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.

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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.

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Steve Birkin

posted this comment on May 29, 2021

For those who previously used the cafe at Hadlow College for a lunch or as a coffee stop, please note that the cafe is now permanently closed. There is a good alternative at the antiques shop just before the entrance to the college.

Steve Birkin

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on May 29, 2021

UPDATE TO CLUB MEETS
The restrictions on pre ride club meetings are due to end on 20 June. It is therefore intended to reinstate our Wednesday morning meetings with effect from 23 June. The runs list has been updated with start venues, it should be noted that we are no longer meeting at Coolings as they did not seem to keen on us returning. Should the Government advise change further updates will be provided.

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Chris Simms

posted this comment on May 29, 2021

Please Note: Any group that is thinking of meeting for coffee at the Pond View Cafe in Otford this coming Wednesday (2nd June) it will be CLOSED all day.

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Christopher H Brett

posted this comment on May 27, 2021

B1’s Wed 26th May 2021
We met and departed Coolings, Rushmore Hill at 10.30 and turned left at the exit making our way to Halstead, Polhill and passed by Otford Pond where we yelled at another Meridian group still assembling (I didn’t take in which group they were!)
From Otford we went onto North Downs Way and soon came to Row Bottom Lane and on to Birchin Cross Road, yet another challenge, through to Woodlands, Knockmill and passed by Billet Wood, Fawkham Green on to Fawkham and then Hartley. We now travelled south to go by and around Foxbrough Wood to reach Longfield Hill, Passing Southfield Cricket Ground reaching Northfleet Green and then on to the cycle route direct to The Cyclo Park Cafe (open for drinks, food and loos). A different, quite hard but mostly rural route with some good views. My fellows riders were Rosemary and Mike Wakefield, Malcom McIntyre, Cathy Sharman, Paul McAteer and Nick Lensmith and yours truly. A Magnificent Seven! Thanks for your company guys! A mostly bright day on which it was nice not to feel cold or experience rain.
Chris Brett

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Malcolm McIntyre

posted this comment on May 27, 2021

Thanks Chris
Nice ride and pleasant lunch venue

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Ray Hardinge

posted this comment on May 27, 2021

Meeting at the Velo Barn, the A1s of Barry, Chris, Danny E. and Danny G, Bob, Tony, Martin H. and Martin G., Peter and myself climbed up to the The Ridge and down Chalkpit Lane. On the way down Peter, confronted by a delivery van, shuddered to a stop. The group stopped, while I made a fruitless search for Peter, but eventually continued on through Old Oxted and along the quiet lanes via Crowhurst, Edenbridge, Hever, Chiddingstone and ending at The Greyhound at Charcott. A good ride, and happily Peter rejoined just as we were arriving. Sorry Peter, but we now have you on the A1 WhatsApp group, so shouldn’t lose you again.
The A1’s are a patient group, but after arriving late for our booked lunch we were dismayed to find that not only had we been bumped to the back of the queue (a wait of 45 mins) but that the landlady has stopped serving sandwiches and baguettes (essential A1 lunch fodder). In despair, after a pint to calm the rising frustration at the extremely slow service, half of the group left and went in search of another source of carbohydrates, while the remainder sat it out, shivering (or was that simmering with rage?) in the garden marquee. To be fair to the chef, once lunch arrived at about 2.00pm, the food was good, though very pricey.
I doubt that the A1s will be going to the The Greyhound at Charcott again for quite a while.

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Richard Bingham

posted this comment on May 27, 2021

Prems ride report- Wednesday 26 May

A fine morning for the bike and four Prems (Andy Bradley, Colin Kane, Paul Geraldine and I) departed from Westerham Brewery at 10am determined to make the most of it with a 44 mile ride to The Greyhound at Hever. The route took us West along the Downs taking in Woldingham and Caterham before turning South to Smallfield and on to Turners Hill. Then followed a brisk gallop back via Lingfield and Edenbridge to Hever. Colin peeled off just before the pub where we were also joined by John Baker and Dave Hickman for lunch. Usual warm welcome and quick service from Caroline and team

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Linda Kemp

posted this comment on May 26, 2021

B2 ride on Wednesday 26th May from Otford to Laddingford. 10 jolly riders set off in mild weather conditions; even more importantly, there was no rain! They were: Ken Dean, Heather Sim, Roy Knight, Peter Ham, Ken Mould, Mike Yeo, Dave Collier, Dave Parker, Paul Godfrey and me.

Peter, Ken M, Mike and Paul turned back early. The remainder cycled to the Chequers Pub for sandwiches/pub lunch. Food was served swiftly by a cheery waitress. We met Jeff (sorry, I have forgotten his surname again) at the pub, who accompanied us on part of the return route.

Thank you all for your company and friendship.
Linda

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Paul Hills

posted this comment on May 24, 2021

B2 Ride report for Wednesday 19th May 2021. The following people battled through road works, and showers to assemble at Swanley Park Café – Heather and Trevor, Ken D, Di O, Paul McA, David P, Roy K. Paul Hills leading, with the perfect rear gunner in Pete Ham. A new start point, but certainly one to use again, especially as ½ mile from my house. Outside and inside seating, café open, wildlife on the Lake. Complimented the Park Manager about the great toilets which so impressed the ladies, as not only spotless, but painted Pink. He said that they have plans for a cycling initiative based at the Park. No details yet. Published a list of ride highlights in advance, for the B2`s to look out for. Most missed the first one, because the burnt-out car was in the middle of a field. We do things differently in the countryside. On to Bluewater and a view of the longest Zip Line in England, which opens this summer. A slight detour was needed getting out of Bluewater. A road has been closed because one of the chalk cliffs of the old quarry, has collapsed onto the road. Big job before they can reopen it. Heading out of Bluewater there is a large road junction being built to access another huge housing development in another quarry. We went through a very pleasant housing development on the way to Greenhithe. Here was the majestic waterfall (3 foot drop), and picnic site promised to the riders. Showing that you don`t need the countryside, we admired a really large Heron in one of the landscaped water features near the M25. Taking the bus route bridge over the Dartford Tunnel approach, we had to come to terms with the loss of a landmark. Littlebrook Power Station now demolished, and in a sign of the times is the site for a huge Amazon Depot. Doesn`t look special to me and certainly not amazon. Our entry into Dartford was through the Dickensian looking Creek area. You know when you`re close to it because of the smell. Not an unpleasant smell, but a coffee processing plant. Across Dartford Heath, and down to N. Cray Road for our final approach to Kelsey`s Farm Shop and Café. Also worth another visit. There were masses of Police on the road outside Kelsey`s. We thought it might be part of a purge on County Lines drug dealing. Apparently they had received intelligence that a group might be peddling at Kelsey`s.

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ABradley

posted this comment on May 19, 2021

A quartet of distinctly unenthusiastic Prems – Richard Bingham, Paul Geradine, Colin Kane and Andy Bradley – gathered in wet and miserable conditions at Seal to ponder how many miles we could cut from the planned 60 mile route and still be able to convince ourselves that we had done a reasonable ride. As it turned out, the rain stopped by Mereworth and the sun was out by Yalding. From there we headed north, climbing Hunton Hill, Teston Hill, Birling Hill and up to Cobham before a fast circuit of Church Road and a return southwards down Hartley Bottom Road and Fairseat. There was the occasional, very justified observation from the peloton about the less-than-optimal choice of roads – more than a few were narrow, pot-holed, mud-strewn and, in one case, flooded…gravel bikes would have been helpful in some places. Lunch was at The George at Trottiscliffe, where the service was somewhat warmer than the baked potatoes. Energy levels restored, Richard and Col set a rapid pace along Pilgrims Way to home. 60+ miles (plus Col’s usual extra 20) and 5000 feet of climbing meant that it ended up as a decent half day in the saddle,

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Tony Reeve

posted this comment on May 19, 2021

And I missed the ‘re’ on calibration. Doh!

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Tony Reeve

posted this comment on May 19, 2021

Stephen,
Apologies for the surname error.
Tony

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Tony Reeve

posted this comment on May 19, 2021

An intrepid band of Argonauts braved the elements for a ride to the Greyhound Hever. Determination was rewarded, soon after leaving the PVC the sun unfolded his arms, his petulant pout was replaced by a smile and with a jaunty swirl his hat was taken from the coat rack and placed on his head. As we approached Hever reps were made by the chief steward of the Sevenoaks chapter of the Cyclists Union. A swift management decision resulted in a calibration of the day’s objectives. A cheery welcome awaited us at the Greyhound, food and service were excellent.
The Argonauts were: Chris Simms,Ray Hardinge, Barry Barlow, Martin Gill, Peter Nutall and Tony Reeve. Stephen Hendry joined us for coffee but left us at the PVC.

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Ken Dean

posted this comment on May 15, 2021

Updated Covid Guidlines as from 17th May 2021
The club’s Covid guidelines have been updated to reflect the revised guidelines as from Monday 17th.

The significant changes are
– Riding groups of 15 are permitted, but not recommended.
– Groups of 6 are allowed to meet indoors.

Further details are shown as a News item on the home page.

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Martin Gill

posted this comment on May 13, 2021

Thanks Colin – you have given me 10 unwanted years. Even so the age difference from you ‘youngsters’ has proved too much when you want to push yourselves really hard.

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Colin Kane

posted this comment on May 13, 2021

A genuine typo Martin. I even read 74 when I read it back! 🤦‍♂️

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Colin Kane

posted this comment on May 13, 2021

Martin’s last ride with The Prems.
WEDNESDAY 12/05/21 saw us meeting at Bo Janges Cafe in Dunton Green.
The plan for the ride was to make another assault on Kidds Hill aka The Wall in The Ashdown Forest. The 50 mile route (3800ft of ascent) to The Swan on the Green, West Peckham in three hours would, as Martin pointed out would require an average speed of 17mph.
Being concerned that that would be beyond him, Martin headed off on his own variant of our route. Martin has been struggling with the pace of late and is convinced that we have got faster rather than the other option. At 84 years he’s still punching well above his weight. I can only hope to be that strong at that age.
The starting line up was Richard Bingham, John Baker and myself. We passed Martin on Back lane and picked up Paul Geradine and Dave Hickman at Ide Hill.
From there we went via Edenbridge, Marsh Green, Dormansland before turning just shy of East Grinstead for Forest Row. Then The Wall and Black Hill and back through Groombridge, Staplehurst, Southborough and Tudley to arrive at West Peckham just behind Martin,
We didn’t quite make the predicted ave speed but the 16.8 ave saw us fully ready for a rest and a feed.
We sat in the idyllic setting of the village green cricket ground in the well appointed marquee. The last time we will be force into an involuntary lunch under canvas as next week we can eat inside a pub and even hug!! (easy boys).
We chatted over lunch about former Prem members who have moved on, and Martin entertained us with stories of cycling escapades and how he would take his glass eye out for a clean and return it to it’s socket back to front (argh Grasshopper!)
In a nod to a deeply missed former Prem we returned via Mathews lane rather than climb Govers to Crouch #bemorebash (he hated that climb)
We rode back together via Plaxtol to Seal where we all went our own ways.
Martin has an encyclopedic knowledge of the B roads and back lanes of the south east and will be an asset to whichever group he moves on to.
Just a word of warning. Don’t be tempted to pass him on the inside!!

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Barry Barlow

posted this comment on May 13, 2021

Wednesday 12th May
We did not get off to a good start as Polhill has this ridiculous system of ordering a coffee, where you must use your phone. Also, Ray had a puncture before we even started although to be fair it was fixed by merely pumping up his tubeless tyre – more later. We were Chris Simms, Martin Howe, Steve Hardy, Danny Eagles, Ray Hardinge, Tony Reeve, Danny Gazzi, A welcome return of Pete Nuthall and me. WE set off on a fairly hilly ride tackling Fackenden, Knatts Lane, Michael’s lane, ,Idleigh Court Road, then Heron Hill which was so rough, we had to walk up it. Then we had to turn back at White Horse Road after trying to go through some road works. Luckily, we had a local (Chris) who led us through Vigo village, and we then only had to go down Vigo Hill to the pub. The service was surprisingly slow for the George. We then set off for home when Ray’s front tyre completely gave up the ghost. We left him to put in a tube, but he got home without any trouble.

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Michael Yeo

posted this comment on May 12, 2021

B2 ride Wednesday 13th May :- A pleasant ride starting at Otford pond, and picnic lunch at Leybourne lakes then a afternoon stop for coffee at the impressive covid garden layout at George Trottiscliffe , those joining me were

Ken Dean, Paul Hills, Peter Ham, Linda Kemp, Heather Sim, David Collier, Diana Outram, Paul Godfrey, David Parker, Roy Knight, Peter Woods. Ken Mould and Peter Hawker rode with the group for a while.

Thanks to all for a fine day Michael Yeo

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John Thompson

posted this comment on May 12, 2021

Seven members joined me at O/pond to ride to Chidingston via Hadlow, on a dry ,sunny, day.
Mike Wakefield, Rosemary Wakefield, Steve Birkin, Chris Brett, Paul Smith, Trish Hewitt, Nick Lenge- Smith,
John Thompson

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Paul Godfrey

posted this comment on April 14, 2021

Blog
B2’s meeting at Sundridge today were Linda Kemp, Mike Yeo, Ken Mould, Ken Dean, David Parker, Peter Woods and myself. Ken Mould left us there whilst the remainder rode up Ide Hill where we met Cathy Sharman and Heather Sim. Our route took us via Bough Beech, Sevenoaks Weald and Hildenborough to Ightham Mote where we had a pleasant lunch in the sunshine. Nice ride, good weather and excellent company.