Cycle Seahaven is very fortunate to have a large number of ride leaders, and they can all be contacted directly by email at our Ride Leader Contact page

Andy (Gus) Lock

I started riding at the age of 35, so I’m quite late to the party, but I’ve been with the club since day-1. I’m very keen on the tougher MTB 4C to 5D cross-country and forest rides, and I also get a real buzz from helping beginners and improvers get the most from cycling. You’ll therefore find me on all levels of MTB rides, and helping out with workshops and events.
I spend a lot of time studying maps to find new routes, and I love to vary my routes as much as possible. I ride a mountain bike without any gears so I’m limited to how fast I can go, but like to ride all day to make up for it.

Carol Bryant


I got into cycling as a hobby in my late twenties and enjoy both on and off road. I like the social side of cycling and prefer the more gentle paced rides, preferably with a great cafe and/or pub involved, of course!

Being part of Cycle Seahaven and the encouragement and support I’ve had from both the touring and MTB sections is amazing. This has played a key part in building my confidence both on and off road. I am keen to support others in this way. 

I am happy to assist on any ride, and hope to lead rides which include a social element. A Ripe pop up pub ride or along the Downslink to a summer ening of Jazz at Stans Bike Shack for example!

I hope to see you on one of my rides soon.

Chris Hollis (aka Girder)

Chris does a lot of dabbling with bikes. He regularly commutes to Brighton on his road bike but for fun is more likely to be found on a mountain bike. His stable of bikes includes a single speed but when he’s in the forest you’re more likely to see him shredding up the trails on a geared bike. Chris loves single track so if you want to learn or progress your riding on the fantastic trails we have in Friston Forest, he’s your man. Chris can be contacted using the link at the top of this page.

Clive Aberdour

I’ve been an active cyclist virtually all my life, have cycled extensively in France as well as in Great Britain and have organised many fund-raising bikeathons for a major charity. Since Cycle Seahaven was formed in early 2009 I’ve led numerous road rides for the club. I usually lead rides at level 3 (Touring Pace). My prime concern when planning a ride is ‘safety’.

Therefore, I avoid busy roads except to cross them and, in the main, keep to quiet country roads. My ride descriptions on the Rides Calendar always have a link to the plotted route so members can take a look at it beforehand using Google Streetview.

Dave Geering

I ride and lead all genres of cycling but I mostly ride road bikes. I am the Ride Leader for the faster road rides that are more about the exercise and fitness value than the scenery your passing. There is a certain thrill about working together as a group drafting each other in a train at 25 mph and gaining an average speed of 17 or 18 mph over 50 miles.

Leading a group of cyclists safely in traffic can be daunting at first but I can pass on my knowledge to anyone considering road riding to maintain the fun element.

Dave Sutton

I have always enjoyed cycling for the benefits of healthy exercise in good company, preferably with a café or pub stop during the ride.

I assist Clive with running the Road, Tourist Pace group, and lead the Tourers (S)off(T) road ride, which is a monthly easy paced off road ride. I currently co-ordinate Dr Bike for Cycle Seahaven and also volunteer at Dr Bike Lewes. I’m always keen to do anything that will help more people get out on their bikes.

I am also Chair of the Phoenix CTC, a UK Member Group that promotes cycle touring.

Dave Tyler

I’ve ridden bicycles since childhood and thankfully (now that I’m well into in adulthood) better bikes have become more affordable and reliable. My interest in all forms of cycling has grown in recent years. I am happy to lead MTB, Cross Country and road rides. With the exception of the most inclement winter months my preference is road riding at an intermediate level.

If you’ve ridden on the roads but want to learn what it’s like to ride in a ‘train’, work as a team and understand the tactics employed when riding as a group then my rides might be suited to you. Details are on the Cycle Seahaven Calendar or you can email me by using the link at the top of this page.

Debbie McFly

I started riding about 3 years ago as a complete beginner and was enticed to join the Club by the (usually short) Thursday Night Pub rides. Since then I have increased my confidence and fitness and that has enabled me to ride The South Downs Way and I have also raced in Big Dog, a mountain bike race in Stanmer Park Brighton.
You will mainly find me on a mountain bike but occasionally I ride a road bike; usually in Triathlons. 

This makes me sound fast and competitive, I’m not! – my rides tend to be short, sweet and very social. Look forward to seeing you soon.

Denis Bass

I have ridden a bike since I was a child,but it wasn’t until the growth of the MTB in the eighties that I found riding a bike so exhilarating and enjoyable. Even now in my retirement riding my bike is one of my top three activities that I enjoy the most.

In 2009 I was looking for some “development” in my cycling life when Cycle Seahaven was formed,since then as the club has grown it has formed an integral part of my cycling life,long may this continue.

Ellie Eliza

You will usually see me on my ‘ugly coloured’ single speed bike that I sometimes park in favour of my geared suspension bike to enjoy the forest trails. I am looking to lead ‘quick and dirty’ rides across the Downs to push you that extra bit further when you think you really can’t pedal anymore.

I’m also looking to encourage and progress female riders and provided you don’t give me coffee or icing we are all safe! My rides will mostly be cross-country MTB at 3B to 5C levels with occasional all level rides to support the variety of members and events. Please check the grading and if unsure drop me a line.

Gray Brett

Gray likes a mix of rides from sedate gentle rides to exploring the South Downs, scooting around the forest, with the occasional pub ride thrown in! Predominantly he rides his Giant E-Mountain bike, but now and then will dust off his hybrid for the shorter easier rides. You can occasionally see him host the Sunday Saunters I, II & III which is a mix of rides routes designed for  riders that are new, early stage or returning to ride. He is also happy to host more adventurous rides and will even put on a personal ride tailored to suit an individual. This can especially useful for a new member or someone thinking of joining. Contact him using the Ride Leaders contact page for more information.

With the South Downs on the doorstep, He recently completed the 2019 SDW challenge, Winchester to Eastbourne along with 16 others. He’s finding it an exhilarating journey to achieve his goals: thanks to Cycle Seahaven for the inspiration! 

Guy Reynolds

I am predominantly a cross country mountain bike rider. I ride for fitness and love finding new routes here on our doorstep. As a Ride Leader, I’m looking to run rides for people looking to get fitter or challenge themselves on cross-country routes, typically at a Cycle Seahaven MTB grading from 3 A to 4 C. However, I’m also happy to get involved with beginners or youth or just take you out to discover new routes. Please contact me using the Ride Leader Contact button at the top of this page if you would like to know more.

Jamie Lynch

Born in Newhaven I have been cycling around the Downs for many years now, and it is my privilege to work full time as a British Cycling Mountain Bike coach and guide at South East Mountain Biking and this has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people who have the same love of cycling both in the club and out.

Jamie Simmons

One of the stated objectives when I took on a Committee role was “To help club members gain cycling experience and develop riding skills”. Ride leading seems to be the prefect fit.

I cycle both on road and off road but the majority of my cycle time is spent on a mountain bike. I’ve ridden our local area for many years and have a lot of experience of local trails and cross country routes. I enjoy heading out with a group of strong and fast riders on a cross country route or hitting the forest trails but, equally, I get a lot of enjoyment out of seeing riders progress their skills and confidence whilst exploring the local area and the mixture of riding styles it offers.

I aim to become one of the team of ride leaders running the very popular grade 2 and 3 mountain bike rides but will also find my own niche which might be forest sessions or climb training cross country rides.

Kate Carver 

I like to ride on and off road although I tend to be on my mountain bike most of the time. I enjoy the social side of the club and it’s always great to meet new members. I’m looking to lead MTB rides to 3C level and I am always happy to assist other ride leaders.

I particularly like getting involved with the ladies rides and would love to hear from any lady who is contemplating joining the club but might be a little unsure of what to expect. We are a very easy-going club whose strength lies in the support and encouragement we give to others. If you are not sure, please contact me, and come and join us for a trial ride. You won’t and regret it.

Kirstie Forcey

I’m fairly new to the world of cycling but hopefully my enthusiasm and love for MTB cross country makes up for that. Joining Cycle Seahaven has been such a positive step for me and I could never have guessed the health benefits riding a bike can bring. I want to give something back and I try to actively support everything the club does; so becoming a Ride Leader was an obvious step. As a ride leader I want to encourage and motivate people. I’m aiming to fill the progression gap between 2B graded rides and 3B graded rides and hopefully you show some of the amazing routes the South Downs have to offer. Keep an eye out for my ‘Wanderlust Wednesdays’ training rides or contact me if you just fancy a relaxed exploration of the area.

Mark Smoker

A road rider from the start, with a passion for hills and fast descents. A competitive side for the thrill of track racing and will push myself and others to the limit. I enjoy leading the fast sportive and intermediate club rides,(normally with my son in tow) which are aimed more at fitness and exercise but I’m always up for a bit of fun and banter. Riding in a bunch of cyclists is a rush with all the sounds of chains, gears, and voices. So no matter how far or fast the ride we never leave people behind.

Mark Woodgate

I have always been into biking and though initially I was a roadie in my younger days, since the mid 90’s I have been into Mountain Biking. I love getting out and enjoying the trails and hills we have all round us but I especially love seeing families getting out together and enjoying our forest so run regular monthly Forest Family rides around Friston Forest.

I love showing local kids that there is a great amount of fun to be had right here on our doorstep that does not cost anything and is better for you and more fun than sitting on an XBox or Play Station all day.

Michelle Brett


I came back to cycling in my late 40’s and thoroughly enjoy the buzz and the freedom that it gives me. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in 2014, I thought sports was something that ‘I used to do’. My e-bike has given me a new lease of life and made cycling something that I ‘can’ do! 

During the time I’ve been with the club I have ridden both off road and road, and plan to lead a variety of rides. Hope to see you out there soon!

Mike Winser

I joined Cycle Seahaven 8 months ago and haven’t looked back! I ride for fitness and love being up on the Downs in all weather’s on my one fork bike, “Kermit “. I enjoy meeting new riders and making new friends.

My rides will mostly be Cross Country MTB graded 2B to 4C levels, but I do like a little bimble around Friston Forest single tracks when passing through.

I look forward to riding with you soon.

Paul Sandles


I started riding around the age of 8 and haven’t stopped. I’ve been riding the Downs since my early 20’s, and I never get bored with the views on offer, whatever the weather. So why do I ride? To keep fit, to have fun, make new friends and to enjoy the great countryside we have around this area. Getting out riding clears my mind of all the day to day issues, whether it’s grinding out a tough climb or whizzing down a fast descent or just trying to catch that your mate in front of you. Nothing beats that feeling of being out in the open air on your bike, having fun.

Richard Carruthers

I first started riding off road in 1994, in preparation for a mountain bike cycling trip in India. It was the trip of a lifetime and it left me with a serious mountain biking bug. I returned home and road cross country routes for 100’s of miles around the South Downs between Eastbourne and Brighton. I bought my first ‘proper’ nobly tyred MTB in 2006, and in 2013 I completed the first of several SDW 100 mile events with the BHF charity. Despite all the riding I’ve done, my enthusiasm shows no sign of wearing off and I still love to get out on the downs to ride the trails and see the views. Joining Cycle Seahaven in 2016 has added yet more to my cycling experiences and thanks to the vast collective knowledge of the ride leaders, I often discover routes I otherwise might never have known.

As a Ride Leader I’ll have the opportunity to encourage riders of all ages and abilities to come out, have fun, meet other riders and experience the fantastic trails and countryside we have here right on our doorstep.

See you soon I hope!

Ricki Carver


I have been riding for many years, enjoying mainly cross country but also forest single track, (especially dedicated trail centres) but also love the speed and team work of road riding. I enjoy meeting and encouraging new riders to develop their own abilities. As a Ride Leader, I normally lead one-off cross-country rides and assist with our regular rides, leading them when required. As a member of the committee, I enjoy riding with all our members

Rob (Scratch) Allchin

In 2012, after a 20-year hiatus, I bought a mountain bike to keep fit, as I’d given up martial arts due to injury. Since then I’ve re-discovered my love of cycling. Now I regularly go on epic cross-country rides across the South Downs, usually riding 50 miles plus and sometimes over 100 miles in a day. You will also find me in Friston Forest guiding others around and throwing myself down craters. I ride a single speed bike, as I love the back-to-basics simplicity and the reliability of it. It’s also fun conquering big hills without the aid of gears.

The aim of my rides is progression. This includes fitness and skills. Whether this is leading out grade ‘5D’ 70 mile cross country rides; cleanly climbing that killer hill or encouraging novice riders to ride their first forest hazard. “Many little steps makes for big progress” is my mantra.


Rob Blackman

I’ve been riding since I was a kid and rode from Brighton to Devon when I was 15 on an old steel bike that weighed a ton and I’m still knocking out touring, audax and sportive rides 40 years later.

Since then I’ve seen loads of different styles emerge: mountain bikes, carbon roadies, and now cx and carbon gravel go anywhere bikes. One thing is for certain though: whether big or small, novice or advanced, fat or wafer thin, road or off road, slow or fast, load or weight weanie, carbon or metal, we’ve a ride for you.

Roger Case

I returned to cycling a few years ago after one of my daughters gave me an MTB and as part of a fitness regime. I was quickly drawn to riding with the Monday MTB rides led by Tony Rowswell. At the same time I took to road riding eventually joining Touring Group rides. I completed the CSH SDW 3-day ride in 2019 and enjoy exploring the countryside and finding new routes. I ride for the challenge both on and off-road but thoroughly enjoy riding with other CSH riders as they are great company especially when we explore new hostelries for lunch-stops.

I am happy to lead or support rides and my rides will currently be MTB rides graded up to 3D for manual and e-bikes. I am also keen to encourage new and returning riders having just renewed my exhausted supply of CSH cards.

Roger Lambert

I returned to riding a few years ago, encouraged by Jamie Lynch and the Friday night rides in the forest. I also Joined the Sunday Beginner/Improver ride then organised by Andy ‘Gus’ Lock. It could be a slightly ‘thrilling’ experience (going for it in the forest!) but allowances were made with humour and encouragement for my lack of fitness and skills. I hope as a ride leader I bring the same level of support and encouragement to the rides I lead.

Roy Francomb


Since joining Cycle Seahaven I’ve met some great people, explored new and interesting places on my doorstep, had lots of laughs, and have got a bit fatter (I mean fitter) in the process!
It’s really good to be able to ride with people of all abilities and encourage them to try new challenges. It’s amazing to see how quickly new and returning cyclists develop skills, fitness and confidence.
Look forward to riding with you soon!

Sarah Winser

I love my mountain bike, ‘Monty’. I ride for fitness, exploring the beautiful countryside, enjoying the freedom and chasing a butterfly or two. Stopping for tea and cake, possibly lunch, maybe both, and definitely ice-cream. Meeting new riders and making new friends.

I have organised the monthly ladies rides since the beginning of 2018: mainly gently off road, these rides involve a lot of chat washed down with tea and cake! There’s some exciting ladies rides in the pipeline – keep an eye on the calendar for details!

My aim is to provide the same level of support and encouragement that I have received since joining Cycle Seahaven in January 2017. I want to help beginners and improvers of all ages, to develop their skills and enjoy safe riding. I’m also keen to support our team of ride leaders on most levels of MTB rides. 

Tim Venables


I spend far too much time commuting on trains and wish I could ride to work, but failing that I’m loving getting out at weekends. With two young children my main focus will be on organising rides the whole family can enjoy, but with the option of a more adventurous detour on parts of the route.

Tony Rowswell

In my teens, I was a keen touring cyclist but had not touched a bike for 50 years until about 10 years ago.

I used to like flat traffic-free routes like the Cuckoo Trail and Downs Link but then I bought an MTB e-bike, a Cube Reaction 29er, and my life has changed. The Downs are mine, I can go anywhere! Also having an e-road bike, I have the best of both worlds.

As a Ride Leader, my choice is “Off-road Touring”, using cycleways, byways and bridle ways, many of which have seldom been used by cyclists.  These are usually discontinuous so joining them together does involve some (usually quiet) roadwork.  Occasionally we will start from more distant locations, such as Hampden Park, or Stanmer Park.  The result is that my rides have ranged as far as Pyecombe in the west, Heathfield in the north, and Burwash in the east, not so far in the south and at least 75% off-road.

The Monday Rides include lunch at café, or pub and the emphasis is on an enjoyable ride.  Don’t believe what you hear about them always involving mud, this is a wicked slur put about by some rather muddy cyclists.

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