A Big Circular Route around Seaford

On Sunday 26th March 12 riders met outside of the ‘White Lion Public House’ feeling deprived of sleep due to the clocks going forward and a desire not to oversleep and miss the ride.

This was going to be a big one, a 43 miles circular route, with a ‘bit’ of climbing and a hindering easterly wind. The group set out at a reasonable pace heading into the forest before facing the first challenge of the day, ‘Cardiac’. The smiling faces at the top proved how much people love this hill (they might have been grimaces but I was struggling to focus through the tears).

Having refuelled and rehydrated, very important on longer rides, the group set out to join the South Downs Way and enjoy the views at the top of Windover Hill. ‘Express Elevator’ took us down to ‘Crash Alley’ (don’t you just love the names people devise) before riding west along the Old Coach Road and on towards Firle. The ‘cheeky little underpass’ to the west of the Beddingham roundabout enabled us to join the A26 without having to cross over the dual carriageway. Good find Gus!

Following a further refuel/rehydration stop at Southease Youth Hostel the group started off again, still looking strong, for the remaining half of the route. Ascending Valley Road, the track at the back of Peacehaven, we suffered our first and only, puncture of the day. Gus Lock did his usual ‘Formula 1 puncture repair service’ and the group were reunited very shortly afterwards.

Passing ‘Harvey’s Cross’ we rode up to Brighton Race Course before the long descent down to the Marina, definite smiles here; and then along the undercliff  back towards Seaford.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the achievements of the riders. The effort displayed by everyone was really impressive. Claire ‘Betty’ Bennett, Sarah Winser, David Blaber, Bryony Clarke and Helen Blaber all achieved personal off-road distance records and at a very respectable pace. A few of the group could easily have achieved another 20 miles.

Helen Blaber proved a large helping of Smarties for breakfast can make you sufficiently hyper to conquer anything. She screamed up ‘Cardiac’ and completed the whole route on a single speed bike (no mean feat). I anticipate a new addition to the Blaber fleet of bicycles in the near future.

Gus Lock and Andy Marks both managed to ride past pubs without bursting into tears, another fine achievement by them.

The Strava results indicated a plethora of personal bests along various segments by too many members to list here. Suffice to say it was a great day with great people showing amazing determination. Thank you all for a great ride.


Friston Friday night ride report + video of Crater run

Very nice evening ride this Friday and much warmer than last week. About 8 celcius, 3 of us went out Mike , Trevor and myself and we did a mixed ride as only Scratch and Gus turned up for the 3c.
10.1mls in 1h.35 moving time.
I did a little filming this week to show the state of the upper trails due to the forest commission’s works. Also like every winter, fairly muddy at the top but the lower trails are fine.
I can not make next week, so if you do want to ride, please contact Gus from the 3 c.
I will post more videos when I have more time to edit them. Luc

Map thanks to Trevor

FRISTON forest MTB 2B Friday night ride report and 2B/3C Video

Another fantastic Friday night ride, we had 8 riders on the 2B  2nd night ride. We did a lot more that first planned as two of our riders followed the 3c by mistake during a mixed stop, we tried to catch up with them, but eventually lost them, this resulted into doing a couple more miles more than first planned. The trails were very dry and the evening very warm for a late autumn  night. Richard, one of the 3c riders did join us and very kindly acted as assistant leader making sure we did not leave anyone behind. Our pace and mileage were well above the usual 2b level, well done to everyone.  We met the 3C ride several times which allow me to film some “air time”, a little dark , but the lights do add a little magic to the film.
I love night ridding!  Hope to see you all next week, keep safe. Luc

2B Big Park Circuit

Just about got away with the rain today – odd showers but nothing too serious. 10 of us set off from the White Lion and soon after hitting the sea front were passed by the Sportive group on its way to Fletching. Looked like another busy day on the calendar.

We were led out by Roy for the first of his Ride Leader ‘qualifiers’. He ‘distributed’ his other ride leaders among the group and got on with it. It’s to his credit that the ride was relaxed and uneventful. We did our usual spin along OET before cutting along Elphick Road to the river and via the steady climb up Valley Road (no one had to resort to the walking gear) to the park and coffee; lots of chat and some decisions about future rides were made. we have a Plan A involving a loop through Friston Forest on 9th October and a Plan B still under development but probably involving ‘aspects’ of Bopeep if the weather’s too slippy.

We looped back through Peacehaven and eventually down Gibbon Road and back along OET to the seafront where we went our separate ways.

My Garmin appears to be having a sulk and won’t tell the laptop how far we went or how quickly. I estimate 14 miles at an average of 7 MPH with maybe 500  feet of climbing…?

PLEASE NOTE – no 2B ride next week. Our next ride will be on 9 October ’16 – please keep an eye on the calendar.



Second video of the 3C Friston ride

The first part is on the 2b ride report, trails in this films are Secret trail, Wrecking Rihanna, Dave’ nose’ best.

29/04/16 FRISTON 2B Friday night ride video

Video as promised, this time from a different angle as chest mounted instead of helmet mounted camera. Unfortunately, the camera was pointing a little low, but you can still experience the 2b Friston MTB ride. Choice of music is always very hard due to the fact that copyright free music is not easy to find, but I hope you will like it. Luc


14/04/16 FRISTON 2B Friday night ride report

Friday morning came with the rain and a forecast of dry weather by 7pm, just on time for the start of the ride. All I had was a possible two riders for that evening, which was not surprising due to the weather condition.  Unfortunately things went a little wrong for me and was  running very late. I texted my riders to let them know that I was running behind schedule and to go up cardiac at a leisurely pace and that I would be meeting them there. I was not the only one having problems that night as I had a text from Gus (3c) telling me that he was having brake problems and could not make it.

Got finally to Friston by 7.20, only to discover that in a rush, i had picked up the wrong handle bar clamp for my bar light. Will be braking my own safety guide line of always MTBing at night with two lights in case one did packed up. So I went out with an helmet mounted prototype 3 LED light from Ituo, the light had been only tested at home and I got over an hour run time on high 2200+ true lux under fan cooling, sufficient run time for that time of the year. (I had spare helmet light head and battery in my ruck) I went on family trail and up cardiac hopping to met my riders. Towards the top of Cardiac, I meet with Elisabeth Coleman, one of my regular riders. On this miserable wet day, she was the only one out apart from another rider from the 3C ride, who also was cycling. We took Doris and Bert and half the way down we were over taken by another rider Jim Wells (3C ). We went up cardiac and took what we call the bomb crater run/tron/fairy trail (does come up on Strava as Geronimo, in blue on the map). The new XP3 prototype from Ituo was giving me plenty of very use able light. The angle adjustment of the light on my helmet was quite critical so that I had enough reach but enough light on the trail One light had to do the job of two lights, bar/helmet. After a couple of stops and adjustments, I got it right. Regarding the hot spot that you often see in the video, this is not seen by the human eye and the light beam is a lot more gradual with out the bright hot spot. The camera lens is a lot more sensitive! About mid run, I took my gloves off and checked the light to see how hot it was (this was a trail untested light). This certainly was hot but no more than the Solarstorm X2 or the Yinding YD, so I did carry on  full blast, with over 2000 true lumens.  The trails were very muddy in places and it did remind me of some of my last winter rides. A few minutes before getting to the end of Tron/Fairytrail where it meets with Snake&ladders, the light step down to about half power than about 4s later to a miserable dim safe mode of about 70 lumens, good as a road marker but a little scary when you are on a dark forest trail! Once I stopped, I tried the other modes and nothing else would work. I tried a fresh battery pack, still the same!  I had been told by Ituo over a month ago that they were still working on the light as they were not happy with its behaviour. I had obviously found the reason why they were still developing it! 🙂

A day later the light is back to its former output, so nothing damaged, just need some more tuning. You can see the Stava screen print, we had a fairly short ride but a lot of Fun. I understand from Elisabeth that she is loving her new Giant hard tail, not surprising as she use to ride am old rigid hybrid steel bike, good for learning MTB skills but very tiring and less forgiving that bikes with suspension. Hope next Friday will be dry and sunny and hope to see many of you. Luc160504ridedata

2B Friston Friday night MTB ride videos

Guys and Girls, just a reminder of what you are missing on a Friday night! This was the first 2B ride for 2016, only two riders so we went out with the 3C. Here are 3 short films of parts of our ride. You will see from the speedometer on the filming that I don’t exactly go fast, so if you are tempted to give it a go, let me know, we are out every Friday night unless raining, proper off road lights are cheap now and by prior arrangement, I can lend you one for your first ride with us to see if you like it. A minimum fitness is required as we are out for around two hours and do have some hills to climb before we can enjoy the downhill single tracks. For the moment Friston is fairly muddy so winter knobbly tyres are required. If you are interested contact me via email.

3 short videos of part of our latest ride with 3C riders. Film start from Mobby Dick and includes “Snow Run” and the “Final Descent”

Thursday Pub Ride Report – 23rd April

With the traditional starting point at the White Lion, Seaford, there was a very relaxed start to this ride a feeling that the lighter evenings are finally here and we would be riding all of the outward leg in glorious sunshine to the Plough and Harrow, Littlington. Even Roger with a puncture before the start couldn’t dampen our spirits and we were soon ready to go.

Along with the regular faces we were joined by a new face Sirous, and it was good to see Alan and Richard again now becoming regulars. 17 rides at the start swelled to 19 en-route riding up Blatchington Hill, then wiggling through the residential streets of Seaford, (where are we !) to burst out in a lovely field of yellow rape. Now as ride leader I had said there will be no mechanical issues on my ride, Debbie may not have been listening as at this point her chain broke !! Never fear as Debbie and her bike where engulfed in a throng of eager mechanics !!!

What a glorious ride north up the field dotted with large white balls of wool, riding carefully to avoid small brown balls produced by the big woolly ones ! Then down a now dry and much improved track down to the High and Over Alfriston Road. Feeling confident to cross the road and ride to the river we were treated with another fantastic view down the Cuckmere meanders to the Sea. At the bottom of the hill our last obstacle was a dried ditch with a plank on one side. This did prove an obstacle but also a lesson in controlled falling!

Reaching the Plough and Harrow came the toughest decision of the evening! Is it warm enough to sit outside?? This split the group but a good time was had by all, including sending a good will group photo to Jo Barlow on her riding adventure.

Now with MY hardest task of the evening it was time to tear everyone away from the bar for the return trip, (what did Elle call me?). With lights a blazing we ride along the road to the Golden Gallon….. ow.. I mean Cuckmere Inn with some of the group diving into the forest at the Gate to the main car park. How we love the hill back into Seaford but it is so much faster now it is dry and the lovely roll back into Seaford.

If the summer continues like this I can see this ride and this group getting  bigger and bigger  🙂

Ricki trainee ride leader