Eventually eight WKRC members set of on the reliability trial. It was cold but not icy, also foggy which of course meant little wind. Before we had the chance to settle into any rhythm, young Albert busy gassing away had torn the side of his tyre and tube. Cold fingers all round lead to a very slow change, also the group split as Andy and Thomas were too far up the road to be aware. They wouldn’t be seen again for some time . . .
Anyhow, we weaved and wandered our way up to Badgers Mount where Jason generously said he’d sit up for Steve. So the group split and we carried on at a pace enough to keep the cold at bay but nothing too harsh as it was so early in the year. Discussions of ailments, over indulgence and future plans were the order of the day but full concentration was required down the descent of Star Hill Road. The ride up Ide Hill was quiet as everyone goes at their own pace and any other road users appear so briefly out of the fog, when they disappear the long solitude is restored. Just over the top was the route split thus the group fractured again although we had picked up a few journeymen on the way. We seemed to pick up a lovely pace through Edenbridge to Hever and now the fog had cleared on the lower grounds the beauty of the route had become more apparent. A fresh crisp winter’s morning, bare orchards, clear ploughed fields ready and just waiting. Just patiently waiting.
Legs were starting to tire and after discussions the group split again and when we reached the top of Carters Hill only myself and Albert were left sitting. Shortly when we had our final card stamped we were informed that Andy and Son were only a couple of minutes down the road. We looked at each other, smiled and pushed on down the road. Through Seal and Kemsing the talking was over and without going mad we warmed ourselves up a little more. We were beginning to doubt the information given to us when just out of Otford we saw rear lights in the distance. More exchanged glances. Just a brief exchange of pleasantries and the run back to the HQ. Hot tea and cakes were appreciated and it was nice to see the rest our riders and those picked up on the way get back successfully. The ride was wonderful and big thanks to Greg and his team for organising it.