Back to Club !! MCC Ride to the Kentish Horse at Markbeech

Big step today – back to Club!!

Today it was the MCC  Ride to the Kentish Horse at Markbeech – a favourite Pub of ours.  It was busy there too.  I had an idea I would go with a slower group, but in the end you cycle with your mates, don’t you?  We had a big group – 10 or 11 riders.  Dave B was the ride captain for the day and had plotted a very pleasant route (not too hilly!!) out to Markbeech.  It was very pacey though – we arrived at an average of 14.2mph, which is very pacey for us.  Outbound it was 1700ft of climbing in 24 miles – so not flat!

We came back up Ide Hill…. Ugh  Need I say more?  Fabulous view from the top though.

That’s where Team GBR people whizz up and down to improve their fitness.  It absolutely kills us !!

I was amazed I could do the outward run and keep up.  Given that I had a fair amount of knee problems as recently as Sunday – this was very, very good.  Planning to do the Giro de Capital in the Vale of Glamorgan in mid June so I need to get the miles up!!

MCC Ride from Dunton Green to The Rising Sun at East Malling – 37 miles, 12.2-12.4mph

The Rising Sun is stuck in a little time warp, but we love it there.  We seem welcome for a start, but it’s on a narrow street and you carry the bikes through a smart door and along a covered hallway to park them in the garden!!  Had a sausage sandwich – which I confess was excellent.  The beer fans were very keen on the beers too.

A smashing little day, captain’d by Ron so the pacing was consistent and good.  About three pretty heroic climbs on the way out including Long Mill and the Teston Climb (Red Box Hill). I reckon “Long Mill” is a mis-print on the sign for “Long Hill”….

Being an idiot, I forgot to set the Garmin going as we left Dunton Green (until we got to Brittains Lane). So the ride data is a bit short – but I reckon it was about a 37 mile day in total for me.

Full Winter Kit !!!


MCC Ride to The Green Man at Hodsell Street

I think this is the second time we’ve ridden to the Green Man in the last year or two.  Nice pub!  The route though from Polhill had a couple of staggering climbs, including my Nemesis … “Knatts Lane” .  If you look at the climbing profile below, you’ll see that it looks like we went vertically upward around mile 14.  That’s because we did go almost vertical.

Last time we rode that I had to stop – my heart rate hit 177 and I thought I was goner!! This time I was more measured, but just as the nasty part started, a Royal Mail van came down.  I rode into the soft leafy mush at the side, my wheel sank and I stopped.  So I pushed until past Her Majesty’s mail van, then found an overhanging tree to allow me to get clipped in – then finished it off.  Very hard.  Will have to re-gear my cassette to 11-34T I suspect.  That’s what our ride leader has done!

Just noted the SS score on Garmin!! (see above in red!!)

There were about 1600 feet of climbing in 20 miles – but it felt like 3600 feet.  Honestly!

The ride back with David was pretty quick – we took the quick flat option (see above!) along the Pilgrim’s Way from Wrotham.

We started in about 3 degrees and it got to 5 or 6 degrees I think …  New winter boots meant “toasty toes”. Fab!

MCC Ride to The Plough at Leigh

A really nice ride to Leigh today.  Quite a short run (not much daylight!) but the pub seemed really great!!  The run out was about 20 miles. We did 12.4mph on the way out and 12.1mph  on the run back – plenty of PRs though.

Bike ran very smoothly (!) – David, our ride leader, had planned a pretty easy route, down from Ightam Mote, through Hildenborough to Leigh.   Weather was about 6 degrees – I was pretty warm apart from my toes. Must investigate replacement of my overshoes!

We had a large peloton of 12 riders, but the pub brought the food very quickly – fish finger sandwiches sold well !!

MCC Ride from Polhill to The Spotted Dog at Penshurst….!!

A pretty crisp day – 5 degrees at best and preceded by sleet – but was OK!! Well, 2 degrees when I got home and I must admit the toes were chilly – note to self “5 degrees is a trigger for over-boots!!”

The ride was to The Spotted Dog at Penshurst – haven’t been there since my son was a kid – long time!! Pub unchanged!!  Steve led a peloton of 9 riders on a 20 mile route outward and 16 back via Ightham Mote.  Modest speeds really (12.0-12.5mph) but we did have one 5 mile lap on the Garmin which came up in 20 minutes … so 15mph average for that !!

The major feature of the day seemed to be the climbing – which at more than 2,900 feet in 36 miles was quite a lot.  The last little stretch just before the spotted dog, I swear was vertical….

Nice sausage sandwich for lunch and the service was very quick !!



Quite few PRs knocking around in the results too…

MCC Ride : Dunton Green to The Old Jail at Biggin Hill.. 2600ft of climbing and at 13.0mph overall !!

The Return to Club Riding!!  To the Old Jail pub at Biggin Hill !!

(look at those climbs!)

I felt I was up to a shot at riding with the A Group of MCC today – it was an appealing route – 25 miles outwards to The Old Jail at Biggin Hill, then an amazing 10 mile blast back to home… How could that be ??  Well, the route planned from Dunton Green to Biggin Hill (8 miles as the crow flies!) would around all over the place to stretch out the miles to 25 !!

Look on the map and see what I mean – after an hour of upping and downing, we came to a sign saying “Dunton Green 1 mile” and that’s where we’d started from !!

So very good – body held up to the pressure.  We climbed 2000ft on the outward leg.  That’s quite a bit for us!!  The pub was great – a good old fashioned proper pub.  Good! Packed with trade too.  Good.

With all that climbing, I thought we did well at 12.4mph.  Then with the blast back at 14.4mph, the speed for the day came out at 13.0mph – with 2650ft of climbing.  “Good performance, Body”  !!