The Sun Shone on 118 Cyclists
On a beautiful autumn day (16 Oct) no less than 118 riders set off from the Rye Club on the Rotary Club’s 5th. Annual Fun Run.
Riders set off in groups to Town Crier Rex Swaine’s now famous line – “When I Ring my Bell – Go like Hell”.
The bell rang and off they went, to Camber, Lydd, Dymchurch, Hythe, Old Romney, Brookland, Appledore, Appledore Heath and then back to Rye via the Military Canal Road. 100 km. (62 miles) passed under the wheels of the majority of riders, though there were shorter routes for small children and less energetic adults.
They came from far and wide to ride in the Tour de Rye et Romney Marsh, from Lewes, Heathfield the Medway Towns, Ashford and Folkestone. The Thornton Road Club were out in force along with Rye Wheelers who had over thirty members most of whom completed the 100km. Their oldest rider, 77 year old Gordon Sherwood has completed the long route every year since the event started and their youngest, 8 year old Dorothy Wilson rode a shorter course with her mum Rebecca.
The organisation by Rotary members was brilliant, there were signs on every corner, refreshment tables and marshals at all the difficult junctions. The route, through the Marsh lanes was excellent with minimal traffic, there were no accidents injuries or mishaps save for the odd puncture, but with so many regular cyclists out repairs were quick and efficient. After all, as Dave Page often comments “They are only flat at the bottom anyway”.
Most of the long distance riders stopped at the Light Railway Cafe in Hythe. The place was alive with cyclists as, besides being at the half way distance of the Fun Run, this is the headquarters and meeting place for the Thornton Road Club.
On the way back to Rye many rides took advantage of the feeding station at Old Romney, some even sneaked off to the Oasis Cafe for more substantial refreshments.
Then it was onward through Brookland and Appledore through narrow winding traffic free lanes. A circular tour of Apledore and the Heath and it was homeward via the long straight Military Canal Road and a circuit of Rye via South Undercliff to complete 100k. at the Rye Club.
Medals or certificates were presented to all the finishers. Well done to the Rye & Winchelsea Rotary Club for a well organised and marshalled event.
“Rye’s Own” November 2011
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