Cycle Rides at the 2023 AOG

Kent based cyclists Graeme Brown and Nick Thompson led two cycle rides for 15 cyclists each day.

On Saturday we rode in perfect weather West of Canterbury, taking in a mix of traffic free cycle paths along the attractive Stour river, had mid morning refreshments in the charming coffee shop in Chilham before having lunch at the historic quayside in Faversham. In the afternoon we cycled along the coast to Whitstable, taking in the oyster beds and fishing harbour.  Our ride home was the most challenging part of the day, taking us up the 'Crab and Winkle Way'.  The stats, if you want to know were 37 miles, 1650 feet of ascent at an average of 10.4.

On Sunday, after a group photo beneath the campus flag, we set off East of Canterbury.  Another lovely cycle path through woods brought us onto East Kent's quiet rural lanes leading to the Cinque Port of Sandwich, where the former US Navy Patrol Boat was moored.  We pushed on through the private Sandwich Bay Estate with its millionaires' mansions before arriving at Deal for lunch.  Some were tempted to go for a swim but didn't as by now the sunny spells had turned into rain showers and a fresh breeze creating a sea swell.  The deteriorating weather encouraged us to get home.  We cycled across some tracks that were part of the East Kent Coalfield and had a brief stop at the (in)famous direction sign pointing to the tiny settlement of Ham and the small town of Sandwich.  At the end of the day, as if we weren't already a little damp, we needed to negotiate a ford.   The stats, if you want to know were 47 miles, 1850 feet of ascent at an average of 10.4.

The variety of the scenery, the historic places we visited and, maybe unusually, the courteousness of the drivers made for two terrific rides.  The feedback from participants was excellent.

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