Brilliant Easter Egg Ride

Saturday saw the most successful Cycle Seahaven Easter Egg Ride yet.  Seventy one riders of all ages joined in the ride in Friston Forest and our thanks go to Mark Woodgate and his team who organised the event.  It was also the first event to use the newly acquired Club Trailer.  We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Tourers clock-up the Miles

Over the past week there have been five touring rides and anyone cycling in all of them would have clocked-up 250 miles. It provided a good opportunity for cyclists to get some decent mileage in their legs, especially for those going on long distance cycle tours soon.

It started with a ride to Heathfield on Sunday which always proves mildly challenging as there’s a fair bit of climbing involved to get there. However, as usual, the return trip via Lions Green, Muddles Green and Chalvington was very pleasant as it’s mostly downhill or flat and goes along some very picturesque country lanes. That was 42 miles completed.

The following two days (Monday and Tuesday) were birthday rides for Joe and John. Each ride was 70 miles so no prizes for guessing how many years they were celebrating! The rides involved cycling a few laps of a route based on a ‘figure of eight’ circuit starting at Arlington Reservoir and passing through Ripe, Golden Cross, Chiddingly, Laughton, Chalvington, Arlington and Upper Dicker. There were many refreshment stops at some of our favourite cafes such as the Ripe Village Stores, the Village Shop Café at Upper Dicker, Chiddingly Village Café at Muddles Green and the Arlington Tea Garden.

Cyclists at the entrance to Lydd Airport

Wednesday was a rest day but on Thursday six of us loaded our bikes into the backs of our cars and drove to Rye Harbour for a 48 mile tour of the Romney Marsh. This area is a cycling paradise as the terrain is virtually flat and the country lanes are extremely quiet. Lunch was at Biggles Restaurant in Lydd Airport and afternoon tea at Miss Mollett’s High Class Tea Room in Appledore. It was certainly high class: bone china crockery and pots of leaf tea; no tea bags here and, yes, we were provided with tea strainers; remember those?

Friday was another rest day but on Saturday morning, some of us cycled to Molly’s Café on the promenade at Rottingdean for morning coffee; no bone china here but the Americano was superb. This was a round trip of 20 miles which raised the total distance for the week to 250 miles.

It was a great week of cycling and all of us now feel a bit fitter and ready for those long distance cycle tours.

Happy Easter,

Clive

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.

Windmills and Rivers – 4C MTB ride report

The warm sunshine and sheer numbers added to the excitement of the Thirty One (yes, 31!) MTB riders who met up at The White Lion for an 8:30am start on Sunday 2nd April. Our group of 20 club members who were riding the longer 4C route left first to head up to Bopeep, then onward past the two aerial towers above Firle Beacon. The views were still partly shrouded in mist, but this gradually cleared throughout the 28-mile ride.

Heading towards the aerials above Firle Beacon

Our usual route (after dropping down to Southease) is to follow the Egrets Way rider-side trail to Piddinghoe then up through Peacehaven via valley road, but this time we stayed on the South Downs Way (SDW) for the more challenging climbs up Mill Hill, Front Hill and Iford Hill – that’s a lot of hills. At the top we stopped for a quick refuel before heading further West along the SDW.

The chalky descent to Ashcombe (Kingston) is rather technical, with deep ruts and rain gulleys to negotiate. Despite this, everyone rode with skill and confidence to Kingston Ridge and the Juggs Road, pausing for a photo-stop at Ashcombe windmill at St Anne Without. From this half-way point we had done all the climbing and could now look forward to drinking in the views on the flat return journey.

Warm sunshine and great views at Ashcombe windmill

After crossing a narrow bridge high above the A27 we took some back streets (Morely Close & Cluny St.) to The Cockshut, then we followed the river banks to Egrets Way back home to Newhaven & Peacehaven.

This ride was really great fun with some marvellous personal achievements, wonderful weather and great company. Thanks to Tim & Chris for co-herding such a large group.

You can see the route we took by clicking on this link. https://www.relive.cc/view/924817674

Terrific Turnout of Tourers

One of the strengths of Cycle Seahaven is that it caters for a broad range of cyclists: mountain bikers, hybrid and road cyclists, varying from beginner to experienced. A glance at the Rides Calendar shows that there’s a wide selection of rides on offer for them

Some of those rides are shown as ‘Touring’ which are aimed at experienced road cyclists who prefer to cycle at a touring pace, ie an average of about 12½ mph; a comfortable pace where one can chat without being out of breath. Numbers on these rides are usually modest but have been creeping up recently; the ride on Sunday to Chilley Farm Café attracted ten such cyclists, the highest number for many months.

As we congregated at the Martello Tower at 8.30 am on Sunday morning it was heartening to see a similar number of Sportive and Intermediate road cyclists (the faster riders); they were bound for the Lavendar Line at Isfield.

The weather on Sunday was superb and, judging from the number of cyclists on the roads, it was certainly tempting people to get out on their bikes. In fact, as we cycled alongside the dykes on the Pevensey Levels, it felt as if we were cycling in Holland!

It therefore came as no surprise to find the Chilley Farm Café busy with cyclists and walkers but, although we had to wait a little bit longer than usual for our ‘elevenses’, it didn’t matter. We were content to bask in the wall-to-wall sunshine and chat about sprockets, chain sets and all things cycling!

It was a great Sunday morning ride, a round trip of approximately 40 miles. Hopefully, we’ll have lots more of them this year!

Happy cycling,

Clive

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

Easter Family Egg Hunt 2017

Saturday 15th April we will hold our hugely popular Annual Family Forest Easter Egg Ride.

We meet at the first Forest car park at 2:00pm for a short briefing where you get to meet everyone and talk about the rules to stay safe.

We will then take the family route round the forest stopping half way round for an egg hunt in the field.

You must register and indicate how many children you will be bringing along so that we can ensure an ample supply of Creme Eggs.

The Cycle Seahaven Bike Trailer will be available to transport bikes:

Big Park, Peacehaven 1130am cost in total per bike £1.60

Bait Bucket Newhaven 1215pm cost in total per bike £1.40

Seaford Promenade by Salts 1pm cost in total per bike £1.20

Please register and agree to the rules by clicking on the Registration Form link below:

REGISTRATION FORM  Easter Egg Hunt

Ride Leader: Mark Woodgate
mjwoodgate@hotmail.com or
07446 37005 or
use our online contact form at http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/contactrl/ .

Final Touring Ride of Winter

Today, the 28th February is the last day of Winter; that’s the Meteorological Winter of course. There’s no point in pretending that Winter still has three weeks to run, ie to the Equinox, as it was clear on our touring ride today that Spring has arrived judging by all the daffodils blooming in hedgerows and gardens.

It was a beautiful morning as seven of us cycled towards Hailsham to join the Cuckoo Trail and then head southwards to the Old Loom Mill at Summerhill for a refreshment stop. It was virtually wall to wall sunshine, there was just a slight breeze and the air felt warmer than in recent weeks; ideal cycling weather for this time of year. It certainly felt like a springlike morning!

It’s been quite a good Winter for the tourers. A few rides have been cancelled due to inclement weather but, since 1st December, 23 touring rides have taken place which is possibly the best Winter season the tourers have had.

Hopefully, the number of touring rides during Spring will much greater, starting with a ride to Shoreham Airport on Thursday, 2nd March. Over the next three months there will be rides to all the café stops on our Refreshment List plus a few new ones like Old Loom Mill today.

Happy cycling,

Clive

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