The Three Counties - October 15th
So for the first time in a long time, our ride was to commence at the origin of time as we know it. Nobody had an excuse to be late, nor could the mistake this meeting place for any other. Pulling into Blackheath Ave and proudly promenading our prestigious bikes all the way to the General James Wolfe monument will never get old! What a buzz!
The weather looked amazing so a good turnout was expected. Unfortunately we all woke up to the first frost of autumn. Teeth gritted and winter gear dusted off we all make our way to Greenwich. 36 bikes and 4 pillions made 40 for the day! Destination warned of the impending swarm of thirsty and hungry riders, briefing done and obligatory group pic with General Wolfe camera shy as ever.
Lets go! Our brilliant Road Crew were set to cover the exit through Blackheath and beyond, traffic was tricky but we were soon passing along familiar roads of Mottingham and Chislehurst.
The highlight of the ride was the stretch from Limpsfield A25 (where someone definitely left their freezer door open!) down through Edenbridge and along to Lingfield. Some great views and tight twisty bends to contend with. Well done for spotting the hard hairpin bends!
As the pack was 36 strong, the opportunities to re-group planned in advance had now become too tricky. I had to pull the ride along with big broken gaps all way to Haskins near Crawley Down. A chance to stretch our legs amongst other things was definitely on the agenda for most of us after around 2 hours of riding. Rallying the troops from the coffee shop had mixed results, so we all started our engines and made towards the exit....soon followed by bewildered members who'd hoped for more time here. To those, its open 7 days a week. Well worth popping back for some Winter Pansies, 100% cotton throw, and a tin of Turkish Delight.
The remaining ride took us through Ardingly, Turners Hill and Lindfield, three of the prettiest villages in West Sussex. Then onto the Stable Tea Rooms beyond Sheffield park. I am happy to say that the last minute change of venue from the over subscribed National Trust site to this beautiful little tea room appeared to be a stroke of genius. But I have the honesty of the Road Crew from Recce to thank for avoiding my first choice.
Thank you to all Road Captains and Road Crew. Alan Wright for Last man duties, Lending me his bike, and his Hi-vis vest! Thank you to Barry for being at the back in support. Thank you to all our members that had to ride from any distance to make the start. I echo Dave's sentiments on the day to Chris from Wiltshire, all C+F members, and all Meridian members joining the cause to help our chapter thrive now and forwards to 2024.
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