WOW: Litlington Tearoom

There will be a WOW (Women On Wheels) ride to Litlington Tearoom this Saturday, 14 August. Riding at a gentle pace set by the slowest rider and supporting each other.

This route is suitable for MTB, Hybrids with knobbly tyres and E-bikes suitable for XC.

THIS RIDE IS NOT SUITABLE FOR ROAD BIKES.

Details of this ride are on the Club Calendar.

Happy Cycling!

East Sussex Highways surface dressing programme

Message below from East Sussex Highways:

I am contacting you to advise that East Sussex Highways are soon due to start this year’s programme of surface dressing which could impact cyclists locally.

Surface dressing is a surface treatment method which improves safety by increasing skid resistance and can extend the life of the carriageway by up to 10 years as it helps protect roads from frost and water damage.

The surface dressing process is undertaken through spraying bitumen binder on to a dry road surface, then spreading stone chippings and rolling the surface to help embed the chippings. Once the surface dressing is finished, the road is reopened to traffic as this helps bed the remaining chippings in. Excess chippings are swept around 24 hours, three days & seven days after the work is completed. However, there may be loose chippings for up to 2 weeks after the surface has been laid. As I am sure you are aware, these loose chippings can be potentially hazardous for cyclists, we would therefore recommend that cyclists look at alternative routes to avoid recently surface dressed sites. We have listed each site and a potential date for works below:

Beechwood Lane, Cooksbridge – 16th June 2021
Coleman’s Hatch Road, Forest Row – 16th June 2021
Edenbridge Road, Hartfield – 17th June 2021
Mayfield Lane, Wadhurst  – 18th June 2021
St Mary’s Lane, Sidley – 18th June 2021
Compton Drive, Eastbourne – 18th June 2021
The Dicker, Laughton – 21st June 2021
Burwash Road, Broad Oak – 22nd June 2021
Cooper’s Corner, Hurst Green – 22nd June 2021
Hawkhurst Road, Flimwell – 23rd June 2021
Udimore Road, Udimore/Brede – 24th June 2021
Whiteway, Alfriston – 25th June 2021
Wartling Road, Pevensey – 25th June 2021

Due to the nature of surface dressing works, they are highly weather dependant. Works cannot be done if it is raining, too hot or too cold, therefore the above dates are subject to change depending on weather. Updates can be found on our website:

https://www.eastsussexhighways.com/surface-dressing

Please feel free to share this with your cycling network. If you have any feedback then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards

Sophie Walker | Customer Service Manager
Customer Contact Centre | East Sussex Highways
Tel: 0345 60 80 193 | Website: www.eastsussexhighways.com

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

Webmaster

Surface upgrade on Falmer Road Multi-user Path between Woodingdean and Falmer

Update below from ESCC:

In 2013, a partnership scheme between Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC), East Sussex County Council (ESCC), the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA), with funding support from the Department for Transport, installed an unbound path along a permissive bridleway adjacent to Falmer Road between Woodingdean and Falmer. On the doorstep of the National Park, the 2.5km path has been a popular route for walkers, cyclists and commuters since it was installed as well as providing a key traffic-free link from Woodingdean to the University of Sussex campus and the American Express Community Stadium. Unfortunately, over time the path has eroded, become uneven and overgrown, making it unusable for some people.

In March 2021, a further partnership scheme between the three authorities will spend around £300,000 to enhance the existing route by installing a sealed, smooth surface and make it accessible for everyone using it. Funding is being provided by BHCC, SDNPA and ESCC (via the Department for Transport’s Emergency Active Travel Fund – tranche 2)

Key information about the improvement works are listed below:

  • Overgrown vegetation will be removed and the original footprint of the path will be reinstated providing a sealed surface with a minimum width of 2.5m along the entire 2.5km route.  An additional width of unsealed path adjacent to the sealed surface would be available for equestrian use.
  • The works are due to start on 15th March 2021 and are planned to take up to 14 weeks to complete, weather permitting.
  • The path will have to be temporarily closed while the work is carried out for the safety of the public and the team working on site.
  • Once the works are complete, the route will be recorded on the Definitive Map (the legal record of all recorded public paths) as a public right of way and will therefore be protected and maintained for future generations by the respective local highway authorities. This will be achieved by dedicating the route as a public bridleway via agreement with the landowner.     
  • As part of the works we will also review and improve signage and will review the existing barriers at the northern end of the path to ensure they meet current accessibility and equestrian design guidance.

Communications

  • Signs will be installed at the access points to the path to remind users that the path is closed.
  • Information regarding the temporary closure will be circulated in the local press and on social media in advance of the works but we would welcome your support to share this information via your networks.

If you require any further information regarding this partnership improvement scheme, then please do not hesitate to contact us at cyclingandwalking@eastsussex.gov.uk

 

What the new lockdown rules mean for YOU as a cyclist in England (Road CC article)

From Thursday, you will only be allowed to ride with household members or one person who doesn’t live with you…

On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new National Restrictions that will come into effect in England at 0001 hours this Thursday 5 November to combat the rapid rise in coronavirus cases both in the UK and abroad – and as with the previous lockdown announced in March, there are implications for cycling, whether for sport, leisure or as a means of transport.

What is being widely termed a second lockdown is due to run until Wednesday 2 December, although few would be surprised if it were extended beyond that, with the government underlining that “the single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Here are the essential points relating to cycling once the new rules in England kick in – until then, the government says that “the relevant Local Covid Alert Level measures will continue to apply in the area where you live.”

Exercise

As with the lockdown earlier this year, outdoor exercise, including cycling, is one of the “specific purposes” for which people are allowed to leave or be outside their homes.

However, it is only permitted “with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents, will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside).”

That means that going for a ride in a group of up to six people, in line with the so-called “rule of six” and currently permitted in Tier 1, 2 and 3 locations, will no longer be possible.

At the moment, there does not appear to be any clarity on whether outdoor exercise will be restricted to once a day, nor whether any restrictions on distance from home will be applied – issues that may be addressed once the legislation has gone through Parliament, or in separate guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

One major implication for cycling, however, is that as happened earlier in the year, it seems that it will be impossible to hold club runs and other events while adhering to the new rules.

Travel

People are also allowed to leave their home “for childcare or education, where this is not provided online,” and “for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes).”

As before, the government is emphasising the role that active travel can play here, saying: “If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.”

Other than for specific reasons including work and education, overnight stays and holidays, whether abroad or in the UK, are not allowed, including in a second home.

Retail

You are allowed to go “shopping for basic necessities, for example, food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible” – and clearly, going to shops by bike is one option.

While full details are yet to be published regarding which retailers are considered essential, we would expect bike shops to be permitted to continue trading as happened in the previous lockdown, when many remained open for repairs and maintenance and the purchase of items such as inner tubes.

Essential retail businesses “should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers” – many bike shops that remained trading during the lockdown earlier this year operated an outside queueing system with customers not allowed to physically enter the store, and we would expect to see that in operation again.

Social distancing

In all cases, people are required to “minimise time spent outside your home and when around other people ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble” – although as we have explained before, you’d want to give more space to anyone riding in front of you when you’re on your bike.

How much distance should you leave to the cyclist ahead during the pandemic?

What next?

The government says that at the end of the four-week period, it will seek to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data available. Whether that will reflect the tiering system currently in place, with groups of up to six allowed to meet outdoors, is impossible to say.

The above rules apply to England only, with separate rules applying in Scotland and Wales. Later this week, we will be publishing an updated version of the article we published earlier this year that looks at the picture across all three countries, once the relevant legislation for England has passed through Parliament.

What did Cycle Seahaven ever do for me?

Cycle Seahaven means a lot of things to a lot of people. For some it is a way of having fun with like-minded people, for others, it’s been a lifeline. For one young man, it shaped his career choice. Here’s his story:

I joined Cycle Seahaven because my mum, Louise Pye, became a member. As one of the younger members of the club, I wasn’t to deterred by riding with the older members because I enjoy getting out on my mountain bike and participating in club rides.

It was one of those rides that changed the direction of my life. We were in the forest and one of the male riders in the group rode into one of the bomb holes/craters. Apparently, he had done this many times before but this time he misjudged it and crashed. He was obviously concussed and we didn’t know what was wrong with him, so we called for an ambulance. Because of the location and the difficulty of access for vehicles, the air ambulance was called and it landed in a field nearby not long afterwards. Fortunately, the rider didn’t need it but he did get admitted to hospital and was kept in overnight.

Cycle Seahaven had organised several first aid courses in the past and these were open to Ride Leaders and members of the club. The two-day course didn’t cost much and I thought it would be a handy skill to have if someone I was riding with ever fell off.

I did the course in 2017 and absolutely loved it. The training was brilliant, with a focus on the type of injury a cyclist might sustain. It finished with a practical exercise in the forest and left me wanting to learn more.

As a result, I decided to join St John Ambulance in 2018. They gave me further training and I became an Operational Cadet First Aider. This gave me the chance to attend small and large events, providing first aid to members of the public.

When I turned 18 I assisted the cadets as an adult staff member, training them in first-aid. As I progressed in St John I started to undertake some management roles too. It was at about this point I realised I wanted to join the Ambulance Service and become a Paramedic.

There were two routes open to me, go to university for 3 years or join the service and work my way up. So I decided to go for option 2.

I then I spend the next few years gaining as much experience as possible. I became a Team Leader at the Amex stadium, a First Responder for a medical company and a Dementia Specialist

After this, I applied for the role of Apprentice Associate Ambulance Practitioner in the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMBS). I was accepted in April 2020.

I then spent 18 weeks during the lockdown, doing clinical training.  I am now out on the road working full time responding to 999 medical emergencies. I’m really enjoying it.

I hope to become a paramedic in the next couple of years. All this because of Cycle Seahaven and a bloke falling off his bike!

Cameron PYE
TAAP
Brighton OU  

Touring Rides Aplenty

A quick glance at the Rides Calendar shows that there are now more Touring rides then ever being run, mainly due to the introduction of Touring Plus and Easy Touring rides.

Originally, Touring rides (Level 3 on the Grading system) were for those road cyclists who could maintain a moving average speed of 12-13 mph over moderate terrain. Over the years, as more members joined these rides, it became clear that some would like to go at a slightly faster pace and others a tad slower. Eventually, the Touring Plus and Easy Touring rides were introduced to cater for the wider speed range; the former have proved popular but the latter less so. This may be because there hasn’t been a clear distinction between Easy Touring and Touring as between Touring and Touring Plus.

Therefore the moving averages are being adjusted slightly, wef next Tuesday 6th October, as follows:

  • Touring will be increased slightly to 12½-13½ mph
  • Touring Plus: 13½-14½ mph
  • Easy Touring: 11½-12½ mph.

These moving averages should be treated as a guide to the pace of a ride. In practice, rides may be a slightly faster or slower depending on various factors such as terrain and wind strength.

Hopefully, members will find the clear distinction between these three types of ride helpful in deciding which they prefer to cycle. This topic will be kept under review and feedback sought from cyclists at the end of rides.

A key feature of our rides is that they always include at least one café stop. However, café stops are a bit different these days with the Covid-19 restrictions but just as enjoyable. Clearly, we have to social distance but this isn’t a problem as we always stay outdoors as you can see from the above picture.

If you haven’t been on one of our rides then why not give them a try. We’ll be pleased to see you.

Happy cycling,

Clive

Residents to get new decision-making powers in England cycling ‘revolution’

A cyclist passes a rental bike on the pavement. £2bn will be spent on cycling and walking across a five year period, under new plans.

A cyclist passes a rental bike on the pavement. £2bn will be spent on cycling and walking across a five year period, under new plans. Photograph: Richard Baker/In Pictures/Getty Images

 

Residents will get powers to banish through-traffic from local streets and councils will be prevented from building substandard cycle lanes under what Downing Street has billed as a revolution for cycling and walking in England.

The plans will see the creation of a watchdog to ensure new cycle and walking routes are up to standard, intended to act as a transport equivalent of the schools inspectorate, Ofsted.

Active Travel England, to be led by a yet-to-be-appointed commissioner for walking and cycling, will refuse to fund paint-only bike lanes – without physical barriers or protection from cars – or routes where cyclists and pedestrians have to share space. It could also cut budgets in other areas for highways departments which fail to deliver on active transport.

Local people will be given a chance to choose whether residential side streets should be closed to through motor traffic to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists, under plans to be put out for consultation.

Another proposal could see some main roads, for example in cities, kept as through-routes for pedestrians, cyclists and buses, with other motor traffic allowed access only.

Also on the table are grants to help people with the cost of electric-assist bikes, which can encourage cycling, particularly on longer or more hilly commutes. However, these tend to be more expensive than traditional bikes, often costing well over £1,000. It has not yet been specified how much assistance might be offered.

Following Monday’s announcement of a new strategy to combat obesity, the push for more active travel is a parallel strand of Downing Street efforts to improve public health, an issue highlighted by worse coronavirus outcomes faced by many people with chronic conditions connected to weight and inactive living, such as type 2 diabetes.

More active travel will also relieve pressure on the roads and on public transport, where capacity has been cut due to social distancing measures. Since May, people have been urged to walk or cycle to work or elsewhere when possible.

The proposals include the provision of more cycle racks in city and town centres to encourage people to arrive by bike.

The proposals include the provision of more cycle racks in city and town centres to encourage people to arrive by bike. Photograph: Maureen McLean/Rex/Shutterstock

 

He said: “From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face.”

The plans were welcomed by campaigners, who nonetheless warned that their effectiveness would depend on proper implementation and necessary funding. Chris Boardman, the former cycling champion who is now policy adviser to British Cycling, said the plans showed “the level of ambition required to transform the country”.

He added: “Many will focus on the health benefits of more people getting around by bike or on foot, but we know that these are changes which reap dividends in all walks of life, not least the quality of the air we breathe, the congestion on our roads and the economic benefit for shops, cafes and bars.”

Matt Mallinder, director of influence and engagement at the campaign group Cycling UK, said the plan was “a truly comprehensive and far-reaching set of measures”, but warned about the levels of funding.

“To truly shift gears so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling the £2bn of funding already announced will not be enough,” he said. “However, with a forthcoming spending review, now’s the time for the chancellor to invest in the future and make the prime minister’s vision of a golden age of cycling come true.”

The new standards for cycling and walking routes will be fully spelled out in updated official guidance to be published on Tuesday. The proposals include more cycle racks at stations and other transport hubs, as well as in town and city centres, and for protected bike hangars allowing safe storage for people who cannot keep a bike at home.

Others cover areas such as strengthening the Highway Code to protect pedestrians and cyclists, giving councils new powers to tackle traffic offences and pilot schemes for local authorities to give contracts in areas such as waste disposal to cycle freight companies.