Weather forecast was good and quite a few had registered for this ride, but we did not expect the 27 people who turned up at Orpington Station at 9am for the 60 mile ride to Whitstable.
Spencer (our ride leader for today) did the introductions and assigned John to the rear of the ride to ensure we all stayed together. We made our way around the back streets of Orpington and were soon heading off in the direction of Swanley village. Everyone was in good spirits as we rode along and we rode towards Gravesend at a fairly good pace.
We arrived in Gravesend around 10.45 and Spencer informed us that we had just 15 minutes for some quick refreshments before we were setting off again. No full English for us this morning then.
From Gravesend we followed predominately NCR 1 to Rochester, making good time. Then it was on to Strood, where we rode along the Riverside Walk, Sittingbourne and Gillingham where we split into smaller groups and enjoyed a lunch from KFC, Morrisons, McDonalds or Pizza Hut.
After lunch we were back on the road again at a fairly useful pace. We left the road on several occasions, following narrow tracks through fields and woods until we reached Swale Marina where we had a lovely ride along the river.
Then it was on to Faversham before we saw the very welcome sign ‘Whitstable 5 miles’. Although everyone was a little tired by now, this seemed to spur us all on and the pace quickened. We were quite strung out for the last few miles as we enjoyed the long flat ride into Whitstable.
Arriving at Whitstable just after 5 we suddenly thought of the possibilities of getting 27 bikes on the train and decided to split into groups at this stage. Some went straight to the Station, while the rest carried on to a well deserved beer or cup of tea at the Continental.
Just inside drinking our beer and the rain came down, so how lucky were we to have managed the entire ride virtually rain free.
Then the remainder of us got on the 7.09 to Bromley South and our onwards journeys.
Thank you to Spencer for leading a splendid ride and a very well done to Jack, our young rider of just 11 years, who completed the ride without any trouble at all. Well done.