26 December 2012

A loop in the December Sunshine

The start of December was pretty miserable but last weekend the forecast suddently turned. A positively tropical 9 C (48 F) and supposedly sunny skies drew us out on the bikes on Saturday. I hadn't been on a long ride in several weeks, and we wanted to sleep in a bit, so we needed a shorter route than usual.

Fortunately, Alberto had just been sent some rides to test as part of a forthcoming book of cycle routes, so we were able to select a 48km loop out of Sevenoaks which seemed to fit the bill.

We got a late start but  after a train from Charing Cross, we were on the road in Sevenoaks by 11am. We regretted our lie-in when we saw how busy the road out of Sevenoaks was, but soon we were on quiet country lanes and all was well.

Wintry lanes out of Sevenoak
We had to stop at every junction to note the instruction for the book - which slowed us down a bit but was fun in that it provided us with a sense of mission. Until it started raining at about km 15 -- that did take some of the fun out of it.

Infamous Yorks Hill (going downhill, the easy way!)

Weather turned a bit nasty...yet still warm
Surprisely though, with the warm temperatures, we were not too miserable. It felt like a Spring shower rather than a winter storm. It helped to know that we were on a relatively short ride, so there was no chance that we'd have to cope with several more hours of rain, which is usually the case.

Another advantage of a short ride is that we didn't really need to stop for food - some chocolate on the bikes was all we needed to hold us over.

The route was fantastic - mainly quiet country lanes but passing through some interesting small towns as well. Had we not been worried about daylight we could have had a really lovely day out sampling the various cafes on the road. There were enough hills to keep it interesting, but none that gave any real trouble, despite the fact that I was out of shape.

Quick stop to shelter from the rain 
Rain sheltering
I don't think there are too many more days like that in our immediate future so it was great to enjoy it while we could!

Deserted lanes
Taking notes on the route 

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