Mountain Biking on the South Downs | August 5, 2004
Over the last month or so I’ve been getting really into Mountain Biking. Before this summer the closest my bike had been to a mountain was the slight incline up the hill to where I live. However in the last month I’ve been getting out on my bike twice a week and thoroughly enjoying it. I think it’s partly that I’m getting bored of the gym, and partly that the weather’s been too nice to be stuck indoors. Luckily Brighton is right on the edge of the South Downs so it’s only a 15min bike ride to get into the countryside.
Last night I went out for a really nice ride with Richard Rutter and Pete Barr-Watson. Pete took us on a great trail starting at Stanmer Park, winding it’s way up to The South Downs Way and culminating in 20min downhill section coming out by the University. The round trip took around 2hrs, although it would have been a lot quicker had I not gotton a flat and then broken my chain!
If you’re interested in doing the trail it’s a pretty easy one to follow. Starting at the Entrance to Stanmer park, you follow the main road up to the agricultural college and then take the trail to the right hand side. You follow this trail up to the top of the hill where you reach a large electricity pylon. Here you hit a cross road and you need to carry straight over and down thought a heavily wooded track. Don’t hammer it too hard down here as the trail stops abruptly at a gate. Carry on through the gate and up another incline to a second gate at the top. Looking to your left you’ll see a trail heading along the side of the hill. That’s where you’re aiming for. Go through the gate and follow the trail along to the left. About halfway along you turn left and you’re now on the trial you saw earlier. Carry along here though some nice undulating countryside and you’ll hit a couple of more gates, the last one taking you onto the South Down Way.
Taking a right onto the South Down Way you cycle for around 10 minutes until you hit a road that goes into a farm. Cross the road and take the track on the right down the side of the farm. After a few minutes you’ll hit another gate on the other side of the farm. Go though this and you’ll be on a nice, chalky downhill section that lasts about 8-10 minutes depending how fast you’re going. This track comes out to a road by a farmhouse. Follow the road around and it starts to climb uphill. If you carry along this road it comes out by the side of the University. However just before the peak of the hill is a little single track that dips down into some dense forest skirting the University playing field. This is a lovely ‘off road’ track that makes the effort getting here worth the while. Keep following the track, making sure you don’t hit any trees or get knocked off by low hanging branches, and you’ll end up coming out in the middle of the University. From here you cut through the University grounds to the front of the building. Taking a track to the right, you skirt past the University gym building and end up back at the entrance to the Park.
Posted at August 5, 2004 4:00 PM