15 October 2013

Berries, beaches, and bikes: A ride around Kent

It's that time of year when good-weather riding days demand to be taken advantage of, as you never know which one could be your last for a long while.

A couple of weeks ago the forecast called for sunny skies and nice temperatures so we decided to head out and try another of the routes from the Lost Lanes book. After spending the previous few weeks looking longingly at the wild blackberries that seem to grow all over England's country lanes, we brought some tupperwares along this time. It turned out to be a great decision and a great ride.

Hyde Park in the early morning
We took the train to Canterbury where we set out to do the Crab and Winkle route from the book. We decided to ride it in reverse so as to be in Whitstable for lunch time, as we have a good friend there who we could visit with.

Cycling through a quiet Canterbury on a Sunday morning
We were barely 500m from the station when Alberto noticed a problem with his chain. He had changed the chain recently but had routed it wrongly through the derailleur. We hadn't brought all the proper tools given that it was only a 50km ride but we had enough to make it work, so after about 15 minutes we were on our way again.

Densely leaved lanes
The route took us out of Canterbury on bike paths and then onto country lanes. The sun was shining, the roads were quiet -- it was one of those days where you want to give the inventors of the bicycle a big hug.

Kentish sunshine
There weren't as many berries around as on previous trips, perhaps because we were in a different area or because it is later in the season. But we soon found enough to fill two large tupperwares. As we smugly picked berries on the side of the road I could see people passing cars filled with jealousy.

Roadside picking
The route was truly lovely and we soon reached the beach at Reculver. From there we cycled along the coastal path to Whitstable. The first section was truly excellent a lovely grassy hill above the sea. As we hit Herne Bay things got a bit more built up and the final section into Whitstable was along a promenade of sorts - nice views but with a lot of people to dodge and plenty of bumps in the pavement. Still it was lovely to feel like we were squeezing the last bits of summer out of the year by going to the beach.

First sight of the sea
We arrived in Whitstable at about 1pm and met up with our friend Carol for a quick lunch at her place and a coffee and freshly made donut by the beach. Then it was time to head for our train. Here we diverted from the last bit of the book's route (the Crab and Winkle Way, a disused railway line that heads all the way to Canterbury) and took the roads to the train station in Faversham in order to save time.

We got home and got to baking our blackberry cake and drinking our blackberry smoothies. A perfect way to extend our enjoyment of the ride into the week.

No comments:

Post a Comment