Last chance for club jerseys


This is your final call to order your new Cycle Seahaven Jersey! We close our order book at the end of the month and we will not be ordering excess stock.

Before ordering you can check that you order the correct size by calling round to Mr Cycles in Seaford to try on the various sizes of Jersey available. More on sizing here:

We have gained significant sponsorship this time round allowing us to bulk order at very competitive prices: £18 – long sleeve and £15 short sleeve. The new designs can be seen and ordering can done via our website:

You can pay online or with cash/cheque at Mr Cycles, so get your order in before Saturday 30 April to be part of the ‘Sea of Cycle Seahaven Jerseys club’.

Don’t delay do it today.


Club Jerseys – Sizing

We’re easily going to hit our order target of 50 jerseys for 2016, so we are not far from placing our order. Get your order in soon or you may miss out. We are only ordering for those that have pre-paid. We will not be ordering any spares.

Jersey order page:

These jerseys come up very small, so you must be sure of sizing!

I have a jersey from the last batch which is two sizes bigger than I would normally get (honest), and it’s perfect.  It’s very important that you order the correct size as we won’t be able to exchange them for a different size. Mr Cycles in Seaford (opposite the train station) has samples of every size that you can try on to find your perfect fit. They’re expecting members to pop in, and many already have.

If you’ve already placed your order without trying one for size then it’s not too late to change your order. Just get in touch with the treasurer on our contact page:

Newberry Tully sponsor our First Aid course

Article shown in Haven News:

NT Cycle SeahavenS

An estate agency in Seaford is working together with a local cycling group, a safety training provider and a Sussex charity to provide first aid courses later this month.

Newberry Tully in Church Street, is sponsoring the two-day training sessions which will see bike ride leaders from Cycle Seahaven equipped with potentially lifesaving first aid skills.

Sussex Wildlife Trust has donated the use of a venue at the Seven Sisters Visitor Centre for free and the training itself will be provided at a discount by Seajay Training.

Stephen Newberry, of Newberry Tully, said: “We’re delighted to support such a worthwhile project. As a business we take our responsibility to the environment and our community very seriously.

“Cycling is a healthy pastime and doesn’t impact on the environment and for us to be able to help is fantastic and fits in with what we are passionate about.”

Andrew Lock of Cycle Seahaven said: “Thanks to the support of Newberry Tully, Sussex Wildlife Trust and Seajay Training we have been able to heavily discount the course.

“This in turn means that more of our ride leaders will be confident and able to deliver even safer rides for our members and be equipped to administer first aid whenever and wherever needed at other times.

“This is a great example of businesses working with charities and voluntary groups for the benefit of the community.”

The two day course to be held over the Easter Weekend has proved popular and is already fully booked.


Related links:

Haven News online version

Original announcement

Route Maps

A new page has been added to our website that lists a small selection of our favourite rides. The list can be sorted by mileage or total climb so you can look for routes by distance or effort. You can use the search function to filter routes by destination, distance or type (Road, MTB, Track). A link to an online map is also provided,  allowing you to try out these routes on your own,  or to get a good feel for the ride before you join us.

We plan to increase this list to include more routes. If you have a favourite route that’s not listed then please let us know.

The route maps page can be found under the Rides & Events menu bar or by going direct to


Lockup Needed

Cycle Seahaven is looking for secure premises where we can store bikes and cycle gear. We would need our own key for access at all times of the day, and enough room to store a large bike trailer and some loan kit such as bikes,  helmets and lights. It needs to be low cost because we run the club with very little income.

We are also considering buying a 10-20 cycle trailer to transport bikes to locations like Friston Forest and the Cuckoo Trail, so we can give people the opportunity to enjoy the pleasure of riding in new and interesting places without having to get there by riding on busy main roads. But we can’t do this without somewhere to store it.

If you can help please use the contact form on the Cycle Seahaven website,  choosing ‘general’  from the selection box.

New Inflatable Cycle Crossing at Exceat

After a successful campaign by Cycle Seahaven and Sustrans to get bicycle access from Seaford to Exceat Bridge  we’re thrilled to announce that planning permission has finally been approved for a new inflatable cycle bridge across the River Cuckmere. It has taken months of planning with local, district and national authorities to finally get approval for a cycle and wheel chair bridge from the Cuckmere Inn (Golden Galleon) carpark to the other side of the river. This vital link will connect Seaford and Newhaven to the local trails in Friston Forest, National Cycle Route 2, Eastbourne, and the international ‘Avenue Verte’ cycle route between Paris and London.

Designs for the low-cost inflatable bridge were submitted by architects and playground designers from all around East Sussex and Northern China. The final design, loosely modelled on Tower Bridge in London, was chosen by school children from Lewes.

The inflatable construction of the new bridge means that it’s unsuitable for pedestrians – the action of walking across it would case ‘harmonic distortion’, making it unstable. However the steady movement of bicycles and disabled carriages allows the low-cost and easily assembled structure to be implemented quickly and safely. Pedestrians can still use the existing bridge footpath.

Contractors have yet to be appointed, but Cycle Seahaven and local cyclists look forward to the completion of this valuable asset within the next few weeks.


New Gazebo

We have this week received from the manufacturers our new “Pop Up” shelter and designer table top. The first outing is this Saturday at the Big Park opening in Peacehaven, so come along and see us. I will be on hand to discuss any Cycle Seahaven matters and will be able to deal with new member enrolment or renewal subscriptions.

In future we will have our shelter at all the local events we attend, so come and see us.


Denis Bass

Treasurer & Membership Secretary

Review of the Avenue Verte

AV Seaford SignI recently cycled from London to Paris with a few friends by following the signposted Avenue Verte route. The signposting was completed in 2012, just before the start of the London Olympics. Some of it was a joy to cycle along but other parts were dreadful and sometimes dangerous. Parts of the route were poorly signposted but, fortunately, we took the excellent Official Guide to the Avenue Verte with us; without it we would have been well and truly lost on occasions.

The best section is the first 88 miles in France, ie from Dieppe to Bray-et-Lû. The worst section is from the start of the Avenue Verte at the London Eye to the beginning of Worth Way (just east of Crawley), about 45 miles. A lot of this section is not cycle friendly. For example, London Eye to Clapham Common is on extremely busy roads. Later on, some parts are on dirt/gravel tracks and one part is on a severely rutted farm track. Had we been on mountain bikes then these parts would not have been a problem but one is unlikely to cycle from London to Paris on a mountain bike; we were on road ‘touring’ bikes.

That said, just after Coulsdon, is a very pleasant section which goes across Farthing Down and continues for several miles. Unfortunately, a few miles later, the Avenue Verte goes through the built-up areas of Redhill, Horley and Crawley. Bizarrely, it goes through Gatwick Airport. Why cycle through an airport? Did some planner of the route think cyclists would be so fed up with the Avenue Verte by this stage that they’d prefer to hop on a plane to Paris!

I feel a more cycle friendly route out of London would be to start at Tower Bridge, go along the comparatively quiet NCN Route 4 eastwards and then head south along a route based on NCN Route 21. Turn off Route 21 as it approaches the M25, go through Godstone and cycle along quiet country roads east of the built-up areas of Redhill, Horley and Crawley. Also, Gatwick Airport would be avoided!

The section from the start of Worth Way to Newhaven is better but it’s not great. Worth Way is a shared-use path following an old railway line from Crawley to East Grinstead and then there’s another such path called Forest Way to Groombridge. These tracks provide about 18 miles of traffic free cycling, apart from a mile through East Grinstead. However, the surface isn’t ideal for road bikes as it comprises chippings and cinder so requires extra care on road bikes with fairly narrow tyres. Also, these paths are often quite narrow and their sides overgrown with vegetation so it often feels like cycling through a green tunnel. Unfortunately, you can’t see the countryside so cycling along these traffic-free paths is rather tedious.

The Cuckoo Trail, another path based on an old railway line starting at Heathfield, is a better stretch as, unlike the other two, this one has a tarmac surface. It’s a gradual descent for almost 11 miles to Polegate so makes for easy cycling. The next bit isn’t so good as the Avenue Verte goes through Oggs Wood on a rough surface which is quite muddy in places.

In sharp contrast, the first 88 miles of Avenue Verte in France between Dieppe and Bray-et-Lû is superbAV Sign (at Germer-de-Fly we took the shorter Western Option in preference to the longer Eastern Option). There are no busy roads, no dirt tracks and no dangerous junctions. The route is very well signposted; the small bright yellow Avenue Verte signs between Forges-les-Eaux and Gisors are easily seen and appear at every junction. There’s no chance of getting lost on this part of the route; if only the entire Avenue Verte could be signposted in this way.

This section of the Avenue Verte includes two paths along old railway lines but, unlike the British paths such as Worth Way and Forest Way, the French ones are much wider, have a tarmac surface and are properly maintained. Also, the vegetation at the edges of the paths is kept under control and you can see and enjoy the surrounding countryside as you cycle along.

That said, the route after Bray-et-Lû leaves much to be desired. It crosses Le Vexin, a regional nature park. The roads are quiet and it’s easy to devise a cycle friendly route through Le Vexin. Yet, on occasions, the Avenue Verte makes use of rough tracks. Fortunately the official guide recommends alternatives on roads in most cases.

After Le Vexin comes the large new town of Cergy-Pontoise. This is poorly signposted and easy to get lost. Eventually, the Avenue Verte approaches Paris by following the meandering Seine and then a canal with a rough path. The final few miles are very confusing and the chances are you’ll finish up cycling along some very busy roads.

The choice of route into Paris is strange as there more cycling friendly ways into Paris by going through forests just south of Poissy, through Versailles, Parc de Saint Cloud and the Bois de Bolougne, finishing at the Eiffel Tower.

I met many other cyclists on the signposted route who were similarly disappointed with some sections of it. It’s a shame that more thought wasn’t given into the signposting of the Avenue Verte but hopefully improvements will be made.



Lewis Coleman

Lewis Colemanv1

In loving memory of Lewis Coleman who passed away on 26th August 2013.

Lewis was an active member of Cycle Seahaven and was regularly out with the Club on mountain and road rides. At Lewis’s funeral on 9th September, his best friend Sally and active Cycle Seahaven member read the following Eulogy.


In the next few minutes I am going to share a personal view of Lewis.

Lewis was a dedicated family man. He is survived by his mother Pauline and his three sisters – Elizabeth, Caroline and Lucy. He was so proud of his four children, Sam, Laura, Jeremy and Pierre and he absolutely loved his young grandson, Adam. When Sam married Sarah before Christmas, Lewis was very pleased to have been best man. He really enjoyed the wedding reception because all his extended family were gathered together. Lewis told me that he was saddened that he would miss his children maturing but in the same conversation he asserted his absolute confidence that they would find their way and be happy. He loved his wife, Elizabeth and truly they made a strong couple, sharing key values, many memories and much laughter. Lewis’ family were all with him through his illness.

Lewis was born in 1957 in Tunbridge Wells. He started work at the age of 19 for an induction furnaces manufacturer called Ajax Magnothermic.  In this employment he travelled extensively abroad in Europe and once to the US and it was through this job that in 1985 he met Elizabeth. Two years after this he joined Parker Pen as a Computer Aided Designer.

I hope you can see this – it is a gold, fluted Parker ink pen that Lewis gave to me in January. Lewis designed the working parts of this pen.  He was an excellent designer working with care and precision and this pen writes beautifully. I did laugh when Lewis shared with me that the official Parker word for testing the nib of pen is “fluffy”. Apparently its cursive letters test all the edges of the nib. I like the idea of Lewis, the technically minded engineer, all 6 foot 6 inches of him, writing “fluffy” several times a day.

After leaving Parker, Lewis moved to Edwards Vacuum. Edwards were good to Lewis through his illness.  I know that Lewis appreciated this but I’m sure that it reflects his own hard work and commitment to the company. Lewis had boundless curiosity. He asked many questions and was interested in many things. When Edwards began working with Korean colleagues Lewis started to learn as much as he could about Korean culture and took his new Korean colleagues under his wing. He was very excited to have the opportunity to travel and work in Korea. He was adventurous in his way – he didn’t shy away from opportunities and he threw himself into learning Korean. He really loved that trip and talked about both the work place challenges but particularly his observations of Korean life and culture.

Lewis was both brave and courageous and his comportment through his very trying illness is the best example of these characteristics. He was immensely dignified when given his awful prognosis in January and above all he was kind. He generously continued to put others before himself. On the day of his first appointment with the cancer specialist my daughter fainted at home alone. I was in London and phoned Lewis to see if he could help. Risking lateness Lewis and Elizabeth raced round to find Florence and the first thing he said to her was “do you want a hug?”. He was a just lovely man able to both give and receive affection.

Lewis was a patient teacher. He taught three of his children to drive and he took pride in the maintenance of the family car. It was lucky for me that Lewis had a strong sense of proportion the night that the Colepeople (as he called his family) came for dinner and I managed to drive my car into his on the driveway. Men can be funny about cars so I said nothing that night but ‘fessed up in the morning. He laughed it away saying that it took the pressure off his family as the first bump had been made although he did occasionally remind me.

Lewis had a terrific imagination and zest for life. He was Assistant Cub Leader for 12 years for the 9th Seaford Scouts. My son Oscar was a cub with Lewis and I remember when they camped at Blackland’s Farm. Lewis organised a game involving long periods immersed in the camp swamp. Oscar came home wet and muddy and when I tipped his rucksack upside down in front of the washing machine to my horror loads of stag beetles exploded from the bag and disappeared down the cracks in the kitchen floor boards. I believe that courtesy of Lewis I am breeding a colony of stag beetles in the house foundations.

Lewis liked exercise. Probably his greatest love was his holidays in the French Alps where his parents in-law live. When there he enjoyed street parties, family walks and trips to the lake but above all he liked exploring in the mountains where he once saw marmots in the wild. Lewis also spent time walking the Sussex Weald with his mum.

In his youth Lewis was a keen cyclist, once impressively riding to Stockholm and back to meet a friend – now that is a commitment to friendship.  Lewis returned to cycling around six years ago. I made him come with me by telling him that he was getting fat.  We started very unadventurously but gradually we improved and joined, along with Elizabeth, Cycle Seahaven. Lewis cycled on the dark side – preferring mountain biking to road riding which I like but we compromised by riding trails over the Downs together. Lewis made many friends on his Friday night rides through Friston Forest in the dark. I vividly remember his delight when one night he faced his nemesis and rode down into and out of one of the very scary bomb craters. That night he also beat the rest of the riders up the infamous Cardiac Hill. It is a mark of Lewis’ commitment to service that just before Christmas he had volunteered to run the club website.

Lewis was a great friend and a wonderful person leaving a long legacy of affection. He will be missed by a lot of people but mostly by Elizabeth and the rest of his family and we are all here to support them.