Tandem Club - South East London - 2007 Events


All tandem riders (and bike riders interested in tandem riding)
are welcome on any of our rides.
PLEASE NOTE, PARTICIPATION IN RIDES IS AT YOUR OWN RISK.
We aim to start all rides promptly at the published times.


Note: Please contact ride organizer before attending a ride.
January April July October
February May August November
March June September December

Sunday, 28th January 2007

Bexleyheath, Kent
The ride will visit the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 25 miles
organized by: Andy & Ruth
telephone: home: 01689 878089,   mobile: 07720 294119 (for late changes)
email: (before 16:00 on preceding Friday)


Seven tandems and two solos set off from Danson Park, Bexleyheath, Kent on a rather cold morning: we were soon feeling much warmer after Andy & Ruth had led us up Logs Hill and a few other little warmers to reach Bromley for coffee in Starbuck's very pleasant and spacious upstairs room (together with a ladies knitting circle!).

From Bromley we continued following quiet suburban roads (& some unmade, very pot-holey ones!) to reach Greenwich Park and thus the Maritime Museum.

Another family joined us here with their tandem and two solos for lunch. After lunch, was taken in the museum cafe, we all spent an hour or so wandering around the museum before re-grouping.

First we went back up to the top of Greenwich Park to look out over London from the viewpoint by General Wolfe's statue - a fabulous view. Then back to Danson Park via many more quiet roads to complete an excellent 25 mile ride.

report by: Tricia Anderson

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 7
Solos: 2
People: 16
(lunchtime only - tandems:8, solos:4, people:20)

Distance: 25 miles
Height Gain: 415 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 17 metres per mile (1.03%)
High Point: 93 metres
Low Point: 12 metres



Sunday, 25th February 2007

Charlton, London, SE7
The ride will visit the Tate Modern Art Gallery, Bankside, London, SE1
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 25 miles
organized by: John & Sue
telephone: 020 8855 1693
email:


Carsten Höller's slides
Carsten Höller's slides
photo: Neville Frost
Ten tandems & three solos (23 people) gathered in Charlton House car park with members travelling from all over south east England to join this ride to the Tate Modern to experience Carsten Höller's slides. John & young Heather led us out on their solos to Greenwich Park, where Jon & his young son, Max, were waiting to join us, thus swelling our numbers to eleven tandems and 25 people: our large group drew a lot of looks as we made our way along busy roads in order to reach the Tate Modern as early as possible in the hope of beating the crowds. It worked as at 11.20am there were no queues for the free slide tickets - oh dear, that slide from Level 5 all the way down into the Turbine Hall looked an awful long way up (& down again!).

We split up and went our various ways - an early lunch, coffee, straight onto the slides, look around the various exhibits. As arranged we re-gathered at 2pm and swapped our various stories: the Level 5 slide was fast and bumpy, the youngsters had had several goes on the lower slides (there's a height restriction for safety), Carsten Höller's Sliding Doors (5 glass doors opening and closing as you walk through and giving various interesting reflections), Cubism, a fascinating film and music sequence and so much more that our 2.5 hours had passed too quickly for it all to be seen.

As we readied ourselves the wind picked up and a light shower of rain fell and then cleared away again with a faint glimmer of sunshine showing, so we were able to enjoy our leisurely ride back using parts of the Thames Path and quiet residential roads to bring us out to busy Greenwich and our only uphill of the day in Greenwich Park. It had been an excellent day out, though only a short ride of 18 miles. Praise must go to the two youngsters riding their own solo bikes on their excellent riding skills and sensible behaviour riding in central London traffic.

report by: Tricia Anderson

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 11
Solos: 3
People: 25

Distance: 18 miles
Height Gain: 216 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 12 metres per mile (0.75%)
High Point: 49 metres
Low Point: 2 metres



Sunday, 25th March 2007
British Summer Time begins today (spring forward 1 hour)

Groombridge, East Sussex
start time: 09:15 for 09:30
approx. ride distance: 40 miles
organized by: David & Caroline
telephone: 01737 766649
email:


David, our leader, had billed this ride as shortish and hilly so we were prepared. The weather was cold and it had rained overnight so the roads were wet. Ten people on four tandems and two solos took part.

Although the weather was cold there were lots of signs of spring, daffodils (now past their best), primroses and lots of lambs. It was good to be out there. On the outskirts of Crowborough, we stopped for a well earned coffee, having already climbed 304 metres.

Refreshed, we continued on our way to lunch in Mayfield, conscious of needing to get there by 12:30. We made it in time, helped by cutting out a 2.7 mile section of the originally planned route. Lunch in the Rose & Crown was excellent!

We now had the longest section still to do but our leader (who had a heavy cold) decided to shorten it a bit, thereby cutting out several hills and we arrived at Tunbridge Wells where we had a break for tea in the Pantiles.

And so, on to the easiest leg of the day back to the start where we arrived without incident having enjoyed a very hilly but very enjoyable country ride. Many thanks for the organization to David, who persevered throughout the day with every bump in the road making his aching head hurt.

The ride turned out to be 29 miles in length with us climbing an average of 35 metres for every mile travelled.

report by: Neville Frost

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 4
Solos: 2
People: 10

Distance: 29 miles
Height Gain: 1016 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 35 metres per mile (2.18%)
High Point: 184 metres
Low Point: 57 metres



Sunday, 1st April 2007

family / easy ride
Ashford, Middlesex
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 25 miles
organized by: Andy, Emily & Francesca
telephone: 01784 242959
email:

Note from Andy: - The ride will start in Ashford, Middlesex. Lunch stop will be in Windsor, in the shopping centre in the old Windsor station. There are some alternatives for lunch here. The ride to Windsor will be mainly on road, and we may stop at that interesting playground with the hamster wheel, time permitting (ideal for kids of all ages). If I can fit it into the available miles, our return will pass through Windsor Great Park and will involve one or two tracks.


cycle roundabout
Unexpected speed on the "cycle roundabout
photo: David Wilde
The day started out cloudy with a cool wind but quite soon became sunny and warm. Five tandems and two solos set off from Ashford, Middlesex along suburban streets, around the back of Heathrow Airport to Datchet's recreation fields where adults and children alike had fun on the "big kids playground": little Christopher did very well in the "hamster wheel" and Emily had the "wire slide run" cracked: Liz & Tricia got up to unexpected speed and lean on the "cycle roundabout".

Andy finally dragged us all away to ride into Eton where we spent some time leaning over the bridge in the sunshine watching the huge number of swans on the River Thames, before moving around the corner to lunch in the Watermans Arms.

After lunch Andy & Emily led us into Windsor Great Park for the hillier part of the ride (Francesca had taken the train option back home after lunch to get tea ready!); we stopped at the Village Post Office and General Store for ice creams to be bought and eaten, then continued climbing before descending through Englefield Green, passing the entrance to Thorpe Park, through Chertsey, alongside Queen Mary Reservoir & back for tea and cakes at the leaders' house.

This 32 mile ride was a real family ride with stops for a playground and ice cream and with a leisurely feel to it, all enjoyed in sunshine.

report by: Tricia Anderson

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 5
Solos: 2
People: 12

Distance: 32 miles
Height Gain: 281 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 9 metres per mile (0.55%)
High Point: 87 metres
Low Point: 12 metres



Sunday, 22nd April 2007

Orpington, Kent
start time: 09:15 for 09:30
approx. ride distance: 40 miles
organized by: David & Annabelle
telephone: 01689 835673
email:


Eight people on 4 tandems met in Orpington on a beautiful, sunny spring day and set off in a north-easterly direction towards Swanley, where, on the outskirts of the town we had the first of several thoroughly researched "lectures". This one was on the origins and history of Swanley. Moving on – we were soon in Hextable where we had another "lecture" about this town, which dates back to Roman times. Our next stop was Hawley Garden Centre where (despite the previously mentioned delaying tactics) we arrived slightly ahead of the opening time of the Coffee Shop. No problem here though as we had plenty to occupy us (it is a Garden Centre with plenty to look at).

After a leisurely refreshment break, we continued in an easterly direction through country lanes and a couple of "arrow" hills, crossing the River Darent in Darenth and skirting the villages of Bean, Southfleet and Istead Rise and passing through Cobham, where we stopped for another history lesson – this one was on Cobham and its environs – very interesting stuff. Now we just had a sweeping descent into the Luddesdown Valley followed by a slight rise to our lunch stop at the Golden Lion. Very good service and excellent food.

brick shaped flints
Norman church built with brick shaped flints
photo: Neville Frost
At the head of the valley there is a flint built Norman Church, where we stopped for a look... The front of the church is constructed of brick shaped flints whereas the remaining walls are built in the more usual manner with flints of different shapes and sizes. Our leader used this opportunity for his final history lesson of the day. Heading south and west, we now took the steady climb to Harvel, skirted past Vigo Village and then through Fairseat to the highest point of our ride at the top of Wrotham Hill. From this point, going northwards, there is a 4.5 mile descent to Farningham. Much of the descent is shallow but it's almost possible to do it without turning a pedal – almost possible. Perhaps we will achieve it another day!

The final phase of the ride was a bit of an ascent via Crockenhill and back to Orpington where we were plied with tea and cakes by our leaders David and Annabelle. Thank you both for a very pleasant day out – nice route with good food stops.

report by: Neville Frost

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 4
Solos: 0
People: 8

Distance: 44 miles
Height Gain: 884 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 20 metres per mile (1.25%)
High Point: 230 metres
Low Point: 15 metres



Saturday, 5th May - Monday, 7th May 2007

Bank Holiday Camping Weekend Event
Fordingbridge, Hampshire
We will be based at Sandy Balls Holiday Centre.
start time: probably 09:00 but will be agreed by attendees at the time
approx. ride distance: up to 40 miles each day depending on terrain
organized by: Neville & Tricia
telephone: 020 8325 8445
email:


New Forest ponies
New Forest ponies
photo: Neville Frost
This event was quite a challenge to organize in such a way that all participants did rides that they enjoyed. We had people who love the New Forest gravel tracks and those for whom they were anathema. We had people who wanted long rides and those who didn't. As a compromise, we had split rides with two (or more) options.

Saturday:

From Sandy Balls, we headed out as a single group in an easterly direction towards Fritham, incorporating 3.6 miles of gravel track across the forest. The views from this high vantage point both to the north and to the south were worth the effort! At Fritham we turned to the north to Nomansland, where we stopped for coffee and Hot Cross Buns at the home of Phil's parents.

After coffee, we split into two groups with one group travelling to the north-west to visit Downton Cuckoo Fair and the others heading south-east, back into the forest where 2 almost simultaneous punctures were repaired. After a pleasant picnic lunch in the sunshine, they headed westwards and returned via Linwood and Mockbeggar.

The weather started out cloudy but the sun appeared midday and we brought the day to a close back at Sandy Balls with a barbecue.

Summary

Saturday - Downton short option
Tandems: 2
Solos: 3
People: 7

Distance: 22 miles
Height Gain: 471 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 21 metres per mile (1.33%)
High Point: 129 metres
Low Point: 32 metres

Saturday - Downton option
incorporating the Mizmaze at Braemore Down

Tandems: 2
Solos: 0
People: 4

Distance: 27 miles
Height Gain: 587 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 22 metres per mile (1.35%)
High Point: 129 metres
Low Point: 30 metres

Saturday - Linwood option
Tandems: 6
Solos: 0
People: 12

Distance: 31 miles
Height Gain: 564 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 18 metres per mile (1.13%)
High Point: 129 metres
Low Point: 27 metres

Sunday:

We had 25 people out today and adopted the same approach as yesterday with everyone travelling together to a coffee stop and splitting up for the next part of the ride. Coffee was taken at Cranborne where we found ourselves amidst a large charity bicycle ride and confused the marshals a bit as we wanted to go a different way. Luckily, however, the marshals were able to direct us to the nearby Garden Centre (Coffee Shop).

After coffee, 3 tandems headed for a longish route to the west and north via Wimborne St Giles, Sixpenny Handley, Broad Chalke, Coombe Bissett and Odstock.

The rest travelled to Rockbourne where they enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Roman Villa. Later, whilst travelling along a bridleway near Whitsbury, we unwittingly upset a Stud Farmer as we sent a group of expensive looking race-horses and their foals into a panic as they didn't know what to make of our speeding tandems! Moving on – we soon joined up with the 'long' riders for tea at Braemore House Tea Room. Two families with a total of 2 tandems and 3 solo bikes between them missed out on this stop as they had taken a shorter route back to Sandy Balls.

The weather had been overcast for most of the day but the sun appeared for the last hilly part of the ride back to the start.

In the evening, some of us gathered again for a barbecue but numbers were down as the weather had turned rather cold.

Summary

Sunday - Rockbourne option
Tandems: 8
Solos: 3
People: 19

Distance: 29 miles
Height Gain: 595 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 21 metres per mile (1.27%)
High Point: 142 metres
Low Point: 27 metres

Sunday - Coombe Bissett option
Tandems: 3
Solos: 0
People: 6

Distance: 43 miles
Height Gain: 790 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 18 metres per mile (1.14%)
High Point: 206 metres
Low Point: 27 metres

Monday:

Rider numbers were depleted for today's ride as many people had decided to start early on their homeward journeys.

As on the previous days we all travelled together to coffee, this time at Moors Valley Country Park. This is an amazing place with an enormous number of activities (mostly for kids) in the forest. After coffee, we split into 2 groups – with 2 tandems in each group. Some stayed at Moors Valley in order to further enjoy the activities (which included a steam train).

The others travelled eastwards to Ringwood and then south as far as North Ripley where they looped to the east and north for Burley where they had a pub lunch. The final leg was back into the forest and northwards. The exposed westerly route to Linwood was quite difficult into what was now a very strong south-westerly wind.

Postscript: Ken and Liz did their own 70mile ride today to celebrate Ken's 70th birthday. Well done you two!

Summary

Sunday - Moors Valley option
Tandems: 2
Solos: 0
People: 4

Distance: 23 miles
Height Gain: 275 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 12 metres per mile (0.74%)
High Point: 79 metres
Low Point: 15 metres

Sunday - Burley option
Tandems: 2
Solos: 0
People: 4

Distance: 40 miles
Height Gain: 630 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 16 metres per mile (0.98%)
High Point: 113 metres
Low Point: 15 metres


report by: Neville Frost

click here for pictures


Sunday, 10th June

Treasure Hunt
family / easy rideand longer option
Joint event with Surrey & Sussex Region
Redhill, Surrey
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 25 miles
organized by: David & Caroline - (event concept by Christopher)
telephone: 01737 766649
email:


Studying the route sheets at the start
Studying the route sheets at the start
photo: Neville Frost
Sixteen people on eight tandems took part in today's Treasure Hunt. Two of the tandems were involved in the organization of the event so five tandems were competing.

Any route starting from Redhill Station is likely to be hilly and this one was no exception. It climbed to the south and then west and north with some easily spotted questions and some very hard to find ones. "How much in old money" was one - and a house with the sign 31 Farthings gave us the information we needed. So the answer was 7¾d. We also had to work this one out in new money! A coffee stop was provided on the top of Reigate Hill preceded by a very steep climb. David and Caroline had taken the coffee and cakes to the top of the climb for our benefit so that we could rest, be waited upon by their son Christopher and also enjoy the grand view to the south. Excellent planning!

Coffee was followed by an extremely steep off-road descent going down 100 meters in half a mile! After some twists and turns we arrived in Reigate Heath where there was some more off-road to Betchworth and then on to Leigh for lunch (in the Plough public house) where the Treasure Hunt terminated.

If we'd had anyone wanting to do a short route back to the start, there was a short option available from here but most people wanted the longer option. So the afternoon ride was a conventional group ride – riding together and chatting. The route, which incorporated country lanes and a few more off-road tracks, took us south to Newdigate and then east to Horley and Outwood and north to South Nutfield and thence back for tea (and Caroline's delicious cakes) to our leaders' house in Redhill. The start point from here was just a mile away.

Studying the route sheets at the start
The winners' trophy - designed and made by David
photo: Neville Frost
The weather could not have been more pleasant and the Treasure Hunt was great fun. Winners of the specially made trophy were Tim and Anne.

report by: Neville Frost

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 8
Solos: 0
People: 16

Distance: 36 miles
Height Gain: 767 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 21.3 metres per mile (1.32%)
High Point: 238 metres
Low Point: 50 metres



Thursday, 14th June - Sunday, 17th June 2007

French Touring Weekend Event
Dover, Calais and beyond
start time: will be agreed by attendees at the time
approx. ride distance: 40-50 miles per day
organized by: Alan & Wendy
telephone: 01621 818060
email:


French tandem tour route
The tour route -
starting in Calais, we travelled in an anticlockwise direction
Starting at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning at Dover Eastern Docks, after crossing the Channel, we travelled in an anticlockwise direction from Calais, stopping for overnight stops at Camiers, Hesdin and Wisques.

Thursday 14th June:

“Meet at 05:20hrs at the latest” were the instructions and all 20 of us were outside the tightly closed P&O terminal hall well before on this lovely blue sky morning. Cooked breakfasts were enjoyed on the ferry to set us up for the very undulating ride along the D940 from Calais to Camiers. The coffee stop at Wissant was welcome and then the undulations continued, with some good whizzes, through Wimereux (lots of “awimmaway” being sung on the approach!) until we rolled into Boulogne where lunch was enjoyed. Out on the D119 until rejoining the D940 at Neufchatel-Hardelot where we passed a large Kent County Council sign proclaiming a residential establishment (we pondered its use and decided it was for a “hardy lot”!). It had been warm and humid and we were “sprinkled” with rain on our run in to Camiers but all managed to make it indoors to our rooms in the Logis Hotel les Cèdres before the heavens opened. Rested, after what seemed like a fairly hard 42 miles, and spruced we gathered for aperitifs before enjoying a good meal in the hotel restaurant.

Friday 15th June:

The rain had cleared and after a cooked breakfast (wow! in France!) we set off in sunshine, negotiating road works to reach Etaples Military Cemetery. We had a long look around this beautifully kept place, the biggest Commonwealth War Cemetery in France with over 12,000 people buried here from the Great War and 121 from WWII: in two wall cavities registers are kept giving names, rank, regiment and burial plot details of everyone buried here. From here we went through Etaples town and stopped for coffee in the leafy suburbs of Le Touquet. On to the seaside where some of us stopped to explore the 200 Egyptian sand “castles” (we still don’t know how the sand stays stuck together) whilst others continued to Montreuil to enjoy savoury and sweet crepes in the square followed by a fascinating walk around the remains of the 13thC Citadel, where looking down from the ramparts we saw the “sandcastle group” on the road below. By good chance (Harry had a slow puncture) we all met up by the rail and river crossing. We continued together on a gently undulating route to Hesdin, experiencing a couple of fairly heavy but warm rain showers on the way, to complete 39 miles at the Logis Hotel les Flandres. From reports over aperitifs and dinner it emerged that those located on the 2nd floor had had cold showers probably due to those located on the 1st floor using all the hot water in their baths!

Saturday 16th June:

On this rather dull morning we set off north west along the Ternoise river valley to coffee in Anvin where, with Kylie Minogue cavorting in a leopardskin catsuit on the TV, we watched the first heavy rainfall of the day from inside the café. There were some huge black clouds above us as we set off north and we were duly “dumped upon” heavily whilst going up and down the hills. We were all soaked and dripping when we stopped outside the small Le Moriny café in the main street of Thérouanne, whereupon the owner beckoned us round the back, opening up his yard gates for us to park our tandems: he then proceeded to rush inside and organise tables and chairs for us and announced that we could all have ham and chips if that was all right – it certainly was! Upon looking around we noticed that this café was a cyclist’s café, which explained the amazing hospitality to 20 dripping cyclists! From here it was only a short distance (though with more soakings and a very long dragging hill to climb!) to complete 35 miles at the Logis Hotel la Sapinière in Wisques. Rooms were allocated, some in chalets and others in the main hotel (some with a lovely view to St Omer in the distance). All bathrooms were equipped with an excellent “drying unit” incorporating a hairdryer and a timed fan heater so wet clothes, shoes, helmets, gloves were spread out and hung up with the fan heater doing overtime! It worked, there were only a few wet shoes next morning! Aperitifs were taken in the “conservatory still in progress” where the underfloor heating was closely inspected by some. Dinner was enjoyed whilst yet another downpour occurred outside.

Sunday 17th June:

Low clouds but dry greeted us as we set off up and down a few gentle hills before joining the canal at Watten, where we squished into a small room at one end of a café which sold fishing rods, hooks, etc as well as garden seeds – the “urinoire” was an interesting outdoor feature! In sunshine we had an easy ride alongside the canal and River l’Aa north east all the way to Gravelines, where several of us enjoyed the local moules for our lunch. Finally we had to turn into the south west wind to Calais where we stopped for refreshments in the square before returning to the ferry port to conclude 48 miles that day and 164 miles in all.

In conclusion:

Alan and Wendy
Alan and Wendy - who organized the trip
photo: Neville Frost
Alan and Wendy are amazing! Our grateful thanks are extended to them for all their efforts and for making these trips so enjoyable for all participants. This is the 8th consecutive year that they’ve organised a trip to “the Continent” for our group and every one has been wonderful. This was our group’s first “moving on tour” and proved to be very successful despite earlier doubts from some. Using the Logis group of hotels works well.

report by: Tricia Anderson

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 10
Solos: 0
People: 20

Distance: 164 miles (in 4 days)
Height Gain: 3749 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 22.9 metres per mile (1.42%)
High Point: 190 metres
Low Point: 0 metres



Sunday, 22nd July 2007

Orpington, Kent
start time: 09:15 for 09:30
approx. ride distance: 45 miles
organized by: Andy & Ruth
telephone: home: 01689 878089,   mobile: 07720 294119 (for late changes)
email: (before 16:00 on preceding Friday)

Note from Ruth: - The route goes via the Reptile Zoo at Tatsfield for coffee, into South Godstone for lunch, up onto National Cycle Network Route 21 and back to Orpington (about 43 miles). When researching the ride, we stopped for ice cream at the Godstone Vineyard and bought a couple of bottles of Cider while there, thought we might do that again in July so maybe it should be suggested people brought something to carry bottles in if they fancied buying anything, They have cider, wine and apple juices there which all seem very nice to me.


What rain?! In our north west corner of Kent the day started with rather worrying cloud formations – big and black – but we were amazingly lucky with the day becoming hot with a blue sky and white fluffy clouds and never a drop of rain: we could hardly believe it with so much of England suffering from torrential rain and floods.

Five tandems set off south from Orpington on a ride which seemed as though Ruth & Andy had found as many hills as they possibly could to give us a full workout! Up and down round Cudham and Biggin Hill to a welcome coffee stop at the Reptile Zoo at Tatsfield before setting off along the top of the North Downs and then taking the steep zig­zag road down to go under the M25, skirting the west of Oxted, through Tandridge and negotiating a Road Closed under a railway bridge and using some lovely quiet lanes to get us to our pub lunch stop south of Godstone.
Bouncy Castle
Bouncy Castle
photo: Neville Frost
Lunch was enjoyed in the sunny garden with entertainment provided by 16 year old Simon and our ride leader, Ruth, who performed for us in the bouncy castle!

After lunch it was up Tilburstow Hill (fabulous view) to Bletchingley before taking a track northwards to join up with Cycle Route 21, under the M25, steep offroad up the North Downs to bring us out to a large grassy patch with benches and a great view over the M25, Godstone and beyond where we were able to recover ourselves for a little while before our leaders had us up onto the bikes and off uphill again. Ice creams were enjoyed at Godstone Vineyard and our leaders filled their panniers with bottles (cider, wine, apple juice?). Cajoled back onto our bikes again for the hardest stretch of the day, still following Route 21 uphill along tracks then through a school’s grounds and down its front drive to Woldingham Golf Course and the hardest uphill track of the day up which we all had to push our tandems (due to severe rutting caused by recent rain damage). Across the B269 into Roger’s Lane to encounter our muddiest and sandiest bit of track so far through which most of us walked but 2 “go for it” teams successfully cycled through. Tricia & Neville’s chain broke just near the end of this track (luckily not in the muddy section!) & was duly mended. Four teams kept to the lanes from here but Nick & Simon faithfully followed Route 21 down and up a steep off road bit (which those who knew it had declined so had rather further to cycle) and were sitting waiting for us as we came around the corner to meet them saying it really wasn’t so hard. From there it was down to Nash, up to Keston church and 2 teams had an excellent whizz along Shires Lane to end the 45 miles with a more sedate pace along suburban roads back to tea and cakes at our leaders’ house.

A fabulous day out with really varied and testing riding along many tracks and quiet country roads. Our thanks to Ruth & Andy for an excellently researched and fun ride.

report by: Tricia Anderson

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 5
Solos: 0
People: 10

Distance: 45 miles
Height Gain: 1181 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 26.2 metres per mile (1.63%)
High Point: 273 metres
Low Point: 52 metres



Saturday, 4th August - Sunday, 5th August 2007

Three Regions (of South East England) Camping Weekend Event
Broad Oak, East Sussex
Non campers are welcome to join us for the rides
start time: will be agreed by attendees at the time
approx. ride distance: up to 40 miles per day
organized by: Cliff & Pauline andNeville & Tricia
telephone: 01732 750885and020 8325 8445
mobile: 07977 913071and07753 613181
email: and



For our 3-Region camping weekend we enjoyed an amazingly hot and sunny two days with a light breeze making it bearable and pleasant. We were based at Sculdown Vineyard campsite just down the road from Broad Oak, East Sussex.

Saturday - 12 people (6 tandems) set off downhill through Brede to have a look at the "Giants of Brede" and were treated by an enthusiastic volunteer to a guided tour of a restored 1904 triple expansion steam pumping engine, housed in the original waterworks building constructed by Hastings Corporation Water Department, along with a collection of small steam pumps and engines. All are currently being run by compressed air rather than steam. We were also shown around the Nuclear Bunker built in 1992 in case of air contamination but never used and now being occupied by the local amateur radio enthusiasts. All quite fascinating. Rather later than planned we finally set off (uphill!) on our planned route to Hastings via Battle for a coffee stop, Bexhill-on-Sea and along the front to Glyne Gap for a late picnic lunch perched on a cliff just above the beach where Christopher bravely swam (with all his clothes on!). Up and up and up out of Hastings to Fairlight then down to Pett Level for a whizz along some flat roads at last before climbing up to Winchelsea to find once again that the cafe wasn't open so we enjoyed ice creams from the wonderful tiny village shop. A couple more big hills before a good run along the top of a ridge back to the campsite to find 2 more expected families sitting in the sunshine. Showers and then barbecues were lit and an enjoyable evening was spent chatting in the warm evening.

Sunday - 19 people (9 tandems & 1 solo) gathered and it was already obvious that it was going to be an even hotter day than Saturday. Luckily we used lots of shady, leafy lanes and the breeze was kind to us. Up then down to the edge of the marshes and up again to get to the Kent & East Sussex Railway Station cafe at Tenterden for coffee. From there it was west and down a track into Sissinghurst Castle grounds then to Cranbrook for lunch, either in the pub or picnic in the churchyard. Lots more ups and downs to tea and ice creams at Bodiam Castle to refuel us for the final two arrow up hills required to get us back to the campsite. Tired people packed up tents and said farewells after two very good days of cycling just over 40 miles each day.

report by: Tricia Anderson


Summary


Saturday - Brede, Bexhill, Hastings and Winchelsea
Tandems: 6
Solos: 0
People: 12

Distance: 44 miles
Height Gain: 1007 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 22.9 metres per mile (1.42%)
High Point: 166 metres
Low Point: 0 metres

Sunday - Tenterden, Cranbrook and Bodiam
Tandems: 9
Solos: 1
People: 19

Distance: 42 miles
Height Gain: 922 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 22.0 metres per mile (1.36%)
High Point: 106 metres
Low Point: 2 metres

click here for pictures



An alternative report and pictures from this event are available on the Tandem Club - Kent website.


Saturday, 25th August - Monday, 27th August 2007

Bank Holiday Weekend Event
Mildenhall, Suffolk organized to coincide with Mildenhall Cycling Rally.
The South East London ride will be on Saturday to enable people to spend all day at the rally on Sunday and Monday if they wish.
start time: 09:15 for 09:30
approx. ride distance: 40 miles
organized by: Neville & Tricia
telephone: 020 8325 8445
email:



The South East England contingent were mostly staying for the weekend at The Willows campsite, three miles from the Mildenhall Cycling Rally. The weather was so good and participants so enthusiastic that we fitted in 3 rides over this Bank Holiday weekend as well as attending the Mildenhall Cycling Rally on Sunday and Monday.

The weather was sunny for much of the weekend so, whether cycling or watching the racing at the rally, we had a really enjoyable time. The weather was mild enough (just) for sitting around ruminating in the evenings in the open air.

Heather
Heather (almost 10)
stoked for the first two days
and was still pushing hard
at the end of both days
photo: Neville Frost
On Saturday, we travelled in a south westerly direction to Anglesey Abbey at Lode on the outskirts of Cambridge and then northwards to Ely for a late lunch at The Maltings followed by a tea stop in Prickwillow at the Drainage Engine Museum.

On Sunday, with the main events of the rally getting under way at midday, we decided to fit in a morning ride to Weeting Village Hall to view the Cycle and Erotic Art exhibition - some 14 miles to the north. We arrived back at the rally at 1 o'clock.

On Monday, we again decided to fit in a ride before going to the rally. This time we travelled in an easterly direction to Bury St Edmunds where we had excellent lunches in the Linden Tree pub before returning to the rally for 3 o'clock.

report by: Neville Frost


Summary


Saturday - Lode, Ely, Prickwillow
Tandems: 12
Solos: 1
People: 25

Distance: 47 miles
Height Gain: 269 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 5.7 metres per mile (0.36%)
High Point: 29 metres
Low Point: 0 metres

Sunday - Weeting
Tandems: 8
Solos: 1
People: 17

Distance: 32 miles
Height Gain: 216 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 6.8 metres per mile (0.42%)
High Point: 23 metres
Low Point: 1 metres

Monday - Bury St Edmunds
Tandems: 5
Solos: 1
People: 11

Distance: 42 miles
Height Gain: 466 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 11.1 metres per mile (0.69%)
High Point: 122 metres
Low Point: 3 metres

click here for pictures


Sunday, 2nd September 2007

family / easy ride
Ditchling, East Sussex
This ride has been organized to fill the Family Ride gap left by a previously cancelled ride on this date.
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 30 miles - easy
organized by: Neville & Tricia
telephone: 020 8325 8445
email:



We’d recently had to cancel this family ride but Liz & Ken, Surrey & Sussex Region ROs, suggested putting on a ride near Brighton so that one of their “family” members (2 adults and 2 children on 2 tandems) could take part. A start place was decided upon with a known suitable car park and a playground was identified and then Liz plotted a possible 25 mile route on her laptop whilst waiting for her flight back home from Edinburgh one work day! An e-mail was then sent out at rather short notice to all South East England possible family/easy riders, to which an excellent response was received and so the ride was on! Liz & Ken rece'ed a route on Saturday.

On Sunday, with the weather promised fair, 9 tandems and 1 solo (15 adults & 4 children) gathered in Ditchling car park – all 4 children were stoking tandems. Off we set, keeping in the shadow of the South Downs, using bumpy bridleways to bring us out beside Plumpton Racecourse and then on to Cooksbridge recreation ground: here we had to negotiate around contractor’s fencing using a narrow little walkway to get us onto the rec with access to the playground. Liz & Ken had carried all the fixings for coffee and cake and biscuits (and juice for the 4 girls) which were enjoyed sitting on the grass in the sunshine and then the girls topped the feast off by bringing back freshly picked blackberries for us to enjoy.

Onwards to the Laughing Fish pub, located beside the Lavender Line railway station at Isfield, for a relaxed lunch. There was a playground for the children and for the adults’ entertainment a convoy of V8 & V6 old American and English sports cars reverberated by us to line up in the car park field behind.

After lunch the River Ouse was crossed by way of a bridge into a field which we all bumped across and then children and adults had fun negotiating the various muddy and tricky bridleways to get us to Stoneywish Nature Reserve café for tea, cakes and ice cream. An excellent fun day out with 25 miles cycled.

report by: Tricia Anderson

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 9
Solos: 1
People: 19

Distance: 25 miles
Height Gain: 329 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 13.2 metres per mile (0.82%)
High Point: 67 metres
Low Point: 4 metres



Sunday, 23rd September 2007

Chichester, West Sussex
start time: 09:15 for 09:30
approx. ride distance: 40 miles
organized by: Dereck & Gail
telephone: 01483 416131
email:



At the start
At the start, leader Dereck gives details of the planned route
photo: Neville Frost
Nine tandems set off from Birdham near Chichester under a bright but worrying sky and headed in a southerly direction towards the sea. At Bracklesham Bay, we stopped to take in the seascape before continuing initially westwards to West Wittering and then northwards via the recently opened Salterns Way to Chichester Marina, where we crossed the mouth of the Marina via the lock gates. We continued northwards skirting to the west of Chichester to Fishbourne where, after 16 miles, we stopped for coffee at the Roman Palace Café. Excellent service.

The first part of the route had taken longer than expected so our leader Dereck rearranged things in order that we didn't arrive too late at the lunch venue. Lunch was a further eight miles away to the north along quiet country lanes at Stoughton where we stopped at the Hare and Hound pub. We had been assigned seats in the open air – slightly worrying as the sky was still threatening rain. It didn't rain though and, apart from it being rather cool, the food was good.

The afternoon section back to the start was the longest part of the ride (20 miles) and was also the hilliest. Continuing, mostly on quiet country roads, we passed through East Marden and Chilgrove, then, south of West Dean we picked up the Centurian Way Railway Path. This path is very popular with walkers and family cyclists and took us all the way back to the outskirts of Chichester where Dereck and Gail took us through to the south and the canal towpath. It was just a short distance, then, back to the start and unexpected tea and cakes in our leaders' caravan awning.

Many thanks Dereck and Gail for a great ride.

report by: Neville Frost

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 9
Solos: 0
People: 18

Distance: 44 miles
Height Gain: 505 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 11.5 metres per mile (0.71%)
High Point: 136 metres
Low Point: 1 metres



Sunday, 7th October 2007

family / easy ride
Oxted, Surrey
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 25 miles
organized by: Robert & Hilary
telephone: 01883 722067
email:

Note from Hilary & Rob: - The route will be approx 25miles along the old favourite Pilgrims Way (morning stop at Clackets Lane Services) to Chipstead for pub lunch then back via Ide Hill to our house for tea/cakes. Have tried to keep it as flat as possible but difficult in this area.


On the slide at Clackets Lane
'Family ride' fun on the slide
at Clackets Lane Services
photo: Neville Frost
On a cool and misty morning 6 tandems and 1 solo gathered in the car park of Tandridge Leisure Centre, Oxted, Surrey for our last family/easy ride of 2007. After 4.5 miles we "pulled in" to Clacket Lane North Services on the M25 for coffee, buns and an excellent playground stop. The weather was mild enough for us to have our coffee outside whilst watching the kids play.

From there we proceeded along the gently undulating and very pleasant Pilgrims Way, diverting southwards to arrive at the George & Dragon pub at Chipstead, a quaint old pub with slightly eccentric service and a playground.

After lunch our leaders took us the gentlest way they could find to get us up to the top of Ide Hill and then a good whizz down to Four Elms, round Edenbridge, through Staffhurst Wood and back to their house to enjoy tea and cakes in their sunny garden and more playtime for the children. 27 miles saw us finish back at Oxted.

report by: Tricia Anderson

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 6
Solos: 1
People: 15

Distance: 27 miles
Height Gain: 565 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 20.9 metres per mile (1.30%)
High Point: 216 metres
Low Point: 50 metres



Sunday, 21st October 2007

Bearsted, Kent
Joint ride with the Kent group

start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 40 miles
organized by: David & Annabelle
telephone: 01689 835673
email:

Note from David: - The route is expected to be 42 miles with an early tea stop at Mote Park, lunch at The George Inn in Egerton (does Sunday lunch plus a full menu). There's a nice climb to the pub and tea at Lenham then back to Bearsted.
Please give David and Annabelle plenty of notice, if you plan to attend this ride, so they can advise the pub in advance.



Lunch was taken at the George Inn, Egerton
Lunch was taken at
the George Inn, Egerton
photo: Tricia Anderson
There were 17 of us on this SEL/Kent ride on a cold but brilliantly blue and sunny autumn day - just perfect. From Bearsted Station we rode a short but technically tricky route to Mote Park, Maidstone. The captain of our leading team saw a cycle path marked and, without consultation with his stoker!, deviated from the previously carefully planned route to follow it, thus all the tandems had to be lifted over a very tandem unfriendly barrier to gain entry into the park! We enjoyed a pleasant ride through the park, managing to miss the loose dogs and children, and came out beside the very busy lake where all types of water birds were being fed by families enjoying the sunshine. Up a little hill to the cafe, where coffee and cakes were enjoyed whilst Cliff inspected his troublesome gear mechanism and managed to sort it out well enough to continue and complete the ride. Back down the little hill, via steps or the grass!, to stop by the lake and admire the various radio controlled model boats out on the water, including a steaming steamship and a Thames Barge in full sail.

We rode along mostly quiet country lanes via Langley Heath and Fairborne Heath and then had a good whizz down Knowle Hill which caused some consternation for two of our teams when their disc brakes overheated and caused stopping problems. On to Egerton where, after climbing the steep hill into the village, we stopped at the George Inn for lunch. One tandem was immediately "upended" to inspect the disc and several people helped to fix the problem. Unfortunately this delayed lunch as the waitress wanted to wait until we were all sat down before taking our orders but eventually a good lunch was enjoyed.

We got out of the pub at around 2.30pm and by the time we reached Lenham, after cycling along many more lovely country lanes through Little Chart, Westwell and Charing, it was too late for the intended tea stop so it was ever onward through Harrietsham and back to Bearsted to complete an excellent ride.

report by: Tricia Anderson

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 8
Solos: 1
People: 17

Distance: 43 miles
Height Gain: 750 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 17.4 metres per mile (1.08%)
High Point: 155 metres
Low Point: 25 metres


For an alternative report and pictures from this ride see the Tandem Club - Kent website.

Sunday, 18th November 2007

Stelling Minnis, Kent
Joint ride with the Kent group
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 35 miles
organized by: Keith & Jane
telephone: 01323 761575
email:

Please contact Keith and Jane by 11th November as this is the deadline for notifying the pub about numbers.


The day was cold and windy. It was difficult to know what to wear and not get too hot when ascending and yet be cold when descending or when stationary.

Nine tandems and one solo took part with a total of 19 people. From Stelling Minnis we headed in a southerly direction, passing through Rhodes Minnis and Lyminge to Etchinghill and now knew what we had suspected, that this was going to be a hilly ride. From Etchinghill, we headed in a north easterly direction to Swingfield Minnis, where we stopped for coffee at a huge garden centre which had a more than passable coffee shop but no customers – very strange! Keith, our ride leader, said he’d been there on several previous occasions and had never encountered any other customers!

Continuing in a north easterly direction, soon after passing through Lydden, a derailed chain needed serious attention as the chain and granny ring were both damaged. Three teams stayed behind to help fix the problem and give moral support whilst the others continued to the lunch stop in Barfreston. After fixing the chain, the three teams were soon under way and joined the others as they were just getting seated. Lunch in the Yew Tree Inn was excellent with lots of personal attention from the staff.

The pub was very warm and cosy and returning to the cold outside was quite a wrench. We could not leave the area without a visit to the next door tiny 12th century Norman Church of Saint Nicholas with its bell housed in a nearby Yew tree. We now travelled in a generally westerly direction, passing through Wootton and Denton.

Lunch was taken at the George Inn, Egerton
Pirates at the Palm Tree pub
photo: Tricia Anderson
There had been a plan to stop for tea at Elham Valley Vineyard but on arriving, it was found to be closed, "due to circumstances" - apparently! Moving on, just less than a mile away, we came upon the Palm Tree pub which offered afternoon tea. They were very welcoming and despite the strangely decorated environment depicting pirates and associated paraphernalia, the tea tasted very good.

By the time we left the Palm Tree, it was very nearly dark and became completely dark before we got back to the start point but this caught out no one as we all had front and rear lights – hurray! To summarize – this was a hilly ride on a very cold and windy day with some very unusual but none the less pleasant refreshment stops. Many thanks to Keith and Jane for their first-class organization.

report by: Neville Frost

click here for pictures

Summary
Tandems: 9
Solos: 1
People: 19

Distance: 32 miles
Height Gain: 716 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 22.4 metres per mile (1.39%)
High Point: 177 metres
Low Point: 64 metres


For an alternative report and pictures from this ride see the Tandem Club - Kent website.

Sunday, 2nd December 2007

Woodlands, West Kingsdown, Kent
Christmas ride and Lunch - Woodlands Manor Golf Club, Woodlands, West Kingsdown, Kent.
start time: 09:45 for 10:00
approx. ride distance: 15 miles
organized by: Neville & Tricia
telephone: 020 8325 8445
email:



Weather forecasts were threatening that it would be "diabolical" with heavy rain and winds gusting up to 45mph but 6 tandem teams and 1 soloist were daft enough to set off in pouring rain from Woodlands Manor Golf Club car park with our Christmas decorations immediately getting soaked! We freewheeled down the wonderful Knatts Valley (which was fast becoming a river!) for 4 miles to Farningham then north to South Darenth via Horton Kirby before looping back southwards to stop at the very busy Speed Gate cafe - standing room only until some other cyclists left. Then off into the rain again, past Brands Hatch Racing Circuit and a gentle climb followed by a whizz down and back to the Golf Club, whereupon the rain stopped and the sun came out!
Lunch was taken at the George Inn, Egerton
Party fun. What do you think it is?
photo: David Wilde


38 of us enjoyed a very good Christmas meal. David, Caroline & Christopher were presented with the Steggles Most Rides Trophy for riding 20 out of a possible 24 rides in 2007 and they also received a specially commissioned porcelain figurine depicting them on their tandem and tagalong. Members had come from far and wide to be with us on this day and we greatly appreciate their continued support.

report by: Tricia Anderson

click here for pictures

Ride Summary
Tandems: 6
Solos: 1
People: 13

Distance: 16 miles
Height Gain: 313 metres
Climb/Distance Index: 19.6 metres per mile (1.22%)
High Point: 215 metres
Low Point: 36 metres



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