Windmills and Rivers – 4C MTB ride report

The warm sunshine and sheer numbers added to the excitement of the Thirty One (yes, 31!) MTB riders who met up at The White Lion for an 8:30am start on Sunday 2nd April. Our group of 20 club members who were riding the longer 4C route left first to head up to Bopeep, then onward past the two aerial towers above Firle Beacon. The views were still partly shrouded in mist, but this gradually cleared throughout the 28-mile ride.

Heading towards the aerials above Firle Beacon

Our usual route (after dropping down to Southease) is to follow the Egrets Way rider-side trail to Piddinghoe then up through Peacehaven via valley road, but this time we stayed on the South Downs Way (SDW) for the more challenging climbs up Mill Hill, Front Hill and Iford Hill – that’s a lot of hills. At the top we stopped for a quick refuel before heading further West along the SDW.

The chalky descent to Ashcombe (Kingston) is rather technical, with deep ruts and rain gulleys to negotiate. Despite this, everyone rode with skill and confidence to Kingston Ridge and the Juggs Road, pausing for a photo-stop at Ashcombe windmill at St Anne Without. From this half-way point we had done all the climbing and could now look forward to drinking in the views on the flat return journey.

Warm sunshine and great views at Ashcombe windmill

After crossing a narrow bridge high above the A27 we took some back streets (Morely Close & Cluny St.) to The Cockshut, then we followed the river banks to Egrets Way back home to Newhaven & Peacehaven.

This ride was really great fun with some marvellous personal achievements, wonderful weather and great company. Thanks to Tim & Chris for co-herding such a large group.

You can see the route we took by clicking on this link.

2B Sunday Morning Beginners Ride

This Sundays ride saw the beginners group and the intermediate group set out together for a relaxed poodle along Seaford seafront to the car park at Tidemills, where the groups split. This left the beginners ride with 17 of us heading for the youth hostel cafe at Southease. A second beginners group was to follow on behind as afew riders were running late. We carried on to Newhaven and then along the riverbank to Piddinghoe where we passed the intermediate group, nothing to do with the speed we were riding at, more to the fact they had all stopped as one of them had picked up a puncture. Shortly after this one of our group also picked up a puncture, however the main group carried on whilst the puncture was repaired, thanks Gus for coming to the rescue.

After a short hop on the C7 we joined the Egrets Way to Southease, having made good time we were to early for the café, so we carried on up the Erget Way until the hard packed surface ended. Turning round we rode back to, and over the bridge crossing the river Ouse and on to the Cafe. The look on the poor waitress’s face when see saw all 17 of us ride up was a picture, a mixture of surprise and fright. Shortly after arriving the second group turned up – all 8 of them…. WOW We couldn’t believe it 25 riders on our beginners ride – a record – as you can see from the photo.

After coffee and cake we returned via the same route, back to Seaford, where people split off at different points to head home, hopefully having enjoyed a very pleasant mornings ride.

I would like to add a personal thank you to those ride leaders & more experienced riders who assisted me on this ride. It is greatly appreciated.  

Paul Sandles


Egrets Way Opening Event – Sat 14th May

A new section of the Egrets Way between the South Downs Way at Southease Bridge and Deans’ farm will be opened on Saturday 14th May.

There are cycle rides to and from the event, ebikes to try, bbq & café, and our club stand.

See our website for more details at

The Big Pedal 2 – Ride Report 31st January 2015

On Saturday 31st January The Big Park project organised two cycle rides to help promote the amazing work that’s going on in Peacehaven’s Big Park. Cycle Seahaven were only too happy to help with the ‘Intermediate’ ride, and Sustrans led the ‘Family’ ride.

At ten past eleven we ran a headcount and a briefing of the ride before 17 riders of all ages set off from The Big Park for the intermediate ride. The rain had eased off while we rode towards Newhaven using the quiet roads on the designated cycle route along Arundel Road. At the junction of the A259 we all crossed over the main road and headed up The Highway past Rushey Hill caravan park. This is quite a climb so we all stopped at the top to get our breath back. After a short break we headed left down Upper Valley Road, across the main road, and down into Meeching Valley –  a lovely fast descent to reward our earlier climb. The quiet residential streets along Valley Road took us towards Lewes Road Recreation Grounds and onto the beginning of the Egrets Way by Robinson Road. The river banks were very muddy and hard work for part of the route, but the scenery was stunning. The rain was still holding off and it was good to get onto the tarmac road at Southease. The original plan was to continue on the Egrets Way to Rodmell, but the tough conditions meant we had to cut the ride short and take the more direct road route. The easy, flat road was a joy to ride on after the muddy river banks, but it soon started its climb out of the valley and up Gorhams Lane to Telscombe Village, crossing the C7 on the way. This is almost 300 feet of climbing in a mile and a half, so when we got to the top we were certainly ready for a rest before the final descent to Telscombe Village for our free lunch. And what a lunch! Hot dogs, pizza, bread & cheese, soup, sausage rolls and hot & cold drinks. The Big Parks team had done us proud.

After our 8-mile ride and hearty lunch we rode with the Family group on the 3mile route back to the Big Park. Another fantastic free day out courtesy of The Big Park, Sustrans and Cycle Seahaven.

We look forward to supporting the next ride for the Big Park opening day on March 7th 2015. More details will soon be posted on our website and on our online calendar.

Jim's not too sure about his decision to ride on the lower banks

Jim’s not too sure about his decision to ride on the lower banks

Chris, Dave, Joanne, Lesley, Joseph, Steve, Lynn and Paul on the upper banks

Chris, Dave, Joanne, Lesley, Joseph, Steve, Lynn and Paul on the upper banks

Tobias, Alfie, Ricki & Kate on the lower banks

Tobias, Alfie, Ricki & Kate on the lower banks

Stopping for a rest on Gorhams Lane, 10 minutes form the finish.

Stopping for a rest on Gorhams Lane, 10 minutes from the finish.