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:


Easter with Cycle Seahaven

Details of all of these rides can be found on the Calendar.
All clickable links are in italics.


There’s a ride suitable for everyone this Easter weekend!


The weekend begins on Thursday evening at 19:00 with the pub ride. This week it’s the Cuckmere Inn, via Bo-Peep, Alfriston and Littlington. Giving a shorter return journey to the White Lion afterwards!

Friday evening is the Friston Forest single track at 19:30:

Open to anyone wanting to gain single track/trail experience as well as anyone who enjoys single track/trail riding. There will likely be mixed abilities, so for people who are experienced they can ride ahead and wait at end of trails whilst the less experienced will be led by me to gain skills, speed and confidence.

Saturday is a busy day with Dr Bike at The Big Park in Peacehaven from 10:00 until 12 noon, followed immediately by the first Introduction Ride of the year with Ride the Downs 

… a great opportunity to dust of the bike and begin the season. They’ll last around 60 minutes and involve bike handling skills to include: mounting and dismounting, setting off and stopping, gear changing, braking, cornering, hand signals and slow speed control…

From 14:00 to 16:00 there’s the first Family Forest Ride of the season, kicking off with the East Egg Hunt! Registration is essential for this ride, please click the link above for more information.

The event is free however, you will need to pay for parking if you drive to the start point. We will meet at the first forest car park at 2:00 pm and take the family route around the forest, stopping half way round for an egg hunt in the field. 
Registration is required if you are going to attend as we need to know the number of riders and children in advance. 

Sunday has a 3D touring ride climbing up Ditchling Beacon, a 2B MTB Funday ride into the forest and an Intermediate/Sportive ride to Hassocks via the Coast. They all meet at 08:30 at the Martello Tower in Seaford.

Monday has a 45 mile MTB ride being planned. It’s apparently all ‘local’ so will have drop-out points along the route for those that can’t, for whatever reason, complete the whole ride. Keep an eye on the calendar for more details!

Not a member, but fancy joining in?
 * If it’s for the Family Forest Ride, click here.
 * For the Ride the Downs Introduction Rides, you just need to turn up, although it’ll be nice if you can pre register by following the link to Calendar and Ride Descriptions. There’s no commitment if you do 😉
 * For all other rides, you can join us on three rides before joining the club. Why not come along and see if it’s for you? All you need to do, is contact the Ride Leader beforehand to let them know. All Ride Leaders are on the calendar with their rides, and can be contacted via the Ride Leader contact page here

Information on joining the club can be found here: click here 

Ladies Ride to the Courtyard Cafe – Saturday 13th April

This months Ladies Ride incorporates a lovely long lunch at the Courtyard Cafe, based at the YHA South Downs Hostel at Itford Farm.

The ride will be leaving at 11am from the meeting point at the bottom of Edinburgh Road (next to the cycle path where the ice cream van parks), and will aim to return at approximately 4.30pm.

It’s unusual for them to be THIS close to the gate!

Essential kit, as always, includes: your helmet, a drink, a spare inner tube, pump, lights & lock.

This months route will encounter grass, concrete, gravel, tarmac and depending on the weather, mud.  Making it suitable for MTB & Hybrids with knobbly tires. 

Leaving the meeting point, the ride will head into Seaford and towards Seaford Golf Club. The concrete road will take you up onto the downs where you’ll head towards Bo-Peep and Firle along part of The South Downs Way. Once you’ve reached Firle it’ll all be down hill (almost!) via Itford to the lunch stop. Depending on weather conditions, this could change.

The return will be via the much less hilly Egretts Way / Ouse Estury route, which will, as part of the cycle route, take in a short part of the C7.

This route is a little more adventurous than the winter routes. Although the ride will always be paced at the speed of the slowest rider, and everyone supports each other, the 217m climb to Firle isn’t for beginners! If you have any concerns about this, contact the Ride Leader Sarah Winser from the Ride Leaders contact page, and she’ll be happy to help and guide.

One thing (weather permitting, of course!) guaranteed, are fabulous views from The South Downs Way across the flatlands below to the High Weald in the distance. On a clear day you can see over 40 miles in a 360° panorama from the top.

As the ride is on the Downs, there’s every chance that we’ll be sharing our route with other cyclists,  pedestrians, horses and dogs, and of course those that live there: cows and sheep. Be prepared for your bike not being perfectly clean on your return!

Ladies Ride to Follers Manor. 1st September 2018.

The Ladies Rides go out on the second Saturday of the month and are more of a social affair, than aiming to cover the route in as fast a time as possible! If you’ve just joined, or are thinking of joining the club, then a Ladies Ride could be the perfect way of getting to know others. Sarah is a wonderful ride leader and will put you at your ease from the moment you arrive, or contact her. What’s to loose?!


Royal Wedding Ride. 19th May 2018.


Easter Egg Hunt 2019

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls – roll up, roll up for the official start of the Cycle Seahaven Family Forest Rides: The 2019 Easter Egg Hunt!

While this is obviously aimed at our younger riders, the ride is open to all and includes a 6 mile ride round the forest taking in a mixture of gravel firebreak roads and single track trails (there is always an easy route). 

Suitable for pretty much any age although those of you that need stabilisers may struggle. The ride is open to all including non members but we do need to know if you are coming.

Join us at the first car park on the Littlington Rd just after Exceat Bridge (pay and display) at 2pm on the 20th April for chocolatey fun.

To register for the ride, please contact Tim Venables via the ride leaders contact page, letting him know who you are and what variety of little rippers you are bringing. If the small folk are not regular riders be ready for a disclaimer form!


Touring & MTB Rides – the second weekend of 2019

What an abundance of choices we have on the ride calendar for this weekend!

Starting with an 09:30 Touring ride to Bexhill led by Clive on Thursday morning, graded at 3C and concluding with a ride beginning at 10:30 on Sunday morning finishing with a (non-compulsory!) Sunday Lunch led by Gray, graded at 3B. I’m sure that’s the ride grading, not the lunch.

Our esteemed Chairman is leading the pub ride this Thursday, a great intro to those new to the club, to riding, or those that have just got a bit out of sorts over Christmas with the amount of food consumed! A gentle ride, graded at 1A to the Hope Inn in Newhaven. All are welcome and no stragglers will be left behind – in either direction.

The Ladies Ride on Saturday, led by Sarah & Kate is the first of this year and again, a gentle welcome into 2019. Finishing with the obligatory coffee, cake at cackle and the Lighthouse Cafe in Seaford.

Sunday has no less than four rides going out in the morning, the first two at 08:30 being the Funday ride led by Roy to Alfriston and ending up at The View for refreshments, and the 3B MTB ride to Rottingdean, led by Paul, Mike and Sarah. At 09:00 there’s a Touring ride to Cinders Cafe at Isfield graded as 3B led by Clive, and 10:30 sees Gray’s Lunch ride set off.

All rides are posted on the calendar – please check each one for the starting point as they all differ. As always, lights and helmets are compulsory.

We hope to catch you on at least one of the rides! 

Sarah & Charlie – South Downs, January 2019

Outdoor First Aid Course 20/21st Oct

First Aid Course 20-21st October 2018

Course full – try for cancellation place

Are you a ride leader and need to renew your First Aid?  Do you like rolling around in the mud?  Do you want to learn a valuable skill?  Do you like having fun with like minded people?

We have another Outdoor First Aid course on 20th and 21st October. Participants MUST be able to attend both days and the days are long but FILLED with fun. Chris Sparks is an amazing trainer that makes this very interesting, informative and fun.

If you want to attend, please let Tracey Martin know on Contact the Committee. Places are limited – booking form on following link: https://goo.gl/forms/hzv8aSdW70GIaZU12 

Cost is:  Free for Ride Leaders, Members £35 (plus £10 if you require First Aid at Work Certification) 


Friday night is F F night

Friston Forest MTB continues every Friday for 2019.

Meet at 7 pm at The Gate, just round the corner along Litlington Road. 

Helmets, good lights and knobbly tyres essential. Knee & elbow pads optional, first aid kits available.

 Be prepared for single track, craters, jumps, berms and Cardiac.  Have fun!

A great opportunity to develop your (wild side) full potential. 

For more details contact Chris Hollis on our Ride Leaders’ page 

Refreshment Stops Revisited

Looking for a good place to stop on your cycle ride for some rest and refreshment? If so, take a look at the list of refreshment stops that the tourers use on their rides.

It’s recently been revised to include only those which we consider local in touring terms so they’re all in Sussex plus a few on the western side of Kent. Those further away such as in the Seine-Maritime department of France have been deleted but will appear in a future list which may prove useful to cyclists staying in Dieppe.

This revised list comprises thirty refreshment stops of which the ten we most frequently visit are as follows:

The Refreshment List is a Google Map showing the location of each of the thirty places.

Happy cycling,


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,