In the bleak mid-winter not that long ago, snow was falling (again) snow on, snow on snow. This was what Norman saw when he looked out of the window whilst having breakfast on the morning of this ride. His enthusiasm for the ride waned but he was spurred on by not wanting to appear a wimp and because Peter had kindly arranged the ride so that Norman could meet the others at Aldington (Quarryville) Village Hall. This was because of his sloth in not clearing his drive to get his car out.
The other five on today's ride set off from Lympne to comments from someone clearing snow at the County Members of they must be stark raving mad or words to that effect. Unfortunately the rendezvous was delayed by Judith getting a puncture. This gave Norman the opportunity to chat to passing villagers about various things including his pet subject of the state of Kent's roads and pot-holes in particular! Ruth, John and Martin formed an advance party with Martin looking somewhat chilled and speculating as to why his fingers were so cold despite wearing three pairs of gloves. The latter made him apprehensive about his future skiing holiday. Judith and Peter duly turned up. The obviously razor sharp shard of grit that had pierced Judith's tyre was examined and indeed photographed.
At this point, and with talk of skiing, Norman felt that a Vin Chaud or a Hot Chocolate might be in order and offered same but the group felt the need to press on not to be late for lunch. Despite the gently falling snow the roads were generally quite clear and the ride was uneventful. However the countryside covered in snow was picturesque. We headed off along Roman Road, past the butcher and the village shop, down Clap Hill along Frith Road to Stone Cross.Over the crossroads and then the railway bridge past Peter's old coal yard turning right through Bromley Green. How this area has changed over the years. The little houses built by returning WWI heroes on big plots of land are now replaced with some impressive desirable residences. On we go to Shadoxhurst turning right at the village hall and on to Stubbs Cross and Kingsnorth. A brief detour was made to inspect new houses being built behind Cheeseman's Green. We rode through Bliby, Broad Oak and into Mersham where Bower Road was the only place where lying snow caused slipping and sliding and to Evegate where we were welcomed into the Olde Oast. A hearty lunch was enjoyed by all washed down with real ale and a most acceptable house red pleasantly and efficiently served. Over lunch Judith told us of her youthful adventures on a working camp under the auspices of the Quakers and the Temperance League- hmm!
After lunch an easy spin except for the puddles and pot-holes over the high speed railway line and down into the East Stour valley round the 100 year flood protection dam and then up the other side into Aldington, where Norman was able to provide tea and coffee before the five returned to Lympne before darkness set in.