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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/

Tools and Bike Wash installed at The Big Park

Many thanks to Lewes District Council for installing a bike wash, fix it stand, pump and drinking fountain at Peacehaven’s Big Park (Centenary Park).

With access to National Cycle Route 2, bridleways and a café, this is an excellent venue for cyclists.

 

Tools, pump and drinking fountain

Tools, pump and drinking fountain

 

Bike wash (a hose has since been fitted).

Bike wash (a hose has since been fitted).

 

Ride Report – Brighton Races – 4C

Thirteen intrepid riders set out form the White Lion at 8am on Sunday morning, 20th March. It was a breezy day and just warm enough for shorts, but only if you also wore a few layered tops.

We took the Ouse Estuary trail from Seaford to Newhaven, then the cycle track past Denton Island and onto the Jolly Boatman. A nice flat warm-up to get the legs and heart going. The long, slow, gentle climb along Newhaven’s Valley Road is a club favourite, and is a way of getting to Peacehaven on quieter roads. After a final short/sharp climb up to the A259 cycle track we road through the Big Park and up to Telscombe Road. We then go to the bridleways that took us on to Woodingdean and the lovely new cycle track down ‘The Drove’ to Brighton racetrack. The descent to Brighton Marina was long and fast, and a terrific reward for all the height we gained.

A short stop for coffee (free refills) and cake at Weatherspoons was a bargain at only £2.75. Suitably refreshed we rode the lovely undercliff route back to Saltdean. The warmth of the pub was a stark contrast to the cold wind. Was a Seaford morning really that much warmer than a Brighton afternoon, or had we got too cosy in the pub? The short and steep climb up from the underfcliff is always a shock, but it was over quickly. That left us with a very scenic ride along the cliff top through Peacehaven and up The Highway past Rushey Park. We descended Upper Valley Road right back down to Valley Road to return to Seaford via Valley Road – the same way we had started out.

Another great ride with lovely company.

Route map and timings: https://www.strava.com/activities/521935913

Brighton races

Brighton races

Mind the puddles

Mind the puddles

Jelly babies

Jelly babies

Cliff Top, Peacehaven

Cliff Top, Peacehaven

Smile for the camera

Smile for the camera

Steep descent

Steep descent

Bike Powered Cinema in the local press

The Sussex Express has an article on the outdoor cinema that Cycle Seahaven helped support. You can read the article in today’s paper (25th Sept 2015) or go online and read it here: http://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/news/county-news/first-cycle-powered-cinema-is-hailed-a-success-1-6975693

Thanks to Lesley, Jo and Dave  for running the bike trains from the Seahaven area, and to the organisers and other volunteers for putting on this great event.

Here’s where we posted the news of the event: http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/tbpc/

 

Peacehaven Cycle Route Ideas pt.2

Further to our previous post asking for ideas on routes around Peacehaven we’ve come up with a draft map as a way of keeping track.

Here are the ideas so far.

  • NCN2 along Arundel Road is spoilt by cars parking over the cycle infrastructure, and the cycle gaps created by the islands fill up with debris. These need addressing.
  • Regarding the Peacehaven end of the new A259 shared path from Newhaven – the corner to Downland Avenue is a bit tricky to negotiate. Footpath Peacehaven12 onto Ashington gardens is a possible alternative if it can be opened up to cyclists.
    *UPDATE: Under consultation
    *UPDATE: In Progress
  • Footpath Peacehaven 1  (along the cliff top) is a cracking route for MTBs and hybrids. Much of it appears to be highway and it’s used a lot by riders already, even though there’s no apparent right of way designated in some sections. It would be nice if it could formally be changed to allow cyclists.
  • Crossing from Restricted Byway Telscombe 9a (popular with walkers and cyclists) from the Tye to the shared path on the South side of the A259 is not a nice experience.
  • The wide metalled Footpaths Piddinghoe5 and 13b are a great route from the Big Park to Piddinghoe, and would be nice to be designated a shared path. A lot of cyclists use it already. It would make more sense if/when Egrets Way ever got finished.
  • Glynn Road is another cracking route from The Big Park. It goes past Meridian Primary School and takes riders up to Telscombe Road and onto the Tye. Being a dead-end in the middle (passable by walkers and cyclists) makes this road quieter than others.
  • Many roads often have cars parked along them making navigation tricky – especially with/for youngsters. A large number of roads in Peacehaven have wide grassy verges which could be converted to shared paths, especially those roads going to schools and shops. . Some suggestions would be:
    • Rowe Avenue, back of Police Station, Sutton Avenue, Roderick Avenue as a central spine connecting NCN2 and the Meridian Centre and the back way to the Community School by Horsham Avenue North;
    • The entire length of Telscombe Cliffs Way would link up much of the proposed route on the West side;
    • Park Avenue, through the park, Balcombe Road to Peacehaven Heights primary, The Joff youth centre, Sutton Avenue spinal route and Peacehaven Community school;
    • Connect Glynn Road to Roderick Avenue by the tree-lined path from the North of Horsham Avenue North via Firle Road.

 

Here’s a link to a draft map for Peacehaven: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zLlVG8i4AAa0.kY22qa7v5vuU

And here’s an old one we did for Newhaven: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zLlVG8i4AAa0.kUSpFPn93Eyo

 

If you have any further ideas then please get in touch by leaving a comment below or select ‘Campaigns’ from our contact page at http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/contact/

 

The Big Pedal 2 – Ride Report 31st January 2015

On Saturday 31st January The Big Park project organised two cycle rides to help promote the amazing work that’s going on in Peacehaven’s Big Park. Cycle Seahaven were only too happy to help with the ‘Intermediate’ ride, and Sustrans led the ‘Family’ ride.

At ten past eleven we ran a headcount and a briefing of the ride before 17 riders of all ages set off from The Big Park for the intermediate ride. The rain had eased off while we rode towards Newhaven using the quiet roads on the designated cycle route along Arundel Road. At the junction of the A259 we all crossed over the main road and headed up The Highway past Rushey Hill caravan park. This is quite a climb so we all stopped at the top to get our breath back. After a short break we headed left down Upper Valley Road, across the main road, and down into Meeching Valley –  a lovely fast descent to reward our earlier climb. The quiet residential streets along Valley Road took us towards Lewes Road Recreation Grounds and onto the beginning of the Egrets Way by Robinson Road. The river banks were very muddy and hard work for part of the route, but the scenery was stunning. The rain was still holding off and it was good to get onto the tarmac road at Southease. The original plan was to continue on the Egrets Way to Rodmell, but the tough conditions meant we had to cut the ride short and take the more direct road route. The easy, flat road was a joy to ride on after the muddy river banks, but it soon started its climb out of the valley and up Gorhams Lane to Telscombe Village, crossing the C7 on the way. This is almost 300 feet of climbing in a mile and a half, so when we got to the top we were certainly ready for a rest before the final descent to Telscombe Village for our free lunch. And what a lunch! Hot dogs, pizza, bread & cheese, soup, sausage rolls and hot & cold drinks. The Big Parks team had done us proud.

After our 8-mile ride and hearty lunch we rode with the Family group on the 3mile route back to the Big Park. Another fantastic free day out courtesy of The Big Park, Sustrans and Cycle Seahaven.

We look forward to supporting the next ride for the Big Park opening day on March 7th 2015. More details will soon be posted on our website and on our online calendar.

Jim's not too sure about his decision to ride on the lower banks

Jim’s not too sure about his decision to ride on the lower banks

Chris, Dave, Joanne, Lesley, Joseph, Steve, Lynn and Paul on the upper banks

Chris, Dave, Joanne, Lesley, Joseph, Steve, Lynn and Paul on the upper banks

Tobias, Alfie, Ricki & Kate on the lower banks

Tobias, Alfie, Ricki & Kate on the lower banks

Stopping for a rest on Gorhams Lane, 10 minutes form the finish.

Stopping for a rest on Gorhams Lane, 10 minutes from the finish.