Club cycling holiday - Denia 2017

by Jane Wiley:

The idea of planning a club cycling holiday was hatched last July, while enjoying a post Saturday ride coffee at Malabar. Dave L., Kim, Glenda and I researched a range of options and agreed that the routes / accommodation already tested by Martin and his merry men would be ideal. Denia ’17 was born.
18 venturous club members flew out to Alicante – followed by a 1.5 hour transfer to the seaside town of Denia for a 6 day cycling extravaganza. We were a disparate group – new / old members; almost equally split male:female; varying levels of experience – but all open minded; accommodating and fun. Denia itself slowly revealed itself – from initially looking like a large urban sprawl spread around the coast to one of many lively lanes lined with quirky restaurants, bars and shops. Our hotel was large – and while ‘basic’ was the most obvious word to describe it – it had all we needed including a varied buffet bar with fresh vegetables, fruits, meats and fish etc. with an outdoor pool and being situated metres from an Aldi.
But the highlight of the week was the cycling itself. We split into 2 groups – those that wanted to go at a slightly slower pace those that did a longer route at a faster pace. The routes were planned (thanks to Dave L updating those originally created by Richard Bryant) so that we could all meet up for mid- morning coffee and lunch.  We had 6 rides – cycling over 330 miles – and our longest ride was 93 miles with over 5500 feet of climbing. The roads were amazing – smooth tarmac; spectacular scenery – from big vistas to glistening lakes and rural ‘caminos’ full of olive trees and dried up riverbeds.  While the climbing (broad, gradual with switch backs) was arduous at times – we were then rewarded with adrenalin boosting descents – many into wide but tight bends.  Thanks to guidance from our own KVG’s *we moved into a powerful  ‘through and off’ formation as we pedalled the 10km into town on the last couple of days – must have been a great site to see 17 of us paired up and moving forward in sync.
On our ‘big evening out’ – we strolled into the heart of Denia for an epicurean feast at one of the town’s modern restaurants.  Lots of tapas, fresh fish, large steaks … and wine.
We were a diverse bunch - each contributing in their own unique ways – and skills were recognised on the final night:
Mother Theresa award: Andy Evans
Positive Pussy: Jane Cast
Shining star: Viv Brockwell
Dapper Dandies: Lawrie Procter, Richard Campin
Cute Kittys: Deb Munton, Kim Moss
Power feet: Jane Wiley
Young kids: Claire Edwards, Adam Roberts
Tech star: Dave Truman
Cut through athlete: Darius Sarshar
Junior Achiever :  Rob Evans
Making an Entrance : Duncan Cochrane
Precision Planner : David Lobley
The Dancing Bonker : Alethea Lowles
*Kent Vigilanti Girls: Penny Bulley, Glenda Goscomb

Many thanks to my co-organisers Kim and Dave L – a real delight to work and play with.  Jane