Today we went to the annual Eastbourne Extreme festival, which hosts 'a variety of attractions across Land, Sea and Air.' Highlights included a roller derby tournament, inline slalom competition, surfing, air bag jumps along side live music and various market stalls. The old converted fortress, now museum was a quirky venue for the evening's roller disco too.
So,... Beach Pigeon?! This was a game we came up with while we took a break from the action and headed to the sea front. It wasn't until I got back home I realised most of my footage of the day was of this silly, but somewhat addictive game. Hence why I thought it deserved to get a special post title.
How do you play Beach Pigeon?
Think clay pigeon shooting, but on a pebble beach. Firstly make sure no one is swimming in front! One person throws a somewhat larger rock (the "pigeon") ideally going for height rather than distance. Everyone else participating then throws one rock in an attempt to hit the larger rock. So simple yet it kept us entertained for ages and everyone could get involved at the same time.
The beach is probably the best and safest place to play this, so I think 'Beach Pigeon,' is probably the most appropriate name for this game as funny as 'Rock Pigeon,' and 'Pebble Pigeon,' might sound.
Having heard about the Redbridge Cycle Centre I have been eager to test out the track as they invite skaters to use their facilities too. This place is also much more convenient for myself to travel to than the regular training grounds my fellow skaters go to.
It cost me £4.10 for 2 hours use of the full road track. They also have a mountain bike track and bikes for hire. For latest costs click here.
It seems like this location is very popular with clubs as so many evenings and weekends are fully booked for private session. So if you’re planning a visit it’s best to check here or even give them a quick call to make sure it’s free for public use!
The nearest tube station is Fairlop on the Central Line with a 27 minute walk, or Hainault where you can catch the 247 bus for a bit of a detour but gets you a bit closer to the location. I opted for Fairlop station as I am never one for waiting for busses. Next time however I’ll probably skate the route instead of walking as the pavement is fairly flat.
There’s lots of parking space if need as well.
In the main building there are plenty of changing rooms which are clean and well kept. A few showers were accessable too. There were lots of lockers, even the small ones had plenty of space inside. A drinking fountain was handy but vending machines offered more if you wanted. Conference rooms were available for the more organised folk as well.
Usually you ride in a clockwise direction but this can change depending on the day. The track starts with a steep left decline which was a little hairy the first time down, which you can’t appreciate from their Youtube video. It was really fun though and you get used to it after a few laps.
The track has a few junctions so you can opt for a more casual loop at the bottom which I found nice for practicing technique. I chose to do the full 2km loop to start with as it gave me a chance to do some hill training on the way back up the circuit. The hill seemed to have a comparable incline to the hill at Le Mans, (I hadn’t fully recovered from my Le Mans weekend event when I went so my judgement may be incorrect !) but of a shorter in distance.
It took me just over an hour to complete 11 laps of the full circuit to complete a half marathon.
My trip was midweek from 11am, so I thought I may be the only one there as I had a day off work. However there were also a retirement cycle club, a small school group as well as a few solo cyclists. It was nice that they didn’t seem to mind a skater using the track either and some gave me the friendly nod.
Redbridge Cycle Centre is a really nice place to skate and I will no doubt be attempting to use this facility in the future, especially in the lead up to any events incorporating hills. My only gripe is one I mentioned earlier about clubs pretty much hogging all the key accessible hours of the week. I can understand why bookings are done which means there is a demand for locations like these. Hopefully more cycle track centres like this may be constructed in the near future.
"Any tips, reviews and advice are my own opinions and are not to be taken as professional view points. The information on this site is what has worked for me and is here for guidance only, but I hope you gain insight into the various activities I partake in." Jonathan Chen