BSumC 2019: Cycling the Coasts, Rivers & Downs of Sussex
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This is one of the events organised as part of the Big Summer Camp 2019 weekend.
Join us for this 50mile/80km off-road ride taking in the South Coast Cycle Route, the Downslink Way and the South Downs Way to give spectacular views across across the national park.
Although this is a long and reasonably challenging route, it is aimed at all abilities by being split into multiple sections at which you can choose to leave the ride early if you're finding the going too difficult..
This ride will have both on and off-road sections but due to the surface on the South Downs Way you must have either a hybrid or mountain bike. If very dry then a cyclocross bike can be used if you're an experienced rider.
Secure storage is available in the clubhouse for your own bikes but anything stored there is at the cyclists' risk.
Ride Outline (80km Total)
South Coast Cycle Route & Downslink Way (25km)
This section is completely flat.
We'll initially cycle along the paved South Coast Cycle Route heading east for 18km taking in the sea air, then head north up the Downslink Way trail for 7 km to reach the South Downs Way.
South Downs Way - Chanctonbury Ring & Barnsfarm Hills (20km)
This section climbs 409m over 2 hills on chalk and flint trails to give panoramic views across the South Downs.
Anyone struggling with the climb at the start of this section will have the option to return back downhill to the Downslink Way and return along the flat route to the camp site or explore the flat coastal route into Brighton at their leisure. I will provide maps for people wishing to do this.
44km point (just over half way) - Amberly
This is home to the Amberly Museum & Heritage Centre, local cafes and a railway station and so can make an alternative ending spot for those who have enjoyed the hills so far but don't fancy tackling the next one :)
All riders will stop here for a break and social, but those continuing the ride will only stop for max 1 hour.
South Downs Way - Bignor Hill (17km)
This section climbs 238m over 1 hill on chalk and flint trails for more panoramic views before descending along bridleways and quiet roads back towards the coast.
At the 63km point there is the option to return by train to the campsite from Barnham station if required.
South Coast Cycle Route - Back to campsite (18km)
This section is either flat or downhill and is on quiet roads via Littlehampton harbour and is a nice wind down after the earlier climbing.
What to bring
Bike: a mountain bike or hybrid (no road bikes)
Helmet: OutdoorLads requires you to wear one
Clothing: lightweight and layered, shorts are great even in rain as they allow free movement of your legs. Avoid jeans, which are uncomfortable when wet, and baggy tracksuit bottoms, which can snag in the chain. Colourful and/or reflective clothing will make you more visible to other road users
Footwear: grippy soles if your bike has standard pedals
Gloves: cycle gloves help avoid blisters, and are good in the cold
Punctures: spare inner tube, bike tyre pump and tyre levers
Tools: any special tools that your bike needs
Small snacks: such as chocolate or energy bars
Plenty of water: in bottle/s on your bike or in a daysack/bladder
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Eye protection: avoid getting grit or insects in your eyes; sunglasses are OK if they are not made of glass and not too shaded
Sun cream: take care, even on overcast days
Bike lights: be seen and safe
Storage: small day-sack or a bag on your bike
Mobile Phone: keep it in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies
Food & drink
Bring a packed lunch with you to give us flexibility as to where we stop. There are very few shops along the route as we're out on country lanes so please buy before we leave Worthing. For those leaving the ride at Amberly there is a cafe near to the station for post-ride refreshments.
Off-road riding in hills is very tiring so please ensure you have plenty of water and snacks to keep your energy levels up along the way.