A surprisingly good turnout for what was a terrible day for cycling. With a southerly wind of near 30mph the decision as to which way to go was taken fairly easily, especially for those (ie; me) who were not planning on cycling back. At least it was dry! Norman, Tom, Bill V, Bill K, David Lt, Richard N, John G and Howard set off in a northerly direction, naturally, and headed towards Sandwich at a fair old rate of knots. However once at the quayside Howard announced he was deserting us feigning a hospital appointment rather than face Boreas, or rather, his southerly relative.
Soon we were charging alongside the main road after Pfizers and then to the peaceful habitation of newly by-passed Cliffs End. Our final approach to Ramsgate was decided by Bill K who complained that he'd never tried the lower route, so down the winding grotto path we went.
Unexpectedly the wind was not against us once at the bottom of the cliffs and we fairly flew into Mr's Corby's Tearooms where we partook of all sorts of devilish delights whilst curing Greece's financial problems (see photos). After a suitable period the consensus was that we would all brave the elements and return on our steeds, although I was full of apprehension as well as nursing a suspect knee. I led the way out of the cafe's courtyard and turned for the 50 yard stretch towards the harbour. Ten yards was enough! The full force hit me and I was almost going backwards so my decision was easy even if meant nearly an hour's wait for the next train. I signaled my intent to Tom who was just behind me and then set off seeking a fairly gentle incline to get to the station, bought a newspaper and leisurely awaited the 12.22 to Deal. I must admit it was a tremendous struggle against the howling gale but fortunately the train coped rather well! A modest 15 plus miles for me.
I later heard from Bill V that the return journey across the Ancient Highway as undertaken by the remaining peloton took a monumental effort as senior cyclists were reduced to going at a modest walking pace at best. Jack's immortal words spring to mind "you don't like to see that, do you"? (JG)