Cycle ride: Darent Valley of northwest Kent

Where: Darent Valley
When: Saturday 9 November 2013
Meet: 10:00 @ General Wolfe statue, Greenwich Park (by the observatory)

Apologies for the short notice.

Brought to you by the Dog & Bell Crew, an autumnal and possibly slightly squelchy ride through the Darent Valley of northwest Kent, starting and ending in Greenwich Park.

I do this route several times a year, and it’s nice to track the seasonal changes in this part of rural northwest Kent. The weather forecast for Saturday is for sunny periods with light showers, a temperature of up to 10 degrees, and a stiffish southwesterly breeze.

Route: Greenwich Park – Eltham – Chislehurst – Orpington – Badger’s Mount – Darent Valley to Eynsford – Farningham – Horton Kirby – Sutton – Hawley – Crayford – Erith – Thames Path.

Feeding and watering at The Bull in Horton Kirby (excellent beer, basic pub grub).

A slow climb to the top of the North Downs by Badgers Mount followed by quiet country lanes through the Darent Valley to Sutton-at-Hone, road to Crayford and Erith, with the aid of an orbit-skimming manoeuvre in the gravitational well of Dartford, and finally a 115 furlong stretch along the Thames Path back to Greenwich.

You are advised to bring a clothes peg for use near Crossness on the Thames Path if the wind has a southerly component. Bring tools, a puncture repair kit, a spare inner tube or two, and lights. Lights are essential, as it will be dark by the time we return to Blackheath.

Total distance ~350 furlongs (70 kilometres in modern money).

RSVP, but it’s OK to turn up unannounced on the day.