I don’t know about you but I often say “we will definitely do this again as it is so special”; and I seldom do! This time we have. The previous experience was so good that another trip was on the cards; especially with a birthday treat lunch as a catalyst.
First find your way to Canterbury and grab a coffee. Unload the bikes and head off to the University area and seek out the entrance to the “Crab and Winkle Way”. This is a delightful mainly off road route from Canterbury to Whitstable. The scenery is beautiful and there are places to stop and picnic if it takes your fancy. Most of the route is fairly flat terrain but there are a number of hills which shouldn’t prove a problem, particularly with e-bikes.
We took three bikes with us. Jackie rode a Scott e-Spark 710. This is a spectacular full suspension bike and we converted the saddle for comfort, changed the grips and popped on mudguards which were useful as the weather was mixed and the surface of the route was a bit wet.
The 710 has the new Bosch CX motor with a high capacity 400WH battery giving a range of 50 plus miles on eco settings. This bike was a new ride for her and she declared that the it “was incredibly comfortable as the full suspension and saddle combined to give a smooth relaxed ride”.
Nicky rode a Scott hard tail e-Aspect 720 Contessa. This is a very pretty black and pink e-bike specifically designed for lady riders. Although, when they swapped out of interest, Nicky preferred Jackie’s full suspension bike (which of course is more expensive) she was impressed by the liveliness and feel of the Contessa. The hills were flattened and the 11 miles gobbled up by us putting as much or as little as we required. Our choice. So saying on the way back we warmed up by turning all power off and riding without assistance to put a bit more effort into our journey and get the circulation going. Again, our choice.
I was on a new Bergamont e-Line Trailster C with a high capacity 500wh battery. The large fame is good for me and I also rate the dropper seat post which enables you to mount the bike with a low saddle and whack it up when riding. Plenty of punch from the Bosch CX motor and firm solid frame with full suspension for comfort and smooth travelling. The quality DT Swiss freewheel make a hell of a clicking din which is irritating but I will probably get used to it. Overall the bike is e-bike spectacular and a pleasure to ride.
On the outskirts of Whitstable you potter through the side roads and pop out onto the harbour area. Great for a coffee or beer in one of the open cafes whilst you watch the world go by. There is a lovely atmosphere with working fishing boats moored in the small peaceful waterway.
Ride the bikes right along the front and take in all the colourful beach huts and wacky unique properties. Loop round and take the one street back which in itself is fascinating and then lock up your bikes outside the Whitstable Oyster Company.
This restaurant is a delight. Really well set up and busy with a good buzz, particularly on a Sunday at lunchtime (recommend you book). Try the cod and chips with all the trimmings. Predictably it specialises in fish and the range is vast. Not cheap but good quality and worth it.
Skip the puddings (attractive as they sound) and cycle over to Sundae Sundae for a salted caramel single cone (after your lunch two scoops are too much) check out the High Street – end to end – easy on an e-bike.
11 miles back and then home, James. Lovely day and great, if undemanding, bike ride. 24 miles in all.