News | Current News

Thanks go to Dave Wastall for organising this year's cycle.
Thank you to Dave Wastall for reporting on the Church Cycle 2011 (take it with a pinch of salt, particularly 'churches close by'! - really Dave?!). Click on more to read the full report, makes for an interesting read...

"At around 10am on the 10th September, the team of Iwade's finest All-star riders assembled outside the church to begin their assault on the sponsored church ride around the villages close to Iwade. Made up of 6 members, with varying cycling experience and abilities, we quickly established that the planned route offered a couple of get-out places, should any of our bodies prove unable to meet the demands of our ego's!

First stop was Lower Halstow, which half the group missed at the first attempt, as the turning was small and well hidden (at least that was their story and they were sticking to it!). Second came Upchurch, located on the main road through the village, so the whole group managed to find this one straight away. Third came Newington, where the group took some time out of their schedule to admire the beautiful frescos in the church, dating from the 14th Century. The group then made an executive decision to miss out one of the intended stops at Bobbing in favour of heading onto Borden.

A mention here must go to Viv for her excellent navigation skills, taking us across to Borden through Danaway and keeping us on the quiet roads. Borden provided us with its usual swarm of bees during our stay and some light entertainment as Nicola slowly keeled over into a roadside hedge having clipped into her pedals, not realising this meant she was then attached to the bike. cheeky beggar, Ed! The next church at Bredgar gave us a timely stopping point for lunch. Here, the group reduced from 6 to 4 in number, with Viv and Nicola deciding to head home via Tunstall and Sittingbourne. The group congratulated Viv on her achievements to that point, having covered 14 miles in a very good time, her previous maximum having been 2!The remaining members of the Iwade All-stars then struck out on their most difficult leg of the journey, turning south-east out of Bredgar, heading towards Milstead. On the way, we encountered the first big hill, coming out of Bottom Pond Road into Milstead. Unfortunately, this was not to be the last steep incline.

After leaving Milstead, the group headed for Doddington, aware that a wrong turning near the village would mean having to endure an extra uphill climb. Sadly, due to Dave's inability to realise their location, the group went down Chequers hill into Doddington, only to discover they had to climb Church Lane to reach their destination. Church Lane seemed incredibly steep at around 2.30pm that afternoon but with Doddington negotiated, Newnham church was next and the group cycled straight into a set of wedding guests arriving for a 3.30pm service.

One guest remarked that she'd obviously got the wrong invitation due to the amount of Lycra on show but eventually realised we were not part of the wedding celebration. Not wishing to get their faces in the photos, the group quickly partook of a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit and left to climb Sharstead Hill. Having never taken this route before, the group didn't quite appreciate the magnitude of the task ahead of them but this soon became apparent when we couldn't see the top of the hill from the bottom! Having got to the top of the hill, the group headed for Lynstead but took a more scenic route than was intended, adding a map consultation and around 2 miles extra onto their day. This wasn't bad though, as it was the first time we got lost during the whole ride.

Lynsted provided the last planned church for the day, the remaining ones would be on an ad-hoc basis. Following a short rain shower, the group struck out through Teynham and back into Sittingbourne through Murston, visiting the church along the way. Milton Regis was the last church to be visited at around 5pm before reaching the sanctity of Iwade at about 5.30pm. It was here that we had our second incident of the day, involving Dave and the Iwade church gate, where the gate won by a single fall. Those that completed the full route covered around 35 miles, while the shorter route ended up being approximately 20 miles. A special mention must go to Viv, for covering several times her previous maximum distance in one trip and then enduring the aching limbs the following day.

At the time of writing this, the total raised sits at around £220, so please visit to donate whatever you can afford in aid of the planned renovations to the interior of the church."

Churches visited – Iwade, Lower Halstow, Upchurch, Newington, Borden, Bredgar, Milstead, Doddington, Newnham, Lynsted, Murston, Milton Regis, Iwade

Team members - Viv Regan, Dave Wastall, Kirsty Wastall, Steve Harris, Nicola McKenzie and Terri Avron-Cotton

News Contacts

Nicola McKenzie
T: 01795 439892
T: 07738 828 308
On Facebook

Iwade Observer

Rynn Kemp
Iwade Observer
T: 01795 439765
T: 07941 656 669
On Facebook

Community Newspaper Correspondent

Iwade Observer