Gateway Cycling » Club News, Recreation » A KENT RIDE SATURDAY 26 11 2022 by Jon Lane

A KENT RIDE SATURDAY 26 11 2022 by Jon Lane

Saturday 26th, another Dave F ‘Special’, a long-awaited Kent ride, with 9 of us driving or riding to Tilbury Ferry landing stage for the crossing to Gravesend. We had to do it in two bites, because of passenger numbers and limited bike space. 10.15 and a return pick up at 10.30. Collecting at the Gordon Promenade we all set off along the bumpy and lumpy Thames and Medway canal path to Lower Higham. Cattle grazing on the scrubby firing ranges, Coalhouse Fort on the skyline. A single serene swan on the murky canal. Onwards – at a steady pace, keeping together through the quiet Kent back ways to the Cliffe café, renamed ‘Pure Planet’, now hip and organic… On the gravel approach we encountered a bunch of fellow orange topped riders apparently from Sidcup, a cyclists’ café, always a good sign. Sitting outside with lake views we enjoyed simple fare, cooked well, poached egg on toast with a little ‘green rocket’ and balsamic sauce to enhance the flavour, along with regular favourites: sausage and bacon sandwiches. Much chat and craic, enjoying ourselves, aided by a snatch of a classic 60’s from Terry W’s phone – Bob Dylan’s, Subterranean Homesick Blues (It’s a generational thing, folks!) (-: We set off a little late. Dave took us a shorter route than planned, through and around the hedgerows and fields of Cliffe village, a glimpse of Thames vistas, avoiding mud and tractors, a few fellow ‘equestrian’ riders and more… Needing to catch the 2pm ferry before the ferryman’s lunch hour, and considering the fast fading light, we more or less retraced our route but this time taking the Lower Rochester Road, Terry choosing the canal path. We strung out a little, with a bit of a whiz to get there, but we all got safely on to the Gravesend Pier, just before 2pm. A tad unlucky… many passengers and again limited bike space… Vic, Andy, Les and Alan said farewell and sailed, while Phil, Sharon, Dave and I waited for the 3pm crossing, nattering, no worries, a pleasant riverside place to be. Thanks to all for great comradeship friendliness and fun. Special thanks again to Dave for organising this jolly ride out.

Have a rocking good week folks!

Cheers! 🙂

Jon Lane.

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