Tuesday Tour

18th April 2017 - Shelley's Cafe, St. Margarets

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"Blow, blow, thou Winter Wind,
How canst Thou be so Unkind
As to Blow on 18th April 2017?"

Bloody cold, was the meeting at the pier for the six brave souls who shivered there: Richard Ln, Mike M, Mike E, Malcolm, Bill V and John G. "It'll be a struggle going back" was the sentiment of the Worth/Sandwich contingent. So an unambitious destination was devised, "St. Margarets will do just fine" was heard in response to my suggestion. However a "I'm feeling fit" Bill did meekly proffer the question "what time does Langdon Cliffs Cafe open?" He was largely ignored.

So with the howling northerly at our backs we hurtled along the seafront making amazing time to Kingsdown before knuckling down to the steady climb through Ottley Bottom but enjoying the new tarmac surface at the lower section. Once at the top no-one stopped to consider Bill's ambitious Dover plan but instead made straight for Shelley's Cafe. Alas it was shut!

Opening time 10am and we had made a wind assisted record time to arrive there. It was 9.40am. What to do for 20 minutes? "Let's go up to the naval monument" was the cry. Bill said "this road goes through to it" but I doubted it and said "I'm going past Deirdre's house" and so we went our separate ways, or rather, I went my way and they theirs. It was a bit more hilly than I remembered, not having cycled it before, but despite a strong headwind at the end I got there OK. No-one to be seen and certainly no other road coming to that point. After a few minutes Malcolm appeared on foot down a slender track which arrived at the monument, "can't get our bikes over a style" was the explanation. I was right!

So back to Shelley's where the young lady in attendance steadfastedly refused to open the door until her tardy clock said 10am. Refreshments and chat concluded we had a brief discussion about the return. Mike M, Bill and I would return on the same route but the other three would seek a more sheltered journey inland to their distant destinations upwind. Our return was fine on the long descent but extremely arduous once at the bottom on the coast facing the full force of Boreas. Mike disappeared up Kingsdown Hill and then I saw Bill ahead turning towards coastal cyclepath. Normally I would not choose any other way but the thought did occur to me that if I stayed on the road I would get some shelter. And so it was. Bill admits to seeing me way ahead by the time I reached Walmer Castle. Not many miles, about 15 for me, but a fairly hefty workout nevertheless. (JG)

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