21st August 2015 Friday night Friston MTB ride report.

Friday night Friston MTB ride. 21st August 2015
Looks like we are back on track, we had 8 riders this evening with another one joining us later on. The weather conditions were very good if not a little warm this evening, registering 23 degrees when we got there. We were late leaving has we had to sort out some lights for two new riders, in fact, we had quite a few new faces this evening. Roy assisted me as ride leader assistant and made sure no one was left behind. We went straight up Cardiac, down the Bomb Crater Run then up cardiac past Moby and took a left , then left again to join the Snow Trail, then Final Descent. Every one did very well, we were out 1hr 30mins and did 7.6 miles with 1h 9mins pedaling time.

If you are planning to ride with me regularly, please email me your mobile number so that I can text you on the day to confirm that we are riding. Don’t forget to recharge your lights after each ride if you want to keep the battery in good condition and if you don’t want to end up in the dark in the middle of  your next ride.

See you all next week and stay safe. Luc


Snapshot 1 (22-08-2015 7-12 AM) Snapshot 3 (22-08-2015 7-16 AM) Snapshot 4 (22-08-2015 7-28 AM) Snapshot 5 (22-08-2015 7-36 AM) Snapshot 6 (22-08-2015 7-38 AM)

Ferry Saved

Since posting an item on the blog a week ago ‘Last Chance to Channel Hop to Dieppe’ it’s been announced this week that the Newhaven – Dieppe crossing will continue after the end of this year. That’s good news for Newhaven and the people who work on the ferry; also it maintains the vital sea link in the Avenue Verte cycle route between London and Paris.

The Syndicat Mixte de Promotion de l’Activité Transmanche (SMPAT) will run the service from 1 January 2016. (The SMPAT is comprised of the Departement de Seine-Maritime, the city authorities in Dieppe and Dieppe Chamber of Commerce). It says that it will continue to subsidise the route, but in the long-term is seeking to reduce the cost to the French taxpayer by attracting more investment from external partners.

The two vessels serving the route will be rebranded, but DFDS will continue to handle bookings and marketing until the end of March 2016, to ensure a smooth transition.

So, although there may not be the same urgency to hop across the Channel, an Autumn cycling break based in Dieppe still sounds like a good idea.

Happy sailing,


Group riding session

Free Shop Ride with Mr Cycles: Sat 15th Aug, 9.30am start. How to ride your road bike in a group safely. 2hrs with qualified instructor (Jamie Lynch). Booking essential, contact the shop on 01323 893130.

If you’re new to riding on the road, riding in groups, or perhaps thinking of doing a sportive for the first time, this is for you. Learn how to ride safely in a group and communicate effectively with your fellow riders.

Mr Cycles are easily found opposite Seaford railway station, BN25 1NP


Last Chance to Channel Hop to Dieppe

We’re lucky to have a ferry Port on our doorstep, so to speak, as France is only a four hour ferry trip away. Dieppe is arguably the most attractive of all the French channel ports and the surrounding countryside is ideal for cycling. The country roads tend to be quieter than on this side of the Channel, road surfaces are better (potholes are a rarity) and cycle paths are in far better condition.

Unfortunately, there’s uncertainty over whether the ferry crossing will continue after this year. However, DFDS have two ferries on this route at present; there was only one until May. Presumably DFDS are trying to stimulate more business to make it worth continuing next year.

Therefore, it’s a good time to take your bike across the channel. There are three sailings to Dieppe each day and the price is usually only £35 return with your bike. Those over 60 years of age get a 20% discount if they buy their ferry ticket at the ferry terminal in Newhaven. This offer is not available online.

Last September, six of us from Cycle Seahaven hoped across the channel to Dieppe and had a very pleasant weekend of cycling in the Seine-Maritime department, see Channel Hopping to Dieppe. Recently, I stayed in Dieppe on a Phoenix-CTC event and visited some different places such as Mers-les-Bains (Art-Nouveau buildings along the seafront), St Valery-en-Caux (an attractive place with a fishing port and marina) and cycled along a new cycle path, Veloroute du Lin. It was opened earlier this year and starts at Pourville-sur-Mer, a few kilometres west of Dieppe, and continues for about 25 kms to Saint-Pierre-le-Viger which is about 10 kms from St Valery-en-Caux. Eventually, the cycle path will be extended to Fecamp.

There are certainly plenty of interesting places to visit in the Seine-Maritime area of France, not to mention cycling along the Avenue Verte! It’s well worth a visit.

There’s a good choice of accommodation in Dieppe; I usually stay in the Hotel de la Plage which is cycle friendly and has a garage for bikes. Also, there’s no shortage of bars and restaurants in the town; many are by the marina. It’s a great place to be based for a cycling break.

Hopefully the ferry crossing will continue but, in case it doesn’t, it may be worth hopping across the Channel with your bike within the next two or three months.

Happy Channel Hopping,


Two Hours to Bexhill

Cyclists taking a breather at the top of Chapel Hill

Cyclists taking a breather at the top of Chapel Hill

Rides to Bexhill always prove popular with cyclists who prefer to cycle at touring pace, i.e. an average speed of 12½ mph whilst cycling. The touring ride this morning (Sunday) was no exception as 11 cyclists met at the Martello Tower to commence the touring ride to Bexhill.

The route from Seaford to Bexhill is reasonably flat apart from Chapel Hill, a serious climb between Litlington and Wilmington. We always take a breather at the top and regroup. After Wilmington the route goes through Hailsham and then eastwards across the Pevensey Levels, along Rickney Lane and Sluice Lane to Bexhill. So, although this ride is a round trip of almost 50 miles, it’s quite easy to cycle; perhaps that’s why it’s so popular.

Cyclists outside the Italian Way

Cyclists outside the Italian Way

The weather conditions for the ride this morning were ideal, dry and sunny with just a slight breeze. We reached Bexhill in two hours, bang on schedule as the distance is almost 25 miles. Our refreshment stop was at the Italian Way restaurant, almost opposite the De La Warr Pavilion.

It was so pleasant sitting outside in the sunshine that we stayed there for quite a long time, about 45 minutes. The return journey was easy as we had a slight tail wind and, two hours later, we were back in Seaford.

The touring ride next weekend will be on Saturday instead of Sunday.