Posted on Wednesday 26 October 2011 by Thomas James
Sixteen riders met a St Pancras for the 38 minute ride to Ashford on 23 October. We quickly escaped Ashford and sped through the Stour Valley towards the hills.
Our time in the North Downs started with a run along the old Pilgrim’s Way, undulating below the southern escarpment. Then a turn to cycle across the grain of the hills, up to the viewpoint at Farthing Common, then another down and up, then a long fast but gentle downhill to the edge of Dover.
We crossed the town to the seafront midway between the docks and for lunch in the bar of the Dover Marina Hotel. We were able to eat outside in the autumn sunshine with views of the castle, the sea, the ferries, the coast of France and, as promised, the White Cliffs.
Lunch done, we took a long climb back to the top of the Downs and the escarpment first above the sea, then above Folkestone, then above the Channel Tunnel railway yards.
We descended to the seafront at Hythe, where one of the group had gone ahead for a swim, and onto Romney Marsh for a flat section. The leader took a very near miss from a motorist who had thought it much better to risk injury to himself and others rather than undergo the ordeal of a minute’s delay to his journey.
Unharmed, we took a last climb over the Greensand ridge and a fast return to Ashford along the Roman Road. We were back in London by 1800. It was 95 km – map of the ride here.