I have a confession to make. a post or two ago I mistakenly said Bluebell Hill was 500 feet of climbing. I was wrong, it’s 600.
And of the six people doing The Dutch Raid ride, five of us managed to cycle over it and then a good distance more today.
Here’s the route.
Before we left the house I sent my mum a message “Just setting off now. Lunch for 5 in two hours.” On the Chatham2Poole ride it took us 1 hour to get to Aylesford Village. My mum’s is probably about 4 or 5 miles down the road from there and I knew it would take a little longer, so two hours seemed reasonable to cover the distance. We left the Dockyard, headed to Rochester and up to the top of the hill via City Way. It’s a bit longer than the Maidstone Road and therefore a bit shallower in the climb. We had a couple of stops on the way up, but managed it in reasonably good time and then came the fun part – coming back down the other side. We went through Aylesford, back out to Larkfield via the London Road and made it to my mum’s in Leybourne in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Not too shabby all things considered.
I told them to look happy and this is what I got… From the left, Lauren is picking her leggings out of her arse, Anita’s doing her “bunny in the headlights” look, Sarah didn’t take off the shades (Does she think she’s Jake Blues?!) and Toni? Well, god knows what that face is all about. I swear they normally look a lot better than this…
Once we’d refuelled on rolls, pizza and cake we headed down and around Leybourne Lakes, through Snodland and then over the new Medway bridge, through Wouldham and back to Rochester. I don’t know how bearing in mind we basically went around in a big circle, but we seemed to be tracking a headwind for most of the way. Only the bit leading us to Rochester parallel with the river felt like we had a tailwind.
We managed to do 24.5 miles and 1200 feet of climbing in the end (Toni and Sarah a little bit more as they had to cycle home from ours). That’s half of the first day total. Next time we get together we’ll aim to break the 30 mile mark.