We met at Orpington Station on what was a rather grey Sunday morning and what a lovely surprise to see so many of our Pollards Hill friends there. Steve Watkin was our leader today, so there was bound to be a few little paths and before long we had found some as we headed off around the back of Orpington towards Sidcup.
Our first stop was Hall Place for a cup of tea and of course CAKE!
Suitably refreshed we were soon back on the road now cycling towards Crayford and Dartford avoiding the major roads where possible. Then on towards the Darenth Valley
and Horton Kirby before crossing the A20 at Farningham and on to Eynsford. Another little path and we came to the ruins of Eynsford Castle, a lovely place for a picnic in the summer we thought.
Everyone was now hungry so without further ado we had just a few miles to go to Lullingstone, our lunch stop for today. Only one little problem, there is a field to cross to get there and at this time of the year it is a little muddy and quite slippery. Some of us cycled along the narrow muddy path quite merrily, some walked and mentioning no names, some fell off. So some were happier than others as we sat down for lunch.
Just as we were about to leave for our afternon session it started raining, so Alan produced two bin bags from his pocket, (and very attractive they were too) so he and our ride leader looked delightful as we cycled on for a rather cold and windy few miles.
Luckily,just as we were trying to decide whether to go on to Halstead or head for home, the rain stopped. So back through Shoreham we rode to the bottom of Polhill. Here some of us went up the new Polhill on the road, while the others chose the shorter but much steeper old Polhill. On arriving at the top we were surprised how long the new Polhill group were taking, only to discover that Gareth had stopped at the bottom to change an inner tube due to a puncture.
Now up to Halstead, but just as we set off Alan had a puncture, so another stop. Not for long though, Mr. Speedy had that tyre changed in flash.
Once at Halstead it was on to Knockholt before a lovely long downhill all the way to the A21. Then our PH friends went back to Orpington to catch their train and the rest of us made our way home.
A lovely ride, despite the weather. Thank you Steve for leading the ride today, just under 40 miles.