8-16 June is Bike Week and we are on a mission to get more of you out there cycling. Can you manage #7DaysOfCycling?
The benefits are huge. It improves health, fitness, mental health, behaviour, learning and sleep, reduces stress and benefits the environment and traffic congestion. It could also save you time and money if you are swapping your morning journey to school or work. So what’s not to love!?
Grab your bikes and get out with your family! Here’s a roundup of some of our favourite places to cycle in East Sussex:
This pretty, flat route follows the old Cuckoo Line railway from Heathfield to Eastbourne. There’s no traffic (other than a couple of crossing points) and it rarely gets crowded, so it’s great for learners. There is lots of parking at various points and plenty of benches and tables perfect for picnics.
The Cuckmere valley has a lovely flat path that flows all the way to the sea. It’s paved, flat and wide, and set back from the water. However, it does get very busy on sunny days, so try and pick a non-peak time or you’ll end up people-dodging most of the way as pedestrians have priority!
Forest Way is another disused railway line that runs from East Grinstead to Groombridge. The flat, traffic-free route stretches through farmland and rolling hills, and even passes Winnie The Pooh’s village of Hartfield, so look out for Piglet and friends!
Friston Forest offers a relatively flat, but fun woodland cycling route made up of forest roads and unsurfaced paths through the trees, with a few hills thrown in. For the adventurous among you there are some more exciting mountain biking routes available.
There are some great seafront promenades along our coast, including Saltdean, Seaford, Eastbourne and Hastings. Although they can get busy at peak times, particularly if the weather is nice, they are a great place for young cyclists to practice their skills. The flat, wide paths offer beautiful views of the coast, and if you’re lucky there may be an ice cream van waiting!
Source Park in Hastings is built inside an old swimming pool, and is the world’s largest underground skate park! If your children aren’t confident enough to take part, it still warrants a trip to see the amazing things that go on there.
The new BMX track at Hamden Park is another thrilling place for riders to hone their tricks and skills on a bike, this time outdoors. Plenty of the other parks have their own skate parks suitable for bikes.
Practice is the key to building confidence when it comes to cycling. If you want to ensure your child is confident and well-equipped for cycling on the road, book onto a Bikeability course. Bikeability teaches practical skills, confidence and road safety. There are courses for all ages and abilities – book now for the summer holidays www.eastsussex.gov.uk/bikeability
Have you got any favourite places to cycle? Tell us in the comments