Winter Touring Rides

The weather is getting colder and Jack Frost has started to visit us. As in previous years, our touring rides will continue throughout Winter on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday of each week. However, please check the Rides Calendar on the morning of a ride in case there’s been a change.

Changes to rides are more likely during Winter because of inclement weather. Certainly, if there is a risk of ice then a ride will be cancelled or sometimes the route may be changed. This can happen because the temperature inland can be several degrees colder than on the coast so a ride to, say, Horam or Heathfield may get changed to Rottingdean or Brighton to avoid the risk of black ice.

If a ride is cancelled, altered or delayed then the Rides Calendar will be updated with the details at least one hour before the planned start time of the ride. Members in the CSH Tourers WhatsApp Group will receive a message immediately a decision is made to change a ride. (Please see my previous post: Cycle Seahaven Tourers’ WhatsApp Group).

Sunday morning touring rides are now starting at the slightly later time of 9.00am at the Martello Tower on Seaford Promenade. The start time for Tuesday and Thursday touring rides remains unchanged at 9.30am, usually at the entrance to the Seven Sisters Country Park car park in Friston Forest although occasionally at the Martello Tower.

Happy and safe cycling,


Cycle Seahaven Tourers’ WhatsApp Group

The WhatsApp group for the tourers which was set up about a month ago is working well. It’s proving useful for advising and consulting group members about late changes to rides. Also, group members can invite others in the group to join them on their own (non-Cycle Seahaven) rides.

Most of the regular tourers have joined so if any other Cycle Seahaven member who rides on our touring rides, whether regularly or occasionally, would like to join our WhasApp Group then please let me know.

You can contact me through the Ride Leader Contact page. I’ll need to know your mobile no. and, of course, you have to be a WhatsApp user.

Happy messaging,


A Perfect Autumn Cycle Ride

Cyclists outside the Di Paolo Café in Bexhill

Thursday was a superb day, dry and sunny with no wind: the perfect autumn day for cycling. Our destination was Bexhill, one of our favourite destinations for a ride. It’s a virtually flat route apart from Chapel Hill just after the start; in fact roads don’t get much flatter than Rickney Lane which we cycled along to cross the Pevensey Levels!

This made for easy cycling, especially as there wasn’t a headwind so we cruised along at a rate of knots more familiar to the Intermediates and Sportives! it didn’t seem long before we reached Bexhill and was cycling along the promenade towards our café stop at the Colonnade, underneath the De La Warr Pavilion.

We were surprised to find the Colonnade fenced off. (It appears that ‘Tea Beside The Sea’ café has permanently closed; the lease expired). However, there’s no shortage of cafes in Bexhill so we soon found one the other side of the De La Warr Pavilion called ‘Di Paolo Café’. What a super place: friendly staff, good food and drink and quite large inside so plenty of tables and chairs. It’s since been added to our Refreshment List.

This list now has over 40 cyclist friendly refreshment stops that the tourers are happy to use. Most are in Sussex but a few are in Kent and the Seine-Maritime department, just across the English Channel in France. This list may be of use to anyone who is planning a ride and looking for somewhere to stop for a rest and some nourishment.

Cyclists at the rather spooky Arlington Tea Garden

The first place on the Refreshment List is the Arlington Tea Garden which we’ve been stopping at for many years, often on a Thursday when returning to Exceat on our longer distance rides. It’s only about six miles back to the finish at the car park in Friston Forest. Thursday was no exception. We’d made good time and the sun was shining so we called in for a cuppa. We were impressed by the Halloween decorations.

All in all this had been a perfect autumn cycle ride: excellent weather for the time of year, great company and two super refreshment stops.

Happy cycling,


Pump Track at the Salts – latest update from Jon Younghusband.

I know you have all been waiting for an update on the pump track situation, there have been some interesting developments sine the Salts Rec meeting that many of you came along to.

The Salts project only has funding for a skate park and there is no scope or space to include a pump track within the design. However, Craig (Seaford County Council) was very keen on the idea of raising new funding for a pump track to be built in the NW corner over the pitch and putt. Unfortunately he has since left his position as the project manager. He has promised to put me in contact with his replacement in the next few weeks.

Slightly more promising: Yesterday I sat down with a Chris (Project Manager for Lewes County Council). Chris was responsible for the new skate park in Lewes and hopes to bring a similar sized skate park to Newhaven. He is looking at rejuvenating the skate park in Newhaven near the fort but he is really keen on incorporating a pump track in addition to the skate park (size is dependent on funding). Furthermore there is a much larger area available to use in Newhaven, roughly 1,850m2!

Chris attended a meeting with Newhaven Town Council last night and the Councillors unanimously supported the skatepark/pumptrack project. They committed £30,000 to the project, subject to additional funding coming in.

There is already a little funding in place and there are plenty of ideas for additional funding that are already in the pipeline. We are looking for some additional funding as it may be that we do a pump park that is integrated to the skate park too.

I also discussed the possibility for a lockup for Dr Bike, a training facility, workshop and bike wash. The PM was extremely keen on this idea but said that this would need to come from a separate ‘revenue’ funding source within the council and has given me the relevant contact details regarding this funding. This could potentially also be incorporated into CWA.

In order to secure funding we would need to prove that there is a demand for this. To help please could you give your thought on the following survey:

In terms of a time scale, we could start building early next year if we get the required funding.

Cycle helmet offer for CSH members

Following recent discussions about the benefits of wearing a cycle helmet people might be thinking about replacing or upgrading their own.

Freedom Bikes  are offering Cycle Seahaven members a discount on selected bike helmets.

From now until November 14th they  are offering 15% off all 2017 model Bontrager cycle helmets and 10% off all 2018 models – including pre-orders of upcoming models like the exciting new Circuit and Rally.

Most models are available with or without the MIPS insert, but we highly recommend going to a MIPS helmet to protect yourself from rotational injuries. This feature is even extended right down onto the very smallest children’s helmets.

All they ask is that you bring your CSH membership details with you to the store to qualify.

Every Bontrager product comes with an Unconditional 30-day Guarantee, so you can bring it back even if it’s been used, and the helmets each come with a 1-year free crash replacement policy!

First Aid kits. Is anyone looking to buy one?

The CSH Committee are currently looking to source First Aid Kits and Whistles for Ride Leaders. As it is cheaper to buy in bulk, would anyone else (i.e. non ride leaders) be interested in purchasing their own first aid kit and/or whistle from the club?

Following advice from experienced First Aiders we are looking to provide the following kit:

Melolin dressings (3) ,

Cohesive Bandage (1) ,

Triangular Bandage (1) ,

Plasters(5-10) ,

Gloves (2) ,

Tough cut scissors,

Safety pins(4),

Alcohol free wipes (5) ,

Foil blanket,


Saline solution(2).

The cost works out around £14 – please note – This HAS NOT been finalized yet and DOES NOT include any kind of pouch/bag. We are looking at possible dry bags which cost around £5 each. We would also be looking at keeping some stock available for ‘top ups’.

Instant Ice Packs are to be discussed as many of these just require a squeeze to set in motion and may accidentally be ‘set off’ if squashed into a kit bag.

Please leave comments below if interested or contact Tracey Martin using the  committee contact page here.


What did a Cycle helmet ever do for me?

If you have ever doubted the protection provided by a cycle helmet this might reassure you? The rider was concussed but did not suffer any major head injury. Always wear a helmet. It could save your life.

Club member competes in the Special Olympics

A lot of Seahaven members will know one of our riders, Mickey Hughes, an ‘ enthusiastic’ 22 year old rider regularly seen out on the hills and tracks! What you may not know, is that Mickey, who is autistic, recently took part in the UK National Special Olympics which took place in Sheffield, over the course of a week in August.

Mickey proudly came home with 2 Bronze Medals, one for the 10k and one for the 15k time trials! He also came a very respectable 4th in the 25k, finishing just 2 seconds behind the winner, a very exciting race!  Unfortunately, television coverage of the games was extremely limited, but Mickey managed to get himself in the background of a 10 second slot on the national news!

Following on from his success in the games, Mickey has been asked by the Special Olympics South East Region, to put himself forward for possible selection for the ‘World’ games in Abu Dabi in 2019! I’m sure that everyone in the club wishes him all the very best of luck with his application: he will find out if he’s been selected in January 2018.

Mickey, along with his mum and dad, Lynn and Jim, would like to say a huge thank you to everyone in the club for all their help and support shown to him since joining the club.

The Sussex Ways Ride for Fun

The Sussex Ways Ride for Fun – Den’s CS 100 Mile loop from Seaford via an Overnight stop in Pound Hill, Copthorne and Gatwick

Denis Bass (Den) designed, mostly pre-rode and led a ride to include the Cuckoo Trail, NCN21, Forest Way, Worth Way and the Downs Link in a 2 day mix of off-road, and country lane riding. With additional thanks to David and Jane for devising the initial route from Three Bridges southwards. There were 7 of us; Sue, Mike, Jane, David, Hilary, Den and me. David rode lantern rouge on the way north and I took that role on the southward leg. The weather was kind to us to say the least!

A Friday night briefing at Denis and Sharon’s plus some lovely food and drink and meeting with some new friends and co-riders.

Saturday – Day One….54.2 miles, 3,471ft, average 9.3MPH.

Like so many great rides we set off at 8am for a leg warmer up the concrete track to Bopeep. Then it was straight down the other side via Arlington, a brief puncture stop and the Cuckoo Trail. Then Coffee at Wessons, obviously. After Heathfield the climbing was a bit more serious.

I was very impressed when we rolled in to Eridge for our 1pm lunch stop at the Huntsman about 3 minutes earlier than planned…! People worked hard and Den kept us to the timetable.

There were still climbs aplenty after Eridge but it felt like we soon entered the  Worth Way/Forest Way trails on the way in to Three Bridges and Crawley. Three of us also added a quick blast after the Worth Way round Grattons Park to David and Jane’s place for a convivial and very welcome supper at Jane and David’s.  I mention this because I was surprised (pleasantly) at the amount of green space and rideable trails actually in the greater Crawley area. (Don’t prejudge eh?)

NB like all the best CS ride leaders when Den says ‘It’s mostly downhill from here’ he means ‘It’s mostly uphill from here.’

Sunday – Day Two …..53.4 miles, 2,089ft, average 9.5MPH

An 0830 start and a puncture out of the garage for one of us – soon fixed ahead of our rendezvous by the A22 (and a helping hand for a passing rider who was new to gears!) and on through the suburbs of Crawley; Three Bridges, Broadfield, Tilgate etc etc. David and Jane’s route took us (over some short sharp bumps in the road) past the ultra manicured Manning Heath Golf Course which looks more stately home than sporting amenity…and via Hammerpond Woods to Clearwater Country Park and a coffee stop (who said Grand Tour?). We took the Downs Link from here and though delayed a little by punctures arrived in plenty of time for lunch in Shoreham.

We nearly missed a turn in Shoreham but a generous roadie pointed us in the right direction and rode a short way with Den and Mike, just to make sure we would find NCN2: probably thought he’d keep it simple for mountain bikers on that unfamiliar tarmac stuff. By now the sun was out but, surprisingly, the Brighton seafront seemed a bit quieter than usual from kamikaze pedestrians determined to walk in front of the bikes. And back to Seaford for 5.30pm on a lovely evening and a quick catch up. Last but not least a group hug for Sharon who toted our overnight bags.

Everyone contributed to two full days of riding – with plenty of banter, mutterings about steep hills, the usual questions about the ride leader’s parentage – or sanity –  (joking, honestly) and lots and lots of positive effort to encourage each other over the lumpy bits. I loved it!

We look forward to another similar ride

Roger Lambert