The team did a last training ride around East Kent last Sunday. If they are not ready now they never will be. Fortunately they are.
As you would expect the idea was for the whole team to meet for final discussions and plans, with a little ride first. Sadly as is often the case the refreshments got the better of everyone and in any case no last minute arrangements needed to be made.
Dave will be thankful that other team members picked up his Helmet and Garmin which he left behind in the pub. Fortunately his head is screwed on so at least that wasn’t lost.
As is now traditional the team compete to see who can prepare the best cakes:
In fantastic news the sums collected for the charity have now surpassed 80% of our target.
It was an absolutely gorgeous day for the annual ride. Once again Linney pulled out all the stops to get this ride on and keep the tradition going.
One word of note; it is ironic that we struggle to get 15 players out on a Saturday, then get nearly 30 out dressed in womens clothes. Moral of the story is to change the kit to heels and suspenders and see if that helps! Seriously girls get your fingers out for next season. 🙂
A special thanks to the support team; Budgie working as international rescue, Lisa always ready with refreshments and Sara on photography. As always a big thank you to the hospitality from all the pubs, clubs and weddings parties. We had fabulous support from everyone one of you. You are all a credit to our community.
A great time had by all as you can see from the photographs capturing special moments along the ride.
Another great ride visiting 8 local pubs, and showing them the Aylesham talent. Lots of young ladies on the ride this year which is great to see, let’s hope we can attract some of them to play rugby next season. This year’s ride just so happened to be the same day as the local LGBT festival, which made it even more comical
However our thoughts always turn to Kobi and his awesome family. Our thoughts are with you young man. All the very best from all at SCWRFC, with the very generous help from the patrons of local pubs we managed to raise over £200. In total we have now collected £1700 and are about 40% towards our target. A massive thanks to everyone.
Please support Kobi and family and help us raise enough money to give them the best break ever when the time is right.
We had great hospitality from the landlord last night, though its not the ideal preparation for a tough day in the saddle.
Our team was a bit lighter this morning due to prior commitments, weddings in the village etc. So with weary eyes and broken bodies we set of to enjoy the Dorset countryside and hills. We are heading for Weymouth, then up the peninsula to Portland Bill. Should be great training for Barcelona.
We had a fine weekend away with tough strong rides and riders. All the preparations are coming together, for Barcelona. Before that we have a few more training rides. First we have the annual Snowdown Colliery Welfare Rugby Club fancy dress ride next Saturday followed by the Tour of Sandwich on the Sunday. After that Bingo and I go off to do the Vatternruden epic 24hr sportive in Sweden the following weekend.
Good news on the charity side, we have passed the £1000 mark, that’s just over a quarter of our target, please follow the links above to the Just Giving site.
Even though ‘nothing can go wrong’ things inevitably do. Today started with a couple of mechanical problems. First Carl’s drive was knackered. Owen the mechanic from the ride did his best to clean it up and get it going as best he could. What a great bloke from the valley’s of Wales he is.
However the biggest issue was a broken spoke on the captain’s bike. For the first time ever I had to get in the van and go to the local bike shop. Great service though. I was the first one in the shop and I soon had a new back wheel and was off. Being very cnscious of Moey’s wise words I re-started from the start and pushed it through hard, strong and fast and managed to join them at the first feed stop. The lads relaxed when the (self appointed) captain rejoined the team.
We enjoyed a lovely ride though the stunning Dorset (and Jurassic) scenery past castles and Manor houses and the village of Tollpuddle famous for its Martyrs. That’s why we are who we are as they kicked off the fight for worker’s rights and the idea of socialism: respect to all of them (not forgetting our own Wat Tyler and the Peasants Revolt: historical Ed).
It was a great ride with great company. What more can you ask for? We said our goodbyes to two legends on the bike who need to get back for a wedding: Carl who’s inspirational words keeps us going and Mark his son the most helpful strong rider in the team and my lead out man. Mark has led me to two 1st stage wins (not bad for the oldest rider in the team) which puts me up on the leader board once again.
They both fully deserve the speech and medals kindly donated from the lad from Canterbury, who will gingerly be able to get a word in now Carl has gone home.
We are currently down in Dorset and Wiltshire doing the Wessex 300. That is three consecutive 100 mile rides around the Mendips hills. It’s all good training for Barcelona.
We’ve got a good turn out will 11 of the team down here; Cathal, Carl, Mark Moses, Marc Tonks, Stubbsy, Conor, Mark Jordan, Glen, Bingo and Me. We’ve just left the youngsters at home as they are fit enough already!
Not the best preparation for a long difficult training ride; skin full of beer and a massive meal, washed down with a full English breakfast in the morning. The true athletic start. The hotel is excellent with a cracking host plying us with bevarges all night with no fuss.
Woke up to a lovely sunny crisp morning, all met at the start, no issues just our normal confident start, left around 8:30 after Carl had finished chatting to all the riders as per normal.
Great tough ride with some vicious climbs including King Alfred’s Tower gets up to 22% incline pretty tough going. Only one little mechanical nothing that can’t be sorted. We just get on with it along with the usual banter and sarcasm that gets us though it.
All in all a great 120 miles and a lovely day all capped off with a few refreshments at Yeovil Rugby Club, just what we all love.
A quick update on the charity cycle ride to Barcelona which is happening in July for the benefit of Kobi, below, and the Slide Away Charity. All the details are here. The boys have been out and about riding. Next week they go on a more sustained training ride when they do a three day Tour of Wessex based on Yeovil and venturing around Dorset and Somerset or thereabouts.
They have raised £785 so far and are well on the way to the target of £4000. Many thanks to those who have donated.
Well it’s the last days cycling on this year’s tour. Elevan days without rain. Brilliant! Would have been difficult wild camping in the rain.
It was a lovely morning on the South Downs just outside Polegate and we hit the road just after 7 with the lads in fine form looking forward to finally having a shower.
We rode down to the coast just by Pevensey Bay, then hugged the coast all the way to Hastings. Dave and I got a little lost in Bexhill, but no dramas soon had it all under control.
After the climb coming out of Hastings we stopped for breakfast at Icklesham and had massive all English with duck eggs for the captain. It’s the first time ever we left two rounds of toast. It would never happen on Stubbsy’s watch.
We are back in familiar territory now, riding along the not too busy A259, though it was good to get back on the minor roads just after Brenzett. The pace picked up as we headed to the infamous West Hythe hill. It’s nothing like the climbs in Cornwall, but steep enough to afford liquid refreshments at the top. Hence the reason for the rush.
From here it was just a gentle run in to Elham, then follow the Valley to the final destination – the Red Lion in Bridge.
Cracking tour 👍 Thanks all for the memories
Thanks all for a great trip with loads of memories aches pains & smells like you wouldn’t believe. A special thanks to Dale & Keith for all their hard work in organising & planning on a faultless trip. Cheers guys 👌👍⛺🚴♂️
Another Tour over. Great stuff lads, it has been a pleasure and privilege to ride with you lot, here’s to next years Tour. Maybe Barcelona and back! Who knows
Another lovely morning and a good camp last night in the woods. We were all up and ready to roll just after 7, heading for Brighton and beyond.
Bit of a contrast this morning riding through the lanes from Hampshire into West Sussex, definitely used as a rat run for commuters and the school run, very busy.
Missed the normal Coffee and cake stop, as we did not pass anything, so had a meal deal in Tescos just outside Chichester, which we skirted around. The lanes did quieten down as we steamed to the coast, with it being so hot I was looking forward to having a swim. We headed to Bognor Regis, then on to Littlehampton, though the Marina and along the promenade all very nice. Then we headed on to Worthing and stopped for lunch right on the promenade. A liquid lunch for me. As the rest of the team had a meal I took the chance to have a swim and full wash in the sea. Very warm and refreshing and I felt brand new and clean.
We all knew Brighton was going to be very busy, however it was OK, and quite fun cycling through the crowds. Brighton is always an energetic vibrant place. We headed up Minera Drive on Brighton sea-front hitting the small climbs up to the South Downs and heading for Seaford. We had a beer in a pub and decided to head for Polegate, find a place to eat and then camp. When we got there we all sat outside the Horse & Groom pub and had a lovely meal. Afterwards we rode up to the windfarm above the town to find a camp. All done with ease.
We camped in a field with long grass and stingy nettles last night under clear skies. It’s Autumn and you could feel the cold at night – least the stings kept us warm. Breakfast was a bit weird as we ran out of porridge and so had to settle for a coffee and pot noodle – just like being back in China!
We made for a relatively early start in the morning and are on our way just after 7, riding through the country lanes of East Somerset. It was so quiet we met only three cars in the first two hours. However we did have an incident with a runway horse. Fair play the young rider did amazingly well to get it under control and we gingerly walked past. Even the Alpaca in the field came over to see what all the commotion was about.
It made for really nice relaxing ride and then we stopped in the lovely Semley Village Stores,a community run shop/cafe, for a pot of tea and the biggest current bun in living memory. It was here where we met a guy who had just taken up cycling after a 70 year sabbatical – lovely guy and very interesting.
The ride carried on as before rolling through the stunning countryside into the ancient capital of Wessex, Wilton where we had lunch in the Pembroke Arms (named after an old Earl bully for him) – nice pub though. We then rolled into Salisbury with its Gothic designed cathedral and the tallest Church sprire in the UK – seemed a nice vibrant city.
After that we crossed into Hampshire twisting and turning through the exquisite countryside on to Romsey. Here we had to say goodbye to Cathal and Stubbsy – family commitments meant they had to get home. We will miss them for many different reasons, mainly Cathal pulling us along with his effortless elegant style and Stubbsy for his ability to always find food.
From Romsey we carried on through the outskirts of Southampton on to pretty village Bishop’s Waltham. Unfortunately no food at the pub, but they let us eat fish and chips in the garden and the customers brought us a round of drinks. Good stuff.
We pulled out of the village at dusk and found a nice wooden area to set up camp. A very enjoyable day in the saddle.
We all woke up to a cooked breakfast and all the posh restroom facilities on hand at the King’s Arms in South Zeal. Superb!
The ride started with a 15% climb which is not ideal after a large breakfast but after that we settled into the ride and made good progress to Exeter. Conor mentioned how nice it was to be riding with very little climbing, a big mistake, as two very steep climbs as we approached Exeter. Then we rolled into the city and picked up a few supplies. After that we headed north on a small B road to Honiton where we stopped for lunch at the thatched GreyhoundCountry Inn just outside Fenny Bridges.
It was difficult riding for a while on the busy A303 for around an hour or so after lunch. Not ideal, but needs must. Naturally it was a relief to get off the busy road and back into the comfort of the minor roads and tracks. We stopped for refreshments at Fleu de Lis pub in Stoke-sub-Hamdon and then examined the route and decided we could possibly get to to Sherborne for something to eat and a camp.
It’s a very nice quaint town, pretty busy on a Saturday night. We got a table in an exclusion zone, as we have all been wild camping for a week now. For the first time Bingo could not finish his meal – it was huge. We left the bar just as it was getting dark, got back on on the road, and headed for the lanes for a suitable spot found with ease.