Cycle Seahaven Tourers climb Ditchling Beacon.

Made it to the top of Ditchling Beacon

Nine club members joined the Road Touring Section’s ride on Easter Sunday and conquered Sussex’s most notorious climb, Ditchling Beacon. Several of the group had never previously managed a ‘non-stop to the top’ before; it would be fair comment to say that some anxiety was expressed and some unfamiliar (to me) self-motivational words were heard at the base of the climb.

Cycling this big hill is a fair effort by any standard, so well done to those that have now conquered it. The smiles on the club members who achieved it were a joy to see.

Many thanks to Chris Girder who swapped his normal forest trail habitat for the open road and helped me out with TEC duties.

This was another Touring Ride success story. The Tourers ride every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, weather permitting. All types of cyclist are welcome on whatever bike you choose although it’s easier on a road bike. We only ask that you can average about 12½ mph whilst cycling.

Happy Cycling,

Dave Sutton

Cycle Seahaven’s Ladies New Forest Sportive Team

The New Forest Spring Sportive is one of the New Forests most popular events and has become a welcome ‘start of the season’ test for may cyclists, this year held on the 13th and 14th April.

Starting and finishing just outside the Hampshire town of Verwood, the riders took in the rolling scenery with a number of hills to challenge their legs. 

Eight of the touring ladies from Cycle Seahaven, including Sarah Webb, Debbie McFly, Carol Bryant, Kate Parkinson, Annette Blackman, Heather Cheek and Linda Pilkington-Peachey took on the challenge. 

Sarah reports

‘The 7 Sisters’ team completed the 66 mile New Forest Sportive on Sunday (the eagle-eyed among you may notice there’s 8 of us but we liked the team name so much we kept it). We all met through Cycle Seahaven and have had great support from our fellow riders in the tourers group. We didn’t specify this had to be a ladies only weekend but that’s the way it worked out, so naturally there was a 2 night stay in a log cabin with sauna and fizz involved!

Well done ladies!

The 7 Sisters. All eight of them!

1000 Miles of Touring Rides Already This Year

The Touring rides clocked up just over 1000 miles in the first quarter of 2019. There were 31 such rides; that’s the most miles and rides for the first three months of a year since the touring rides started many years ago. That’s partly because of the better weather this year (only a few rides have been cancelled due to inclement weather) and also that some of our rides go slightly further these days.

Our Sunday rides are usually 35 miles give or take a few miles. However, our ride on Sunday, 31st March, was 45 miles when nine of us rode to Bexhill and back. There was a fairly strong headwind which made for a reasonably challenging outward trip but, of course, made the return trip very easy and rather faster than we normally cycle. The Beach Café, where we had our refreshment stop, is a super little café on the promenade at Bexhill, just under the De La Warr Pavilion.

All our rides include café stops and we cycle at a fairly easy-going pace, ie an average cycling speed of about 12½ mph. There are three touring rides each week, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday so why not give our rides a try? There’s plenty of choice of destinations.

We have some great rides being planned for April including a Romney Marsh tour next Sunday and a two-day Viking Trail ride on 11th/12th April. Details are on the Rides Calendar.

Happy Cycling,


Record Turnout of Tourers

Today’s touring rides to the Lavendar Line railway station at Isfield attracted 16 cyclists. Ten joined the ‘classic’ tourers ride led by Dave Sutton and me; six joined the Tourers ‘Plus’ ride led by Dave Tyler which goes slightly faster. This was a record turnout of members for the touring rides and is in-line with an upward trend of members participating in these rides.

That said, Cinders Buffet at Isfield Station always proves popular with cyclists; It’s full of railway memorabilia and they make a decent cup of coffee. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much puffing and shunting on the rails this morning.

The Tourers have lots of great rides planned over the next couple of months including a Sunday ride to Bexhill on 31st March, a Romney Marsh tour on Sunday 7th April, a two-day cycle ride on the Viking Trail in Kent on 11th & 12th April and a channel hopper to Dieppe in early May with Phoenix-CTC.

Happy cycling,

Clive Aberdour

It’s Spring and the Tourers are on a roll!

It’s the first day of Spring, meteorologically speaking, and the tourers are on a roll. We’ve already clocked up 660 miles with 22 rides over the past two months, our best ever start to a new year! Also, the number of members participating in our rides is steadily increasing with last Tuesday’s ride to the Old Loom Mill Cafe (see picture) attracting 11 cyclists, a record for a Tuesday touring ride. For comparison, we did the same ride at the end of February last year and it attracted 7 cyclists. These may seem small numbers when compared to the mountain bike rides but the tourers form a very small section within Cycle Seahaven.

Our plans for rides during Spring are well advanced. We have a two-day Viking Trail ride planned for 11/12th April, a Romney Marsh ride which, this year, will be on a Sunday. Also nine tourers will be Channel hopping to Dieppe in May (a Phoenix-CTC ride) for some cycling in Normandy and there will be ride to Littlehampton which is a round trip of 70 miles. Our Thursday rides will be returning to 50 milers (they’ve been shorter over Winter) and our Tuesday rides will continue as 25 milers.

Our Sunday rides will now return to 8.30am starts and the weekday rides will remain at 9.30am starts.

There’s a lot happening in the touring section during the Spring so why not try some of our rides. They all include café stops and we cycle at a fairly easy-going pace, ie an average cycling speed of about 12½ mph. There are full details of our rides on the Rides Calendar which includes a link to the plotted route that you can view on Streetview; do a virtual tour if you like!

Happy cycling,


A Record January for the Tourers

The tourers clocked up 300 miles with 10 rides in January this year even though there were several cancellations although, not as many as in previous Januarys. This is a record!

The weather must be milder! Two years ago, in January 2017 we only managed about half that distance over 7 rides. Hopefully, the milder weather will continue through February so we can achieve similar figures to January.

Spring is only four weeks away when the weather will turn much warmer and flowers will start appearing in the hedgerows. I hope I’m not being too optimistic! Our aim will be to lengthen the Thursday rides to 40 to 50 miles during March (they’ve been a bit shorter during Winter) and to do a Metric Century, ie 100 kms. Tuesday rides will stay at about 25 miles and, for Sunday rides, 35 miles give or take a few miles.

Happy cycling,


Tourers get 2019 off to a Good Start

Tourers at Molly’s Cafe on the New Year’s Day ride

New Year’s Day was an excellent day for cycling: dry and sunny with virtually no wind. Eight of us cycled to Molly’s Café at Rottingdean for our first touring ride of 2019.

It was a normal Tuesday ride for us although our average pace was slightly slower than our usual 12 mph due to the promenade between Saltdean and Rottingdean being rather crowded with walkers; hardly surprising given the good weather for New Year’s Day. It was definitely a case of ‘share with care’!

So, having got 2019 off to a good start, perhaps we will surpass the figure 120 touring rides of last year.

In 2019 we will continue to have three touring rides each week: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The Tuesday rides are the shortest at about 25 miles and the Thursday rides are the longest, usually between 40 and 50 miles. The Sunday rides are usually about 35 miles, give or take a few miles.

That said, there will be some variations. For example there will be at least one Century ride (100 miles), a ride to Littlehampton which is a round trip of 70 miles and the Romney Marsh ride will be on a Sunday rather than mid-week.

Also, some tourers will be doing Phoenix-CTC rides such as the Dieppe Channel Hopper in May, a Tour de la Manche in June, a cycling trip to Amsterdam in July and to Paris in September.

So, there should be plenty of cycling for the tourers in 2019.

Happy cycling,

Clive Aberdour

Another Great Year for the Tourers!

For our final touring ride of 2018 we cycled to one of our favourite cafes: the Castle Cottage Tearoom at Pevensey Castle. It has a 1930/40s ambience with appropriate background music; Glen Millar can often be heard playing. Someone found that their Garmin cycle computer had lost GPS which was hardly surprising; there weren’t any satellites in those days!

It was our 120th touring ride of the year; coincidentally, we cycled 120 rides in 2017! We would have liked to have done more rides but bad weather meant cancelling some. Nevertheless, 120 touring rides in one year is pretty good when you consider that the ‘tourers’ are a small minority of the Cycle Seahaven members.

We endeavour to have three rides each week: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. We cycle at an average speed of about 12 mph which is just the right speed for being able to chat with a fellow cyclist without getting out of breath and also to admire the scenery yet, fast enough to get some decent exercise.

There will be a review of the Tourers in 2018 in the Winter newsletter to be issued in January. To get 2019 off to a good start there will be a touring ride on New Year’s Day to Molly’s Café at Rottingdean. It will start at the Martello Tower in Seaford at 9.30am So, why not join us? The weather is looking good for the time of year.

Happy New Year,

Clive Aberdour

Another Super Tourers’ Christmas Meal

Thirty-two of us, a record number, were at the Cycle Seahaven ‘Tourers’ Christmas meal in the British Legion yesterday evening. It was our fourth year in succession at the Legion so it’s become something of a tradition.

That’s hardly surprising as the meal is excellent value for money, the drink is competitively priced and it’s a very relaxed atmosphere in the Legion. No doubt we’ll be making a return visit next Christmas!

The touring rides will continue throughout this festive season, weather permitting, although not on Christmas Day or Boxing Day! The next planned ride will be on Sunday, 23rd December to Lakeside Café at Horam. After Christmas, the first touring ride will be on Friday, 28 December.

Merry Christmas everyone,