Ride bikes. Have fun. Feel good.

The Crown

I rode this for the 5th time (I’m a loyalty card holder) with Paul Harris in 2010. It’s organised by Pat Cherry with whom I co-run the Grimpeurs du Sud and Pat certainly knows how to pick lovely lanes (and hilly ones)

I actually found this ride almost by accident as I was looking for a hilly event to ride for a much needed 1AAA point back in 2006, the first year Pat ran it.

Shortly after leaving the start you plunge down from White Hill to Wye where you can see the famous white crown etched into the side of the hill. Then it goes in a switchback fashion along the North Downs which take their toll on your legs. It then becomes a maritime ride with commanding views of France and the Channel; as well as the Channel Tunnel terminal. A lovely descent along the old A20 is followed by the climb of Castle Hill in Dover (where we treated to a Spitfire flypast) and the clifftop ride to drop down to St Margaret’s Bay. Pat was on sandwich duty here to fortify us for the hairpin climb back up to cliff level and back to Dover; where ocean liners and cross channel ferries are to be seen as you descend from near Swingate masts (used for the crucial radar in the Battle of Britain).

after Dover the ride goes inland with no real sensation of having retraced some of the outward route and just when you are beginning to enjoy it along comes Kingsmill Down (where the photo is taken) and you certainly have to earn the superb view of Romney Marsh and Dungeness!

And finally the last climb of the day, the very long slog up White Hill to the last info control before the plunge back down to the Arrivee at Boughton Lees.

Highly recommended!

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