9th Tuesday Tour

26th August 2008

9th Outing: 26th August 2008. Well, not quite the intended Oyster Run but substantial nevertheless.

Bill Kenchington, our new TT rider joined us at Sandwich Bridge bringing our total to seven. Through Kent's fruit basket on National Cycle Route 1 covering road and track that some of us have travelled before until we struck out onto new territory just after elevensies at Preston.

A short meander through fields and then a more serious climb and we were running a long ridge that took us through extensive woodlands - very beautiful. Eventually a steep descent into Fordwich, without BK who headed for home, and we were directed onto a narrow nettle-lined Stour valley trail through more woodland right to the heart of Canterbury - a very interesting run.

Pub lunch was followed by a wise decision by four of our group, Lance, Bill Veale, Tom and David Raworth, to get the train back , but a less than brilliant idea by Dave Lindsay and myself (JG) that we should cycle at least a small part of the way back. To start with it was great. National Cycle Route 16 out of Canterbury is spectacular and mostly traffic-free but my weary legs were failing. Then came a long and steep descent into Patrixbourne which meant only one thing - what goes down must go up again, and so we headed for the nearest station - Bekesbourne. Trains run from this colonial outpost every Thursday or so it seemed. With more than an hour to wait Dave and I were directed to a Hop Farm about a mile away where a welcome 'tea-time' was enjoyed. Then back to the station, on the train to Dover where Dave departed to cycle home and I waited another forty minutes for a connection to Deal - but I made it in the end, exhausted and 32 miles covered! But one major plus-point - we learnt that there are many cycle route wonders out there yet to be explored. (JG)