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Whitstable Ride Aug 2023

So far our cycling year has been beset by obstacles, either weather or train related.  I was hoping that the Whitstable ride would magically be issue free.  60 riders had signed up with a good number of new riders looking forward to their first Friday Night Ride to the Coast. With a couple of days to go the weather forecast began to deteriorate and weather warnings were issued. Steadily people dropped out and by the time I left my house around 50 were left.  By the time I left the train at Victoria another 10 had cried off and so we were down to around 37 finally. Some people were already soggy as they had ridden through thunderstorms to the start


We set off promptly at midnight from our usual South Bank meeting place, having welcomed the new riders and outlined the safety elements and etiquette of night riding. I handed over at this stage to Titus who had agreed to share ride leader duties with me We had decided on a slightly different route from previous years (can you outline the difference please Titus)


There was a mild drizzle which turned to steady rain, but only for an hour or so and it wasn’t cold or windy.  We suffered a fair few mechanicals, which tested the patience of our saintly TECs ,and didn’t arrive at our halfway stop in Strood until around 5. Tim had once again pulled out all the stops and laid on a magnificent spread of filled rolls and homemade cakes, but we had to scoff and go as we had lost so much time on the way.


We proceeded refreshed into the emerging daylight and surprisingly balmy atmosphere, by now back on our familiar route to Whitstable.

A brief stop to get our breath back after the climb to Upchurch we then hoped to push on briskly to make up some time and arrive at Whitstable for 8.30.  The sunrise was lovely and perfectly timed over a field of sunflowers.


We didn’t hang around in Faversham as we normally would, so made good time for the last section across the Graveney marshes towards our new breakfast venue, The Beach Cafe, where we were staggered by the speed of service and look forward to returning.


So all in all, another fabulous, fun-filled adventure with the Fridays.  Thanks so much to everyone who helped to make such a successful ride: the all-upper, the TECs, everyone who volunteered to waymark, Tim and Angela at Strood, and Matt and Caroline and the wonderful staff at the Beach Cafe.


Looking forward to seeing everyone again soon


Kim & Titus

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