Cycle Seahaven Lockdown Cycling Suggestions Week 4

Hopefully the last Lockdown  suggestions  for routes to get out on your bikes and enjoy, again they all come from some of the Club’s regular ride leaders.

Remember the revised guidance permits you to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place. Further info look at the COVID guidance the CSH website

Don’t forget to post on the CSH Facebook group any pictures you take during your ride 😊.

 

Week 4 Beginners Ride North Cuckoo Trail 16 miles B Grade (Terrain)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34717187

Click on the link above to view a simple ride of 16 miles that is a great beginner’s ride, safe share with care path that is a disused railway , so manageable gradients.

Ideal for youngsters. This section goes north and uphill from Hailsham to Heathfield, downhill return makes this super fun. There are some road crossing that have pelican controls, a couple of minor ones that don’t. Always popular with walkers and horse riders. Go uphill for as long as you want, free parking in the Hailsham Car Park.

No loo stops during COVID times, cafes and shops in Horam and Heathfield.

 

Week 4 Road Ride Horam  49 Miles C Grade (Terrain)

https://www.strava.com/routes/17957505

Click on the link above to view a favourite ride of Mark Smoker who regularly leads the Road Sportive Group. This one goes out to Lewes and Ringmer and back through Hailsham so lots of possible stops for people who aren’t used to doing 50 miles.

Horam and Hailsham are on the Cuckoo trail route above,  so a great opportunity for a family ride meet up where there are different abilities. Being a Sportive route it will take in faster roads.

Toilets in Lewes and Ringmer, Cafes and shops at Horam and Hailsham

 

Week 4 MTB Ride Peacehaven Loop 16 Miles B/C Grade (Terrain)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34682870

This week’s MTB B/C (Terrain dependant on ground conditions) rid , is a favourite of Roger Lambert, it takes in Poverty Bottom to the masts , descend Itford Hill to Egrets Way, cross the C7 (Take Care). climb the track that will eventually take you into the Big Park, and NCN cycle route 2 / Valley Rd and Elphick Rd back to Newhaven Centre.

Poverty Bottom can be very stick and wet, take care descending Itford Hill, take your bike for a walk if you’re not sure. C7 Road crossing and that’s about it.

Toilets and Refreshments at the YHA, Big Park and Seaford Prom.

 

 

Hope you’ve all enjoyed these suggested rides. Stay safe and Happy Cycling.

Sarah Winser and Dave Sutton CSH Ride Leader Coordinators

Cycle Seahaven Lockdown Cycling Suggestions Week 3

This week’s suggestions for routes to get you out on your bikes,  all come from some of the Club’s regular ride leaders. Remember the revised guidance permits you to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place. For further info look at the COVID guidance on the CSH website. Don’t forget to post on the CSH Facebook group any pictures you take during your ride 😊.

 

Week 3 Beginners Ride Saltdean to Hove (Actually)  (or Vice versa) 12miles A grade (Terrain)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34676119

Click on the link above to view a simple ride of 12 miles that uses traffic free share with care routes for most of the distance. Park at the car park by Saltdean Lido, use the Tunnel to cross the A259, do take time to admire the fantastic mural on the seaside tunnel entrance. One small lump by the Marina and a short section of road from the Marina to Peter Pan playground.

Be careful near the seawall, as in winter this can occasionally get a bit slippery but it’s always ok nearer the Cliff. It can be a bit mucky behind the Marina, it may be easier to take your bike for a short walk on that stretch. The path is always busy with walkers and cyclists. Coffee and Loos at Rottindean, Ovingdean and Hove (Actually).

 

Week 3 Road Ride Beachy Head Eclectic 47 Miles D Grade (Terrain)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34430931

Click on the link above to view an eclectic ride created by David Tyler. This route has absolutely everything, from Downland, The Cuckoo Trail, Eastbourne Seafront, and some wonderful heritage coastline.

Once you’ve ascended from Eastbourne to Beachy Head you will ride what in my view is the best road in Sussex whatever you’re riding/driving, the descent from The Beachy Head Pub to Birling Gap is just wonderful. The return to Seaford uses a short stretch of the A259.

There are some steep climbs, especially up to the Beachy Head Road, and a short but steep ascent through East Dean makes this route well worthy of its D Terrain Grade. Coffee and Loo’s at Chilleys Farm Cafe, Eastbourne Seafront & Cuckmere Haven (Loo)

 

Week 3- MTB Ride Newhaven to Ovingdean C Grade (Terrain)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34677501

Click on the link above to view a superb 28 mile with 2350 ft of ascent ride from Paul Sandles

The gradients are all sensible, however several of the climbs are drawn-out. The route starts / finishes at McDonalds Roundabout at Newhaven and takes in the undulating Cliff Top to Rottingdean before heading for Ovingdean and on to Woodingdean. A nice loop down to Baze Hill & back up to Woodingdean before heading homeward via SDW then dropping down to Harvey’s Cross / Telscombe Tye. Returning via the Cliff Top / Highway and dropping down through August Fields / Valley Road & back to the start / Finish point.

Given the recent rain there’s a number of large puddles out there and beware of the green chalk. One area where caution is need is tree lined track at the bottom of the Standean descent as there are a number of large badger holes running down the centre of the track, big enough to swallow your front wheel. These aren’t fully visible due to the long grass.

Cycle Seahaven Lockdown Cycling Suggestions Week 2

During the current Lockdown, we are posting some weekly suggestions for you to get out on your bikes and enjoy. So here are Week 2’s suggested rides.

Remember the  revised guidance permits you to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place – with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household. So, if you’re on your own pick up the phone to one of your regular group members, or just post on the CSH Facebook group, we’re pretty sure you will find a ride buddy. Don’t forget to share any pictures you take during your ride 😊.

 

Week 2 Beginners Ride OVET (Bunny Run) and Road to Nowhere 6 miles A grade (Terrain)

Click on this link to get a route suggested by  Jamie Simmons, it is an ideal ride  for those that have inexperienced, nervous  or young riders in your group. This route  is flat, has safe crossing at any road junctions, and most importantly no road sections. 

 

Week 2 Road Ride Muddles Green Community Shop 28 Miles 0o 14 miles  B Grade (Terrain).

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34609667

Click on the link above to view a ride that is an easy going route with no major hills. This ride has been suggested  by Clive Aberdour and is another favourite of the Tourers. This is a 28 mile route starting and finishing at Exceat with a possible café stop at Muddles Green. However, this is open for a takeaway coffee and snack, with seating adjacent, availability of the shop’s toilet is unknown.

There is an option is to do a shorter route by starting and finishing at the lay-by on Station Rd opposite Arlington Reservoir

The pink line on the map shows the outward leg of the route and the brown, the return leg.

 

Week 2 MTB Ride Firle Beacon Coach Road and Alfriston C Grade (Terrain)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34628637

Click on the link above to view a superb 20 mile with 1500 ft of ascent ride from Team Winser. The gradients are all sensible, the route takes in  the South Downs Way, Old Coach Road, Alfriston Lullington Heath and Friston Forest and The Sheep Field. 

Usual hazards, tree roots and green chalk can be slippery if it’s wet. Short stretch along the A259, but footpath available to take your bike for a walk if it’s “carmageddon” at Exceat Bridge. Toilets and Refreshments at Seaford Prom and Alfristion.

Cycle Seahaven Lockdown Cycling Suggestions Week 1

During the current “Lockdown”, we are hoping to post some weekly suggestions for you to get out on your bikes. The revised guidance permits you to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place – with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household.

Each week there will be a beginner’s ride, that should be ideal for families as it will be mainly on traffic free routes, but it might involve getting to a suitable start point by car.

We will be also posting a suggested ride that is a bit more challenging, these will be relatively simple to ride and navigate in dry conditions, but may be harder if the weather is inclement. These routes will be either B or C grade (Terrain) as the speed you cycle them will be up to you. Don’t forget to post on the CSH Facebook group any pictures you take during your ride  .

 

Week 1 Beginners Ride West Beach Martello (or Vice versa) 10 miles A grade (Terrain)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34581876

Click on the link above to view a simple ride of 10 miles that uses traffic free share with care routes for the majority of the distance. There is a small amount of road from the Newhaven Quay to the to the Harbour Entrance, but this is a dead end so shouldn’t have too much traffic. Obviously, the “road to nowhere” is still traffic free at time of writing.

Hazard wise it’s fairly simple, watch out for turning traffic by B & Q, Lidls and Railway Road in Newhaven. If you decide to cycle round the car park at Newhaven West Beach, mind out for the joints and cracks in the concrete.

There are toilets at Seaford Martello and Fort Road Park in Newhaven. Hopefully coffee will be available at the takeaway outlets at each end of the route.

 

Week 1 Road Ride Arlington Res Loop 30 Miles C Grade (Terrain) or 10 Miles B Grade (Terrain)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33243891

Click on the link above to view our first suggested road ride. A favourite ride with the Tourers, start and finish at Exceat Car Park, or use the road or “sheep field” to extend the distance and ride from home. Outbound there is Chapel Hill that gives this the route the C grade, but you can route via Drusillas to avoid this and make it a B grade.

This is also a fantastic beginners 10 mile road ride if you do the middle section from Arlington Res, if you’re lucky there is free parking in the adjacent lay by.

 

Week 1 MTB Ride The Masts Loop 10 Miles B Grade (Terrain)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34581999

Click on the link above to view a simple ride of 10 miles, taking in some superb views from the Southdowns way to both the Weald and Coast. The route derives it’s name from the Beddingham Transmission Masts. Toilets at Seaford Martello, and Seaford Buckle. Coffee from takeaway outlets on Seaford prom.

Terrain wise it’s quite straight forward, but watch out in the gulley near Poverty Bottom for the tree routes and “Green chalk” that can be slippery this time of year. The route starts at the junction of Firle Road and the Concrete Road TQ and ends at the junction of Bishopstone Road and the A259

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? 


 

Peacehaven Cycleway now open

Footpath Clearance, ready for the cycle way


Footpath open and ready for use

 



By Andy Lock, on October 31st, 2016:

The footpath at the end of the A259 walking/cycling path between Newhaven and Peacehaven is being upgrade to allow cyclists. This is an ideal alternative for cyclists looking to ride between Peacehaven and Newhaven whilst avoiding the bottleneck on the approach to Downland Avenue. The official notice suggest this will be complete by the end of November.

As one of the items identified by Cycle Seahaven’s review of Peacehaven (http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/peacehaven-cycle-route-ideas-pt-2/)  it’s great to see this short section being upgraded to allow safer cycle journeys between Newhaven and Peacehaven on National Cycle Network route #2.

A259 to Ashington Gardens

Footpath ‘Peacehaven 12’ between A259 and Ashington Gardens

Additional:

Cycle Seahaven’s list of ideas for Peacehaven: http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/peacehaven-cycle-route-ideas-pt-2/

Our campaigns page: http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/campaigns/

How to plan a new route

Ride leaders, have you ever thought, “I’d like to go somewhere different today.”  Cyclists, have you thought, “Not Firle Road and Bopeep, again?”

Don’t despair, help is at hand.  Cycle Seahaven has produced a video guide to help you to plan new routes.  It gives you the skills and tools you will need to explore many exciting new routes and find parts of the countryside you never knew existed.

You can access this at   https://youtu.be/rl31gNbvtMU

When you’ve planned them, recce’d them, and proved them with a group, why don’t you put them on our website where you will find nearly 20 others with maps and directions.  Find them at “Rides and Events”, “Cycle Routes”.

Bridleways and Byways

One of the key elements of the Monday daytime rides is that we seek to use bridleways, byways and quiet country roads, with as much off-road as possible, sometimes over 75% of the route. Most of the bridleways and byways would have been in existence from the time of the enclosures, if not earlier, and were the usual means for farmers and labourers to access fields and villages and for villagers to get to church. They are very irregular in direction and, when converted into roads, give rise to the famous “rolling English roads”. Those that were not made into roads, remain as unsurfaced byways (open to wheeled traffic), bridleways and footpaths. Part of our vision is to seek out and use these routes so that they do not disappear through neglect. Full details of all rights of way can be found on the  East Sussex Rights of Way website and on any Ordnance Survey map.

There are many bridleways on the South Downs giving access to wide open vistas and bracing fresh air. They are usually firm, grassland tracks, sometimes stoney, with gentle slopes or very steep hills.Down in the low Weald, they are more secluded, tree-lined and calm with dappled sunlight peeking through the branches. They are flat or have low hills and in places suffer from deep puddles or stretches of cloying mud.

One of the major problems we have experienced is the degradation of these routes. We have found that access to the wide range of routes is being restricted by problems at several, usually narrow, key nodes or pinch points which are difficult to negotiate particularly for less adventurous cyclists, walkers and riders and those with younger families.

The problems seem to be:


The overgrowth in summer of nettles, brambles, hawthorn and other vegetation which render the use of the route unpleasant or dangerous. Two of the group recently emerged from such an overgrown path streaming blood from bramble scratches. Even when the ground may have been cleared of vegetation, overhanging hawthorn and bramble can cause serious injury to equestrians and cyclists. A good (bad) example is on the path to Bopeep at the top of the Golf Course.

Whether it is increased use or increased rainfall, a number of bridleways are suffering from severe erosion, even on chalk. This renders them difficult negotiate as deep V-shaped gullies are created with loose rocks in the bottom, sometimes leaving no level surface. These may be sufficiently deep to catch pedals and throw off riders. An example is the upper part of the bridleway in Poverty Bottom.

Areas of deep mud remaining all year which, in narrow sections, leave no dry area to bypass, in others, deep puddles extending across the width of the track or a series “poach holes” up to 15cms deep where hoofs have sunk into the mud. These are often in gateways and near streams. A particularly bad example is the bridleway from Bates Green Farm west of the Cuckmere River.

Byways are open to wheeled vehicles, and tractors, 4x4s and motorbikes can cause serious problems. Wheel tracks, sometimes three across the byway and up to 20 cms deep, leave only a narrow and discontinuous pathway between. An example would be the track to Folkington from Wilmington. Byways may be closed in winter but this does not apply to cycles.

All paths get overgrown in summer, most paths get wet and muddy in winter, but a few key places are getting to the point where they are unusable all year and are restricting access to a large network of adequate routes. The main point is that these are small areas that are restricting access to a much greater length of excellent bridleways and byways which could provide exercise and interest to many. It should be possible for remedial action to be taken to remove these problems and improve access to all parts of the network. Another point is that these pinch points force users onto a few easier paths which may, in turn, become overused and suffer erosion.

According to ESCCs Rights of Way Team, it is the landowners’ responsibility to maintain Rights of Way across their land. The Team advise that if you find a problem on a Right of Way, report to them, quoting the number of the route. This can be found from the on-line Rights of Way Map by clicking on the route at full magnification when a drop down box will show the Parish and number of the route, even of each stile and gate.

With traffic on the roads increasing, it is essential that these off-road routes are used and not lost.

Route Maps

A new page has been added to our website that lists a small selection of our favourite rides. The list can be sorted by mileage or total climb so you can look for routes by distance or effort. You can use the search function to filter routes by destination, distance or type (Road, MTB, Track). A link to an online map is also provided,  allowing you to try out these routes on your own,  or to get a good feel for the ride before you join us.

We plan to increase this list to include more routes. If you have a favourite route that’s not listed then please let us know.

The route maps page can be found under the Rides & Events menu bar or by going direct to http://cycleseahaven.org.uk/routemaps/

RouteMapScreenshot