Family Ride: Ride Report

 
On Saturday 30th June twelve riders took to the forest as part of our monthly Forest Family Ride. As it was a smaller group this month we were able to stop at the Pump Track where the kids (both big and small) enjoyed honing their skills around the berms.
 
This month we were joined by a local Seaford family who had only earlier that week googled local clubs as their 8-year old was getting more and more into cycling and they wanted to know if there were any local clubs they could join as a family. Fortuitously, they spotted the upcoming family ride this weekend so came along and are now planning on joining the club. As Dad, Dixon is a roadie, he even decided to join us on his eight-year old son’s second bike giving us a couple of great photo opportunities.
 
I sense the N+1 principle is soon to be evoked! Juliette commented on how, though she is glad they came along, she fears they will now be spending the rest of the summer with a very keen and enthusiastic eight-year old wanting to do this all the time now as he pretty much headed the ride and TOTALLY enjoyed showing everyone the Snow Run and Final Descent.
 
I’m very happy to report another young local lad has been introduced to the wealth of free fun available on our doorstep by simply bringing your bike down to the forest.
 
It was very hot and the shade of the forest provided some much welcome relief from the sun.
 
Mark Woodgate

New Funday Ride

Some of you will have noticed that there is a new ride featuring on the calendar this Sunday, the ride entitled “Funday Ride” which will be led by Roy Francomb.

Dropping down to Bishopstone Village

The new ride is aimed to run at a level just below our Sunday Improvers ride. The Improvers group has progressed and raised the bar as to the mileage and terrain we cover, leaving a gap for a slightly lower grade ride on a Sunday.   Roy has kindly offered to run the “Funday” ride. This ride will be for those who want a slightly less challenging MTB with a coffee and cake stop on a Sunday.

Where & when possible we will try to arrange for the Funday & Improvers ride to meet up for Coffee & Cake at some point on the ride or at the end of the ride.

So if you fancy getting out on a Funday ride you can contact Roy via our ride leaders contact page.

Many thanks

Paul Sandles / Roger Lambert / Roy Francomb

Improvers / Funday Ride Leaders

2B MTB Improvers via the Coach Road

Fifteen of us completed the ride last Sunday morning. Following a scenic spin up to Bopeep and a bracing brakes-off run down the road from Firle Borstal car park – a first time for some of us – to the track at the bottom, we then turned on to the Old Coach Road and followed our noses to Alfriston. The description of our route as ‘undulating’ was questioned by some, who preferred ‘very hilly!’

The weather wasn’t especially clement – chilly and breezy on the top but then warmer under the shelter of the trees – but at least we missed the rain. Once again it looked like there were plenty of PBs including the road ride to our left turn at the (former?) YHA hostel, before we dropped down to the footbridge and along the Litlington road back to our re-grouping point at the pub.

In Litlington we met, briefly, the 4D and Helen’s Birthday Ride groups, looking purposeful, on a day when there were a further 3 road rides. That’s a lot of rides!

Couldn’t help but notice the sheep field was despatched a bit more casually and with more bunching than usual. Getting faster.

So, if my Garmin would give up it’s secrets, which it won’t for some reason, I’d pass on the ride data – distance, feet climbed, average speed. I’m guessing we did about 16/17 miles, climbed over 1000 ft and averaged maybe 7 mph???

Roger.

2B Improvers in Friston Forest

2B Improvers In Friston.

14 of us repeated most of last week’s route up Cardiac and back down the Gallops, with the addition of just a little bit of downhill single track – Snow Run last segment (Final Descent?) – before we picked up the  Galleon Fields slope via the car park.

A really pleasant ride that also shows how repetition can help with technique and confidence. Without prompting, one rider – first time to the top of Cardiac in one go – said how important it was to manage breathing.  And you still kept a whole ‘granny’ ring in reserve. Wow! Someone else said they were traffic phobic to the extent that a year ago the bike was hardly ever used – not so now. And the same rider also found how a bit more momentum over the roots helped with balance and confidence. Our two new  riders really enjoyed the downhills – maybe they’re passing through on the way to 3/4C…?

NB We had the 2-way radios which were very handy for keeping the ride together when we had a mechanical at the back of the group.

It was especially pleasing to have a guest who’d come all the way from Shoreham and 2 other Brighton based riders. We hope to see you all again, often.

Here’s a video that most of us will never emulate but note how the dropped heals at about 57 secs in to the video help with grip and balance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWEMfvfO3DA

16.5 Miles, 1300 feet, average 7.5 MPH.

Roger and Roy

Warmest ride of the Year

A very enthusiastic 11 of us enjoyed our warmest ride of the year. The concrete road was ‘dismissed’ by the Improver group and a new rider with CS, new to riding the Downs too, who just went for it and happily listened to, and, eventually, acted on, advice about dropping your heels in the ready position. And that was before we reached the trig point….! Outstanding.


We did the usual trundle through Firle Borstal car park but turned left at the masts and headed down the grassy track past America farm for South Heighton and Denton. But we regrouped near New Barn and decided another climb was called for before we hit 'town'.

It was one of those days when the South Downs are slightly hazed and hard to leave, especially on a bicycle. So back up we went to a properly dry introduction for a number of our riders to the single track down through the tunnel of trees, over the roots and avoiding random lumps of flint to Poverty Bottom.

Then back through Bishopstone and along the seafront to the Martello for the now traditional coffee & cake.

17 miles and 1250′ of elevation at an average speed of just over 8 mph.

A Big Circular Route around Seaford

On Sunday 26th March 12 riders met outside of the ‘White Lion Public House’ feeling deprived of sleep due to the clocks going forward and a desire not to oversleep and miss the ride.

This was going to be a big one, a 43 miles circular route, with a ‘bit’ of climbing and a hindering easterly wind. The group set out at a reasonable pace heading into the forest before facing the first challenge of the day, ‘Cardiac’. The smiling faces at the top proved how much people love this hill (they might have been grimaces but I was struggling to focus through the tears).

Having refuelled and rehydrated, very important on longer rides, the group set out to join the South Downs Way and enjoy the views at the top of Windover Hill. ‘Express Elevator’ took us down to ‘Crash Alley’ (don’t you just love the names people devise) before riding west along the Old Coach Road and on towards Firle. The ‘cheeky little underpass’ to the west of the Beddingham roundabout enabled us to join the A26 without having to cross over the dual carriageway. Good find Gus!

Following a further refuel/rehydration stop at Southease Youth Hostel the group started off again, still looking strong, for the remaining half of the route. Ascending Valley Road, the track at the back of Peacehaven, we suffered our first and only, puncture of the day. Gus Lock did his usual ‘Formula 1 puncture repair service’ and the group were reunited very shortly afterwards.

Passing ‘Harvey’s Cross’ we rode up to Brighton Race Course before the long descent down to the Marina, definite smiles here; and then along the undercliff  back towards Seaford.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the achievements of the riders. The effort displayed by everyone was really impressive. Claire ‘Betty’ Bennett, Sarah Winser, David Blaber, Bryony Clarke and Helen Blaber all achieved personal off-road distance records and at a very respectable pace. A few of the group could easily have achieved another 20 miles.

Helen Blaber proved a large helping of Smarties for breakfast can make you sufficiently hyper to conquer anything. She screamed up ‘Cardiac’ and completed the whole route on a single speed bike (no mean feat). I anticipate a new addition to the Blaber fleet of bicycles in the near future.

Gus Lock and Andy Marks both managed to ride past pubs without bursting into tears, another fine achievement by them.

The Strava results indicated a plethora of personal bests along various segments by too many members to list here. Suffice to say it was a great day with great people showing amazing determination. Thank you all for a great ride.

Guy

Friston Friday night ride report + video of Crater run

Very nice evening ride this Friday and much warmer than last week. About 8 celcius, 3 of us went out Mike , Trevor and myself and we did a mixed ride as only Scratch and Gus turned up for the 3c.
10.1mls in 1h.35 moving time.
I did a little filming this week to show the state of the upper trails due to the forest commission’s works. Also like every winter, fairly muddy at the top but the lower trails are fine.
I can not make next week, so if you do want to ride, please contact Gus from the 3 c.
I will post more videos when I have more time to edit them. Luc

Map thanks to Trevor

FRISTON forest MTB 2B Friday night ride report and 2B/3C Video

Another fantastic Friday night ride, we had 8 riders on the 2B  2nd night ride. We did a lot more that first planned as two of our riders followed the 3c by mistake during a mixed stop, we tried to catch up with them, but eventually lost them, this resulted into doing a couple more miles more than first planned. The trails were very dry and the evening very warm for a late autumn  night. Richard, one of the 3c riders did join us and very kindly acted as assistant leader making sure we did not leave anyone behind. Our pace and mileage were well above the usual 2b level, well done to everyone.  We met the 3C ride several times which allow me to film some “air time”, a little dark , but the lights do add a little magic to the film.
I love night ridding!  Hope to see you all next week, keep safe. Luc
map281016

2B Big Park Circuit

Just about got away with the rain today – odd showers but nothing too serious. 10 of us set off from the White Lion and soon after hitting the sea front were passed by the Sportive group on its way to Fletching. Looked like another busy day on the calendar.

We were led out by Roy for the first of his Ride Leader ‘qualifiers’. He ‘distributed’ his other ride leaders among the group and got on with it. It’s to his credit that the ride was relaxed and uneventful. We did our usual spin along OET before cutting along Elphick Road to the river and via the steady climb up Valley Road (no one had to resort to the walking gear) to the park and coffee; lots of chat and some decisions about future rides were made. we have a Plan A involving a loop through Friston Forest on 9th October and a Plan B still under development but probably involving ‘aspects’ of Bopeep if the weather’s too slippy.

We looped back through Peacehaven and eventually down Gibbon Road and back along OET to the seafront where we went our separate ways.

My Garmin appears to be having a sulk and won’t tell the laptop how far we went or how quickly. I estimate 14 miles at an average of 7 MPH with maybe 500  feet of climbing…?

PLEASE NOTE – no 2B ride next week. Our next ride will be on 9 October ’16 – please keep an eye on the calendar.

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