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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Rory Kemper said:

Where do you think you'll stop for coffee/cake on route?

I've not cycled this route before so I don't have anywhere in mind but would guess somewhere between Whitstable and Herne Bay (basically depending on when people want to stop). Unless someone can recommend a place beforehand?

Rob Weinert-Aplin said:

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!

Good shout - I'm sure we can swim in shifts


Any final preferences on route choice? (Rochester/Whitstable is less climbing and slightly quicker trains but I'm not fussed either way)

Rory&Emily: which one means we get to ride with you for longer?

We would ride back to Canterbury so on the way home going to Canterbury you ride with us more. From Maidstone or Rochester we would meet you in the same place I think 

Our route back is actually via Sandwich but we can be flexible. Our route out goes through Canterbury. Either way it doesn't matter post swim.

I'm definitely in! Maybe we could go out from Rochester to Margate, and then back from Margate to Canterbury so we don't ride the same bit back? I guess then we'd need two single train tickets instead?

Hmm - so the ticket HH to Rochester is £15.10, but then a single on the way back from Canterbury or Whitstable to HH is £27, so not the best idea!

Laura A said:

I'm definitely in! Maybe we could go out from Rochester to Margate, and then back from Margate to Canterbury so we don't ride the same bit back? I guess then we'd need two single train tickets instead?

Laura A said:

I'm definitely in! Maybe we could go out from Rochester to Margate, and then back from Margate to Canterbury so we don't ride the same bit back? I guess then we'd need two single train tickets instead?

That would be ideal but it gets a bit pricy as the two single tickets come to ~£43 as returns are only about 10p more expensive than a single but Rochester and Canterbury are on different lines. The Maidstone-Margate-Canterbury route doesnt have any riding back on the same route and still has all the coastal riding of the Rochester leg - shall we go for that?


Yeah I agree that Maidstone-Margate-Canterbury is the best.

Ex Windie Teresa has an amazing AirBnB on the front at Herne Bay that I've stayed at - the walking trail (Oyster Bay Trail) from there to Reculver is stunning, although the bike bit is still quite close. There is also a great pub at Reculver that we could stop at if needed, next to the remains of the Roman fort.

I think I'm in !! cant see me getting down to Devon, but have a couple of things on . As single tickets seem to be putting the cost up a little, how about a gentle ride all the way one way ( starting or coming back ) - Swim - Cycle back if your looking to goto Canterbury you have the pilgrims way route which is quiet popular with the cycling groups in Dulwich Paragon which can start from Cadence Ill dig out a gpx in a moment. 

Hi Paul - we will get a return to Canterbury (even though on the way we get off at Maidstone East) and that is £28.10. A single is the same price. Although If people want to cycle back thats cool too.  

Whitstable is at your half point - 50km. We'll aim to meet you there. Just let us know what time you arrive in Maidstone.

@Paul - the return from HH to Maidstone is priced okay and wouldn't be two different singles on different lines (bumping up the price). Just need a single from Canterbury to Margate. It's 100km to Whitstable from Cadence, so would make it a 152 km ride to Margate on it's own.

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