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The BSCC Bike Ride, Lenham, Kent - 7th-9th May 2004

The pub cycle team decamps for its annual trip away somewhere. This year's trip is courtesy of Apple and Pippa who sort out a 42-mile route starting in Lenham, Kent at the Dog and Bear Hotel and going to Smarden, Tenterden, Sissinghurst, back to Smarden and the return to Lenham (via a staggeringly-steep hill that's around 7 miles long). The weather was slightly gloomy, but at least it wasn't the torrential rain that persisted for all of the previous night and right up until breakfast. However, the scenery was impressive, the villages were picturesque and the beer was good.

next album: May Miscellany: Skelton Festival and Badders - May 2004
previous album: The BBs Recording Session, Pennylane Studios - 25th April 2004

The evening of arrival, and Nosher wanders around to get a few scene-setting photos of Lenham itself. This is the churchyard.

Our base of operations, the Dog and Bear Hotel: nice food, reasonable beer, a diverse clientelle but strangely miserable staff

Phil examines the menu before wandering off to check out the Red Lion pub, down the road a bit

Back in 'The Bear', the world's most expensive stick-game table gets some use...

Sophie from Oop t'North (like Nosher) joins in - having just narrowly survived a welcome snog-attempt from Wavy

Marc pretends to blow Nosher's head off with a two-finger pistol

Ready for dinner...

Marc looks gloomy - but at least the food's arrived

Apple looks perpetually surprised by life

Guv stuffs a profiterole in

Spam and Colin prop up the bar

Sue proves to Jill that she's only drinking water

Phil and Guv sit on the pool table

The morning of the ride: Guv dons his paramedic's hi-viz and a parrot hat (and why not)

Marc expresses surprise as Wavy's vibrating Moo, strapped to the back of his bike, sets off

Jill, Spammy, Al and Colin prepare for the off

First stop, around 8 miles out: the Smarden Bell, in the village of Smarden Bell

Team photo!

A few scenes from the delightful village of Smarden

Just outside the half-way point, and lunch, at Tenterden

Phil and Pip inside The Vines at Tenterden

Bill zonks out as Sue hides from the camera (again)

Onwards...

In the next pub at Sissinghurst

Apple goes through the next set of instructions (it was a bit like a treasure-hunt)

Sissinghurst Castle

Oast Houses at Sissinghurst.

DH checks out the plaque in the Mediaeval barn

A quaint, octagonal summer-house on the edge of the grounds

DH checks his phone for messages

DH cycles off-road (with pencil-thin racing tyres as well)

Back at the Smarden Bell (the first time round it was closed, this time it was a beer-stop)

Team 'A' head off a bit earlier to brave 'the hill'

Bill drops his trousers to show off a bruise

So Guv reciprocates by showing of a particularly crusty scab

Pip and Apple check out the property section of the papers

A small flock of sheep warily observes Nosher take a photo of the view from half-way up 'the hill of death'

Back at the bridge over the M20, Nosher persuades Guv to pretend to be a Rozzer and scare traffic by waving his parrot hat in the style of a speed radar

DH and Nosher briefly discuss the insanity of modern life whilst watching traffic endlessly stream past

Back in The Dog and Bear for dinner

Marc gets a few zeds on Bill's shoulder

Wavy (plus Adam Ant make-up) offers Caz some of his beer to try. Caz, it would subsequently appear, seems unimpressed by beer.

Breakfast of the morning after

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The evening of arrival, and Nosher wanders around to get a few scene-setting photos of Lenham itself. This is the churchyard.