Cannon Street station
March's ride will be in Kent. I had something else in mind but long and expensive train journeys have put me off my original idea. Looking at the blank map I decided to have a go at Kent. Martin led a ride in this area last year but I have never properly cycled in Kent. So here we go. Another shortish ride (clocks would not have changed yet) but the focus is in the elevation rather than the distance. Expect extremely rolling countryside. I don't want to put you off but I don't want you to say that I haven't warned you either! lol
This will be our last ride in Winter and come Spring we'll go for distance and beaches rather than nasty hills.
Diversity disclaimer: I'd personally like you to sign up for the ride if you are a woman. Please, help me reverse the gender imbalance of our rides
Start: We meet 8.45am at Cannon Street Rail station. We will catch the 9.11am train to Orpington, where our ride will start and finish. The journey is 20 mins long and the return ticket should be about £7 IF we manage to get group savers. The ride will start promptly at 9:30am from Orpington station.
Route: Mid Length at 56 miles but expect a relentless route. We hardly have any flat stretches. The maximum elevation is 788ft and the maximum gradient 15%. The total elevation gained will come at 4271ft. All our effort will be rewarded with amazing countryside along some of the most beautiful villages in Kent.
PACE OF THE RIDE: We will be going uphill so the pace will be slower than our usual steady pace. As a rule of thumb expect an average pace of 14 mph, slower uphill and definitely faster along flat stretches.If you haven't cycled in a while or if you have never cycled 50 miles altogether the ride may not be for you. Remember that our policy is that you will be kindly asked to bail out if you are too slow to keep up our pace. Truth be said, this has only happened a handful of times so if you feel on the right side of determined then give it a go. There are some rail stations at several points along the route within a few miles of the mapped track.
Stops: Just quickies at the top of the hardest hills. As for lunch, in the lovely village of Swanley, about 5 miles before the end of the ride, we have a few pubs. And another one a few miles after in Crockenhill village. All in all, we should be back in Orpington at about 4.30/5pm.
What to bring: snacks and water to refuel regularly. Weatherproof gear. Spare inner tube(s), pump, some cash. LIGHTS and Helmet (you won't be able to join us if you don't wear a helmet).
HEALTH & SAFETY: Cycling is fun and safe but no sporting activity is risk-free. To minimise such risk when you take part in our rides you will be expected to ride safely, wearing a helmet and abiding by the Highway code. No red light jumping, unexpected turns or dangerous overtaking will be accepted. If we feel you are putting other group members at risk you will be asked to bail out immediately.
Return to London: We have several trains per hour back to Cannon Street. Journeys about 20-30mins.
Weather : I'm tempted to say the ride will go ahead regardless of the weather. However, very strong winds and heavy rain would make me reconsider my courage.
"One of the aims of the Cycling group is to appreciate of our natural surroundings, local towns and villages. We hope to minimise our impact by making sure that we are responsible for our litter. Please dispose of all of your litter and snack wrappers carefully".
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