Ripe’s Winged Wheel: Latest News

The picture on the left was taken in May 2018. It shows a CTC Winged Wheel plaque on the derelict Lamb Inn in Ripe. The plaque had probably been there for over 100 years. I posted an entry on this blog at the time; we hoped the plaque could be saved although we feared it could finish up in a builders skip. Fortunately, the village stores opposite the pub was on the case.

Now, I should explain that the Ripe Village Stores includes a superb café. It’s a favourite of the tourers; in fact we visited it more times than any other café last year. It’s very cyclist friendly, the food, tea and coffee are great and we often meet other cyclists there as well

Over the past 18 months or so the plaque has been saved, handed over to the village stores and restored (it was in a bit of a sorry state) by someone in the East Sussex CTC. It’s now in pristine condition as you can see from the picture on the right.

The plaque is very heavy, being made from cast iron, but Derek managed to lift it onto a table so that I could take a photo. The next stage is for it to be mounted on the wall outside the café. This won’t be easy given it’s weight and size: about two feet in diameter. The café proprietor has advised us that when it’s installed there will be an opening event on a Sunday at which cycling clubs will be invited. We’ll certainly be there. Watch this space for more news.

Happy cycling,


Ladies Ride: Saturday 20th July

The Cuckoo Trail – 8am to 4.30pm

This months ladies ride is a little later in the month. As Cycling UK celebrates the women’s festival of cycling this month, it’s something a little different – we’re riding the Cuckoo Trail!

The Cuckoo Trail is a 14-mile footpath and cycleway which runs from Hampden Park in the south, to Heathfield in East Sussex. It passes through the towns of Polegate and Hailsham, as well as the villages of Hellingly and Horam.

Cycling UK Says:

The Women’s Festival of Cycling returns in 2019 and events take place throughout the UK in July. We’ll be raising the profile of women’s cycling, putting on events to encourage more women to cycle, and featuring the women in cycling who inspire others. Join us and celebrate the fun, friendship and freedom that cycling provides.

To celebrate the Women’s Festival of Cycling this year Cycle Seahaven is hosting a ride from Heathfield, Sussex, along the Cuckoo Trail back towards Seaford. Bikes will be transported from Seaford to Heathfield using the club’s trailer, which will limit the number of riders to no more than 20. Early booking is therefore recommended. The ride is predominantly off road but on terrain that would be suited to hybrid bikes with the appropriate tyres. The ride is approximately 30 miles long across relatively flat ground. The group will stop at the Arlington Tearooms for refreshments along the way. If you require further details please contact the ride leader, Sarah Winser…

The bikes will be transported to the starting point at Heathfield via the club trailer, therefore there are limited spaces for this event if you require transportation. Book your place now by contacting Sarah Winser via the ride leaders page.

There will be two stops on this ride – one at Hellingly (bring your own snack and drink), and then lunch at Arlington Tea Gardens (cards accepted).

The ride will be at the pace of the slowest rider and is suitable for MTB, Hybrids & E-bikes, riding over a mix of tarmac, gavel and grass.

As always, a helmet must be worn and a spare inner tube, pump, bike lock and lights should be brought.




The History of the Cuckoo Trail:

The Trail largely follows the route of a disused railway line, the Cuckoo Line, which opened in 1880 and ran between Eridge and railway stations, creating a direct route between Eastbourne and London. It obtained its name from the tradition that the first cuckoo in Spring was heard at the Heathfield Fair. The line closed in 1968 under the programme of closures put forward by Forest Row resident and British Transport Commission Chairman Richard Beeching.

In 1981 the route of the old railway line to the south of Heathfield was purchased by Wealden District Council and East Sussex County Council. From 1990 Sustrans developed the route along with District Council and the County Council into a shared track for walkers and cyclists, with horses also allowed on some sections. An extension was constructed to the south into Eastbourne and the trail became part of National Cycle Network Route 21. The Trail is currently used by around 200,000 people per year and serves as a traffic-free route between several local schools. It is jointly managed by the latter in conjunction with East Sussex County Council.

Along the route of the Trail are six original sculptures which act as mileposts. In May 1993 a dozen wooden benches were installed which had been hand-carved by a local artist out of trees felled during the Great Storm of 1987. In 2003 a five-year £65,000 package of grants for improvements to the Cuckoo Trail was awarded as part of the Woodland Grant Scheme. Part of these funds went towards the resurfacing of the Trail as far as Heathfield in October 2006.


Ladies Ride: Saturday 8th June

Ladies Lunch to Litlington Tea Gardens 

This months Ladies Ride will depart from the cycle path at the bottom of Edinburgh Road at 11:00am and follow a lovely countryside route, riding at a gentle pace set by the pace of the slowest rider and supporting each other. We will be passing through cow/sheep fields and sharing our route with walkers, dogs, horses and fellow cyclists.
Litlington Tea Gardens have their own little nursery and gift shop – a great excuse to buy a plant or 2!
The route is suitable for MTB, Hybrids & E-bikes, and you could come across mud, grass, concrete, gravel & tarmac.
As always: Helmet, drink, spare inner tube, pump, lights and bike lock are all essential kit. 
The aim is to be back at Edinburgh Road at approx 15:30
For more info please see the calendar here, or contact either of the Ride Leaders, Sarah or Kate here.

CSH Trailer use and a little help

Cycle Seahaven’s Trailer is a great resource available to members of the club. It is capable of carrying 24 bikes, including 4 E-bikes.

We’d really like to use the trailer more to enable us to host club rides somewhere different. To achieve this we are looking for vehicle owners, who have tow hooks fitted to their cars, who would consider allowing their cars to be used to tow it. We also need volunteers to tow the trailer – more information about driver requirements can be found here

If you are able to help please contact Events by clicking here.

London to Brighton Sunday 16th June 2019

The trailer will be used to transport bikes to the London to Brighton bike ride this year. If you are interested in using this facility please contact Sarah Winser here. Please note transport is being provided for bikes only and participants will need to make their own arrangements to get to the start line.

Eastbourne Mass Bike Ride Sat 9th June 2019

It would be great to get as much support as we can for this event. Details can be found here. If there is sufficient interest will endeavour to arrange the trailer to drop off and pick up bikes at the Towner Art Gallery. Participants will need to make their own transport arrangements separately. If you would like your bike transported to this event please contact us here




Ladies Ride to the Beanstalk Tea Garden – Saturday 4th May

This month’s ride, a week earlier than normal, will meet on the cycle path at the bottom of Edinburgh Road, next to the ice cream van at 11am. We aim to be back by 5pm.

A longer ride again this month, you’ll be passing through cow and sheep fields and sharing our route with walkers, dogs, horses and fellow cyclists… and sharing the Tea Room with a peacock!

On what can be a beautiful route at this time of year, the ride will take you up to Bo-Peep and on to Firle car park. At the bottom of Firle Bostal, you’ll take a right onto the Old Coach Road where, along this ancient old road you’ll find The Beanstalk Tea Garden.

Visited this gem for lunch with a friend. We both had dietary requirements which they willingly accommodated. The little nah salad was delicious and the coffee and cake was excellent. Very peaceful part of the countryside too.

The return will be to continue along the OCR to Ariston and emerge onto the quiet Littlington Road. You’ll then turn right onto a short section of the A259 to cross over Exceat Bridge and into the Cuckmere Haven car park. It’ll then be off road into Seaford where the quiet roads will bring you back to the Seafront for your return to Edinburgh Road.

Depending on the weather conditions, the route may change.


Amazing little idyllic corner of Sussex – like out of some fairly tale. Piles of cakes in the sunshine in a filed with a peacock squawking! Best place I’ve been all year.

The route is suitable for MTB’s, Hybrids & e-bikes with knobbly tyres. Essential kit, as always, includes: your helmet, a drink, a spare inner tube, pump, lights & lock.

As last month, 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 either of the Ride Leader’s: Sarah Winser or Kate Carver from the Ride Leaders contact page, and they’ll be happy to help and guide.

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