The Hastings Hustle

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  • Date: 10 September, weather permitting. See downthread.
    Meeting at Trafalgar Square right in front of the National Gallery at 9 a.m., and at Crystal Palace Park in the Dinosaur Court in front of the Iguanodons at 10 a.m.

    I want to start a ride called the Hastings Hustle, because 1) The poor man's Brighton (I prefer to think of Brighton as the rich man's Hastings) could use a boost to its economy, every little helps, 2) The Hastings train line is relatively cyclist friendly and not too far away for a bailout, 3) The Dunwich Dynamo and the Exmouth Exodus demand the alliteration, 4) It's a known hangout of pirates, and 5) It's a lovely ride down.

    Hastings itself ain't so bad either. The funicular railways are fun, though if you're feeling mountain goatish the rocky cliffs are quite climbable (if not with SPDs. And I did once see someone toss a bike off them - fortunately nobody was on it at the time). There's a castle on high where it should be, a photogenic beach-launched fishing fleet below, a rather good wholefood shop, Crazy Golf and other seaside amusements, a burnt out pier (just like Brighton!), chip shops galore, and a busker who sounds like Dylan:

    It ain't me babe

    I'd like to make this a regular ride, or at least not a one-off. Kind of like the Friday Night Ride to the Coast, but not on a Friday, not at night, and probably not nearly as well organised.

    Despite the name, which is set in stone because it came to me in a dream and you don't ignore things like that, I'm not after a particularly hustle-y experience; this wouldn't be a race. There are certainly some hills on the way, but no Ditchling Beacon to unduly dampen the spirits of singlespeeders.

    My current thinking is an Embankment start, a stop to pet the dinosaurs at Crystal Palace, a cheery wave at Churchill's Chartwell, a chance to give Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells more cyclists to bitch about in the Courier, a dip into unquiet lands quickly followed by an ascent up to Brightling with the ghost of Mad Jack Fuller, a spin through Battle to scatter the French tourists, then a gravity assist to the sea. 70+(?) miles, I've never counted.

    If there's any interest I'll set a date. Or I may set one anyway and head out alone, like a rolling stone.

  • I'm all over this! I love seaside and I love Hastings. Shame I'm a vegetarian and can't enjoy that yummy fish bap stall going towards the harbour anymore.

    But YES!

  • Sunday September 11th.

    Far away enough for people to plan ahead, but soon enough that the weather will still be nice to go to the coast.

  • I'm hoping the weather is going to stay good enough for rides to the seaside till end of October!

  • This looks like fun - definitely keen date dependent

  • Sounds awesome. Dates are tricky for me coming up but will definitely keep an eye on

  • I'm glad there's interest. I should have mentioned that my preference is for a Saturday, as more places are open and in my experience traffic is a little lighter than on Sundays.

    I also forgot to point out that there will be a pyramid on this ride. Jack Fuller had one built in the churchyard at Brightling. According to something I read on the internet the pyramidal shape rejuvenates cyclists. Lance Armstrong used to sleep under one every night.

    Legend has it that Jack was interred there sitting up, wearing a top hat, and holding a bottle of claret. However, scientific investigations have revealed the following:

    Note also that I hope to do this multiple times, so if you miss one maybe you can catch another.

  • In! But please pleeeease make it a Saturday - means if it takes peoples fancy they can let their hair down OR even attempt riding back too - nobody has work looming the next day! :)

  • Hell, yes! If only for the huge amount of effort that's gone into the sales pitch.

    I can't make the weekend of 11th Sept as I'm flying out to get married on the Monday, so will be otherwise engaged, but I'll definitely drop in for one (assuming it's not the w/e of 15th October, as that's our London party)

  • otherwise engaged...

    Like what you did there

  • Come mid September I'll be working Saturdays again so count me out I'm afraid.

  • I am interested in this, if only for the mystical power of the pyramids. Are there also leylines?

  • I totally want to do this! I love your sales pitch! I don't want to do a seriously hilly ride!

  • I'd love to do this - we spent a week just outside Hastings on holiday last summer and had a great time despite the weather.

  • +1, we camped just outside Hastings on our hols last summer, had a really nice time.

    Count me in.

  • Are you thinking a route something along these lines?­25172/?open_ive_done=1­7KCJAs/Tkv75rzsuDI/AAAAAAAAAMw/UxDEY832G­XA/s1440/Hilly.jpg

    That does look kinda bumpy. It's not exactly the route I had in mind (I'll get back to you on that), but it's not far off. This is where being near a train line helps, even if just as a mental balm.

    Going north is harder riding than going south.

    The significant hills in the North Downs aren't horrific coming from London (though the climb out of Westerham is a little heartbreaker; btw I wasn't planning on doing Ide Hill), and the hill from Burwash to Brightling - while not a Munro or even a Marilyn, still one of the highest points in East Sussex - is mitigated by its stair stepish topography.

    Anybody thinking of riding the return might want to take a jog east to see Bodiam, one of the most romantic castles around.

    photo credit

    I am interested in this, if only for the mystical power of the pyramids. Are there also leylines?

    There is apparently a convulsion of ley lines in Lewes, but we're not going that far west. There used to be one near Penshurst which I believe EDF Energy disconnected.

    Come mid September I'll be working Saturdays again so count me out I'm afraid.

    I hate to lose anybody, but I'm still thinking Saturdays work best.

  • Ha. I like the diagrams. You should name a date and do it. Just make sure it's far enough away everyone won't be booked up. Personally I've got rides every weekend now until the 10/11th Sept.

  • Perhaps not that weekend, but sounds like a great ride. If I can't make the first run I'll be out for the second.

  • love hastings, used to go each summer as a kid to see my Grandad who lived out by Bexhill, nearly rode down a week ago but time and day light got the better of be and bailed out at severn oaks.

  • Sounds great I missed the DD and would like a mission to ride to the sea, preferbly night riding...theres lots of talk about fish and chips how about curry!

  • Sounds great I missed the DD and would like a mission to ride to the sea, preferbly night riding...theres lots of talk about fish and chips how about curry!

    Errr.. May I be the first to say: FUCKYEAH ;D

  • Didn't even know I wanted to go to Hastings ... but the mystical power of the pyramids has worked its magic. Just name the day(s).

  • Hastings is a dump. Seriously. Best thing about it is the northbound carriageway of the A21.

  • The old town is really charming, nice to wander around. The rest of it is not great, it is true.

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The Hastings Hustle

Posted by Avatar for anothersam @anothersam