Searching for blog posts tagged with 'cycling'

Bike Train



Anyone thinking about cycling to Uni from Brighton but thinks the cycling facilities along the Lewes Road aren't adequate? Join the Bike Train and cycle in safety with a group of mixed experienced cyclists. The idea is to create a safe space for cyclists, to go at a moderate but not fast pace, to cycle two-by-two for a social ride and sometimes to be accompanied by a sound system with lovely tunes. If you're interested meet at The Level ready for an 8.30am or 9.30am departure. Monday to Friday (or earlier if you need some air in your tires or oil on your chain). We normally get to campus about 20-25 minutes after we set off. For more details see

Settling in



So today was my first day as a student at the University of Sussex, and I'm tempted to call it the beginning of an adventure. The thing is, it really isn't. Not that it isn't an adventure - it most certainly is - but it has begun a rather long time ago. During this first week, I'll try to give you glimpses of how the universe conspired to get me here. In this way, I can show you what kind of person I am, and of course I hope it'll give you a laugh or even inspire you in one way or another.

But first, about today! If you were on campus today, you'll have seen a lot of students coming in with all their luggage, moving into their rooms. Some of them will have come by car, many accompanied by their parents, sisters or boyfriends. You might have seen a few coming off the train or bus, dragging their suitcases across the pavement with searching eyes. And then, if you were here around 9:30am this morning, you may have seen a guy on a bicycle, pulling a trailer, and you might have wondered if he'd mistaken the campus for a campsite. Let's cut to the chase: You'd have been wrong.

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On the road – again



Today, my Freshers Fair signup frenzy had its first direct – and very enjoyable – consequence. I went on a surprise ride with the Cycling Club! I expected a crowd as I headed out of sleepy East Slope to the Library Square. Instead, I was only the second person with wheels in sight. Half an hour and some introductions later, we'd grown to a fabulous group of five. We set out into a most beautiful autumn day, riding up through Stanmer Park to Ditchling Beacon. There – after regaining our breaths and enjoying the view – we unfortunately had to part with one of the crew, leaving just three lovely women and myself to continue onward. But onward we rode, with a tight grip on our brakes down towards Ditchling and thence westward, past Hassocks and through Hurstpierpoint to our chosen target, a...

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It was wonderful to be invited to become an honorary member of the Life Sci Commit to Fit team and I hope I can do them proud as we make our healthy way to 'Venice' over the course of the month.

I have been a member of the sports centre for about a year now and have been drawn to the more unusual activities available; from hula hooping to fencing (although I haven't done those two together...yet).

For the Commit to Fit month one of my challenges is to try some of the classes I have been too scared to do, namely spinning.

Spin classes scare me because even my friend who is a personal trainer says it's tough and whenever I go on I bike ride I end up pushing it most of the way. But it is time for me to stop being a wimp. 

My first spin class is booked for next Friday and I am already nervous.

Getting back on the bike.



Before the CtGF challenge started I was feeling quite smug to be perfectly honest. I had taken part last year and felt really good as a result and in the past year have incorporated exercise and fitness much more into my lifestyle. I had even already though of the team mileage goal and was savouring the fact that I would easily clock up the miles just by doing my morning cycle to work. Then three weeks ago I fell off my bike. I was cycling along and suddenly the bolt holding my saddle to the post sheared off throwing me off the bike and into the road (path side luckily) due to the fact that I wasn't cycling too fast and the road wasn’t busy I escaped with a grazed knee, bruised ankle and general body strain. So I picked up my bike after being helped by a lovely cyclist and went home to drop my bike off, recover and go to work. As soon as the door slammed shut the shock of what happened took its hold and I broke down. After getting it all out and feeling a bit better I made my way to work still feeling shaky, but determined to get on with things.

The long and short of it is that what happened really knocked my confidence and made me feel vulnerable, which is essentially what you are when you ride a bike there is no metal armour to protect you and you are exposed to all of the elements around you. I should have got straight back on the bike, but for whatever reasons and excuses I didn’t. Since then it’s become a problem. Every morning I have got up with the intention to cycle but have always found a reason not to whether it be I was running late, had a bus ticket or it was raining…. In reality I’m scared and I feel it is bringing me down generally, maybe it’s a lull but I want to get out of it, feel more in control and better about myself.

Fast forward…

I cycled to work this morning and I’m pleased. I’m not writing this to get applauded in anyway, infact it’s more as a form of catharsis. I don’t know if the CtGF challenge hadn’t been running this month I would have still got on the bike, I probably would have but it has definitely provided encouragement and given me the push I needed. For the next few weeks I know each morning I will be extra apprehensive and hyperaware, but I’m just going to try and get on with it.

Tennis, bluebell walks and more!



I have really enjoyed commit to get fit so far!  I have done a tennis taster session with some colleagues, which was great fun, especially as the sun was shining and we were on the outside courts.  I enjoyed it so much that I signed up to a six week introductory course, so hopefully by the end of it I will be good enough to be able to use the tennis courts overlooking the beach by my house, which would be great!  We also did two department walks, one on Tuesday last week and one on Friday to see the bluebells which were amazing!  Over the bank holiday I managed to go jogging, cycling and walking, so managed to keep it going over the weekend.  This week I’m looking forward to the ‘Eat Better, Feel Better’ talk, going to a handball taster session and walking from Falmer to Lewes with colleagues.

SRS Team: Photographic evidence



As week two kicks off here's some of the SRS Team on how their weekends went and what they're looking forward to this week, plus some photographic evidence that trampolining and circuit training actually happened.

Isobel... "Bank Holiday weekend was mixed. A bingey day out at the cricket with a picnic full of what would usually be forbidden foods, followed by a few pints of cider (do the apples count as 1 of 5 a day?). Saturday and Monday were more restrained however so I'm pleased with that at least. This week we're trying some new activities such as handball and mountain biking which should make a nice change - assuming we make it back in one piece."

Nathan... "Haven’t managed to score any points for new activities or activities that last an hour or more yet but on the plus side I’ve done at least 30 minutes cycling every day, I’ve eaten plenty of fruit and veg I’ve been drinking like a fish and I’ve only had one sugary snack lapse. The downside to the lapse was that it was some rather unsatisfying ginger snaps biscuits. I resisted the urge to buy a tub of chocolate crispy snacks from Marks & Spencer to make the most of my lapse though. I’ve actually exercised less as I was on a training course last week. Going to get back to normal this week with a view to doing some more activities next week."

Margaret... "Weekend was good did lots of walking and did not eat anything I should not have. I was very good even refused hubby’s birthday cake (sticky toffee from thorntons)…Ymmm but not for me. Handball this week plus the walking and hopefully another session of circuits with Kev."

Jonathon (AKA Bread Lover)... "A very fantastic exercise filled four day weekend. Started on Friday – Walking to Hove and back (6 miles), in addition I managed to consume a WHOLE carton of Mango Innocent fruit juice (expensive but YUM) 5-a-day done and dusted by lunch time. That afternoon I came into work ON MY DAY OFF to take part in Kevin’s SRS circuits (SRS team kicked ass in this). Saturday saw a sleep deprived long haired ginger, scurry around 5K for Park Run – recording a new P.B. but still getting beaten by that dog who has such short legs but MAN they can go around quickly! Sunday and Monday both saw hour bike rides: Sundays ride note to self: Make sure when you replace your brake pads you tighten them fully, as Elm Grove is a very scary hill without back brakes. Mondays ride note to self: Make sure that you always have a very big HGV while going up large hills – it makes you peddle fast because of fear of DEATH – but it makes you come 4/189 on Strava (bike mapping app). Each of these activities was followed by PUB and/or BEACH – therefore I’m full of vitamin D/C and Grapes. Bread Lover."

Me... "I went to the gym on Friday. Saturday was pretty much a write-off though. Sunday and Monday weren't so bad, but still not great. I'm going to get back on with exercising this week but I don't feel too bad about having a lazy weekend. If I just went and got fit in the first week I'd having nothing to do for the rest of the month so it's good to draw it out a bit."

As promised in last week's blog below are some photos of the team undergoing various forms of excerise for CTGF and a photo of Jonathon with some bread.


 Isobel loving the Levitation for beginners class.


Katie levitating al fresco style.


 Siobhan having a little sit down during Kev's circuit training.


 Isobel sunbathing.


Andy breakdancing.


Jonathon with some bread.

Drinking more water is hard!



Hi, this is my first blog and I feel quite proud already for getting this far and creating a SPLASH account :)).  So a week into ctgf and so far so good.  My targets are modest: drink more water, have a banana not biscuits for a snack once a day, try to jog up to 5K a week and try a new/change of routine exercise-wise.  Well so far I've managed bananas AND biscuits so I hope that counts a  partial success (not!).   I have put on my jogging gear and gone outside this week and last week but I'm not sure I've had much success, I've probably managed half jog/half walk-gasp for breath for 4-5K, but it's a start!!

New exercise has been a different cycle route in the lovely sunshine on Sunday - big success and trying to do press ups (just those funny half ones and not so successful!).   

The hardest part has been drinking more water.  Can anyone really drink 2 litres a day (on top of tea/coffee)?  I've worked up to 750ml extra, my best so far today, but I'd like to be reaching 1.5l every day by the end of May.

Aim for the next week is to incorporate stretching into my daily routine, try a class and go for a walk in Stanmer Park.  Watch this space.






Handball, Nutrition and Zumba!



This week I have managed to keep going with trying out new activities, which was one of my aims.  The week started with a few of us from our department going to the nutrition talk, to learn how to compliment our exercise with good food. Next was a handball taster session,which was lots of fun and I'd definitely play again. The week ended with a Zumba session, which was great, especially as we went as a group, although I'm not sure I was quite keeping up, but that didn't matter! The weekend has involved some walking and cycling, so that's good. Racketball tomorrow.

Cakes and Sweat



Into week 3 of CTGF and we're still here......

The R&E team have been geting with a mixture of activities and I think we're all OK, everyone is still smiling (ish) and we are glowing with health, although to be fair, I am just glowing.

The main topic of conversation and prime activity appears to revolve around our need to maintian our cake and biscuit habit (read addiction) whilst also meeting the gluten free and vegan requirements of our personal challenges. I believe we have tried every form of gluten free biscuits and have even resorted to baking. On my cycle in this morning, I even worked out how to make gluten free vegan snacks, so that's my weekend sorted then.

Ah yes, my cycle in; this brings me nicely to the second point. Most of my exercise has invoved cycling and cardio activity... my goodness, the sweat, I appear to be constantly bathed in my own lactic acid and sweat (who knew your eyelids have sweat glands that poured forth?)

I've also realised that doing execise makes people obsessed with stats, here's some stats: Number of additional showers taken this month, 12. Number of additional laundry loads done to esnure I have some kit which is clean enough (read not sweat soaked) to put on, 5.

However, all the cycling (cycling to work and at least 3 spinning classes a week) must be paying off. This is the conversation I imagine taking place in Italy right now......

Sirs Bradley Wiggins and Dave Brailsford worked closely together on the composition of Team Sky's Giro squad

BW: "My chest's really bad, I don't think I can carry on..."

DB: " Don't worry Brad, I'll give Sarah a call and she can power the team up the Galibier, she managed a 27 minute hill climb in spinning without cracking. Here, take this packet of lockets and have a sleep"



Racketball, Walk to Lewes and Cycling



Last week I cycled to the station most of the week and tried racketball.  Despite some excellent coaching, I'm not sure racketball is for me!  Our department also walked to Lewes after work on Thursday, which was a beautiful sunny evening.  The walk is all over the downs and it was beautiful, I'd definitely recommend it (thanks for organising it Jess)!  We did stop for dinner in the pub afterwards though....

I chose tennis as the sport to keep going with after CTGF, to keep up with the exercise.  However, the first class was cancelled last week because not enough people have signed up, so if anyone wants to learn tennis, there's lots of spaces left on the course that should start this should be fun!

Careers - what's been occurring last week!



We're still going for it in Careers and are making a big push for extra and more stuff in this last week. Tongue Out We've done:

Walking - longer and more dog walks; an 8 miler in the beautiful Hampshire countryside; and a long walk in the Welsh borders

Tennis - following our team coach with Simon a few weeks ago, 4 team members were so smitten ..... with the tennis!! (and perhaps also with the coach?!) Wink... that they signed up for Simon's weekly coaching session and have already enjoyed 2 hours of coaching (and today's in the rain!).  Other team members continue to play energetic tennis both socially and in club matches.

Cycling - have put clothes in the wardrobe and started using the exercise bike for its proper purpose; two other team members have done a 20 miler and a 25 miler this weekend; and there's been lots more cycling to work (when's Chris Wadey going to give us our rebates on parking fees??)

Running - we've done this as well - including a night run in Bexhill and a 6 k training run (for Brighton Half marathon)

new things - including: Zumba (once only, discovered a complete lack of coordination, although enjoyed it at the back doing my own thing to the rather good music!); Zip wire in wales (fab!); Dirty Dancing and Davina DVDs (hopefully in the privacy of their sitting rooms!!); best of all, one member's signed up for a 6 week sea rowing course (let's hope it's not too choppy - her only previous rowing experience was in a canal!!)

Other noteworthy things - have included: Yoga, not using the car for a whole 5 days (ditto above parking comment!)

Eating and Drinking - I'd like to say the whole team has cut back on their alcohol consumption (but not on Fridays and Saturdays!); one team member has confessed to drinking a green smoothie every day (yuk!); and 2 team members are bravely persevering with the 5:2 diet; finally.... "no comment on cutting down on the chocolate…………."


Onwards and upwards toward the last few days of CTGF!



LPS Motivation



As well as raising money for a very worthwile charity, it must be said that everyone is looking forward to a few of these once they have done their bit!

Chocolate fingers - the food of athletes!


LPS channels ET



'Im flying through the air! This is just like ET'  - Prof. Richard Vogler, Law.

We are up to 25 miles and still going strong, queues of faculty waiting to have a go and the donations are pouring in! 


Team Student Life Centre - Week 2



Team SLC has had a difficult week on our Commit to Get Fit Challenge - a number of unexpected obstacles have been thrown into our path and made keeping to the commitments we made last week pretty difficult. To scratch the surface of our troubles:

- Team Leader and Motivational Guru Aoife Mcdonald was struck down ill and was off work from Tuesday afternoon to Friday. Reportedly, having a vomiting bug does leave you with a nice flat stomach but we feel this may be cheating.

- TWO bags of doughnuts, and two tins of shortbread appeared in the office - it seems the healthy eating memo didn't reach everyone (though we can't blame Jon as he was on holiday when we committed).

- A training session the office attended on Wednesday over-ran significantly, meaning several staff members couldn't attend the lunchtime Zumba class when they'd intended to.

Coupled with the hideous weather that's made venturing outdoors for any reason pretty unnappealing, it's been a tough week. However, we've managed the following:

Danny - On Saturday I went with my partner and a friend to a 'Healthy Walk' at Chelwood Gate. The walk began and finished at the National Cat Centre, and I'd be lying if I said that visiting all the cats wasn't a big part of why we went on the walk. It was really enjoyable and took a route we wouldn't have found on our own, through heathland and past a lake where we saw a beautiful gosling. I would have liked the walk to be longer (it was only an hour) and a bit more taxing, but it had to suit a range of ages and abilities in the group and did this well. More info here: I've also been to the gym on Sunday and last night and am making an effort to use the resistance machines I find harder/don't enjoy as much. If I only do what I find easy I reckon I won't see as much change.

Tabitha - attended circuit training and Zumba.

Aoife, Isabela and Amelia - did a self-guided boundary walk on Tuesday and enjoyed it so much they plan to do it every week, weather permitting.

Rachel - This week I have cycled in every day (and managed to cycle the long route in to work once and home twice). I have also extended my morning yoga practice introducing several new poses to my daily routine. I have also not bought crisps from the vending machine!

Katy and Isabela - have cut out chocolate and sweets and are being more mindful of their diets generally.

Katy -  I have keptright on track this week, sweeteners have replaced sugar.  This has extended to my daughter who drinks masses of sweetened tea which we have both swapped for decaf or herbal.  Went swimming for the first time in ages and did 30 lengths.  Walked from Lewes to Glynde and back, and Ferring to Worthing and back.

Marie -

  1. Monday – played pitch and putt. Score worse than last time but only ended up in sand bunker twice and didn’t end up in any bushes or trees
  2. Went to Zumba on Wednesday
  3. Booked pilates course for summer term (13th May to 10th June)
  4. Also – probably doesn’t count – but raised my heart rate through adrenalin/fear doing Argo Cat driving (6 wheel amphibious all terrain vehicle)

Amy - Well I finally unwrapped my postnatal exercise DVD, only 13 months after my little boy was born! I've also done lots of walking and outdoor playing every day and we signed up for swimming lessons starting next week!

Jolyon - Dinghy sailing at the weekend. 4 days mountain biking to and from work. 1/3 mile swim every day in the mornings before work. On Wednesday a bike ride from Stanmer Woods to Ditchling Beacon, along the South Downs way to Lewes, back through campus to Stanmer.

(Jolyon clearly needs to up his game and is trailing behind the rest of us. Keep up Jols).

Signing off for now,

Team SLC