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privilege of walking as she was offered a place in the Sky vehicle (an offer she
could not refuse!). Mike made it!
We were told to stop at the Harrow Inn, some two miles further on, to re-group
and for refreshments and in Alan’s case employ the services of the mechanic
to sort out his gears. This was almost exactly half way and the 20 minute
rest was much appreciated. We then continued with a pleasant ride through
a wooded lane for several miles before once again we were back on an ‘A’ road.
The only positive was that we were now leaving the top of the North Downs
and we more or less freewheeled for a quarter of an hour until we reached
Rochester. We navigated the route out over the Medway Bridge to Strood,
dicing with the traffic, and continued on the A2 past Higham & Shorne. We
left the A2 at some point further on with a diversion leading us down to
Green Street Green (the Dartford one!) then up onto the A2 again for a
couple of hundred yards to the Dartford Lakes where we turned right and
weaved our way along towards the finish. As I said earlier not the best of
Our group had somewhat fragmented itself along the A2 and after a 10
minute or so wait our leader contacted the Sky vehicle to be told they were
2 miles behind and he decided for us to continue homeward, leaving the
stragglers to be chaperoned home by the support vehicles.

                                             Our group now depleted with only the
                                            De Laune ‘team’ and about four others
                                            rolled into the Ford’s forecourt at the
                                            finish to clapping and shouts of “well
                                            done”. Hanging our bikes on a Sky
                                            supplied stand we ambled inside to more
                                            welcoming accolades. More cakes and
                                            drinks which we much appreciated,
                                            especially the smoothies. We were all
                                            presented with a ‘goodie bag’ containing
an energy pack, gels etc Sky bottle, Sky cap bike cleaning materials and more.

Once all the riders assembled there was a raffle and one of the winners, a
lady in our group, was to receive a woollen FORD jersey.

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