It’s “Love Parks” week and here in the Greenhavens area we have some fantastic parks, and projects based in them. Our first project is the Peacehaven Cycle Hub and Jamie Lloyd from Sustrans told us more about the project.
The Peacehaven Cycle Hub has been established as part of the Active Access for Growth program. It’s funded by East Sussex County Council to provide a community resource for any cycling and walking group to use as a base for their activities.
Run by Sustrans – the charity that makes it easier to walk and cycle – the cycle hub has been equipped with some quality bike tools and also several loan bikes. These include three top of the range Electric Mountain Bikes, which clubs can borrow to assist in their rides.
The idea of having loan bikes like these, is to attract people that may be nervous about taking up cycling after a long hiatus or who might be recovering from an injury and therefore in need of a little mechanical assistance. As the Sustrans officer assigned to developing the hub, it was important to test ride these electric Mountain Bikes. They are terrific fun.
I took one out the back of The Big Park down onto The lovely Egret’s Way and up onto the South Downs Way. The level of power delivered is incredible and the bike made mincemeat of the off-road tracks, allowing me to truly enjoy the stunning views and scenery.
The hub is in an excellent location to start bike rides like this from, nestled next to the Gateway café in The Big Park (where the café offers excellent coffee, amongst other things). From here you can either go ‘out the back’ as I did and quickly find themselves in beautiful meandering Sussex lanes, or you can quickly get down to the lido at Saltdean on quiet roads and cycle lanes, and then onto the undercliff path which runs, traffic free all the way to Brighton Marina.
The hub is also a great place to get a bike checked and fixed. Cycle Seahaven who run many bike rides for pretty much all members of the cycling community, also offer free ‘Dr. Bike’ Sessions on the 3rd Saturday of every month at the hub. These sessions allow anyone to turn up with their bike for a free bike health check and to get some minor repairs done. If you have a bike that’s been sitting unused for a while, this is a great way of fixing it up and getting active on it again, it could even be a good time to sign up to one of Cycle Seahaven’s many led rides.
The hub will also be a centre for Bikeability training (the national standard in cycle proficiency and safety). Bikeability is delivered by East Sussex County Council and they will be bringing a range of excellent quality children’s bikes to the hub so local children and schools can benefit from first class cycle tuition.
Looking to the future, we have exciting plans to develop the hub further. At the moment it consists of a wooden clad shipping container but a second container is arriving soon. We are also in the planning stage of building a lovely wooden pavilion that will serve as a shelter for walkers and cyclists to meet at, before and after walks and rides. The hub is available now for any community groups or clubs to use and we welcome any such organisation to get in touch;
For Cycle Seahaven Rides and events please visit https://cycleseahaven.org.uk/