Team / Multi Group Road Ride Event

Cycle Seahaven Team / Group Road Ride Sunday 6th June 2021

Cycle Seahaven is hosting a members only Team and Multi-Group Road Ride on Sunday 6th June 2021.  The routes have been chosen to allow club members to try out some of the routes by our Touring, Intermediate and Sportive Road Groups.

There will be a choice of 40 or 100 mile routes with the event running from 08:00 – 18:00.

For the 40-mile route, there will be a choice an B or a D graded route, the idea being to allow all members the opportunity to have an enjoyable day out on the bike whichever route(s) you choose.

The rides will be open for groups or teams of riders. The routes can be self -guided, however  some  or our Ride Leaders will be leading groups round the easier 40 mile route, so please contact Contact Dave Sutton if you want to book either a team or a place on the ride. The routes are available to download from the CSH RWGPS Club account, this will give you spoken turn by turn directions on your smartphone just like a car sat nav!

Event HQ will be Harbourside Gymnastics Academy, this business is owned by  Club Member Mark Smoker, there is sufficient parking, toilets etc , he has kindly offered this to the club at no charge.

There will be a checkpoint with water and some energy snacks halfway through each ride. Refreshments and Loos are available at various cafes for those taking a more  leisurely ride. Broom wagon support/recovery provided by the organisers in their cars will be available in the event of a major mechanical or other serious issue affecting a rider. It is advisable for all riders to use the what3words app to enable precise location should you need support.


All teams /Groups will ride the first 40  miles using either the B or D graded routes. For those that want to ride something more challenging, there will be a 2nd loop of 64 miles making a total distance of 103 miles. Ride HQ will be open from 08:00 – 18:00 giving a 10-hour time slot to complete the ride.

The  B Graded initial 40-mile route goes  north and returns via Littlington will be on quieter roads and lanes such as those used regularly by the Cycle Seahaven Tourers.

The   D Graded initial 40-mile route  will also be mainly on quieter roads and lanes, but heads north via Hindover and returns via Littlington using roads extensively used by the CSH Sportive and Intermediate Road Groups.

The longer 60-mile second  route will use some busier roads with a couple of challenging climbs, but again will feature roads extensively used by the Intermediate and Sportive Cycle Seahaven road groups.

Please contact Dave Sutton if you want further information, wish to book a team or a place on the ride or would like help with RWGPS. Full details on the Club Calendar.

Entries Close 1st June 2021

Happy Cycling

Mark Smoker and Dave Sutton


New route to Newick

Wednesday is becoming very popular as a better-weather alternative for Monday/Tuesday rides.  The ride on 12th February was also trying a new starting point, a layby at Malling Pits Nature Reserve, just along from Earwig Corner.  The only problem is that neither names are on any maps!

However, five riders started in bright sunshine and a cool westerly wind – which was fine going east to Ringmer and then across to Barcombe Mills and through the village.

The private road/bridleway to The Anchor was delightful, sunshine, following wind and the river flowing alongside.  A brief walk at the end on to the old railway track brought us to Anchor Lane which meandered up to Mount Pleasant and Spithurst. A gradual climb up to Newick Park was followed by a descent through a narrow road cut deeply into the local sandstone – spooky and reputed to be haunted.

The fish ladder at Barcombe Mills

The Fish Ladder at Barcombe Mills

The change to 10 am start has had an unfortunate effect on our lunch arrangements, arriving at a splendid Newick pub 45 minutes before they start serving meals.  Time for a hot drink and round to the bakery to pick up a tasty pie.

The next aim was for a 2 km bridleway called Cockfield Lane.  A forced dismount at the top of the lane gave the opportunity to feast in the sun and out of the wind. The bridleway was very good – down hill and a hard surface beneath the occasional mud curving down through light woodland. On down towards Offham there was another bridleway, Birdshole Lane.  We went for it but regretted – it was a stream and deep mud -so it was walk, ride, walk and ride up to the top where my deraillleur bracket snapped off and bent the chain.  Fortunately, I had a link extractor and split link, so in 10 minutes I was underway as a single speed!

From Offham, a track descends steeply down to the river valley and Landport Estate, The Pells and back to South Malling.

An interesting ride on a beautiful day though only 21 miles.  The stop at Malling Pits is accessible but very popular for dog walkers. However, there was a rapid turnover over of vehicles so it will be worth trying again. But Birdshole Lane is definitely off my Recommended List of Bridleways.

Tony Rowswell


Access at Red Barn (between East Dean and Birling Gap)

I  have ridden from Birling Gap to the pond at East Dean many times and I suspect, like many of you, I was totally unaware that there is a disabled access gate that makes the transition between the two fields a lot easier. So for those of you that aren’t familiar with it, this photo may help you locate it the next time you’re up there. The gate is tucked away in the far corner and obscured by trees on the Red Barn side. E-bike riders may welcome this as an alternative to the existing options. Incidentally, if you’re curious about rights of way, access etc. this article by Andy ‘Gus’ Lock may be of interest? 


A busy day for Cycle Seahaven

Saturday, 20 July 2019 was the busiest day for Cycle Seahaven so far this year.

During the morning we hosted the annual ‘Women’s Festival of Cycling’ Ladies Ride. The club trailer was used to transport the bikes to Heathfield after which the ladies cycled back along the Cuckoo Trail to Seaford, via the Arlington Tea Rooms.

At Peacehaven’s Big Park the Dr Bike mechanics were ready and waiting for whatever the locals had to offer. This was followed by the second ‘members-only’ maintenance workshop, this second one focused on puncture repairs.

At the same time we ran two Ride the Downs rides from Big Park, with four return riders and two new riders. Two of whom joined the club making a total of nine new members in the last week.

Meanwhile, in Friston Forest, the CSH family ride got underway with kids of all ages doing their thing and enjoying the single tracks. 

And if all that wasn’t enough we finished the day with the CSH summer BBQ.  It was great to see so many road riders there! Good food, good beer and great company. 

What an amazing day! Thank you to all the people that helped make it happen.


Cycle Seahaven Tourers climb Ditchling Beacon.

Made it to the top of Ditchling Beacon

Nine club members joined the Road Touring Section’s ride on Easter Sunday and conquered Sussex’s most notorious climb, Ditchling Beacon. Several of the group had never previously managed a ‘non-stop to the top’ before; it would be fair comment to say that some anxiety was expressed and some unfamiliar (to me) self-motivational words were heard at the base of the climb.

Cycling this big hill is a fair effort by any standard, so well done to those that have now conquered it. The smiles on the club members who achieved it were a joy to see.

Many thanks to Chris Girder who swapped his normal forest trail habitat for the open road and helped me out with TEC duties.

This was another Touring Ride success story. The Tourers ride every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, weather permitting. All types of cyclist are welcome on whatever bike you choose although it’s easier on a road bike. We only ask that you can average about 12½ mph whilst cycling.

Happy Cycling,

Dave Sutton

Eliza Ellie’s fitness campaign attempt two….

Go riding

Get fit

Challenge yourself

Have fun

The spring is officially here and just like a bear waking up from the winter sleep, I am too starting to feel more alive (although coffee helps with that greatly…)

My last year’s plan to get bike fit has gone somewhat skewed due to injuries, but this year I am determined to make it work. And if I can make it work – so can you!

Yes, you…

and you…

and you too!

And yes, I am pointing to make it more dramatic!

So here is the deal:

Over the next few months and until the end of July I will be putting up rides to not only get us started but also to improve our fitness, discover great routes and maybe even get you to enter an event!? Perhaps you have already signed up for some awesome event like the SDW or looking to participate in this year’s Beachy Head Sportive?

Yes? – Start training!

No? – Sign up and start training!



The kick-off will be on the Easter Monday (TOMORROW!) and then one or two rides a week. Keep an eye on the calendar and Facebook.

All rides will be off-road. I intend to start rides at a slower pace and shorter distance to break into this fitness malarkey slowly, and build up both the speed and mileage as we get fitter with each ride. We will cover our local SDW tracks and parts of the MTB sportive. I may even throw in a homing pigeon ride for extended fun. Watch this space!

I hope to see you on these rides whether you want to get fit or already are an awesome athlete. Riding a bike is great fun, but even more fun with friends, so let’s do it together J

“WHAT is sportive?” you might think…

It’s a posh way of saying that a group of cyclists get together for an organised ride. It’s a non-competitive event and you ride against yourself.

if you want to contact Ellie you can do so using the following here  

JUST IN CASE you are interested, the sportive supported by the local South East Mountain Biking is here:

Sunday Saunter in Spring!

Today’s Sunday Saunter was a lovely morning out in the sunshine – certainly better than the gale force winds of two weeks ago!

In total there were nine riders including the Ride Leader, Gray Brett. Seven members and two non-members who we hope to see back out on other rides again soon. We departed from outside the RNLI building in Newhaven and took the NCN2 towards Seaford. We cycled around the back of Seaford using quiet roads, ending up joining the NCN 2 again and stopping for coffee at the Martello Cafe. 

We then returned to Newhaven where the ride ended, and some of us treated ourselves to a small, but thoroughly enjoyable breakfast!

A lovely, gentle ride of just under 20 miles (including getting to Newhaven and back again from Seaford), taking two and a quarter hours with an elevation gain of 602 ft.

London to Brighton off road 2018

 by Kirstie Forcey

This was my first big event in the MTB cycling world. After a recent accident and ongoing health problems this was going to be a challenge. Matt Baker had offered to drive us to the start line and we set off at 6 AM; it was his birthday and he never even mentioned it! A great example of the kind of people that make up the Cycle Seahaven family, without who I could never have completed this challenge.

The day started out early and chilly, with an autumnal feel in the air! We layered up and set off on our adventure for the day. Knowing the bad weather was going to hit us by lunchtime we pushed hard to cover as much ground as we possibly could before the rain. The route was well mapped out and marshalled and the stops were just right for me, although I only stopped twice because by the third stop I felt I couldn’t allow my body to cool down or I’d struggle to restart.

The other riders were friendly and supportive with lots of banter so it felt like one big team effort. There was a mix of different riders, from people who obviously just turned up to give it a go and others who had been training for months. Regardless, everyone was there and giving it their best and that was fantastic to be a part of.

Once underway I was surprised by the amount of people that had broken down! Checking your bike before an event like this is essential. Thankfully I managed the whole ride without any mechanicals, it definitely pays off to take care of your bike.

One of the difficult things for me was getting stuck behind people on hills, especially when I needed the momentum to get up but at least I managed to resist shouting “pedal, pedal, pedal!” at them.

The rain hit just before lunch and that’s when the chaos began. The mud slides and chalk paths were like nothing I have ever seen before, but we all enjoyed the slip slide and slosh. Obviously, Marmaduke (my faithful Marin mountain bike) is a mud magnet so I found it hard to stop him ploughing through the muddy, boggy puddles and plastering my fellow riders. Sorry guys.

My best part of the day was towards the finish when we approached Truleigh Hill. From the very bottom people were pushing their bikes up the slippery chalky climb. I was determined to ride to the top and so dug deep. I had a nasty slip on my way up and fell off but pushed through and got back on. The cheers from those pushing help me make it to the top.

When I finally reached the top, the relief kicked in as a new it was pretty much over! However, I have underestimated the downhill descent from Truleigh that was 2 miles of deep mud. Loads of people were crashing and it was carnage particularly as a soft landing involved getting splattered in mud. A very enjoyable slide to the road!

Then we whizzed down to the seafront head on to the wind, this is when I realised how frozen I was. We pushed on with everything we had to get to the finish line where I could have quite happily found a quiet corner to collapse in. Thank you to Ellie for the foil blanket and 1/2 a cup of tea (the rest shaken out of the cup… brrr).

I have never been so wet and cold in my life but can’t wait to do it again next year, a wonderful community of people and for such a great cause. Thank you so much for those of you that have supported me leading up to the ride and a million kudos for Guy, Paul and Jim for staying by my side and getting me to the finish.

Kirstie Forcey.


Last of the Summer Touring Rides

Cyclists outside the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill

Autumn was suspended for a few days this week; summer returned! The weather was warm and dry with virtually no wind; superb conditions for cycling. In fact, the lack of wind meant the cycling was easier than usual and we were in danger of exceeding our average touring speed of 12 mph! (We could have promoted ourselves to the Intermediates)!

On Tuesday we cycled to the Old Loom Mill café on the Cuckoo Trail at Summerhill where we basked in the sunshine as we had our elevenses.

It was even hotter on Thursday. Nine of us rode to Bexhill; a round trip of 44 miles which is mostly reasonably flat, apart from Chapel Hill so makes for quite a relaxed ride. The good weather certainly attracted plenty of cyclists onto the roads; it would be no exaggeration to say there were more cyclists than cars on the stretch between Pevensey and Bexhill.

We couldn’t resist a photoshoot outside Bexhill’s iconic art deco building, the De La Warr Pavilion, before commencing our return journey. A final café stop at the Arlington Tea Gardens (24 degrees by now) before returning back across Chapel Hill to finish our ride at Friston Car Park.

All in all this had been a terrific ride to Bexhill: great company, superb weather and a nice route. It’ll be back to autumn for our ride next Sunday which will be to Horam.

Happy cycling,