Livestock – please shut the gate

There’s more livestock up on the Downs at the moment as we go into Autumn and it is important to shut gates when you go through them.

It’s tempting to just let the gate swing back on its own weight or give it a shove and hope but please make sure it’s latched closed when you leave it.


There is a perception among local farmers that MTB riders are less good at shutting gates than walkers – they think we just want to get on, not get left behind by a group if we’re at the back etc. It’s important that we’re seen to be doing the right thing so please make an effort to ensure gates are secure when you leave them.

If you find a gate that’s damaged or blocked and it’s on a public right of way then you can report it and, if it’s within the East Sussex boundary, it will be dealt with. There’s a form here

Let’s try and avoid annoying the people that manage it and earn a living from it 

Tourers visit the Lavender Line

It was off to the Lavender Line at Isfield for the tourers on Sunday, a round trip of 43 miles, to visit one of our favourite refreshment stops, Cinders. It’s the station buffet which is run by volunteers and, as you walk in, you feel as if you’re going back in time to the days of steam. There are plenty of old railway signs and pictures adorning the walls which add to the interest. After getting our drinks we decided to sit outside on the platform and admire the trains; there was certainly plenty happening!

The ride to and from Isfield took us along some very pleasant country lanes passing through Laughton and Palehouse Common on the outward trip, coming back via Glynde on the return trip. At this time of year of course, the leaves of the hedgerows and trees are changing colour so we’ll soon be doing some Autumn Colours rides, similar to last year. As usual, details will be on the Rides Calendar.

Happy cycling,


Love cycling and want to give something back to the community?

A short while ago several CSH members expressed interest in the Cycle Without Age (CWA) initiative that recently started in Brighton. Simply put it involves the use of a rickshaw, ridden by a volunteer, to take elderly people out in the fresh air. The concept started in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is taking off around the world. More information can be found by clicking on the attached link.

Peter Tattam has asked if any Cycle Seahaven members, or anyone, would be interested in starting a new Seaford ‘chapter’. If you are interested or able to help in any way (not necessarily as a rider) please contact Pete using the form below. Your response will also go to the Cycle Seahaven committee so we can help coordinate and support any future project.

Let us know your interest in Cycling Without Age

Contact Form
* indicates required field

A way to reduce flat tyres.

There have been a few Facebook posts over the last few weeks about multiple punctures sustained whilst riding off-road. It is always the same this time of year.

For me, punctures are doubly inconvenient as I commute cross-country from Lewes to Seaford and in winter this means riding there and back in the dark. When I’m cold, wet and muddy it’s no fun fixing a puncture; so I thought I’d share my solution to this problem.

You probably already know that ‘tubeless’ tyres are generally the best way to avoid flat tyres as they self-seal (most of the time). However, getting a tyre to create an airtight seal on the rim has driven many a sane individual crazy. Tubeless setups can be messy if you have to take the tyre off as the sealant has a tendency to get everywhere (see picture below).

You can buy self-sealing tubes ‘off the shelf’ or make your own. I do the latter because it’s simple, cheaper and the self-sealant I use (‘Stans No Tubes’) seems to work better than fluid used in the commercial versions. All you need is a tube with a removable core (or valve) and a bottle of sealant. With the tube in the tyre and the wheel back on the bike you simply remove the core and pour in the required amount of self-sealing fluid. Once the tube’s core is replaced inflate the tyre as normal. Simple!
So what are the pros and cons?


  • significantly reduces the likelihood of a puncture
  • no requirement to use tubeless ready tyres (which in a tubeless setup can be difficult to fit without an air compressor)
  • reduced mess in the event that the new inner tube is required
  • cheaper than buying a commercially available equivalent, which in my experience don’t work as well. I would suggest buying a bigger bottle of sealant which is significantly cheaper


  • slightly heavier than using just a tube (or running tubeless)
  • the self-sealing fluid needs topping up roughly every six months and the life of the tube reduces to about a year (after which the self-sealing fluid starts to create large rubber lumps within the tube)

One other thing to remember if using this setup (or a tubeless setup) is that in the event you have to remove a tyre because the sealant hasn’t prevented a flat, you need to check for more than one thorn, etc. because the sealant may have already sealed previous punctures and the thorns might still be there.



5 Day Tour of Normandy September 2017

Whilst Clive was taking some Seahaven riders along the Loire Valley, four members from the Touring Section went on a five-day mini tour of Normandy in early September, the total distance cycled over the five days was 260 miles as a round trip from Seaford, utilising the Newhaven to Dieppe Ferry. The aim was to introduce new tourist members to unsupported cycle touring, avoiding busy roads and where possible riding some of the many “Voie Vertes” or green routes.

Day 1 Dieppe to St Valery en Caux 29.2 Miles (17 miles on car free cycle routes) 1368 ft of ascent.

A short ride from Dieppe took us to the Veloroute du Lin, a former railway route that has been converted to leisure use, similar to the Cuckoo Trail.  This just left a few short miles on quiet roads to St Valery en Caux.

Cifftop at Pourville Sur Mer

Veloroute du Lin
Day 2 St Valery en Caux to Honfleur 53.2 Miles 1647 Ft of Ascent. All on Roads.
A  quiet back lane route on the most part took us to Honfleur, highlight of the day was crossing the Pont de Normande by bicycle. Honfleur is a medieval port, with a fascinating history , it has a bustling centre with many with many bars and fish restaurants.

Pont de Normande

A well-earned Beer
Day 3 Honfleur to Evreux 58 Miles 2242 Ft of Ascent 26 Miles on Traffic Free Routes
Another disused railway cycle route (Eure 2 Voie Verte) took us off road from Pont Anthou to Evreux, through the heart of the Normandy Countryside.
Start of the Eure2 Voie Verte
Day 4 Evreux to Gornay en Bray 61.3 Miles 1851 Ft of Ascent 21 Miles on Traffic Free Cycle Routes.
It was time start heading back to the Channel, our destination town for the longest day of the trip,  Gornay en Bray,  familiar to those of you who have cycled the Paris -London route. Once over the River Seine river we cycled past the coach loads of tourists at Monet’s Garden, which looked pretty with the late summer roses in fine bloom.
We picked up the Eure 4 Voie Verte de La Vallee de La Epte another former railway line which merges with Avenue Vert at Bray et Lu. This particular route finishes at Gisors.

The Abbey at Gisors
Day 5 Gornay en Bray to Dieppe 47.5 Miles 951 Ft of Ascent 30 miles on Traffic Free Routes
We followed a route close to the Avenue Vert as far as Forges Les Eaux (Heathfield’s Twin Town), where we picked up the former railway line that drops all the way into Dieppe.
We stopped for refreshments at Neufchatel en Bray, in the former railway station that is now a café.

Cafe at Neufchatel en Bray
A thoroughly enjoyable five-day tour, not too many steep hills with most of them being gearable. France really has opened its countryside to Leisure cycling, and is experiencing a bit of a tourist bonus as a result. About 100 miles of the trip utilised traffic free tarmac surfaced former railway lines, the easy gradients being a welcome relief from some of the hills in Normandy. Nearly all of the rest was on quiet D or C class roads. A more detailed write up with routes is available from Dave Sutton who is contactable via the ride leaders page. It can also be downloaded from THIS LINK

I’m glad I Had.
Good company and a Garmin GPS with back up navigation methods.
Next time I Would
Choose a town centre hotel for Evreux.

Happy Cycling Dave
Photos Dave Sutton, Joe Hamilton, Phil Draude and John Buchan.

Cycle Touring in the Loire Valley

Cycle touring in France is always a pleasant experience and, as we live on the south coast of England, it makes sense to pop across the Channel now and again to indulge in our pleasurable pursuit on the right hand side of the road!

Three months ago four of us from Cycle Seahaven channel hopped to Dieppe for three days cycling in the Seine-Maritime department. We’ve now followed this up with a trip to one of the best regions in France for cycling, the Loire Valley. It’s reasonably flat, there are lots of signposted cycle routes, chateaux to admire, plenty of cafes, not to mention the fine wines of that region.

However, to get there by bike you have to cycle through Brittany or Normandy although for those who are used to cycle touring it all adds to the pleasure of cycling in France.

So, with that in mind, four of us from Cycle Seahaven joined eight other cyclists from Phoenix-CTC at Portsmouth ferry port recently to catch the night ferry to St Malo where our week-long cycle tour began.

We cycled through Brittany to Angers in the Loire Valley which included an overnight stop at Vitré in Brittany en route. Then, we had two full days of cycling in the Loire staying overnight at Chinon and Tours before heading back to the Channel through Normandy. This included hotel stops at Le Mans, Bagnoles de l’Orne and Ouistreham from where we caught the ferry back to Portsmouth.

It was a great seven days of cycling, 420 miles, not to mention the highly convivial evenings in the local restaurants. Our only disappointment was that it was over too soon. Perhaps next time we’ll spend longer in the Loire Valley!

Whilst we were on this trip four other Cycle Seahaven cyclists were also in France touring in Haute Normandie. Dave Sutton has added details and photos on the Cycle Seahaven Facebook page.

Time to start planning a return visit to France, I think!

Bon cyclisme,


Your views on the AGM

The Committee are looking to ‘tweak’ the format of the AGM and we’d welcome your input. Members have been sent a link inviting responses. If you didn’t receive it you can find it here. We look forward to your suggestions.

Sunday Touring Pace Riders Enjoy The Warm Weather.

Perfect late summer cycling conditions were enjoyed by 10 Cycle Seahaven Riders on Sunday’s Touring Pace Ride to the Pevensey Castle Tea Rooms. A fantastic back lanes and virtually traffic free route was a pleasure to ride.

Happy Cycling