Local rides from schools to the beach

Sustrans are working with Sussex Wildlife Trust in Seaford, offering led rides from local schools to the beach. This is part of their wider Active Access for Growth project and Sussex Wildlife Trusts Wild Beach project, which encourages children to hop on their bikes and explore their local environment.

As a result, Sustrans are looking for willing volunteers to assist rides on the following dates. Times will be announced asap but the rides will probably be  during the school day:

  •  Annecy Primary School, Monday 30th April
  • Cradle Hill Community Primary, Tuesday 12th June and Tuesday 3rd July

Any club rider can be an assistant or backmarker providing they have experience of taking part in previous Sustrans rides or have experience of riding in a group and being part of an organised led ride, with an understanding of the principles of group management (so that’s most of you).

There will be more in rides planned for the future and Sustrans are hoping to extend this to other schools in the area very soon. Please let us know if you would like to assist and what dates you can help by contacting us here.

 

Touring Ride Descriptions: Improvements

Some improvements have been made to the ride descriptions of Touring rides on the Rides Calendar which, hopefully, members will find useful when considering going on any of our rides.

The ride description will now include six side-headings:

  • DISTANCE
  • REFRESHMENT STOPS
  • TERRAIN
  • ROUTE
  • CHANGES
  • RIDE LEADER

‘Route’ has always included a hyperlink to the plotted route on RWGPS (Ride With GPS). This hyperlink will now be a short filename in upper case which will be the main destination of the ride, eg BLACKBOYS E1.

Therefore, if you download the route onto your GPS cycle computer, you should easily find the route in your saved ‘Courses’; Garmin devices do not like long filenames. Don’t worry about the last two characters of the filename such as E1 as they’re just a route identity suffix.

When you look at the plotted route on RWGPS you’ll see more information about the ride, both on the map and in the column on the right-hand side. Google Streetview is available on RWGPS maps so you can do a virtual tour of the route or take a look at any parts of the route that may be unknown to you.

Our touring rides aren’t just about the cycling; the refreshment stops are a key part of our rides. Therefore, if a refreshment stop has a website, there will now be a hyperlink to it.

Also, more details will be added to our list of Refreshment Stops including Trip Advisor ratings. There will be more information in a post later this month.

TIP     To view a RWGPS map on a tablet it’s probably best to view it in landscape otherwise you may only get a description and cue sheet if viewed in portrait.

Happy cycling,

Clive

Egrets Way Planning Update

The Egrets Way project have applied for planning permission at two locations:

  1. to create a link from Railway Lane (just off Cliffe High Street, Lewes) through the Railway Lands past the Linklater Pavilion, and on to Ham Lane. This will join up to an existing section of Egrets Way that goes from Kingston, past Spring Barn Farm, through the Stanley Turner ground, along Ham Lane to The Cockshut, and on to the Lewes waste disposal site;
  2. to create a link through Piddinghoe village using existing footpaths along the river bank. This take the route past the boathouse and onto the newly-laid footpath and round the sailing pond. The new section of footpath retains its No Cycling status, so we will need to walk this bit.

The full planning application (SDNP/17/05291/FUL) is available on the South Downs National park website HERE, or you can jump directly to this planning application be clicking HERE.

Finding a route through Piddinghoe has proven to be tricky for many years, so we urge everyone who wishes to see a flat, traffic-free walking and cycling route between Newhaven and Lewes to support this proposal. There are already some objections to these plans, so every letter of support will help secure the next steps in achieving the whole route.

There are a few ways in which you can show your support:

  1. log into the SDNP site (you will need to set up an account) and go HERE then click on the button ‘Make a comment’ to leave support as a member of the public;
  2. use the form at the bottom of this page to leave comments which we will collate and add as part of the club’s formal response.

This is very short notice and we only have till noon on Friday 5th Jan, so please do it now.

Thanks in advance.


If you don’t use the SDNP website to leave comments then please use this one –
This option has now lapsed. You have until the end of Friday 5th jan to use the above links to leave your support.


other stuff
Pointers for supporting comments:

  1. when completed Egrets Way will be a flat, traffic -free route from Newhaven to Lewes;
  2. suitable for kids and the less able, as well as cycle commuters between Lewes, Peacehaven (via Valley Road and Dean’s Farm) and Newhaven;
  3. it will link up –
    • our  International sea port to our county town;
    • the villages all along the West bank of the Ouse: Pidinghoe, Rodmell, Southease, Northease Swanbourough, Iford, Kingston and Cranedown;
    • the South Downs Way, pubs, farm shops, wildlife areas, the Railway Lands & Linklater Pavillion;
    • rail stations at Newhaven, Southease and Lewes (meaning you can get the train for part of the way if you wish).

Click HERE for more on the Egrets Way project.

Click HERE for the Egrets Way website

 

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.

Winter Touring Rides

The weather is getting colder and Jack Frost has started to visit us. As in previous years, our touring rides will continue throughout Winter on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday of each week. However, please check the Rides Calendar on the morning of a ride in case there’s been a change.

Changes to rides are more likely during Winter because of inclement weather. Certainly, if there is a risk of ice then a ride will be cancelled or sometimes the route may be changed. This can happen because the temperature inland can be several degrees colder than on the coast so a ride to, say, Horam or Heathfield may get changed to Rottingdean or Brighton to avoid the risk of black ice.

If a ride is cancelled, altered or delayed then the Rides Calendar will be updated with the details at least one hour before the planned start time of the ride. Members in the CSH Tourers WhatsApp Group will receive a message immediately a decision is made to change a ride. (Please see my previous post: Cycle Seahaven Tourers’ WhatsApp Group).

Sunday morning touring rides are now starting at the slightly later time of 9.00am at the Martello Tower on Seaford Promenade. The start time for Tuesday and Thursday touring rides remains unchanged at 9.30am, usually at the entrance to the Seven Sisters Country Park car park in Friston Forest although occasionally at the Martello Tower.

Happy and safe cycling,

Clive

Cycle Seahaven Tourers’ WhatsApp Group

The WhatsApp group for the tourers which was set up about a month ago is working well. It’s proving useful for advising and consulting group members about late changes to rides. Also, group members can invite others in the group to join them on their own (non-Cycle Seahaven) rides.

Most of the regular tourers have joined so if any other Cycle Seahaven member who rides on our touring rides, whether regularly or occasionally, would like to join our WhasApp Group then please let me know.

You can contact me through the Ride Leader Contact page. I’ll need to know your mobile no. and, of course, you have to be a WhatsApp user.

Happy messaging,

Clive

A Perfect Autumn Cycle Ride

Cyclists outside the Di Paolo Café in Bexhill

Thursday was a superb day, dry and sunny with no wind: the perfect autumn day for cycling. Our destination was Bexhill, one of our favourite destinations for a ride. It’s a virtually flat route apart from Chapel Hill just after the start; in fact roads don’t get much flatter than Rickney Lane which we cycled along to cross the Pevensey Levels!

This made for easy cycling, especially as there wasn’t a headwind so we cruised along at a rate of knots more familiar to the Intermediates and Sportives! it didn’t seem long before we reached Bexhill and was cycling along the promenade towards our café stop at the Colonnade, underneath the De La Warr Pavilion.

We were surprised to find the Colonnade fenced off. (It appears that ‘Tea Beside The Sea’ café has permanently closed; the lease expired). However, there’s no shortage of cafes in Bexhill so we soon found one the other side of the De La Warr Pavilion called ‘Di Paolo Café’. What a super place: friendly staff, good food and drink and quite large inside so plenty of tables and chairs. It’s since been added to our Refreshment List.

This list now has over 40 cyclist friendly refreshment stops that the tourers are happy to use. Most are in Sussex but a few are in Kent and the Seine-Maritime department, just across the English Channel in France. This list may be of use to anyone who is planning a ride and looking for somewhere to stop for a rest and some nourishment.

Cyclists at the rather spooky Arlington Tea Garden

The first place on the Refreshment List is the Arlington Tea Garden which we’ve been stopping at for many years, often on a Thursday when returning to Exceat on our longer distance rides. It’s only about six miles back to the finish at the car park in Friston Forest. Thursday was no exception. We’d made good time and the sun was shining so we called in for a cuppa. We were impressed by the Halloween decorations.

All in all this had been a perfect autumn cycle ride: excellent weather for the time of year, great company and two super refreshment stops.

Happy cycling,

Clive