Tuesday Tour

12th April 2016 - Langdon Cliffs, Dover

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Messeurs; LA, BV, ML, JP, SB, TM and Norman were already assembled at the fresh, but sundrenched, pier when I arrived maybe a minute or two late, and enjoyed a little banter at my expense as I was sporting the first bare legs of the season. Having felt uncomfortably warm last week I was determined to make the first burst for summer attire, and I wasn't wrong. Just as I feared, within seconds someone - I think it was Tom - proffered Langdon Cliffs as the "obvious" choice of destination and before I knew it I had added unwisely "yes, the inland route". So it was to be "hills" as the main feature of the day, but I knew that had to come sometime or other.

So over the railway bridge and through the park, up the cycle path on Telegraph Hill to Coldblow level crossing. By now Norman and I had shown our true colours for the day and were tailing the others considerably. Tom was also with us but in his case it was no doubt out of politeness. Now in the earlier days of TT riding when the tail-enders reached the manually operated level crossing gates the peloton would be there waiting and holding the gates open - what has happened? Fortunately Mike L is still new enough to the group to show this sort of gentlemanliness as he had held back and waited for us cross the tracks whereas the old hands; LA, JP and BV (I'm shocked) and SB (I'm not so shocked) had simply motored on without a rearward glance - shocking!

As I had foreseen the hills were taking their toll and I lagged further a further behind, but not as far behind as Norman (with Tom as guardian), which was a surprise as he's usually up with the leaders. Eventually we made it to Langdon Cliffs cafe to find the peloton front runners already on their desserts. However on this occasion they did wait for us laggards to down the customary cuppa and cake.

The return journey started unfortunately with a mini confrontation with some disgruntled National Trust workers who declared that all cyclists should grounded, or at least walking their bikes and not riding. That didn't go down too well with today's TT riders and a few choice comments were hurled back by yours truly. Apart from that, once the dreaded ascent to the memorial was completed we could all enjoy the fantastic wind assisted descent through St. Margarets and Otterly Bottom - exhilarating! Nearly 20 miles for me, hilly but a perfect cycling day otherwise. (JG)

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