Sunday MTB – Ride Report 21st Dec 2014

Our Sunday beginner ride looked like it was going to be a wet one,  but the short,  sharp shower ended before we set off. We took our usual route from Seaford’s Martello Tower to Corsica Road and Chyngton Road. We continued Eastwards along the length Chyngton Way before heading towards the A259 crossing at the top of Chyngton Lane. The bridleway from the A259 to the Alfriston Road was a bit slippery in places,  but we took it nice and easy.  Even though we were riding at a beginners pace we made good time to the northernmost point of Blatchington Golf Course before heading back to the top of Firle Road via the bridleway that bisects the golf course.  In fact we had made such good time we all agreed to divert to Grand Avenue and down Hill Rise to stop at Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club on Marine Parade for coffee and bacon sarnies (I had eggs benedict – very good it was,  too).

Another brilliant ride with plenty of laughter along the way.

Next Sunday’s ride (Dec 28th) is an intermediate one from The White Lion to the Forest,  where we try one of the easier and drier trails.

Christmas Pub Ride Report – 18th Dec


Twelve riders made the 16-mile round trip between Seaford and Jevington, via the fire-roads in the valley of Friston Forest. The warm weather and lack of rain helped ensure we had another fun ride out to the Eight Bells, where we stopped for a few drinks and plenty of laughs. The costumes were great and we certainly confused the locals as Christmas characters (all on bikes) descended on their quiet pub. Christmas carols were sung on the way back through the forest, accompanied by Christmas music. We all went back to a house for a few more drinks and nibbles to round off the evening – another fantastic night with great company.



Sunday beginner – ride report

Our ride on Sunday 9th November was a 6-mile circumnavigation of Seaford, using quiet roads and bridleways. Starting at the Martello Tower eight of us rode eastwards along National Cycle Network 2. At the top of Exceat Hill we crossed over to Stirling Avenue where we got our first puncture – Brilliant! I’d been waiting for this to happen so I could demonstrate how practice can make puncture repairs relatively easy. The puncture was fixed nice and quickly and we checked the inside of the tyre for sharp objects; we also checked the tube for a second puncture. What do you know – there was a second hole in the tube. This often happens, so it’s well worth checking for multiple holes. Both punctures were repaired using self adhesive patches and an offending thorn was removed from the tyre. We set off again up the bridleway to towards the Alfriston Road. At this point we had the option of heading back into town but the group were OK to carry on, so we continued heading North along the boundary to Rathfinny Farm. Before we got there we had another puncture. We couldn’t have planned this better – what a great way to consolidate what we’d learned from the previous experience. This time we fixed the puncture with patches and rubber solution while talking about the options to prevent punctures: puncture resistant tyres; placing kevlar or plastic barriers between the tyre and tube; self-sealing gloop; don’t ride over thorns. The second puncture was rapidly fixed so we continued to the top of Blatchington Golf Course before taking the long descent to the top of Firle Road and back home.

Next weeks Sunday ride is an intermediate route of 13-miles, mostly off-road on grass and bridleway. Allow two and a half hours. Details, as always, are in the calendar.

Thursday Pub Ride Report – 6th Nov

On Thursday 6th November eleven of us rode out from The White Lion, across the A259 and down to the seafront via Claremont road. Our ride along the Ouse Estuary Trail (no street lights) to Newhaven was great fun in the dark. There was a definite chill in the air, a reminder to wear warmer clothes and gloves. On arrival to The Hope Inn we were surprised to see a very large swing band, taking up about a third of the bar. After a bit of foot-tapping, some lively conversation and a quick drink we unlocked our bikes for the return journey via the west Quay. As this route is very flat and mostly off-road it’s become another favourite for our beginner rides. The next Thursday ride is to The Engineer via Bishopstone Village.


Ride Report – Thursday’s Pub Ride

As we were waiting at the White lion for the ride to begin at 7pm the heavens opened. The rain was torrential, so the six of us waited out the storm over a drink – why not, eh? Half an hour later the storm cleared and we decided to ride the road section for starters, then make a call on what to do next, depending on the weather. At Chalvington Fields on the outskirts of Seaford the skies were mostly clear and the stars &  full moon were out, so we all decided to make a cross-country dash for the Plough and Harrow as originally planned. There was a strong tail wind which made the journey easier, but the longer grass and softer ground counteracted this somewhat.  It’s now quite dark at 7:30pm, so we were glad of our powerful off-road lights as we picked our way though sheep droppings on the rough bridleways. It just started raining again just as we arrived at the pub four miles later, so we couldn’t have timed it better. The pub owner convinced us to buy a bottle of wine instead of buying by the glass, so we stayed for two drinks each.

The return trip was on the road (NCN2) which is surrounded by trees and bushes. It’s also low lying so was relatively sheltered making it easier going into the headwind. We made very good time to Exceat bridge before heading up the new cycle track behind the Golden Galleon. The climb up the grassy hill into a strong headwind was pretty hard, so we made a couple of stops to catch our breath. At the top of the hill we picked our way through the residential backsteets to avoid the wind before splitting up to go our separate ways home.

Riding cross country at night is exciting and very different from daytime rides. We took a chance with the rains and we were lucky to stay dry – this time. Great fun.

Thursday Pub Ride #6 – new venue

Change of destination:
Although we start at the same place as usual for Thursday’s 7pm pub ride – the White Lion, Seaford – we have a change of route for October 9th. Instead of stopping at the Flying Fish we’re mixing things up a bit and heading out to another country pub – This time it’s The Plough and Harrow in Litlington.

The Route:
Starting at the White Lion on Belgrave Road,  Seaford at 7pm we ride along Belgrave Road to the mini roundabout and turn left up Firle Road. A third the way up we turn right onto Firle Drive and cut through to St Peters Road and The Holt. Along The Ridings and across the bottom of Chalvington Playing Fields to Maple Fields. We then head North along a bridleway on the Eastern side of Blatchington Golf Course. We then head East to follow the bridleway down to The Plough and Harrow, Litlington.

The return route to Seaford is along NCN2 (via Exceat) and other quiet roads back to the White Lion.

It’s 4 miles on the outward journey and 5 miles on the return.

Is this right for me?
If you are a regular rider then please be aware that we go very slowly, so you may be hanging around waiting.
The outward journey starts on roads with a long slow climb. The return is mostly flat apart from the climb up Exceat hill, which most of us will walk. Click here for a draft Map of the Route

To gauge the terrain have a go at riding the start of the route: Go from the White Lion to the Mini Roundabout. Turn left and go 1/3rd the way up Firle road (to Firle Drive).  Over the outward 4-mile route we do the equivalent of this climb about three times in total, interspersed with flat sections and a long descent.

Good bright lights are needed as it’s almost dark when we leave, and we’ll be riding on rough ground away from streetlamps.
This route is about 25% on grass and chalk trails/bridleways, so you will need chunky tyres and a hybrid or mountain bike.
You must wear a helmet. Gloves and a water bottle can make the going easier, but are not essential.
With the warm nights we’ve been experiencing you may want to use insect repellent.


If you have any questions then please get in touch. See you there?


Thursday pub ride #5

The weather’s STILL holding out and we’re expecting yet another fine day for this week’s slow ride on Thursday 2nd Oct. The ground conditions remain dry and dusty, even after the rain we had Monday night and last night.

Starting at the White Lion on Belgrave Road,  Seaford at 7pm we ride the back way to Bishopstone via Grand Avenue and along the road to Poverty Bottom pumping station. Up the chalky bridleway to Cantercrow Hill and the long fast descent on the back road to the Flying Fish. After some refreshment we take the flatter and easier route home. We expect to be back at The White lion for 9pm.

Last week we had twelve riders with a range of about 60 years between the youngest and oldest ages – that beat the previous week’s record of only 50 years difference in age.

Good bright lights are needed as it’s starting to get dark by the time we arrive at The Fish. Links to route maps are on our first post about these rides. Click HERE to see it.

If you are a regular rider then please be aware that we go very slowly, so you may be hanging around waiting – especially on Cantercrow hill.

See you there?


Sunday Social – 13th July 2014

Our ride started from Seaford’s Martello Tower at 6pm. A stiff on-shore breeze felt very good on this muggy evening with glimpses of sunshine through lots of cloud cover. Five riders headed East along the seafront road before turning down Cliff Gardens to follow National Cycle Route 2. We followed the alternative NCN2 route down through the fields between the A259 and the sea until we reached Exceat bridge. After crossing the bridge we went left onto Litlington Road, taking the quiet lanes to the Sussex Ox. The outward journey was 6.5 miles on mostly flat ground in 50 minutes. After a long refreshment break we did a spot of bike maintenance (gear and saddle adjustment) before heading back to Seaford. With Joe Callard (aged 10) leading the pack we got home with a slightly quicker journey time of 40 minutes. The conditions stayed dry and warm, and the cooling wind was much gentler away from the coast. A lovely way to end the weekend.


From left to right – Joe, Steven, Elizabeth and Dave on NCN(2).