Liz's Report: Seven of us set out from Gravesend last Friday (two biked it to Gravesend, four took the train and one lives locally) on a sunny day with a brisk following wind. Shorne marsh gleamed pale golden as sheep peacefully grazed and the superstructure of Thames ships showed incongruously on the horizon. Then onto small roads, past numerous farms and through villages to Allhallows, with its caravans and wide views out of the estuary and across to Southend. Back, against the wind (but it wasn't that strong) to pub lunch in High Halstow. Curiously mixed countryside, with a really rural feel; tiny churches, orchards and empty marshes but overshadowed by massive power station buildings and power lines. Train (for some) back from Gravesend just after 4.00pm, approx. 35 miles.
Barry's Report: I put on two pairs of socks and despite that only Paul turned up in the cold sun to ride the 25 or so miles to Gravesend and Liz's Greenwich Cyclists Hoo Peninsula ride off the train. We were blown there with 10 minutes to spare. The Hoo ride was lovely ....the four miles through the Shorne Marshes, Cliffe (all the no airport signs had done their work and gone), Cooling Church (Great Expectations fame, the childrens graves and the cockleshell lined vestry), huge coastal marshes (must ride to the Northward Hill herony come nesting time....around 250 pairs), we turned round at Allhallows-on-Sea and lunched in the High Halstow pub. Then back to Gravesend. Such quiet roads. I'd been wondering about the train back but just cleaned bike felt perfect, blue skies were nudging winter lethargy/flab into retreat, so I decided to shove it away. Paul joined me again. Pushed me faster. And we rode hard into a big wind and parted on the Greenwich oneway system. Tough towards the end. Satisfied sofa sink after about the 75 miles. Cobwebs blasted. Average Friday bested. Must explore that fascinating area more. We didn't get close enough to the lagoons west of Cliffe to see egrets. Next time.