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

Third Time Lucky for Muddles Green

It was third time lucky for a touring ride to Muddles Green today (Tuesday); two previous attempts this year had been cancelled due to bad weather. However, the weather today was fine and eight tourers cycled to Muddles Green for a refreshment stop at one of our favourite cafes, the Chiddingly Village Shop & Cafe. It’s a community shop located in what used to be a farmyard at Farley Farm.

Hopefully, the cold weather of Winter is over and we can look forward to more fine days; after all, Spring is just around the corner!

We try to have three touring rides each week: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Tuesday rides are the shortest at approximately 25 miles. Those on Thursdays are the longest and are usually more than 40 miles; sometimes as much as 70. The Sunday rides tend to be between 30 and 40 miles. Our rides are called touring rides as we cycle at an average cycling pace of about 12½ mph, the sort of pace that most cyclists would adopt on a long distance cycle tour. Also, all our rides include a refreshment stop.

Other rides being planned later this month are to Blackboys, Horam, Rottingdean and Bexhill and possibly Isfield. So, if you’re an experienced cyclist and fancy a bit of ‘touring’ then please give our rides a try. Details are on the Rides Calendar.

Happy cycling

Clive

Viva Las Whitesmith

Four riders started at the Martello Tower for this Sunday’s Touring Section Ride to Happy Days Café at Whitesmith. However by the time we got there three other members had joined at various points along the route.

The ride took us along our usual lanes, after the climb up Chapel Hill, where we always take a breather at the top. Our pace was just right for riding as a group in the cool and damp conditions. And the refreshment stop was at café we hadn’t been to before – Happy Days at Whitesmith. The café owner is a big fan of Elvis and we were quite surprised to see he was in the building.

There are regular Touring Section (for riders who like to average about 12.5 mph) rides planned. Please check the calendar for details, you will always be given a warm welcome.

Happy Cycling.

Dave Sutton

2b MTB Friston night ride report

Could not be more different that last week, mild  night around 8 celcius, the ground was very soft  and the section between the gates and the Westdean pond should be renamed as “mud alley”. This was the worth that I have ever seen it, the camber which is supposed to drain the rain water  is great except that they must have resurfaced the centre section with clay!. The mud tyres were doubling in size and fork clearance were reduced to nothing with front and rear wheel stooping due to mud build up.  The rest of the ride was good but with some hard going section due to mud  or the trails having been destroyed by heavy plant machinery as work is been done on the top east side of cardiac. We had just 3 riders plus Gus from the 3b as none of his riders turn.  We were out for just over 2 hours , with a moving time of  1.17h, the rest of the time spend digging the mud out of our forks and frames. We did 7.7mls.  Please note,  I can not make it on 3rd of Feb. If you do want to ride, please confirm with Gus prior to the ride as he will cover for me if needed. Use the link on the 3b ride in our calendar.  Be safe Luc

 

MTB 3C – Standean Bottom

Starting at 8am on Sunday at The White Lion, Seaford, 12 riders braved the icy conditions to ride the Ouse Esturay Trail (the gravel cycle path) to Newhaven to pick up another rider at Denton Corner. With thirteen of us in the group we rode along the cycle paths past Denton Island and round to the back of the Jolly Boatman. We crossed the C7 road and headed up Valley Road past the school, then tackled the short but very sharp climb to the A259 cycle path. We saw that the conversion of the footpath (to a surfaced cycleway) from the A259 to Ashington Gardens is now underway, and we’re looking forward to its completion in 5 weeks. Until that time the path will be closed.

Footpath clearance, ready for the cycle way

 

We cycled through The Big Park then along quiet roads up to Telscombe Road, out onto Teslcombe Tye then along the bridleways to Harvey’s Cross. It was very chilly out there in the open countryside, with some thick ice on the puddles but, despite the light fog, the views were worth it.

Ice breaker

The group continued on towards Standean Bottom then the long, slow, circuitous climb up to Woodingdean – being a long meandering route makes it less of a daunting climb, and the valley is both beautiful and quiet. My favourite place. We met a fellow rider who joined us for part of the ride. It’s great when you bump into other riders en-route, and you soon get to recognised familiar faces taking advantage of the amazing countryside we have around here.

Frost and sun at Standean Bottom

After the climb we heading down a farm track bridleway into Rottingdean and onto the under cliff to Saltdean. The climb out of Saltdean to Peacehaven is always a challenge, especially after 18 miles of cross-country riding, and the clifftop path is not as flat as you’d think.

Having encountered thick ice, sloppy puddles and slippery mud, we got back to Seaford safely and exactly on time at noon, the 26 miles and 1700 feet of climbing taking us four hours. A huge ‘well done’ to the riders who stepped up their game to do this challenging ride in tricky conditions.

Andy.

Links:
GPS Video of the route we took: https://www.relive.cc/view/840480159
Cycle Seahaven calendar: http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/calendar/
History of Harvey’s cross: http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/page/saltdean
Footpath Peacehaven 12: http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/ph12/

PS. Next week’s ride options are a 2B to Bopeep trig point, and a 2.5C ride to Bopeep and Friston Forest. More details in the calendar at http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/calendar/

2B Bright & Cold Beginners Ride

A clear bright, if not very cold Sunday morning saw 13 of us leaving Seaford heading towards Newhaven on the Ouse Estuary Trail. Upon reaching Newhaven we were joined by another rider taking our number to 14, a great turn out on such a cold morning. The cold frosty morning meant the grassy trails along the riverbank to Piddinghoe were solid and easier to ride. A quick hop on the C7 saw us arrive at Deans Farm and the start of Valley road taking us to the back of Peacehaven. Due to some of the group venturing out on the own rides, I took the opportunity at certain points to advise where we were and possible alternative routes that maybe taken. Our coffee stop this week was the café at the Big Park in Peacehaven, which was very welcome, in order to de-frost our fingers & toes. Feeling refreshed and de-frosted we head towards the A259 and up & over the Highway, dropping down to & along the Quay side in Newhaven before returning to Seaford via the Ouse Estuary Trail. As always on our beginners rides assistance and advice was offered to less experienced riders in order to boost their confidence and enjoyment whilst on our rides. Well done to all riders that came along today, and to Roy for assisting me leading the ride this morning.

Paul Sandles
Ride Leader