Herne Bay

Distance: 80.1 miles. Elevation: 3476 ft

I wasn’t going to blog this ride, but there were a couple of blog-worthy things I thought I’d record.

It was a beautiful, sunny, hot day. I rode to Whitstable and had a sausage sandwich and coffee at Jojo’s cafe, near the beach. The route then proceeded further along the coast to Herne Bay before turning inland. Right through the centre of Canterbury and out the other side, past the university, I entered ‘The Blean’, one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in England – over 11 square miles. I hadn’t planned this. In other words I didn’t know I was going to be riding off-road for two and a half miles through woodland. It was just an accident when I mapped the route. But it was beautiful. The path just kept going on and on until I felt I was miles from anyone, deep in the forest.

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A few miles after leaving the forest I saw a ‘Road Closed’ sign. As usual I ignored it. In about 90% of cases, a bike is still able to pass whatever the obstruction might be. In this case the road had totally collapsed on one side, so it was OK for bikes but would have been impossible for most cars to get round it.

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That photo doesn’t really show the scale of the crack, so I stuck my bike in it:

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The view from this road was stunning by the way, looking out towards Faversham and beyond. It would be worth including in a future route.

Other blog-worthy bits:

I hit a bird! On the fast descent of Hubbard’s Hill I felt a small bird, like a sparrow or something, hit my helmet hard, just after it swept into my field of view. There’s no way it would have survived. I was doing almost 30 mph. I couldn’t even look around to check because I was too busy concentrating on the speedy descent. Sad!

From Lenham, I pushed hard all the way home and got a 4th overall fastest on Strava over a ten-mile segment. 4th out of 103, at an average of 19.8 mph. Which was nice….

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