Tuesday Tour

4th October 2016 - Langdon Cliffs Cafe, Dover

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Norman's acrobatic Dance
 

Eleven intrepid TTers (Stan, Bill K, Bill V, Mike Elmes, Mike Martin, Richard Linning, Malcolm B, Jonathan Bowles, Norman, David L & John P) breezed to the pier at the appointed time. After a good few minutes chatting & commenting on a (fool)hardy lady taking a swim in the somewhat choppy & grey sea, Stan listed several potential options: Ramada, Gibson’s, Mrs Corby & Langdon. The latter, via the coastal route, was selected unanimously in view of the brisk NE wind. Onward along the cycle path to Kingsdown, then Oldstairs Road & Kingsdown Road to St Margaret’s.

The ride along Reach Road to Langdon was assisted by a side/tail wind enabling a swift passage to Langdon Cliffs Café. On arrival, Stan proceeded to push several tables together in preparation for our large party. After queuing for refreshments, which were kindly paid for by Jonathan in celebration of his recent birthday, we went to sit down only to find that Stan’s table arrangement had been put back to individual tables, which had to be rearranged, much to Stan’s bemusement! Various discussions on divers topics ensued for half an hour or so, after which we embarked on the return journey. Apart from Bill K, who embarked on a direct route home, the peleton diverged via the road or the cyclo cross route to converge at the memorial & head toward St Margaret’s against a stiff headwind. Travelling down Kingsdown Road a loud popping sound was heard, which was Mike Elmes’s rear tyre puncturing.

All gathered around to help or watch as Mike, ably assisted by Jonathan, rapidly removed the tyre & replaced it with a spare. My offer to pop into my son’s house nearby to obtain tyre levers or spoons was not required as the tyre was tubeless & was removed & replaced with bare hands – very impressive! As we were about to restart our journey a car came along & in our efforts to move out of its way, Norman tripped over his bike & performed a balletic slow motion roll over it with, fortunately, no ill effects. The rest of the return journey was uneventful. A modest 17 miles for me but somewhat longer for the rest. (JP)

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After coercion, persuasion, flattery as well as mild bullying I agreed to write this week’s report so here goes: Eleven of us; Myself, Stan B, David L, Richard L, Malcolm B, Norman D, Mike M, Tom M, Bill K, Bill V, John P were gathered at the usual place on a day with strong Easterly winds coming off the sea. The cooler temperature prompting the team to cover up with some distinctive/garish coloured cycleware. We nearly had a democratic vote on what the destination should be for our ride, forming a circle with ringleaders pushing for their preferences. Stan won; Langdon Cliff it was!

The route taken followed the coast down to Kingsdown and up the Oldstairs Road to St Margaret’s. We were protected from the wind by the bushes lining the narrow road/path which forms Nation Cycle Route 1. Once through St Margaret’s our route followed a more Easterly direction which gave us the benefit of a following wind helping us climb the hill towards our destination, affording us views over to Dover castle and rather misty sea-scapes beyond the cliffs.

On arrival at the Nation Trust shop/café it was discovered that it was Jonathon’s birthday and according to the Group’s custom the coffees were kindly on him. He explained that he was 21 years old + forty years’ experience. Discussions included who had achieved the infamous OBE awards (Over Bloody Eighty) now that Bill V has formerly been awarded his alongside Norman.

The return journey started well, with some of us preferring to push the bikes up through the “kissing gates” and others taking the winding road to the top where the traditional regrouping took place before cycling downhill, against the wind, back to St Margaret’s. On the road/path down Ottey Bottomack towards Kingsdown an incident occurred, with my rear tyre hitting a sharp stone too hard and bursting it with a loud pop! The team gathered round to support me replace the tubular tyre with a new one. This is not easily done on one’s own. The extra pairs of helpful hands sped up the process and we were soon back on our way downhill to the seafront.

The round trip was around 20 miles with an elevation gain of 753ft (according to my Strava App) (ME).

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