appetising 👀 by the time the food arrived! We received an apology for their poor service which included communication issues and ‘computer says no’ 💻 (even though our order consisted of a bowl of soup and two (very limited choice) sandwiches. A free drink was offered 😉. We managed to escape from the pub at about 2.40pm 🕝 and had a dry run back via West Malling, Platt and Borough Green ☁. We stopped for a chat in Wrotham village and made our various ways home via Wrotham Hill. No glitches on the ride 👍 and we all noted that once out of Kemsing the roads seemed eerily quiet for a Saturday morning.

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rosemary wakefield

posted this comment on August 21, 2021

B1 RIDE WEDNESDAY 25TH AUGUST

START VILAGE TEAROOM HEADCORN 1100 LUNCH TENTERDEN RAILWAY STATION TEA HEADCORN AERODROME

38 MILES PLENTY OF PARKING IN HEADCORN OR TRAIN ORPINGTON 0913 SEVENOAKS 0943 TONBRIDGE 0952 ARRIVING HEADCORN 1014 OR ORPINGTON0 943 SEVENOAKS 1013 TONBRIDGE 1022 ARRIVING HEADCORN 1044

LOOK FORWARD TO A GOOD DAY OUT HOPE YOU CAN JOIN ME

ROSEMARY WAKEFIELD

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Richard Bingham

posted this comment on August 19, 2021

Prems: Wed 18 Aug

Five Prems were up for another century this week. After last weeks climbing fest this weeks ride was a (comparatively) pan flat effort to Rye and back. The route out was via Tudeley, Horsmonden, Goudhurst, Benenden and Wittersham. To take in a bit of sea air we then pushed on to Winchelsea for a loop back along the coastal path to Rye Harbour and the William the Conqueror for lunch. The return was via Appledore, Tenterden and Biddenden where we were disappointed to find that the Biddenden vineyard shop is no longer offering tea and cakes. An enjoyable day none the less

Riders joining me were John Baker, Colin Kane, Paul Geradine and Jonathan East

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Tricia Hewlett

posted this comment on August 19, 2021

14 B2 riders out yesterday despite being a bit of a grey mizzly start but Kentish countryside looking as lovely as ever and it brightened up later. Out riding yesterday were Peter Woods, Sally, Dave Collier, Linda, Mike Yeo, Francoise, Roy K, Paul Godfrey, Joe M, Ken Mould, John Thompson and Ken Dean. We picked up a straggler en route who had deserted the B1s as their pace was too fast! I won’t spill the beans but think the B1s may have let the cat out of the bag!

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Christopher H Brett

posted this comment on August 18, 2021

B1 Ride 18 Aug 2021
We met at Polhill GC where both A1 and B2’s also assembled. Nice to see familiar faces after so long.
Weather was mild with a light westerly wind but very overcast.
Six of us departed and these were Danny Gazzi, Nick Leng-Smith, Bob Stock, Paul Mac Donald, Ken Dean and your truly. Were were bound for Ye Arrow, Rochester. We went east along to Otford and joined the Pilgrims Way. We had three minor stoppages – my chain came off twice after second tome it was noticed the chain was not on the upper roller on the derailleur so soon fixed, then Nick bike was making ticking noises sounding like broken spokes – soon fixed when it was noted the gear cable was hitting the spokes! Us “expert” riders!! by now a slight drizzle had started but we carried on regardless. We travelled towards Wrotham but Ken decided to leave us to join with the B2s. He told me I was a little too fast for him but the others said his bikes battery was low in charge so he didn’t want to risk riding back from Rochester un-powered! After Wrotham I turned south just add a couple of miles and re-joined Pilgrims Way just before Dropping down to pass The George at Trottiscliffe, then on to ride through Snodland turned left for a short stretch on the A228 before turning off to Peters Village, over the Medway and then left aiming north for Rochester, except my sat nav through a wobbly and eventually sorted its self out. At Rochester, looking very pretty by the turn up to the castle where Nick and I stopped to have our sandwiches. The other 3 carried on down to Ye Arrow. Nick and I joined them once our sandwiches were done.. Bob and Paul led us back,
I did 59miles door to door – a 2021 record for me and 3200 ft of climbing in total.
Thanks guys I enjoyed your company.
Not available to ride next week so enjoy those that do make it.

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Martin Gill

posted this comment on August 18, 2021

Today 6 A1s set off from Polhill, rode over Ide Hill, and climbed up to Chiddingstone Hoath. Then we headed East along Bassetts Lane and Furnace Lane, 2 of my favourite Lanes, to get to Lingfield for lunch at the Star Inn. We returned via the private road above Trevereux and Clacketts Lane. With me were Barry Barlow, Danny Eagles, Ray Hardinge and Bert & Agnes Heijna.

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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on August 18, 2021

I am posting this for a non member – any interest please contact Dennis Finn email :- janflinn@greenbee.net

2014 BMC full carbon Teammachine SLO2
Size 54 (rider height approx 170cm – 180cm)
Less than 6,000 miles use.
Ultegra 6800 group set
Chainset and front changer upgraded to FC-R8000 with Magene P35 dual sided power meters and new bearing set (approx 1750 miles ago) recent new chain.
Shimano WH- RS11 wheels in very good condition as bike has mainly been used with carbon wheel set. Steerer uncut with 30mm spacer adjustment.
Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 tyres (one new)
Bike generally in immaculate condition with no crash or impact damage.
I am selling this bike for my son who is abroad and will accept a fair offer, if you are interested please come up and have a look – Dennis Flinn tel 01732 750395 ( Ide Hill )

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Chris Simms

posted this comment on August 13, 2021

A1 Ride, Wednesday 11th August.
Eight riders met at the Cornerhouse Cafe, Lenham on a warm sunny day. Bert and Agnes, Barry B, Ray H, Bob C and Danny E all arrived by car. Martin G by bike. A pleasant and not particularly hard ride to Dymchurch where we had lunch at The Ship Inn. The good, but rather expensive baguette at £10.50 was mitigated by the somewhat cheaper pint of bitter at £3.50. The ride back was definitely harder, being uphill most of the way, but a nice 60 mile round trip.

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Michael Yeo

posted this comment on August 12, 2021

Whoops! Brian Weeks Not Brian Woods

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Michael Yeo

posted this comment on August 12, 2021

B2 ride Wednesday 11th August to Shorne woods country park
Joining me where ;- Francoise ? Tricia Hewlett , Linda Kemp , Peter’s Mould and Dean, David’s Collier and Parker, Paul Mcateeer, Peter’s Woods and Ham, Brian Woods , myself, and Peter Hawker though not for long .
A fine day and 18+ miles via Darenth , Bean , Southfleet, Instead rise, Sole street and Cobham

Michael Yeo

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Colin Kane

posted this comment on August 12, 2021

Prems 11/08/21 We fancied stretching our legs this week. Beachy Head seamed to fit the bill 100+ miles from our start at Brittains Common, where we met at 8:30. Just four of us this week. John Baker, Richard Bingham, Paul Geradine joined me for a lumpy ride of around 10,000 ft of assent. Our first stop was the Lakeside Cafe at Horam, where while we all enjoyed bacon rolls and coffee Paul slowly repaired a slow puncture. Thankfully that was our only issue that day.
The route was one of Martin Gills that I had adapted to avoid most of The Cuckoo trail. A good route right enough, but in the summer holidays not somewhere for four fast cyclist to be doing there thing.
We reached Beachy Head around midday under leaden skies. But by the time we got back inland to the Pub (The Plough & Harrow at Litlington) the sun had returned. Refreshed with quickly delivered lunches and drinks we returned via Upper and Lower Dicker to pickup our outward route at Horam. too early for tea we pushed on the the Deer Park campsite cafe near Eridge. A welcome break from the relentless hills. Then home home via Groombridge and Chiddingstone.
A great day out on the bike with good friends. What is there to complain about? My legs are still not convinced!!

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rosemary wakefield

posted this comment on August 11, 2021

B1 There has been an accident and there are no trains to ASHFORD until 12 oclock Michael and Rosemary are going by car and if anyone is comming by car and wants to let us know so we can wait for you his number is 07776 366225
We will not leave Costa before 11 oclock

Rosemary

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rosemary wakefield

posted this comment on August 11, 2021

Hi Paul Thank you for the alert Michael is going down to the station as I cannot see that the 10.13 is running. My info is that the first train is the 10.43 Will let you know shortly Rosemary

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Paul McDonnell

posted this comment on August 11, 2021

Update looks like the 10.13 and later trains are back on the 9.43 appears to be cancelled I will just turn up for 9.43 and be prepared to Waite for later train. They must have fixed the problem.

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Paul McDonnell

posted this comment on August 11, 2021

Hi all looks like the trains to Ashford Intl from Sevenoaks to are currently cancelled this am due to an incident. What does that mean for the ride? Drive to Ashford or do an alternative ride from Sevenoaks arrived 9.43?

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Ray Hardinge

posted this comment on August 5, 2021

Our group of A1 riders of Agnes & Bert, Barry, Danny, David K. Martin G. Steve H, Tony R, Bob and myself met up at the Rose & Crown car park (too early for the pub staff it seemed) where Tony left us to find a caffeine shot back home. A rolling ride via Ide Hill, Carter’s Hill and Plaxtol took us to Crouch where Bob peeled off. Agnes & Bert left us at the George in Trottiscliffe (Bert needed some 2000+m of extra climbing later in the afternoon). The food and service at the George was good and after some lively negotiations over the bill we all left for home.

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rosemary wakefield

posted this comment on August 5, 2021

B1 RIDE WEDNESDAY 11TH AUGUST

The ride will be from Ashford Station to St Mary`s Bay where we will have lunch before returning to Ashford. Ride will be 42 miles with 500 feet of ascent and 500 feet of decent!!

Choice for lunch either at the Bailiff`s Sergeant pub or for those with refreshments the beach.

Meet at Costa for coffee at Ashford Station prior to start of ride at 1100

Train times Orpington 0913 change at Sevenoaks for 0943. Tonbridge 0952. Arrive at Ashford 1031

Sevenoaks free parking on our drive for anyone who wishes to bring bike by car. M and R will leave for station at 0920.

If weather forecast is unfovourable ride will be cancelled and notice posted on Blog by 1800 on Tuesday.

Mike Wakefield

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Linda Kemp

posted this comment on August 4, 2021

B2 ride on 4th August 2021 from Dunton Green to Godstone. The nine riders who set off from the Rose and Crown were: Paul G, David P, Malcolm Mc, Joe Mc, John B, Mike Y, Diana O, Ken M and myself. Pete H joined us at Clackets Lane, replacing Paul G who left for home. The nine continued onward through Limpsfield Chart, Pains Hill, Crowhurst and on to Godstone pond where Ken D had waited for our arrival. After picnics were consumed, the group of ten made their way back through Oxted, Titsey Hill and the Pilgrims Way. We were lucky to enjoy a fine dry day. Thank you for your good company today everyone.
Linda

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Paul Geradine

posted this comment on August 4, 2021

Prems ride to The Swan on the Green, W Peckham, 4.8.21: after last week’s expedition to the wilds of N Kent, we were back on familiar ground today from Bessels Green via Ide Hill, Chiddingstone, round the back of Fordcombe, Groombridge, Bunny Lane, Bell’s Yew Green, Lamberhurst, Horsmonden, Yalding and E Peckham to one of our regular lunchtime venues. After some undulations, our speedsters set a torrid pace to Yalding and an early lunch. The food was as good as usual but the service a bit slow. Home via The Hurst, Borough Green, Wrotham, Kemsing and Otford. Just about 60 miles in total and just under 1200m of climbing (3900 ft in old money). Those with me (or often in front of me!) were John Baker, Richard Bingham and Colin Kane.

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Ray Hardinge

posted this comment on July 30, 2021

Heather,
A very enjoyable walk and meal yesterday. Many thanks for organising it all.
Ray and Teresa

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David Keith

posted this comment on July 30, 2021

Wed 28th A1 ride from Lullingstone Visitors’ Centre to the Chequers, Laddingford. Chris Simms, Ray Hardinge, Martin Gill, Dom Haslam, Bert and Agnes Heijna, Tony Reeve, Martin Howe and Bob Craig (as far as Ightham) joined me for a route via Shoreham, Kemsing, Basted, West Peckham, Wateringbury and Yalding. We managed to dodge most of the showers so the real dampener for me was a puncture a few miles from home.

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rosemary wakefield

posted this comment on July 28, 2021

B1 ride today.
Many thanks Trevor for a great ride to a location never visited before. We did almost 50 miles being the most we have done for quite a while.
The moral of the ride is don`t build a mausleom in your garden.
After we split up we went to the tearoom by the bridge in Eynsford for a cuppa but as we had a long wait they gave it to us on the house with cake we did not order. The wait was beneficial as we missed the shower before the leg home.
Mike and Rosemary

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Christopher H Brett

posted this comment on July 29, 2021

Thanks Trevor for an interesting route including 2 well surfaced off-road sections. I’d never heard of the Darnley Mausoleum before checking out the planned ride in advance. An impressive although dull building set in wonderful countryside. We were lucky to experience the magnificence of nearby Oak tree which provided shelter in the drizzle that began just as we were approaching it and only lasted as long as it took to eat our lunch. Four did go back to The Leather Bottle, Cobham for the urgent need for alchohol boost.
Malcolm led us sandwich-munchers home on a route that took in the Cyclopark and amazingly we seemed to have the wind behind us for most of the way back. I split from Malcolm about 3miles from home and had to dash to avoid most of a heavy-ish downpour with less than 2miles to go – phew! The the down pour arrived about an hour later. Totally pleased I avoided that – my wife wasn’t so lucky! Thanks Malcolm for a straight forward route.
Please note Rosemary and Mike I did 45miles under own power probably as did most others! Ha Ha!

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John Baker

posted this comment on July 28, 2021

Wed 28 July – 5 Prems set off from Seal with a fair wind speeding our way to La Isla Bonito off the Kent coast. The route took us through Yalding, Coxheath and Hollingbourne before descending down to the Sheppey Way and over the Kingsferry Bridge. Colin claimed an average speed of 18.5 mph so that must be true. Unfortunately the grey skies and strong south-westerly didn’t show the Island in its’ best light so we decided not to go into the Elmley Nature Reserve and headed back over the bridge for lunch at The Woolpack in Iwade where the food and service was very good. The return journey was not quite as planned and we went a bit off piste on some sketchy roads with a few steep hills. Eventually though we found our way back on track and returned over St Peters Bridge and home via Snodland and Trottiscliffe.
The riders out with me were Richard Bingham, Colin Kane, Paul Geradine and Andy Bradley. Overall around 80 miles and 4500 ft climbing for most.

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Cathy Sharman

posted this comment on July 28, 2021

The B2 ride today was cut short by two heavy cloud bursts, Heather, Di, Linda, Roy K, Clive, Mike Y, John B, Jeff, David C, David P and Alice N made it to the Hilden Golf Club cafe from where everyone took different routes home, Ken D, Ken M and Brian took a more direct route.
I will try the route again another time. Thank you to everyone for your forbearance.

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on July 28, 2021

10 B1 culture vultures took off from Lullingstone to visit the Darnley Mausoleum accompanied briefly by a bird of paradise, who wasted by a night on the town, took off early for R & R. Untroubled by rain except briefly at lunch when we flocked together under a tree the wake consisted of Malcolm, Bob, Paul, Danny, Paul S, Nick, Chris, Trevor, Rosemary and rear gunner Mike to whom I give my thanks.

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on July 27, 2021

Covid Update 27/7

The committee met on 26th July – please News item on the Home Page.

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David Keith

posted this comment on July 23, 2021

Wed 21st A1 ride from Polhill to the Halfway House, Brenchley. Chris Simms, Ray Hardinge, Barry Barlow, Dom Haslam, Bert and Agnes Heijna, Tony Reeve and Martin Howe (just for the first few miles) joined me for a route via Sevenoaks, Weald Village, Haysden Park/Tonbridge Rec and Matfield. There were no mishaps and the optional loop via Castle Hill and Horsmonden was politely declined.

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Colin Kane

posted this comment on July 23, 2021

Prems, Freedom Ride! 19/07/21
So with the road to freedom open at last we headed to Polhill GC to find it closed!!
We were six for today’s ride plus guest for the day Old Port cyclist Neil Cryer. Richard, John East, Neil and myself met at Polhill for a brief chat with others before heading to Sundridge to pick Paul G, Andy B and John B.
Our destination The Old Dunning Mill on the South side of East Grinstead. Not somewhere we’d been before, but looked good on paper. The food was good when it arrived! and that was the only issue.
The ride was uneventful taking us out via Groombridge and Forest Row and back via East Grinstead, Lingfield and Edenbridge. The heat of the day proving to be the only real obstacle.

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Nicholas Leng-Smith

posted this comment on July 22, 2021

B1b Group. “Los Cinco Perdidos”
Many thanks to Paul McAteer for stepping in to lead the B1s today, since I was supposed to be (but wasn’t) in Spain.
The route I had originally planned (an over-ambitious 25 miles, given the heat) was on the website and had been downloaded by several B1 participants. This, and the presence of a “decoy” B2 party just in front, resulted in five B1s turning left (to Halstead) at the roundabout, instead of right (to Shoreham) with the rest of Paul’s B1 contingent. When we became aware of our mistake, it was too late to turn back and try to catch up. John Thompson called to let the B1a party know what had happened, and the B1bs (John Thompson, Danny Gazzi, Paul Dean [welcome back Paul!], Malcolm McIntyre and Nick L-S) continued on Nick’s Posted Route Version 2 (i.e., considerably curtailed), with various people taking turns to lead.
The shortened route from Polhill to Saint Mary’s Platt was 21 miles. At the churchyard we were reunited with Paul M and the B1as; and a bit later, with Trevor Simm, who had enjoyed a slightly longer route of his own devising.
It was HOT! John T distributed sweets to restore our energy levels.
(Addressed to one of our group: “Give the Glucosamine a try! Oh, Doubting Thomas!”)

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on July 21, 2021

B2 ride 21 July. Leaving Polhill were Ken Dean, Cathy SHarman, Diane, Ken Mould, Linda Kemp, Mike Yeo, David Parker, Paul Hills and myself. Di and Ken left us on route the remainder continuing towards Tatsfield. On route a decision was made to change the destination from Edendbridge to Oxted in order to avoid a return trip up Ide Hill in the peak of the heat. Lunch was had in the shade of a tree on Oxted green and we even posed for a photo by a friendly local. Easy run back along the Pilgrims Way thanks to all for the company.

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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on July 21, 2021

All,
I enclose the notice from Polhill to say that the retaurant is not open, we can still meet there, but ther will be no coffee as far as i can tell

“Coronavirus update

Following on from the Prime Ministers briefing earlier this week, many restrictions that have been commonplace are now being relaxed from Monday 19th July. Our priority at Polhill is to ensure the safety of our customers and staff, so we will be stepping away from restrictions slowly and will continue to review the situation on a regular basis.

From Monday 19th July, our play area will re-open. There will be a hand sanitising station at the play area that will be available for families and children to use.
It is with regret that we must close our restaurant for the time being due to a number of staff being required to isolate as per government guidelines. All other areas of the garden centre will remain open as per usual. We apologise for this inconvenience but we must ensure the safety of our restaurant team.
If you have booked a Tiki hut with us this will go ahead as usual with a small dedicated team.

We will also continue to limit numbers into the store, as what can be a busy shopping environment, we feel this is the best first step out of restrictions, to ensure customer safety as well as a stress-free environment for everyone.

We have advised our staff to continue wearing masks to protect themselves, as well as others. We hope you can support us in this next phase and kindly encourage customers to wear a face mask too.

We would like to thank you for your cooperation and ongoing support as we all work through what has been a really challenging time, and we look forward to welcoming back more Polhill customers over the next few months.

Stay Safe, The Polhill Team

*** PLEASE NOTE ***
At busy periods, and especially weekends, to keep the centre safe for both customers and staff and in accordance with government guidelines it may be necessary to queue to enter the centre to control numbers.

If you are in more of a hurry or prefer to avoid queues we find that first thing in the morning on weekdays are generally quieter but this can obviously not be guaranteed.

We do understand that queuing can be frustrating but all measures have been implemented to keep everyone safe.”

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on July 20, 2021

For reasons unknown (99% sure it’s a Google problem) the runs list may not be displaying properly. In which case the following is a summary of this week’s rides.

21/Jul .P 10.30 Polhill Garden Centre East Grinstead The Old Dunnings Mill Colin Kane
21/Jul A1 10.30 Polhill Garden Centre Brenchley The Halfway House David Keith
21/Jul B1 10.30 Polhill Garden Centre Platt Church Packed Lunch or Blue Anchor Paul McAteer
21/Jul B2 10:30 Polhill Garden Centre Edenbridge Paul Godfrey

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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on July 20, 2021

It is fine on google for me

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on July 19, 2021

AN UPDATE ON THE OLYMPIC
Further to my message yesterday Heather Sim paid a visit to The Olympic today and was able to speak to the manageress. She apologised for the delay in confirmation and promised to confirm by email that the dates we proposed were acceptable. I received an email this evening to that effect and have therefore reinstated The Olympic on the runs list. I can only apologise for the confusion caused and would only say that I have been trying to sort this out since the beginning of June, a process which has been time consuming and incredibly frustrating.

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roy knight

posted this comment on July 20, 2021

good news rides starting from the Olympic Swanley.
Thanks Committee.
Roy K

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on July 19, 2021

Meridian Walk 29th July, 4pm start from Black Horse pub car park, Stansted

– FINAL CALL FOR NUMBERS

You are invited to join us for the Club’s annual walk for our members and their friends.
If you have not already let me know that you are coming please let me know by Friday, 23rd July; so that I can give a final confirmation of numbers eating to the pub.
Most of the cyclists amongst our group will know it is pleasant inside but if it is a warm summer’s evening there is also a lovely garden with tables. The pub is serving its regular menu and in addition daily specials.
The walk is 3.3 miles long and if on public footpaths with excellent views. I will be wearing long trousers, walking shoes with socks (as the walk includes woods, meadows and a section alongside a wheat field!). I will be using a walking pole and taking water.

Heather.sim85@gmail.com phone: 01322 865147

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Ray Hardinge

posted this comment on July 19, 2021

Heather,
Yes please, Teresa and I would like to join you on the 29th,
Ray

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on July 19, 2021

Thank you – I have add you to the list, looking forward to see you both.

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on July 19, 2021

Thank you Bert, I have put you and Agnes on the list – looking forward to seeing you.

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on July 18, 2021

IMPORTANT UPDATE TO THE RUNS LIST

Despite my best efforts I have been unable to get confirmation from The Olympic at Swanley regarding our use of the venue for our Wednesday starts. Numerous emails and telephone calls have been ignored and I must therefore assume that they no longer wish to host us. For the time being we will have three start venues, Polhill, Lullingstone and the Rose & Crown. With effect from the end of September this will reduce to two since we will no longer have use of the Rose & Crown. Our options are very limited since there are no other venues that I am aware of within the catchment area that can provide all weather facilities for a group as large as ours. I will continue to look but at this stage am not hopeful.

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Richard Bingham

posted this comment on July 17, 2021

Prems: Wed 14 July.

Nice morning for a 63 mile ride to The Rose & Crown in Mayfield. Quietly enjoying our pre-ride bacon sandwiches at the PVC we were soon disturbed by a large and raucous group of A’s amassing for theirs so departed pretty swiftly 😉

A variation on an old favourite Martin Gill route taking in Hadlow, Brenchley, Lamberhurst and Wadhurst we soon arrived at the pub. We were pleased to find the welcome, food and service up to the same high standards as we remembered.

Refreshed, we took on the very gnarly Argos Hill before heading back via Rotherfield, Groombridge and Chiddingstone.

Riders out were John Baker, Paul Geradine, Dave Hickman, new member (and seasoned Iron Man) Mark O’Brian and me

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Martin Howe

posted this comment on July 16, 2021

A1 -Otford to Benover 14 July 2021 – Martin Howe
A large group of eleven riders met at the PVC including Chris Simms, Ray Hardinge, Bob Craig, Danny Eagles, Barry Barlow, Dom Haslam, Stephen Hardy, Bert and Agnes Heijna, Martin Gill and myself. We rode via Kemsing, Ightam Mote, Hadlow, Hartlake, Capel, Matfield and Brenchley without mishap. Just after, the Garminator had a ‘mid-Kent crisis’ 😠 and we lost two or three riders off the back. Many thanks to Ray for looping back ↪ with the ‘lost boys’ (and girl) to reform the peloton and to Martin G and Chris who kept us heading in the right direction ➽ until the Garmin decided to behave itself once again. Back on track, we reached the Woolpack on time as the sun finally decided to make a welcome appearance ⛅. After a leisurely lunch 🍺🍵🍔, we reluctantly made our way back into a strengthening head wind 🌀 via Yalding and Hadlow stopping for a quick chat at Ivy Hatch before going our separate ways.

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on July 15, 2021

Club rides restricted to the fully vaccinated
Please read the News Item that features on the home page.

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Malcolm McIntyre

posted this comment on July 14, 2021

14th June B1 ride started from Polhill (still takes me 20mins to order a coffee on the app) with ten riders. All was well until the Pilgrims Way when off the back we lost Paul Smith with a mechanical and John Thompson who stopped to help (apologies), and simultaneously lost Mike Wakefield off the front when he made a solo breakaway from the peleton (so no apology).
We all met together at Lingfield, although Danny Gazzi and Rick Green quickly beetled off in search of beer.
Uneventful homeward journey until we went our separate ways at various points.
Other riders were: Trevor Sim, Rosemary Wakefield, Nick Leng-Smith, and Chris Brett.

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Pete Ham

posted this comment on July 14, 2021

14th July B2s ride from Swanley Park to Greenwich –
Pete Ham, Brian Weekes, Trish Hewlett, David Parker, James Mullet (Guest), Roy Knight, Paul Hills, Heather Sim, Linda Kemp, Di Outram, Paul McAteer, Ken Mould.
Thanks everyone for your company, and Paul Mc for a great return route.
Photos to follow on the WhatsApp group.

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Richard Bingham

posted this comment on July 12, 2021

Prems Ride Report 7/8 July

A group of 6 Prems went to Dorset to meet up with former members Peter and Rosemary Gray.
Two days of riding on very nice routes put together by Pete. Riders were John Baker, Colin Kane, Paul Geradine, Dave Hickman, Julian Hutchings and Richard Bingham (and of course Pete Gray). A top couple of days and great to see Pete and Rosie who send their very best wishes to all at Meridian. Here’s a link to Julian’s video

https://youtu.be/ZBpf81VPH88

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on July 12, 2021

Great video that must have taken Julian considerable time and effort to both shoot and edit. Know Dorset well as Dave Collier and I take out wives and bikes down to Swanage every year for over 20 years.. The roads round Corfe Castle, Kimmeridge and over the ranges to Lulworth have been ridden many times.
Any chance of having a link to the routes you used?
Sets a high bar to what we can produce when the lower levels of the club head off for IoW in September.

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Julian Hutchings

posted this comment on July 12, 2021

Hi Ken, thanks for the kind remarks – glad you liked it. Are you on Strava? The route on day 1 was partly Pete Gray and partly me, and the route on day 2 was by Pete. The easiest way to find them would be to follow me on Strava – Julian Hutchings – and then you can copy the routes. Julian

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Dave Collier

posted this comment on July 9, 2021

B2 ride Otford to Halling Wed. 7th July

A group of 9 riders set off in cloudy conditions to Halling by the river Medway. They were: Peter H, Linda K, James M, Ken M, Di O, David P, Peter W, Mike Y and myself. Ken and Di left us early in the ride. After the climb of Terry’s Lodge we went via Stansted to Fairseat and Vigo. Halfway down Birling Hill we turned onto the Pilgrims Way footpath. There was some mud which clogged up the brakes but further on the road was flooded which gave us a chance to wash our wheels. We didn’t know how deep the water was, so I was instructed, as leader, to try it first! Luckily it was only a few inches deep.
We cycled past St. Andrews Lake and down to the riverside at Halling, where we looked at the ruins of The Archbishops Palace and had our lunch beside The Medway.
Dave C

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rosemary wakefield

posted this comment on July 9, 2021

B1 ride to Robertsbridge 7th July

6 of us Jo, Paul Smith, Paul Mc, Nick, Mike and Rosemary, joined by John T on route, left Otford Pond arriving at Brook Side GC for coffee and on to Gouldhurst where we sat by the pond for our lunch We arrived at Robertsbridge in time to have afternoon tea before catching the train back to Sevenoaks. 43 miles an enjoyable days ride.
Rosemary Wakefield

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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on July 8, 2021

A1 ride Wednesday 7th July
Tony Reeve, Danny Eagles, Ray Hardinge, Chris Simms, Bert and Agnes Heijna, Martin Gill, Dom Haslam, Bob Craig and I assembled at the Velo Barn under a threatening sky. Bob had to leave the start venue early due to a family emergency. The rest set off on a 30-mile circular trip to the Bell in Kemsing. Dom got a puncture and then a second puncture and as he had the route decided to mend it at his own time and the rest of us went on. We were now down to eight, but we soon joined by Martin Howe who had not wanted to do the trek to the Velo Barn in such threatening weather. We arrived at the Bell without getting wet and soon Dom turned up. The lunch and service were excellent, we left in sunshine.

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rosemary wakefield

posted this comment on July 4, 2021

B1 Ride Wednesday 7th July – Ride leader Rosemary Wakefield

Start 1015 Otford Pond. We will ride to Brookside Garden Centre for coffee and the progress to Goudhurst for lunch on green by pond. Bring refreshments or buy fodder at Weeks Bakery in Goudhurst.

After lunch we will ride to Robertsbridge and from here it will be a train trip home. Trains are hourly so there maybe time for a cuppa if there is a wait for the train.

Any member who would like to start with me in Sevenoaks for ride to start may leave their car in our drive – free parking !

Ride will be cancelled if weather forecast is bad and notice will be posted here by 1800 Tuesday

Rosemary!

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Tony Reeve

posted this comment on July 1, 2021

An intrepid band of A1 riders gathered at the PVC under grey and threatening skies on Wedenesday morning.Our route took us from Otford to Limpsfield, Barrow Green, Tandridge, and Cowden leading to for lunch at The Kentish Horse.Lunch reasonably prompt. The lady in charge of service perhaps not best suited to a customer facing role. Able companions were Barry B. Ray H, Dom H, Martin H and Martin G,Chris S and Tony R in a cameo appearance as ride leader.

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Cathy Sharman

posted this comment on June 30, 2021

B2s, eight riders left Otford pond headed to Aylsford Prioy on a grey but mostly dry day. I had the pleasure of the company of Heather, Tracy, Linda, Valerie, Mike Y, Roy K and John R. No alarms, accidents or incidents but a very enjoyable day.
Cathy

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ABradley

posted this comment on June 30, 2021

Four Prems (Richard Bingham, Colin Kane, Andrew Bradley and Jon East) gathered in Sevenoaks for a flat, sprinters’ stage in honour of Cav’s win in the TdF yesterday. After the initial Cat 4 climb of Brittains Lane and technical descent of Carters Hill, at the bottom of which we picked up John Baker, the parcours levelled off as we wound our way through East Peckham, Yalding, Marden, Staplehurst, Headcorn and Smarden. John Baker won the intermediate sprint to the Frittenden village sign, which was immediately followed by the feed zone at the Bell & Jorrocks. The soigneurs were a little too relaxed in handing out the musettes but the quality of the energy bars, when they finally arrived, was good. Another 30 miles of slightly more rolling terrain through Brenchley and Matlock culminated in the Cat 3 climb of Mote Road and the final sprint to Seal, again won by John Baker who therefore took the Green Jersey for the day. Overall, 73 miles but only 900m of climbing, which helped us achieve a decent average pace of 18.1mph.

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on June 30, 2021

A squad of B1 road warriors set forth from Lullingstone and stormed Oldbury Hill Fort through the woods urged on by Dave Sims. The victors celebrated at The George quaffing ale and coffee. The squad was Dave S, Malcolm, Paul S, Paul McD, Mike, Rosemary, Nick, Chris B, Danny G and Trevor.

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Cathy Sharman

posted this comment on June 29, 2021

B2 I am leading from Polhill to Alysford Priory.
I won’t come in to the cafe so will meet riders in the carpark.
Anyone who wants to join at Otford pond can do about 10.45.
Cathy

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Paul Geradine

posted this comment on June 24, 2021

Prems ride, 23 June: met at Brittain’s Common for a route to a new lunch stop at The Fox at West Hoathly. Richard Bingham, Andy Bradley, Colin Kane and Yours Truly rode up Brittain’s Lane and met John Baker at Weald village. Sadly John decided not to join the excursion which left me with the three fast “lads” who set a brisk pace through Chiddingstone Hoath, Blackham and Withyham before beasting each other up Church Hill to King’s Standing in the Ashdown (personal bests for at least a couple of them – I was out of sight…..behind!) then on via Nutley and some v pretty country lanes to the south and west of Nutley to our new lunch stop (fyi, the Ardingly Inn is closed at lunchtimes at present). The Fox has a hilltop location and good food and service but not the cheapest. Home via Priory Road, Forest Row, Ashurstwood, Holtye, Cowden, Hever and Ide Hill. 60 miles, plenty more climbing than advertised and good weather throughout.

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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on June 24, 2021

A1 ride Wednesday 23rd June 2021 We met at Speedgate by which time I had done more climbing than was in the ride. I proposed a very flat ride as I had several negative comments about my previous rides. All went well except Canada Farm Road was in a very poor state until we arrived at Cycle Route 1. We should be seriously ashamed of the state of this cycled route. We had to negotiate some extremely bad paving and then to cap it all we had to go through a pond (not a puddle) which was full of obstacles (And I mean full). We all had to stop somewhere in the pond and a new rider Jon who was out for the first time with the club got seriously messy. We arrived at the pub ‘The Three Daws’ where the service, the food and the views were excellent. Those joining me were:- Steve Hardy, Ray Hardinge, Chris Simms, Danny Eagles, Bob Craig, Martin Howe, new ride Jon East and we were joined at the pub by Peter Nuttall fresh from the dentist (it could not have been very much, because he tucked into his sandwich with relish).

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on June 23, 2021

B2 Ride Otford Pond to Pembury

13 riders assembled for an early start at Otford pond, they were, Trish, Cathy, Joe McC, Richard Gilbert (Guest), Mike Y, Brian W, Dave C, Linda K, Roy K, Heather S, John R, Paul H and myself. Given the numbers We rode the first half the ride in two groups with Dave Collier leading the second group.

Morning coffee (again) at Hilden Golf Club where we served along with a large group of Kent VeloGirls. A great place to stop for coffee on a nice day.

We then proceeded through Tonbridge onto the A21 Cycleway which was a new route for some of the group.

Sandwich lunch on the green at Pembury before returning via Kent College, Capel, Tudely and Hadlow. Hadlow was a disappointment as the college café is no more, Weathered and Worn was closed, as was the bakers and the toilets!
We struggled home via Plaxtol where the group fragmented and we went our separate ways.

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Nicholas Leng-Smith

posted this comment on June 23, 2021

B1 Ride 23.6.2021.
Seven of us (another “Magnificent Seven” I heard from behind, and could not disagree), set off from Polhill to Sevenoaks, via Shoreham, Otford, Rye Lane and Dunton Green, and a few little dog-legs to avoid main road traffic, which I dislike. Through Chipstead and Bessels Green and up the quiet and shady Back Lane to Goathurst Common. From there, east along the top of the escarpment, on a road which according to Google Maps, has no name, (I call it the “Roller Coaster” because it is one), and down the beautiful Bayley’s Hill.

Continuing east in the direction of Sevenoaks Weald, but turning south well before, on Hale Oak Road for an effortless 3 miles to the B2027. From there to Chiddingstone, pausing to look longingly at the barrels sitting in the yard of Larkins Brewery.

And so, to Markbeech (or Mark Beech, as some would have it), where we shared the church graveyard (temporarily) with Bromley Ramblers. There were no takers for The Kentish Horse, from our group, although half the Ramblers were having lunch there. For the record, the pub is serving meals and sandwiches, and Larkins bitter.

Malcolm McIntyre kindly guided us back via Hever, the Hendon Manor Estate (a traffic-free cut, though not necessarily shorter, as Paul McAteer, who followed the road, demonstrated) and up Ide Hill, at the top of which, everyone went their separate ways.

The Seven were: Chris Brett, Dave Collier, Paul McAteer, Malcolm McIntyre, Trevor Sim, Paul Smith and me, Nick Leng-Smith.

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Christopher H Brett

posted this comment on June 20, 2021

Ken
I would like to have been able to join members for the 4th July St Christopher’s Hospice event but all being well I’ll be in Carnforth, Southern Lake District with my walking friends which had been postponed from the first week in May. I will however gladly make a donation to the Hospice. Should I do this through the Club or directly to the Hospice mentioning the Club’s event?

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on June 18, 2021

Meridian Summer Walk

You and your partner are invited to a summer evening walk on Thursday 29th July at 4pm. We plan to leave our cars at the Black Horse car park, Stansted and take a 2 hour circular route returning to the pub for an evening meal. We have booked all their dining space (currently 30 covers). Please let me know if you wish to join us by the 2nd July.

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roy knight

posted this comment on June 19, 2021

Hi Heather both Jenny and I would like to join you on the 29th July for the evening walk, if there are spaces available.
Roy Knight.

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on June 19, 2021

I have put you on the list – look forward to seeing you both.

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Cathy Sharman

posted this comment on June 19, 2021

Yes please, Richard and I would love to join you

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Heather Sim

posted this comment on June 19, 2021

I have put you on the list – look forward to seeing you both.

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Roy Cheesman

posted this comment on June 20, 2021

Dear Heather, and Trevor. I think that you sent a message to me, Roy Cheesman, instead of the intended Roy Knight. I haven’t cycled with Meridian since the start of the first lockdown. The earlier start time along with a limited train timetable has made it not really possible to join the rides. I still see Clive and Brian from the club for rides around London though. Please pass on my best wishes to any who remember me from the B1 and B2 groups. Hopefully I’ll catch up with everyone at some point. Kind regards, Roy.

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Christopher H Brett

posted this comment on June 20, 2021

Hi Heather,
Stella and I would love to join you for the Meridian Evening walk and meal at The Black Horse, Stansted if there are still enough spaces to accommodate us.
Just had a walk with friends around Toys Hill. Weather gloomy this morning but brightened up after lunch take whilst over looking Chartwell.

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Dave Collier

posted this comment on June 21, 2021

Hello Heather, Gill and I would like to join you for the walk on 29th July.
Dave

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Bob Craig

posted this comment on June 17, 2021

In case any groups were planning to ride to them. The Rising Sun at East Malling I am told is closed and due to be turned into housing and The Green Man at Hodsell Street has burnt down so I guess it wont be open for a while.

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Dominic Haslam

posted this comment on June 17, 2021

A1 Ride – we met at the Lullingstone Visitor Centre and 13 of us set off on 12 bikes bound for the George&Dragon at Ightham – me, Barry Barlow, Bert & Agnes Heijna, Ray Hardinge, Tony Reeve, Bob Craig, Danny Eagles, Martin Gill, Chris Simms, Danny Gazzi, Martin Howe and newcomer Mark O’Brien. The suggested route initially across a couple of fields was not universally popular, so we went by tarmac instead to Eynsford then up to Knatts Valley, taking in the delights of Knatts Lane. Bob took one look at that, and went home via another route (I think he did actually have something else to do as well). One down. We then meandered along on top of the ridge, and down Exedown. As we descended, Tony, who was at the back at the time, got an insect in his eye and had to stop, and was not missed until we got to Wrotham. We did go back, and tried to call him, but by then he had partially recovered and decided to set off home. Two down. Some miles further on, beyond Offham, Danny G lost contact with the group. Three down. But just as we turned at a junction to start up Dux Hill, Danny shot across our bows, having found a perfect short cut which brought us back together. One up again. After what seemed like a series of even more hills we eventually made it to the pub, where we sat in hot sunshine and downed lots of fluids and sandwiches which were served in reasonable time by very nice staff, despite their being very busy. All in all a rather eventful ride with plenty of incident and climbing. Barry is promising a flat route for next week!

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Colin Kane

posted this comment on June 17, 2021

16/06/21 Six Prems headed for the Isle of Grain.
John Baker, Richard Bingham, Andy Burnham, Dave Hickman and Paul Geradine joined me as we left Otford and rode via Lullingstone, Longfield, Sole Street on to Cliffe passing Cooling Castle (the home i’m told of Julles Holland) where i took a call to say the kitchen at The Ship Tavern in Lower Upnor was not serving today! So we continued on our planned route to Rochester and Ye Arrow under the walls of the Norman Castle Keep.
We sat under a fiercely hot sun waiting for our meals, a mixed bag. JB opting for just an ice cream Sundae! We should have found a pub with a shady garden!
Our route back was on the south side of The Medway through Brostal and Woldham to St Peters Bridge. Then Strood, Trottisclife and the Pilgrims Way back to Otford.
No mechanicals other than a couple of shipped chains on this most enjoyable ride.

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Christopher H Brett

posted this comment on June 17, 2021

B1 ride 16th June 2021
Wow it was hot today – my Garmin told me the average temperature was 79degF with a maximum of 91degF.

That said 5 stalwarts started from Otford Pond (several defected to the B2 groups that also started from there) and these were Malcolm McIntyre, Nick Leng-Smith, Trevor Sim, Paul Smith and yours truly.

We set off along the Pilgrims Way (thankfully missing RowDow Lane) and turned north at Old Terrys Lodge Road, mercifully less steep than RowDow, on to Stansted and Hodsoll Street where unfortunately soon after Paul came off having skidded on a gravelly area. He got a few cuts and grazes but was fortunately not seriously hurt but looked a bit of a mess and was somewhat shaken by it however he was happy to carry one but soon after resuming had an another catastrophe when his derailleur sheared and this ended up in his wheel. After a couple of minutes discussion we decided we should remove the derailleur mechanism all together and set his bike up as a single speed. Malcolm produced a link extractor and we soon completed the conversion. Paul wisely decided to leave us and returned home. We received a message to say he got back safely. We’re sure though its turned out to be an expensive ride plus war wounds too. Get well soon Paul.

So the four of us agreed we’d complete the ride to Chalk. Arriving at the Ship and Lobster, Thameside pub was a challenge and strange to. My Garmin had us double back and forth along roads very close by but not getting us there as I originally planned. Google maps resolved this easily. Well the approach to the pub was amazing and unusual to say the least as it was jammed in among a large number of wharfage yards and had a very broken up surface meant to be their car park. When outside the pub you couldn’t see the river as the river wall top was above our heads however the pub had a viewing deck with table and brollies so a well deserved drink was had. The pub staff were very welcoming.

We then began our journey back and found a very nice park to sit and have our sandwiches. We then began our journey home using a route devised by Barry Barlow and we split routes at Sutton at Hone where Malcolm stayed on the main road whilst us remaining three turned in St Margaret’s Road. Soon after that I went ahead of Trevor and Nick as I needed to get home as my wife had had to go The PRU Hospital to the Urgent Care Unit. Amazingly before that Malcolm and I crossed paths at The De Ja Vue, Near Swanley.

When I got home Stella was still waiting to be seen some 2 hours after her appointment time so I was glad to have time to have a shower and be ready to collect her. I hadn’t been out of the shower 5mins when she called to say she was discharged. Gladly she had had a lot of tests and discussion with the hospital doctor who decided she was ok to carry on normally. On Tuesday we’d been walking with friends when she became suddenly very weak and unsteady. Fortunately, we were very close to our intended lunch stop, so after a period of recovery we made it to the Lullingstone Golf Club cafe, where she rested more and had a drink. The staff here were very sympathetic and helpful and we got a cab home and she went to bed for a few hours. She felt much better for that, we had a meal and she went to bed for the night. Next morning we decided it would be wise to call our GP who put in an action plan that arranged for an ambulance to call to check her over. However, after a time the 111 Doctor called and Stella was asked to take her blood pressure (we have a such a machine) and he called back to get the results and then said no ambulance would come but she was to go to the Urgent Care Centre. She did that by cab. She had a long day of all that but probably rested more than she would have done had the day gone as originally planned, We think it was probably mostly dehydration as our walking route was along high weed line paths and so was extremely hot and humid. Just beware all you other septagenarians!

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on June 16, 2021

B2 Ride to Tonbridge Castle
By popular demand the ride to Pembury was shortened to Tonbridge. Due to numbers the B2s were split into 2 groups, I led one and Paul G the other. In my group there were Cathy S, Joe M, Trish H, John T, John R (on his new eBike), Peter W, Dave C and myself.
Morning coffee was at Hilden Golf Club which had a real ‘buz’ as we were in the presence of Kent Velo Girls and another group from Redhil CC. We all arrived within a short period of time but considering service was good.
Lunch was taken at Tonbridge castle (thanks to John T for the suggestion) and Ightham Mote for afternoon drinks.
Super weather, good day.

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on June 16, 2021

B2 ride – Two groups left Otford Pond. With me were Mike Yeo, Di, David Parker, Sally Maxwell and Linda. After Coffee at Hildenborough Di left us the remainder following Ken Dean’s route to Tonbridge. Despite their best efforts to hide we found the rest of the B2’s in the grounds of Tonbridge Castle where we had a pleasant lunch in the shade.

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on June 14, 2021

B2 Ride Wed 16th June
Due to the hot weather the Pembury ride has been cancelled and replaced with a more gentle ride to Tonbridge incorporating the opportunity for morning coffee and afternoon tea

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on June 14, 2021

START VENUE UPDATE
As you know the club had intended to restart pre ride meets at a single venue with effect from the 23rd June. The latest changes to Government Covid restrictions mean that this will not be possible. It is therefore likely that start points for the various groups will change sometimes at short notice. Ride group leaders will be updating the runs list as and when information is available. You will therefore need to keep a close eye on the runs list and take into revised start locations and times. It is hoped that the restrictions will be lifted towards the end of July, further updates will be provided as they become available.

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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on June 9, 2021

A1 Ride Wednesday 6th June
Nine set off from the Pond View Café for a long meander to get to the Bell Inn at Kemsing (excellent service and food – pity it is so near home). By the time we had got to the top of Rowdow Lane we were down to eight as Dom managed to irreparably destroy his seat post. He had a painful ride home standing up in the pedals for five miles nevertheless, he joined us for lunch on his winter bike. After that we had a fairly uneventful ride tackling most of the hills I could find. As we were running a bit late, I missed out Plaxtol to everyone’s disappointment. With me on the adventure were Ray Hardinge, Danny Eagles, Steve Hardy, Martin Gill, Bert and Agnes Heijna, Martin Howe, and Dominic Haslam part of the way.

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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on June 9, 2021

I obvoiusly meant 9th June
too knackered from climbing hills

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John Thompson

posted this comment on June 9, 2021

A hot day, 1594 ft of climbing & B1 riders undertook the ride to West Peckham, to be met with road closure due to filming, we blagged our way through to have our packed lunch on the green.
Chris Brett, Nick Leng-Smith, Joe McClenagham, Malcolm Mcintyre, Tim McCaffrey, David Sims, Paul Smith, and yours truly JT.

I was great to see Dave Sims out again.

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Christopher H Brett

posted this comment on June 8, 2021

B1 Ride 16th June 2021. Final ride under Covid Restrictions (Hopefully)!
Leader: CHRIS BRETT
Meet & Leave: OTFORD POND, 10.30am start
Lunch: CHALK for picnic lunch by Ship & Lobster Pub. Chris will not be making any bookings at the Pub.

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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on June 7, 2021

Below is a note we received from Sarah Toone. Of anybody is interested please contact Sarah directly via email

Sarah Toone sarah.toone@accesssport.co.uk

I’m Sarah from Access Sport’s Making Trax Team. We’re working with Bromley council to build a bicycle pump track facility in Hoblingwell Recreation Ground, Orpington, BR5 2SG. Please see our related Facebook Page. All going well, track build is due to start in September and be ready by November 2021. The facility has been requested and supported by a huge array of partners including local police, housing association, schools, and youth organisations. Its primary focus is to support positive engagement with local young people and provide a healthy, active infrastructure to benefit all within the local area. Prior to build, the local church – St Barnabus C of E working with Crystal Palace Football Club’s – Palace For Life Foundation, the MET Police and Clarion Housing, are planning to start up a bike maintenance project at their site. The plan is to engage specific members of their youth group to mend bikes supplied by the MET Police and redistribute these to those affected by crime and identified as in need. Palace For Life Foundation will deliver these weekly sessions, however, bike maintenance experienced helpers are needed to support session delivery. Any other support ideas you may have are also very welcome. The Project is currently in its planning stages and your input would be greatly appreciated. It would be great to hear back from you! Sarah

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Richard Bingham

posted this comment on June 3, 2021

Prems Ride report Weds 2 June: Glorious morning and four riders met in Seal for a 46mile ride to the Black Horse in Stansted. The route would be East along Pilgrims to the Mallings before heading North over Rochester bridge, a loop around Higham and Shorne and back via Cuxton and Meopham. Warm welcome and quick service at the pub. Riders joining me were John Baker, Dave Hickman and Paul Geraldine.

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on June 2, 2021

B2 ride from Lullingstone to Trottiscliffe via Horton Kirby, New Ash Green, Hodsoll Street and Birling. Joining me were Sally Maxwell, Ken Mould, David Parker, Peter Woods, Paul Hill, Pete Ham, Heather Sim, Linda Kemp, Geoff Drummond, and Dave Smith. Dave Collier joined us on route and we met Ken and Di at The George. Thanks to all for the company, nice to ride in warm weather.

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on June 4, 2021

Was very busy and as a result long wait for food.
Tried to book an outside table for Saturday – but fully booked.
Victim of their own success.

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Malcolm McIntyre

posted this comment on June 2, 2021

B1 group didn’t leave Polhill until 10:45, mainly due to leader’s obstinate insistence on ordering his coffee online, but not realising a QR code was required.
The ride was; “too fast”, “too slow”, “too hilly”, “too long” or “too short”, depending on who was asked. However, all agreed that our impromptu walk through the woods, courtesy of the Water Board, was jolly fun. Perhaps excepting those on the motorbikes which showed a distinct disadvantage when needing to be manhandled up steep banks.
Lunch in the sunshine, and finally warm on a Wednesday.
Those involved were; Mike Wakefield, Rosemary Wakefield, Trevor Sim, Tim McCaffrey, Trish Hewlett, Danny Gazzi, David Morgan, Cathy Sharman, Chris Brett, Paul McAteer, Nick Leng-Smith, Malcolm McIntyre and long-suffering John Thompson who had to wait an hour for us to arrive at Hever.