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Old 07-05-09, 03:05 PM   #1
stapfam
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Cuckoo trail part 1

Sorry about only being attachments- but that is the way I work.

Working left to right and top to bottom but I said I would give a ride repot on our local MUP. Today I did a quick- well slow really- 40 miler and finished up for Pie on Eastbourne seafront and my favourite cafe. You can see why and this was Black and Redcurrants- with custard thrown in running through the middle. It did taste as good as it looks.

But the local Cuckoo trail runs around 20 miles from Eastbourne to Heathfield and the Town I live at- Hailsham- is about halfway along it. It is an old Railway line so no major climbs and it got it's name from the abundance of Cuckoos that can be heard on its route---Or it may only be one that travels a lot. But the first part of it travels through housing estates and commercial premises so I modified the route to give you a History lesson.

The concrete? structure is a "Martello Tower". Built as fortresses along the South coast to thwart any invasion by the French in the 1700's. The invasion never came but the Martello's still stand. They are so solid that even WWll did not damage them. A Lot newer is sovereign harbour. built as a Marina for small leisure boats but lots of housing has gone up to cater for the Londoners that work in the City as a weekend retreat. Lots of them are up for sale right now.

I have shown you pics of Pevensey castle in the past but in Pevensey villlage there is the town Gaol. Bit small but I suppose there was not much crime in the 1700's. Pevensey is one of the "Historic" parts of our nation and this is where Wiliam the Conqurer landed in 1066. The house in pic 6 is just one I love and shows the type of local houses that we have. Not all are like this- but this is one of the typical Country cottages that abound in this area- and it has a market value if around 600,000. About $1 million to you lot.

So onto the Cuckoo trail for just a few miles to home on this trip. One of the features on this part are the seats that have been built. All are made from the trees cleared in the maintenance of the trail and like any "Bodging" woodman- no two seats are even remotely alike. The two views of the trail looking North and south from the seat. First view you get of Hailsham is the Town Pond. There is no liner in it to retain water- Just good Wealden Clay and they emptied it a few years ago- just before a drought hit. It still filled up in a couple of months.

Last effigy is a-"Totem Pole"? They put these up on the Sustrans cycle networks somewhere- but this one is very handy for me. It is outside the back gate of my daughters house so that was the end of my Cuckoo trail ride today. It was time for tea and Scones straight from the oven. Except she wasn't in and I had to make do with coffee and a bacon sarnie from my son-in law.

Part two will go North and show yet more of our interesting seat along the way.
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Old 07-05-09, 04:22 PM   #2
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Great pics. Thanks for the history lesson. Is the trail highly used?
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Old 07-05-09, 04:29 PM   #3
will dehne
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Thank you for the pictures and lesson.
Sorry you can not be in Denver this August. Would have been interesting. We will miss you.
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Old 07-05-09, 05:10 PM   #4
rainycamp
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The Cuckoo Trail was featured in the April, 2009 issue of Cycling Plus magazine, which I picked up at a book store in Houston. Nice pics, and I want that cottage, too! Wishful thinking, though.
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Old 07-06-09, 06:19 AM   #5
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Nice ride report and pix, Stapfam. What is the composition of the trail? Is it asphalt, concrete, packed fine stone? Looks as if its road bike compatible.

We have a concentration of cuckoos over here in the colonies in a place known as Washington, DC. Many bird brains there and a noisy lot, as well. They're very high maintenance.
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Old 07-06-09, 10:29 AM   #6
rck
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stapfam-always glad to read your repts and look at the pics.
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Old 07-06-09, 12:43 PM   #7
stapfam
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Now when I was but a mere lad

I've only lived here for 22 years but I can remember when this Path was just a muddy track in between head high nettles. I used to go North to Heathfield on the MTB and that was an experience in the winter. Then Sustrans started to convert it to a walkable path and laid the road scrapings on it. Not compacted but 2" lumps of gravel and tar did make it so you could walk it. That was about 15 years ago. They then worked a route through Hailsham Town and down to Polegate and that was the end of the line. Still a rough surface but gradually the surface has been covered in Asphalt so it is a good walking surface. There is still a dirt track at the side for Horses and younger lads that want to get their MTB's dirty.

So for the 15 miles from Heathfield to Polegate there is a good surface- for walkers and Cycles. Then there was a link made through housing and industrial estates with just a few sections having to be made to complete the route.

Eastbourne is the largest Town and probably the only large employment area locally. there are plenty of Commuters that use the Cuckoo Trail as their commute route- and I know of several that live in Heathfield and work on the outskirts of Eastbourne. On the 15 miles there is only about 350ft of rise-or fall- and nothing too steep except for one bridge that crosses a railway line. And that is only 8% for about 200 yards.

But one thing about the Cuckoo line. You don't ride it on a warm sunday or in the evenings. It is packed out with family groups- Dog walkers and crowds of kids on their bikes. And they are all deaf- Thats why I keep the bell in the pocket. Soon wakens them up when it whistles past their ears as they haven't heard you telling them you are there. Hence the advice on the last pic- which I must admit is difficult to read. It says "Carry a bell"---I do.
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Last edited by stapfam; 07-06-09 at 12:47 PM.
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