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
Chris, Dave, Joanne, Lesley, Joseph, Steve, Lynn and Paul on the upper banks
Tobias, Alfie, Ricki & Kate on the lower banks
Stopping for a rest on Gorhams Lane, 10 minutes from the finish.