Oasts and Ghosts in the Low Weald of Kent
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An introduction to the Low Weald of Kent, riding alongside the hop farms, oasthouses, woods and wineries that give this area it's distinctive style, coupled with a climb up the Green Sands Ridge for views over the High Weald & North Downs.
This event is aimed at experienced riders with a reasonable fitness level who can ride at an average pace of 14mph. If this is faster than you would normally ride, or if you've not been in the saddle for a while, then please consider attending a Leisure Ride or an easy road ride in the first instance. This ride is 70km, so again please ensure you are able to complete this distance comfortably.
Note that this is an afternoon ride without a food stop, therefore you should ensure you have lunch before arriving at the start point.
We will start in the village of Marden, and head out to the Kent Weald countryside. Keep an eye out for the distinctive oast houses, many of which have been converted into homes. These round or square building were used in the drying of the hops to make beer.
After a short ride beside farmland, a hop field and ancient woodland we will pass Hushy Heath Winery. The grapes here are grown on the same chalk ridges that extend to the Champagne Region of France.
We then continue east, skirting the village of Staplehurst, through the village of Frittenden and cross country to Bethersden. Watch out for grass and grit in the centre of these narrow lanes and also be on the look out for tractors and people riding horses. There is a shop in Bethersden to get supplies if needed.
When we leave the village we head north on the slow steady incline to Pluckley. Pluckley sits on the Green Sands Ridge, that runs from Sevenoaks to the coast. This is rumoured to be the most haunted village in England, so keep an eye out for any ghosts!
We then ride along the Green Sands Ridge, you will see to the High Weald on the south side, and to the north the North Downs. When we get to the village of Egerton, we come down from the ridge and start to wind our way towards Headcorn.
We skirt the edge of Headcorn and make our way back to finish in Marden.
You MUST complete the Participation Statement at https://outdoorlads.events/CyclingParticipation in addition to booking your event space before attending a cycling event.
COVID-19 – IMPORTANT, Please read the following before you sign up to this event:
- Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who lives or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
- You must also immediately self-isolate and not attend the event if you or someone in your household or support bubble shows coronavirus symptoms or tests positive. You can find the NHS self-isolation guidance here.
- The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, a new continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of taste and/or smell.
- You may be subject to local lockdown restrictions, which you must fully comply with. Details of the location of these restrictions can be found here for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
- We do not encourage car sharing to events during the pandemic. Please comply with the safety travel guidance for England, Wales, and Scotland. Face coverings should be worn on public transport.
- OutdoorLads will support the tracing systems in place across the UK and attendance at an OutdoorLads event is considered permission to use contact details for this purpose if requested by the appropriate authority.
- All are required to practice social distancing – staying 2m (not 1m) apart at all times, including the lunch stop. Remember: Face, Hands, Space.
- Unfortunately, there won’t be any planned pub / café stops en route or at the end, and please don’t share sweets or snacks with others – we’re sorry!
- Please bring your own hand sanitising gel for your own use throughout the day. Use of face coverings is at your own choice, but please bring one with you just in case it's needed. Please bring any other PPE items required. Bring a disposable bag for any used PPE.
- Members are advised to bring their own small first aid kit for personal use..
- Be aware that opportunities for toilet stops may be minimal if facilities are closed.
- Please, please cancel at your earliest opportunity if you are unable to attend or are unwell, so that we can allow others to take up these valuable event spaces.
- Much as it's difficult - no handshakes or hugs!
COVID-19: Events Participation Statement
OutdoorLads draws your attention to the fact that travelling and being away from home increases the risk of receiving and transmitting Coronavirus, whilst it is present in the UK. You are likely to choose not to participate in OutdoorLads events whilst there is a risk of Coronavirus transmission. However, should you choose to participate in OutdoorLads events whilst the risk is present, you must be aware of and follow the law and government guidelines, both when travelling to and from events as well as when participating in events.
Please note that every person participating should be aware of (and accept) that those members perceived as ‘in charge’ or leading the event are not experts, do not need to be experts, and are not regarded by OutdoorLads, or themselves as experts, but are amateurs with some experience in the event type and who are happy to impart their knowledge. Any advice given should be considered with this in mind by the recipient.
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What to bring
Bike: a road or road hybrid bike - NO E-Bikes please.
Helmet: OutdoorLads requires you to wear one
Clothing: lightweight and layered, colourful and/or reflective clothing will make you more visible to other road users
Footwear: suitable for your bike and pedals
Gloves: cycle gloves help avoid blisters, and are good in the cold
Punctures: spare inner tube, bike tyre pump and tyre levers
Tools: any special tools that your bike needs
Small snacks: such as chocolate or energy bars
Plenty of water: in bottle/s on your bike or in a daysack/bladder
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Eye protection: avoid getting grit or insects in your eyes, sunglasses are OK if they are not made of glass and not too shaded
Sun cream: take care, even on overcast days
Bike lights: be seen and safe
Storage: small day-sack or a bag on your bike
Mobile Phone: keep it in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies
Food & drink
As this is an afternoon ride, please ensure you've eaten lunch before the ride starts. We'll look to complete the ride without significant stops so we're back for 5:15pm,
Bring plenty of water and some snacks to keep your energy levels up during the ride.
There is a village store near the station if anyone needs to buy drinks or snacks for their return journey.