Forest Row Bike Club

Ride Report

Sevenoaks - 24th October 2010 - The View from the Bridge

The sun was in the sky, but it takes longer these days to get to the warming point. Until then, the warmth would come from pedalling. And pedal we did, the four of us, and then the eight, as we made our way towards Cowden. Through the village, bright in the sun, to the Edenbridge road, then down and up past Cowden station (a mile or so from the village, by the way).

Through the Kent countryside, in the sun, to what surely can be described as a unique residence, the oast-house which is sited at the junction of three ways. A metre of greenery surrounds it, no more. A place to live in for someone who has always wanted to live in an oast-house or a flat, so the absence of a garden or private space round the house is no drawback.

From there our road provided the glorious view of the Kentish lands to the left. Extensive, sun-lit, and with remarkably good imitations of cows, including moving ones, and habitations. A creation by English Heritage, perhaps.

A continuation to the north, a pause where two of our members turned for home, and then we turned towards Sevenoaks Weald and, beyond, Sevenoaks. Shortly after the turn, the trees cease and land, the productive, sunlit land, extends far to the left and the right. It was just a pleasure to be on a bike at that place at that time.

From Sevenoaks Weald the road rises and rises. Nothing for it but slow, steady pedalling. There is a reward: the opportunity to sit at the far end of the bridge over the M25 and to look back at the Weald, at the extent of the Weald in the autumnal sunshine. How good it was to be there. How good to be able to be out on a bike and enjoy such a view. And so we celebrated our good fortune and steady (and speedy) climbing of the cyclists together with the remarkably steady climbing of the woman who was running up the hill - a hill, remember, which had taxed us on our bikes.

A pub in Sevenoaks which was just right for us. Warm, spacious, cheap food, tea and coffee - just what we wanted. Presumably, the high-value-added products were the drinks; however, we passed them by. A place to return to.

We came back by another way. Through the minor roads to Edenbridge, to East Grinstead, (including Sandhawes Hill). Forty miles. Good company, good biking.


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