Another Record for the Tourers

2019 is turning out to be a good year for  touring rides. There have been more such rides than at this time in any previous year. Also, there is an upward trend of cyclists participating in them.

Today’s ride to Horam attracted thirteen Cycle Seahaven members, a record number for a touring ride. It’s good to see the numbers gradually increasing on our touring rides, not only on Sundays but also on our Tuesday and Thursday rides.

All our rides include a refreshment stop;  today we stopped at Tpodz Café in Horam which used to be Wessons. It’s become one of our favourite cafés over the past few months.

Today’s ride was a round trip of 33 miles and, as usual, the cycling was mostly along quiet country lanes and even included a short section of the Cuckoo Trail. All in all this was a very pleasant ride.

Our rides this week will be to Muddles Green on Tuesday and to Bexhill on Thursday. Details are on the Rides Calendar.

Happy cycling,

Clive Aberdour

A New Type of Ride: Easy Touring

If you’d like to cycle on one of our touring rides but feel they’re a bit too long and/or a bit too quick then you’re in luck! A new type of touring ride is being launched which may appeal to you.

Called ‘Easy Touring’, these rides will be shorter and slower than our normal touring rides. They will be less than 20 miles, the pace will be an average of 11 mph whilst cycling and the terrain of such rides will be less hilly. As usual a café stop will be included, an essential part of our touring rides.

The first such ride will be next Tuesday, 11th June. The distance will be 18 miles and include a café stop at Upper Dicker. Full details are on the Rides Calendar.

Easy Touring rides will initially be held on an occasional basis but if they prove popular then they will be organised on a weekly basis.

Happy cycling,

Clive Aberdour

Tourers cycle Far and Wide

The tourers cycle to not only local places such as Ripe, Muddles Green and Upper Dicker but also to places further afield such as Bexhill last Thursday, the Viking Trail in North Kent about three weeks ago and Dieppe a couple of weeks ago. Over the next few weeks tourers will be cycling through Belgium and Holland to Amsterdam, doing the annual trip to Littlehampton (a round trip of 70 miles from Seaford) and a ride to Hastings. A century ride is also being planned.

We cycle three times a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Our Sunday rides tend to be about 35 miles, give or take a few miles. This morning was 39 miles and involved a refreshment stop at Cinders Café at Isfield Station on the Lavender Line, a heritage railway. It was a super ride as there was little wind, the terrain was mostly reasonably flat and the threatened rain never materialised. Also, this is a wonderful time of year to be cycling through the countryside with lots of wild plants in flower, not to mention the May blossom.  Next Sunday will be to Horam and future Sunday rides will go to cafes at Pevensey Castle, Heathfield, Hampden Park and Shoreham.

So, if you haven’t been on a touring ride then give one a try. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Details are on the Rides Calendar.

Happy cycling,

Clive

Dieppe Channel Hopper

We’re lucky to have a ferry port on our doorstep, so to speak, which means that France is only four hours away. And, of course, the quiet country roads and véloroutes of France are a great place to go cycling. So, with that in mind, nine Cycle Seahaven tourers hopped across the Channel to Dieppe for three days of cycling over the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

The English Channel was like a mill pond as we sailed from Newhaven to Dieppe, arriving mid-afternoon. After booking into our hotel, the Hôtel de la Plage, we sampled some of the delights of Dieppe including the famous Café des Tribunaux, see picture below.

Tourers inside the famouse Cafe des Tribunaux in Dieppe

Next morning was a delayed start as we waited for the rain to pass. It eventually passed so we set off mid-morning through the streets of Dieppe and into the countryside towards Neufchatel-en-Bray. It was an easy ride along the mostly traffic-free Avenue Verte to Neufchatel where we had an excellent lunch. On our return journey we were surprised to find a newly constructed part of the Avenue Verte for the final few kilometres into Dieppe; so new that it hasn’t been officially opened yet!

Next day we cycled out of Dieppe towards Pourville for the start of another superb greenway, the Véloroute du Lin, on our way to St Valery-en-Caux for lunch. The weather was superb and we were able to have our lunch outside a cafe; suntan lotion was applied probably for the first time on a bike ride this year. Then it was back to Dieppe along the coast on the Véloroute du Littoral although this was mostly along quiet roads.

Tourers on a newly constructed part of the Avenue Verte in Dieppe

For our third day of cycling, by popular request, we climbed the long hill into the Forêt Domanale d’Arques. We had climbed this hill on a previous channel hopper; it’s quite challenging in that it isn’t too steep but climbs for about 1½ kms. After that we headed to Criel-Plage at speeds we’re not used to as tourers; we felt like sportives! I have to admit that we were aided by some strong tail winds and some long downhill and flat stretches.

After a cafe stop at Criel-Plage we returned to Dieppe for a late lunch, afternoon tea at our hotel where we picked up our luggage and a pleasant evening mini-cruise across La Manche to Newhavem.

All in all, this has been three great days of cycling, some highly convivial evenings and lots of fun. Same again next year?

This cycling trip was organised through Phoenix-CTC, a member group of Cycling UK.

Bon cyclisme

Clive

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,

Clive

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,

Clive