Which speed to you like to cycle at? Do you like to cycle at a touring pace, a sportive pace or something in between? If you’re an experienced cyclist then there should be a ride to suit you most Sunday mornings starting at the Martello Tower at 8.30am.
Last Sunday morning was a good example when fifteen cyclists turned up to cycle to Chilley Farm Café on the Pevensey Levels. We divided into three groups, Touring, Intermediate and Sportive. The Tourers cycle at an average speed of about 12 mph, the Intermediates at an average of 13 to 15 mph and the Sportives at an average of 15 to 17 mph. These are average speeds and the speed on the road can vary considerably; as much as 50% slower when on a stiff climb such as Chapel Hill and 50% faster when on a flattish road with a tail wind.
There was a strong westerly wind blowing on Sunday so anyone cycling eastwards to, say, Hailsham had the assistance of a tail wind which significantly increased the pace.
The three rides took different routes. Six cyclists joined me on the Touring ride which went via Chapel Hill, Hailsham, Stunts Green and then across the Pevensey Levels to Chilley Farm. Two cyclists joined Mark Cottenham for the Intermediate ride which went via Drusillas roundabout, Hailsham, Herstmonceux and the Pevensey Levels. Both groups met at Chilley Farm as planned but there was no sign of the Sportive cyclists.
On leaving the Martello Tower in Seaford they had headed out to Lewes, Barcombe and Ringmer achieving an average of 20mph! Strong tail winds perhaps??? They then slowed down the pace and decided to go to the café at Blackstock Farm, between Hailsham and Horam rather than do the extra miles to Chilley Farm. Their average speed by the time they finished at Seaford was 17 mph over a distance of 45 miles. The other rides were about 40 miles.
Everyone enjoyed themselves even though they had to battle against a strong headwind on their way back to Seaford.