Cycling Changed My Life

It’s been five years since I first signed up as a member of Cycle Seahaven and started following the club on Facebook when I noticed that they were putting on Beginners Rides. So I dusted off my aged bike and with some intrepidation, cycled to the meeting point for the Beginners Ride where I was warmly welcomed by ride leaders, Paul and Roger and we set off on my first cycle in decades.

At the time I didn’t realise what a life changing day that was to be and that my focus on Sunday mornings would never be the same again. I returned home so elated that I then recruited friends to join me on the next Beginners Ride.

I’ve been reflecting on my cycling journey with the club having recently cycled over 360 miles during March as part of a Cycle Seahaven challenge to get us all back out on our bikes after the long winter and lockdown.

Five years ago I could never have imagined myself, now 63 years old, being able to cycle so many miles, mostly off road and at the moment still on a manual bike although I definitely have my eye on an e-bike in the not too distant future! Over the years my usual position on a club ride has been ‘Tail End Charlie’ bringing up the rear but somebody has to do it!!

So five years and two bikes later, and many miles cycled, I’ve been encouraged and supported throughout by ride leaders, all with endless patience just wishing to share their passion for cycling. I’ve always loved walking on our beautiful South Downs but through Cycle Seahaven I’ve learned of many cycle routes away from our busy roads which has enabled me to enjoy even more of the beautiful countryside we have right on our doorstep plus I can now confidently cycle on the road when absolutely necessary!

Most important, I’ve made many friends and am probably physically and mentally more fit than I have ever been thanks to being a member of Cycle Seahaven.

So I thank everyone involved in running this incredibly friendly, fun and successful club and suggest that you dust off your bike, take it to Cycle Seahaven’s Dr Bike if it is in need of repair and give cycling a go as you too may never look back. 🚲


Written by a member of Cycle Seahaven

Website Improvements

Improvements are being made to the website over the next few weeks, one of the main aims being to make it easier to find information. The menu structure is being modified so that some of the more popular pages can be directly accessed from the main menu such as the Dr Bike page. A Contact Us page has also been added to the end of the main menu.

The Blog is now called Latest News as that more accurately describes our blog. Also, the word blog is a bit techie and can be off-putting.

So, don’t be surprised if you notice some more changes over the next few weeks. I’ll be describing them in more detail in a an article in the Spring issue the Cycle Seahaven newsletter which will be emailed to all members in early April.

Clive Aberdour


Stop Press Ride Guidance Updated to Groups of 15

Tourers at Isfield Station

Today (24th March  2021) Cycle Seahaven (CSH) Committee have updated our Coronavirus Ride Guidance in line with UK Government advice and updated guidance from Cycling UK for affiliated groups like CSH.


From the 29th March 2021, subject to the Ride Leader(s) feeling comfortable with a larger group, rides can now go ahead with up to a maximum of 15 riders in each group.


We are able to increase the group size, as Sport England has published guidance confirming that group cycle rides are included in the organised sport and activity exemption from the “Rule of 6”.


Cycling UK has stated that 15 riders is an absolute maximum for group rides. For some rides, usually where the 15 limit is likely to be exceeded, or where the ride leader wants to know who’s coming, you may still need to contact the ride leader(s) to book a place. This will be clearly stated in the first line of the Ride description with the words ***you will need to book a place on this ride*** .


This guidance is in addition to our usual ride requirements.


In summary, from the 29th March 2021. CSH Group rides can restart, groups will be limited to a maximum of 15 riders, but multiple groups are permitted.


When at a refreshment stop, it will be responsibility of all riders to comply with the “Rule of 6” this will be until 17th May 2021 at the earliest.


Please check the calendar to see if you need to book a place.




  1. Do not come on a ride if you feel in any way unwell.


  1. Groups must not exceed 15 riders in total. Multiple Groups are permitted, providing groups do not come into contact with each other on the road or trail.


  1. Groups will need to maintain a “clear gap” at any assembly points as well as during the ride. Ride Leaders may consider staggered start times, or perhaps different start locations.


  1. It is not the role of the ride leader to enforce social distancing, this is a duty inherent on everyone. So please respect the 2-metre social distance and rule of 6 at refreshment stops.


  1. Ride Leaders should post their rides on the calendar in the usual manner.


  1. Bring all you need for the ride COVID wise, including a face covering, hand sanitizer etc, as well as anything you need to get home in the event of a mechanical.




See the CSH Group Rides Risk Assessment here

Rides Restarting Soon

It’s worth keeping an eye on the Rides Calendar as rides are now starting to appear on it. The first ride will be an MTB ride entitled Harvey and Molly on Monday 29 March. This is followed by some Touring and Easy Touring rides on Tuesday and Thursday of that week.

The Rule of Six will still apply as will the Covid Ride Guidance

Please be aware that all this could change if the Government decides to delay the easing of restrictions due on 29 March.

Message posted on behalf of the ride leaders.

Dust off Your Bike We’re Back!

Cycle Seahaven Committee have just held a specially convened meeting to discuss getting some outdoor Club activities restarted after the long Lockdown lay-off.  The Committee are pleased to announce that it’s time to get ready for a return to group rides and Dr Bike.

As England moves into Step 1 of the easing of Covid restrictions, it is anticipated that from the 29th of March 2021, group rides can at last restart. We are waiting on guidance from our insurers (Cycling UK) to clarify exactly what is allowed, but the Committee anticipate that a “Rule of Six” groups will be permitted. The COVID Ride Guidance has been updated and will be placed on the CSH website as soon as this post is published on the blog.

There will be a Zoom meeting for ride leaders on 11th March at 19:00 to discuss any issues you may have about returning to leading rides. Details on the Rides Calendar.

As non-essential retail reopens on 12th April Dr Bike will return on 17th April at Centenary (Big) Park Peacehaven. To comply with our Rule of Six Method Statement, the initial Dr Bike surgeries will be with four workstations. Dr Bike Lead, Lee Turner, will be in touch nearer the date.


Happy Cycling

CSH Committee

Are your address details up to date?

We will soon be issuing your membership card for 2021.

Please contact us via the ‘Contact the Committee‘ page on the website to update your details if needed.

Many thanks and a Happy New Year to you all.

Message from the chair on behalf of Cycle Seahaven Committee

It is fair to say that 2020 has been a difficult year and has thrown us many new challenges.

Cycle Seahaven has been no exception. The main aim of this wonderful club is to encourage all our members both new and old on to their bikes and to enjoy the beautiful countryside we live in.

We have an amazing team of Ride Leaders who have always been willing to share their experience and their favourite routes, thus offering you new routes to explore safely.

Unfortunately, COVID 19 came into our lives and changed the way we, as a club, are able to help our members.

Lockdowns and restrictions meant that we have not been able to offer the rides as normal. When it has been allowed many of our ride leaders have worked together to enable rides to go ahead and we know through the wonderful messages received that many of our members have really enjoyed getting back out.

Behind the scenes the Committee has also faced a rather turbulent year. In June, the announcement that Guy Reynolds was to step down as Chair after serving for 4 years, followed quickly with the news that Andy Lock had been co-opted by the Committee to take on the role.

Following the departure of Guy, more challenges faced the committee when another two members stepped down.

The workload since then has been split between a committee of 8 and with the challenges faced by them on finding ways to support our 375 members, continue the hard work on campaigning for better infrastructure for cyclists and the general day to day running of a club, as well as coming up with new ways to get our members out riding has been tough.

Further disruption occurred when Andy changed jobs and was forced to take a step back from his co-opted role as Chair. Although Andy stepped down he thankfully agreed to remain on the committee and continue his support as and when he could.
The committee members pulled together and managed for a short period under their own combined guidance until the committee meeting on 16th November when I agreed to be co- opted into the role of Chair.

Having been co-opted onto the committee and then into the role of Chair has taken some adjustments and quick learning and unfortunately some very difficult hurdles to overcome.

I learned that for the past few months the committee has been on the receiving end of some very critical comments (both via email and social media) by just a few of the members. Some of the comments received have been rather aggressive and the committee as a whole found it totally demoralising. As a committee we openly accept and often ask for the opinions and suggestions from our members. However, we would ask all our members to address the committee using the link on the website. The committee are volunteers and do a great deal of hard work on your behalf. Taking time out to answer emails such as the ones received has taken each of them away from the roles they volunteered to do, so I would ask that if you do contact us please be friendly and polite in your communications.

I am however incredibly happy to say that the club currently has a very strong and dedicated committee supporting them. Each member is passionate about cycling, passionate about their club and in everything we discuss and agree on, we all have, at the heart of it, the interests of each and every member of this club.

The committee will stand for re-election in 2021 and hope that we will have the continued support of our members. There is however room for new members to join and bring with them fresh ideas and support and at this time we are asking for nominations to join the committee for 2021.

So, if you are passionate about cycling, passionate about your club then why not join us and bring some new and fresh ideas to the table to help support our members in 2021.

We meet once a month for a few hours (currently via zoom) and each member in the committee has a role which most have selected themselves as an area of interest to them.

There are of course specific roles which must be filled and these are the role of Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.

If you feel that you have some spare time and would like to join the committee then please send us your nomination via email to the chair using the contact form here.

We will need your full name, contact details and a short Bio on yourself and your area of interest.

Depending on the numbers of nominations received, voting will take place in the new year and announcements made at the AGM.

Want to help but don’t want to join the committee? Then maybe one of our sub-teams will be of interest to you. We need support in the areas of Campaigning, Website Management and Media Management.

We would like to ask if any of our members have experience or a keen interest in either of these areas and would like to join one of our sub-teams, please send your details to the chair using contact form here.

The deadline for all nominations is 11 January 2021.

If you are thinking about joining the committee or are just interested in what goes into running your club then why not join us at our next committee meeting on Monday 21st December 2020 at 7pm.

Simply contact the secretary using the contact form to say you would like to observe and we will send you the relevant link.

We look forward to receiving your nominations and welcoming you as an observer at our meeting.



Cycle Seahaven welcomes our new Chairperson

Joanne Barlow has been co-opted onto the committee and unanimously voted to the role of temporary Chairperson, under Section 7.C of the club constitution:

7.C. Composition etc
c If an Officer or Committee member retires or resigns from the Committee before the next AGM then the Committee may co-opt a Club member to sit as that Officer or Committee Member with full voting rights, until the next AGM. The post must then be put for election as in rule 6e.

On behalf of the members, the committee would to welcome Joanne.

Update from the Committee

Dear Cycle Seahaven member.

Just a quick update to let you all know what’s happening from your committee. After the AGM in February it was unthinkable to foresee where events would take us with the restriction on meeting people for a bike ride because of the Coronavirus.

In early summer, just as rides were beginning to re-start, there were three resignations from the committee, two of which were the key executive positions of Chair and Secretary. We thank those members who have served us all and for the hard work they have put it.

By late July the committee had temporarily co-opted Andy Lock and Dave Sutton to assist with getting things up and running again. Andy is the new temporary Chair of the Club and Secretary duties are now being carried out by Charlie Ireland.

Committee meetings are now being held online using Zoom, whilst not as good as face to face meetings, the new committee is finding it’s feet and moving things forward.

The committee process starts with a meeting, the minutes for that meeting are then ratified at the next meeting and published as soon as practicable afterwards. This means that minutes will not appear on the website for at least a month, but usually no later than 6 weeks after a meeting.

Tourers having a socially distanced refreshment stop on a recent ride.

Tourers having a socially distanced refreshment stop on a recent ride.

Club members are welcome to attend meeting on the same basis that they have always been and will just need to inform the Secretary.

The Committee have been busy keeping the COVID guidance up to date to ensure we’re compliant with our affiliating body’s insurers and the ever-changing status of the Government guidance.

We have purchased a new standalone card reader for outside events, so we’re now able to work in our cashless and contactless society. This is safer for our Dr Bike crew and allows us more options when dealing with payments. The card reader can also print paper receipts if required.

After many years of amazing support and a free site provided by Three Ponds Holiday Park, we are planning for a new trailer location. A suitable site had already been found and there is now the kind offer from a club member for an alternative which is being considered by the committee.

Led Rides

During COVID restrictions our amazing ride leaders must deal with ever-changing restrictions, personal circumstances and vulnerabilities, family ‘bubbles’, track and trace requirements and keeping numbers within limits.

More and more rides are beginning to appear on the Calendar as our Ride Leaders get used to the new rules and members staying in their “six”, recent examples being Ladies Rides, Social Rides, Tony’s Off-Road Touring group and the Regular Road Touring and Touring Plus group rides. On the  31st October there will be a multiple Group MTB ride from Seaford along the SDW to Southease and back along the Egrets way.

Dr Bike at The Salts, Seaford.

Dr Bike at The Salts, Seaford.

Dr Bike

Our regular surgeries continues to be a fantastic event for the club, with the recent addition of a regular session at Paradise Park Newhaven, thanks to Lee and Donna Turner and the whole Dr Bike Team for their efforts in providing a much needed surgery at Newhaven. Dr Bike now has three sessions each month, Seaford, Peacehaven and Newhaven on the 1st, 3rd and 4th Saturday of the month respectively. The funds for the club charity are nearly at last year’s total so well-done Lee Turner and the Dr Bike team.


Our Campaigns leader Simon Mcfarlane put many hours of work into suggestions for the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to support active travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. This fund was created in reaction to the massive uptake in walking and cycling and the restrictions placed on public transport use. Regrettably for cyclists in the area, East Sussex County Council decided that it couldn’t act fast enough to meet the deadlines set by central government. The council insisted on consultation rather than trialling emergency measures as other councils have done. This is a big blow as already traffic levels in the county are above pre-pandemic levels and the trial could have given a great insight to possible future permanent solutions. ESCC will be spending £350k of the £560k that the government awarded – £210k will be handed back. There is a second much larger fund now available but ESCC has refused to take suggestions for this.

We would like to thank Club member Cllr Carolyn Lambert who did a fantastic job of fighting cyclists’ corner at the meeting where the decision was made.

As part of the fund additional cycle parking was offered. We submitted a selection of locations around the area. We have had confirmation of the first rack to be added in Newhaven Town Centre, next to Portside Vets. Conversations are still underway to ensure we get the stands we were promised in locations in Seaford.

We would also like to thank club members who contributed to the East Sussex Highways Exceat Bridge Consultation. We have formally responded with collated comments. Let’s hope the updated design takes into account our comments as the initial design didn’t sufficiently cater for cyclists.

Simon has been attending both Cycle East Sussex and Lewes District Council Cycling Forum meetings. These are a great opportunity for us to work together with other clubs, groups and councillors to try and improve cycling in the area.

Membership and Finance

The treasurer has been busy keeping records up to date with Membership on 23/08/20 at 370 of which 141 are female and 73 household.

Cash at the bank as at 12/10/20 was £7,688.35 of which £2,130.00 is for the Paris Ride 2021.


By the time you read this the Committee will be starting preparations for the AGM, which is likely to be held on Zoom and we have a lot to do so that a new committee can be elected and move the club forward on its own elected mandate. If you think you would like to serve on the committee, come to a meeting see what goes on and put yourself forward when a call for nominations goes out.


Happy Cycling from the Cycle Seahaven Committee