Guided downland cycle ride

If you are interesting in getting involved in mountain biking on the Downs a good way to start is by going on one of the rides which are arranged by the East Sussex County Council. This weekend’s affair, led by Graham Dawkins, is a ride to Ditchling Beacon and back, classed as difficulty grade 2, out of 4. “Because of the warm weather, the pace will be fairly easy,” says Dawkins, “we won’t be haring round like they do in the Tour de France.” Cyclists are invited to meet at Lewes Station, and they will go through the backstreets of Lewes and up to the Prison, where the ride will go off-road. “We’ll then ride up to Black Cap and beyond, down a metal track to West Merthan, along the bridleway to Streate and on past Plumpton Racecourse to the Sportsman pub, where we stop for refreshment.” The ride then goes over the Downs again and back to Lewes. The whole process will take approximately five hours.

Cyclists are advised to wear something bright and a helmet, and to carry lots of water. “People come on all sorts of mountain-bikes, from top grade ones to ones that look like they’ve found them in the tip.” Some sort of suspension is advised in the front. You should be ‘reasonably fit’ but even Dawkins admits walking up certain hills, and makes sure that at every junction everybody has caught up with the front-runner. Oh, and it’s completely free. AL

Tread carefully: and over the hills you go

Starts at Lewes Train Stations
When? 10:30
How Much? Free

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