A record Year for the Tourers

Tourers brave a wet and windy New Year’s Eve for their final ride of 2017: Lakeside Café at Horam

It’s been another record year for the tourers: 120 touring rides in 2017, an increase of 15% on the 2016 total of 103 rides. There would have been more but some were cancelled due to bad weather.

Also, anyone who’d been on all these rides in 2017 would have cycled just over 4100 miles, an increase of 17% on the 2016 total of about 3500 miles. That gives a mean figure of about 34 miles cycled per ride this year.

Most of our rides have been between 25 and 50 miles with Ripe, Muddles Green and Bexhill being popular destinations. However, there have been a few longer distance rides such as Littlehampton (70 miles) and even the Downs Link (100 miles) although, as sections weren’t really suitable for a road bike, it won’t be repeated.

Although it’s very pleasant cycling along the local country lanes and the promenades and cycle paths of the coastal strip we occasionally do some ‘Away-Day’ rides for a change of scenery. The Viking Trail in Kent and cycling over the Romney Marsh are two examples of such rides. We aim to do more of these in 2018.

Apart from the Cycle Seahaven rides many of the tourers have been doing other rides as well. Heather Cheek cycled across Iowa in RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa). Others took part in two Phoenix-CTC rides, a cycling trip to the Loire Valley and a channel hopper to Dieppe. In addition, some did a cycle tour of Upper Normandy as well as cycling through France from the Med to the English Channel. In fact, Joe Hamilton has cycled more than 7,000 miles this year; that’s more than some of us have driven in our cars!

All our rides include refreshment stops and during the year our list has grown to 41, mostly cafés. The following link Refreshment Stops shows the locations and brief details of them; all are welcoming to cyclists.

It’s certainly been an active year for the tourers but we are few in number; we’d like to see more. At present our rides are graded at level 3 so are aimed at those who can maintain an average speed of about 12½ mph; a comfortable pace where one can chat without being out of breath. However, to widen the appeal of touring rides we are considering introducing some at level 2 in the Spring where the average speed will be about 10 mph.

Watch this space!

May we wish you a Happy and Safe Cycling New Year,

Clive Aberdour        Dave Sutton

Another Super Christmas Meal for the Tourers

Another highly convivial time was had by twenty-one of us at the Cycle Seahaven ‘Tourers’ Christmas meal in the British Legion yesterday evening. It was our third year in succession at the Legion so it’s becoming something of a tradition.

That’s hardly surprising as the meal is excellent value for money and it’s a very relaxed atmosphere in the Legion. No doubt we’ll be making a return visit next Christmas!

The touring rides will continue throughout this festive season, weather permitting, although not on Christmas Day or Boxing Day! The next planned ride will be on Christmas Eve to Molly’s Café at Rottingdean, then the café at Ripe on Thursday 28th December and to Wesson’s Café at Horam on New Year’s Eve. There may be some other touring rides if the weather remains mild so please keep an eye on the Rides Calendar. Those in the CSH Tourers WhatsApp Group will be kept informed of all the news on the rides as usual.

Merry Christmas everyone,

Clive

Good news looming on the Newhaven pump track project

From Jon Younghusband

In my last update I discussed the possibility of getting a pump track build at the Salts Field in Seaford. This could still be a possibility but, due to Craig leaving his position and funding being secured for the skate park and not a pump track, it looks like this will need to be on the backburner for the time being.

However, I have just come from a second meeting with Chris (Project Manager for Lewes District Council) where Tom (Pump Track Consultant for Velosolutions UK) attended to see if the proposed site below Newhaven Fort would be suitable.

Firstly, an update on funding, Chris has applied for some funding from the District Council that is tied into the regeneration of Newhaven Town Centre. He hopes the funding (£100,000) could be available next year

£30k of funding from Newhaven Town Council has been promised for the skatepark and pumptrack project subject to additional funds been secured. A Stage One Veolia application has gone in and been accepted so we need to spend December evidencing the need for the facility in order to get the Stage 2 application in by January 4th: we will know in March 2018 if this has been successful. This means that hopefully we will have £80k early next year to use for the skate park/ pump track. We are also going to look at other funding options to push up what we can spend on this. One of these could be Cycling UK but if you have other ideas please let me know.

With the funding situation in mind, Chris came up with a great idea of putting forward £80k straight into the pump track and looking at the skate park for later in 2018. We can use the success of the pump track to try to get additional funding from the Newhaven regeneration funds for the skate park. The design of the pump track will include provision to integrate into the skate park at a later date.

PROPOSED SITE AT NEWHAVEN

The site has good access for works and it looks like soak-away drainage shouldn’t be an issue, but Chris is going to organise topographical and geotechnical and environmental survey for the site so that we know exactly what we are dealing with. For those of you who don’t know the current site, there are a few dirt jumps that snake down over two distinct terraces. Typically a pump track needs to be on a level piece of ground. At first we worried that this would be a major road block for the project but Tom had a great idea of incorporating a smaller ‘beginner’ track on the top level and a full sized track on the lower level. Each terrace would link with the skate park and possibly the two tracks would link together too. This would give the tracks a really unique design.

From the image you can see the upper level to the top left and the lower level will span from the trees in the centre along the bank and all the way to the fence on the left and bottom of the image. We’re probably looking at around a 40-meter beginner track and 125-meter main track.

Tom is going to work out some basic designs for the Stage 2 Veolia bid, at some point in the new year.  We can start deciding then on what features and design parameters we would like on the pump track.

All in all we would be looking at a June/ July build date.  The opening could be a lot of fun.  Velosolutions will invite some pro cyclists and record a promo video of the track for the opening. I would also hope that we can get the Cycle Seahaven gazebo up there and include a Dr. Bike session to get the kids on their bikes enjoying the track straight away.  But this is a way off yet.