We've got a lovely long weekend coming up so wanted to gauge interest for another swimbike adventure, this time to the fabulous sea pool in Margate. http://walpolebayswimmers.co.uk/ 

It's 130km ride one way if we start at Brockwell Park but I would suggest cutting this down (and cutting out the tedious slog out of London) by perhaps taking the train out to Maidstone, which makes it 80km to Margate, and then another flat 35km back to Canterbury (also makes trains cheaper). 

Provisional plan (but very flexible if people would like to do different distances/times)

  • Meet Herne Hill station 7.45am, buy day return ticket to Canterbury West (£28.10)
  • 8.04 train to Maidstone East (arrive 9.39)
  • 80km ride to Margate including cake/coffee stop somewhere (arrive 1.30)
  • Lido swim (free) and fish and chips (~£5)
  • Optional 35km ride back to Canterbury West 3.30-5.30 (or take train 15.53 - 16.24 £5.70)
  • Train back to Herne Hill 17.43 Arr 19.39 (or 1 hour earlier)

IMPORTANT: This is a social, touring ride and NOT a speedy training session! Cycling speed will be that of the slowest (which is usually me at my touring pace of 22km/hr), but please don't be put off coming along if you ride slower than this. 

So, let me know if you are interested, and also if you are interested but want me to look into different options (e.g. 100km starting at Dartford). Obviously anyone training for any crazy Ironman events is welcome to meet us on route/at Margate.

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Having done the Maidstone to Canterbury route and the Canterbury to Rochester route before, I'd recommend Rochester to Canterbury (or even better, hug the coast all the way and go via Whitstable/Herne Bay).

Something along the lines of https://ridewithgps.com/routes/588277 

Tempted though. Cycling from Rochester/Sittingbourne and getting the train back from Whitstable would make it around 110km.

I'm potentially very keen. AND it's a bank holiday weekend!! Will confirm later in the week. 

Yah! Rory and I will be there - not sure yet where we will meet you, along route somewhere or at the lido - send through the GPX file and will let you know x 

Sounds fun!

Potentially keen, but I might be in Devon. trying to work out whats going on myself. 

Potentially...!

So here's a Maidstone - Margate - Canterbury route

https://www.strava.com/routes/10264089 

And here's a Rochester - Margate - Whitstable route:

https://www.strava.com/routes/10264266 

Much of a muchness, and trains for Herne Hill to Rochester (8.34-9.25) and Whistable to Herne Hill (17.39-19.26) work out at £27.40 and a touch quicker than the Canterbury line.

Anyone got a preference?

Maybe the Rochester one based on Rob's reviews (could be prettier closer to the sea?), although maybe the Maidstone one will be quieter if its not right next to the sea with potentially loads of BH tourists? (unhelpful comment!)

Rory and I are staying very near to Canterbury so will be going home that way

Both routes actually join the sea at the same point (just after Faversham). Sorry, I know that doesn't help the choice!

Laura A said:

Maybe the Rochester one based on Rob's reviews (could be prettier closer to the sea?), although maybe the Maidstone one will be quieter if its not right next to the sea with potentially loads of BH tourists? (unhelpful comment!)

Looking at the route I think we'll link up at Herne Bay. Where do you think you'll stop for coffee/cake on route?

I'm in for this (the weather is looking good too!)

Do we think we'll need locks? I'm happy to take a turn watching the bikes while people paddle to save on carrying the weight!

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