Easy rides in Kent

We've recently returned to cycling after a break of many years, and are both the wrong side of 60. So we began looking for easy-ish rides for beginners in the area. I guess the biggest shock for me was how poor I was riding up hills but I'm getting better, especially when I discovered that the reason for being unable to engage the lowest chainwheel was not adjustment but that the bottle holder prevented the changer doing it's job.

Anyway these are the rides we've done during the past few weeks and their difficulty (for us) -

1. Reculver to Margate and back - (Regional Cycle Route 15) 20 miles - dead flat ride along the sea wall - easy.

2. Tonbridge to Penshurst AB - (Regional Cycle Route 12) 20 miles - pretty flat, some firm tracks, some tarmac.

3. Hythe to Dungeness AB - 34 miles - dead flat along the sea wall, a short distance on the road leaving Hythe. Lunch at the Brittania pub. Excellent ride.

4. Heron Trail - 18 miles - From Higham to Cooling, Upper Halstow, Hoo, and Upper Upnor - a bit hilly in places, all tarmac.

5. Isle of Sheppey circular route - 24 miles - From Queenborough to Sheerness along the sea wall, a bit bumpy, past Minster to Leysdown then back to Queenborough. The last road section was a bit narrow in places and the road was busy. Not nice.

6. Canterbury to Sandwich AB - (National Cycle Route 1) about 45 miles, I'm going to do this ride tomorrow.

The problem we have at present is that my wife likes neither hills nor heavy traffic so we are looking for quiet, tarmac-only rides.
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
quiet, all-tarmac rides in Kent that are not too hilly. Hmmm. Not asking for much, are we? Contact Martin Gill, secretary of the West Kent CTC at mgill10@tiscali.co.uk and I'm sure he'll be able to help - as might Ianrauk on these very boards if you pm him.

My personal tip would be to start at Sittingbourne and go to Faversham via the old road (passing Hengist's thong) and over the Graveney marshes to Whitstable - about fifteen miles there and fifteen back.

There is, of course, a one word answer to your question. And that word is......









Essex
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
as per dellzeqq's reply, non hilly rides in Kent? hmmm, it's a toughie. Looking at your rides you have done what I would consider the main flatish routes in kent. I can't think of any more at the moment that are sans hills. Let me have a think.

However, practice makes perfect as they say, the more you ride the more easy it becomes. No doubt you have good bikes with plenty of gears, learn how to use them, spin up those hills at your own pace or walk. You will then find a whole host of Kent countryside that is to be discovered and is ripe for cycling. Please feel free to check out the links in my signature for the Lewisham and Bromley Cyclists, we welcome all cyclists of all abilities. The West Kent CTC also do a lot of varied rides.

Have you thought of going Tandem? 4 legs can be better then 2.. and looks jolly fun.

Just remembered, the Crab and Winkle Way, from Canturbury to Whitstable is a nice flat route, it's 7 miles of old railway. You can then take the coastal trail from Whistable (stopping off for Oysters), to Reculver (nice cafe there), and back.

Also the Rye Ride of 9 miles from Rye to Camber and Lydd which is flat and mainly traffic free.

edit: Bedgbury Forest has 6 miles of Cycle Route, free, but parking charges for cars.
Also Bewl Water which has 15 miles of Cycle Route (May to October only)
Both very nice for a days pootle.
 
OP
OP
P

Paul Narramore

New Member
Ian

Thanks. The Crab & Winkle route (I'm told) is mainly gravel and dirt and my bike has thin road tyres. The same applies to Bedgebury Forest.

No, my problem is my wife who struggles with hills, headwinds and other traffic. She rides for 'fun' and finds none of this fun. Me, I ride to keep fit and although prefer not to meet the former, just get on with it. Either I slow down to a snail's pace and keep to quiet sea walls or she get's the grumps and throws her dummy out of the pram.

I think I'm going to have get used to riding alone or with a club in future as creeping along at 8mph just does my head in. I know this sounds unsympathetic but I can't stand all this waiting by the side of the road every couple of miles business, nor the heated rages at the end of every ride.:sad:
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
Hi Paul, fully understand where you are coming from mate. I can imagine it must be frustrating for both of you. Maybe better that you do head out on your own or with others once in a while to suppliment those days out with wifey. I fully understand the problem as my wife was the same, in fact she has now not ridden a bike for a couple of years. She decided that it just wasnt for her.

Keep checking the Lewisham Cyclists link below for rides in Kent, I think they will be exactly what you are looking for and you would be more then welcome.

Crab & Winkle way and Bedgbury, done both on skinny tyres no problem :ohmy:
 
OP
OP
P

Paul Narramore

New Member
Thanks Ian, I will then try the Crab & Winkle and Bedgebury rides. Our local club is San Fairy Ann CC and we've been invited to join them too. I'm just off to ride from Canterbury to Sandwich and back:biggrin: Now what on earth did I do with my camera? I keep mislaying these these days.

Another ride I've got penciled in is from Calais to Dunkerque and back, along the old coast road. I think bikes are free on the ferries and footpassengers only about £5. Sounds like a cheap day out.
 
Hi Paul.

Nice to have someone on the board from my neighbourhood. San Fariy Ann do some good rides out and really do cater for all abiblities. Their rides start from Marden Library on Saturdays. I think guests can ride out to see if they like it.

Marden or even Yalding are both good place to start your rides from, there are loads of routes on quiet lanes around that area that are mostly flat and quiet traffic wise as well.
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
Is it true that you have to be really old to know what 'San Fairy Ann' means?
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
my grandfather told me about it. And, given its provenance it never fails to send a shiver up my spine

When the British Tommy arrived in France to fight in the First World War, he was presented with a language he struggled to make sense of. What he did to the pronunciation of French and Belgian place names is a wonder, such as turning Ypres into Wipers. He picked up a lot of French expressions, but he changed them into something that sounded English. This was the fate of ça ne fait rien, “it does not matter”, which became a British Army catchphrase in that war as an expression of resigned — or cynical — acceptance of some state of affairs, usually brought about by bungling officers.
 
OP
OP
P

Paul Narramore

New Member
And I thought it mean't 'Sweet F***k All'.

Did the Canterbury to Sandwich ride today alone, total 34 miles, only one hill out of Fordwich I had to get off and push it. Bloody strong head wind too. Roughly an hour and 35mins to Sandwich, visited the Salutation Gardens, chocolate brownie and three cups of tea, then the ride back. Left the car in the Park & Ride on the Sturry Road, £2.50 all day. Bloody tiring.

Incidentally Fordwich claims to be Britain's smallest town.

Panter, Is your family any connection with Berkeley cars? Charles (or was it Frank) Panter used to be their boss, and I once owned a Berkeley three-wheeler.
 
OP
OP
P

Paul Narramore

New Member
The present Mrs N and I rode the Crab & Winkle Ride yesterday. Not a bad ride, 16 mile return trip, mostly flattish with a couple of steep hills. Initially the signing from Whitstable Harbour was poor getting out of town. Now whilst it's 'do-able' on thin road tyres pumped up to 80psi, the route is pretty bumpy and a large part of the route is fine gravel. Only had to get off and push up one hill. I shall keep clear of off road routes in future as it's not my cup of tea.

We stopped off at the Hotel Continental on Whitstable seafront and finished the ride with a couple of pints and a bowl of rather tasty Fish Soup, and then sat on one of the many groynes and watched the sea and passing ships in the warm sunshine:thumbsup:.
 
Top Bottom