• The August Bank Holiday is coming up which means it's time for John Summerhayes's annual lengthy club ride known as the 'Summer Saunter'. This year it will be heading down to Hastings on the south coast on Sunday 25th August. Here is the intended route for everyone to download: https://www.strava.com/routes/15017195

    This is the route we tried last year, but had to abandon halfway due to torrential rain. This year we might have two groups, with the faster group setting off a bit later (see schedules below).

    John says:
    "Meet at Waltham Forest Town Hall at 8:30 am. Proceed though Wanstead, Forest Gate, East Ham and Becton then cross the river at the Woolwich Foot Tunnel. Slight climb over Shooters Hill then down to Eltham, onto Chislehurst and Orpington. Once south of the Thames the route is very open and green. At 20 miles London is now behind us. Onto Downe and then a 25% climb up to Cudham. We then drop down to Brasted for coffee and cakes etc. Estimated time of arrival around 11:00-11:15.
    With more climbing we head towards Chartwell then Ide hill, then it's downhill to Bough Beech. Afterwards we head to Chiddingstone, Fordcombe, Stone Cross, Groombridge, Eridge Station, Marks Cross and Rotherfield. This part of the route is undulating. We then climb up to Mayfield (with a stop for refreshments) then downhill to Heathfield and Cade St. Then on to Herstmonceux Castle. After this it's a flat ride across Pevensey Levels to Pevensey and still a flat coastal ride to Bexhill. The very last leg is a ride along the beech cycle path to Hastings. We then head to the Station to book the journey home. In the past it's been a special price of £10 each for a family of 4. Or as some are already doing you can book a B&B for the night and storm back the next day, as it's the Bank Hols.
    The last and most important item on the agenda is to find a good place to eat. With good food in comfortable surroundings with safe parking for the bikes. We all settled for Wetherspoons last time.
    I hope to see you on the ride."

    Here is an approximate schedule for the normal 'sauntering' group going at a fairly leisurely pace (averaging about 14mph / 22-23kmh, once out of London):
    Meet at 8:30am at the town hall. Depart by 8:40am, cross the Thames around 9:30, stop at Brasted from 11:00-12:00 (possibly here?), get to Mayfield by 2pm, leave again at 2:30pm, be at Herstmonceux Castle around 3:45pm and Hastings by 5:30pm.

    There is talk of a possible second group going at a faster pace (aiming for 17mph / 27kmh) and setting off a bit later. A possible schedule for this could be:
    Meet at 9:00am at the town hall and depart by 9:10. Cross the Thames around 10:00, stop at Brasted from 11:30-12:15, stop at Mayfield 1:45-2:15, be at Herstmonceux Castle around 3:15pm and Hastings by 4:30pm.

    Here are some possible direct trains:
    16:50 (gets to London Bridge at 18:25)
    17:31 (gets to London Bridge at 18:55)
    17:50 (gets to London Bridge at 19:25)
    18:31 (gets to London Bridge at 19:56)
    18:50 (gets to London Bridge at 20:25)
    19:50 (gets to London Bridge at 21:25)

    Tickets cost between £10 and £14 and John says it should be possible to get group tickets for groups of four at £10 per person.
    John would like to know ASAP roughly how many people are intending to ride, so if you are planning to come please email him at irongate@talktalk.net


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