Distance: 72 miles. Climbing: 4800ft. Difficulty: 5/10
The South Downs RideIt starts in the slightly bizarre surroundings of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, with 13th century agricultural buildings & machinery curiously juxtaposed against High5 paraphernalia
Starting with a gradual 6 mile climb right from the gate, it’s not a flat route and four more significant climbs follow over the route.
The South Downs are one of the most visually spectacular areas of the UK, and if the weather is good this is a particularly scenic sportive with views down to the sea & Isle of Wight along parts of the route.
The four notable climbs come at Gatehouse Lane, Harvesting Lane (Buster Hill), the steep Harting Hill and finally Kennel Hill climb which rises up to the famous Goodwood racecourse.
When I rode this in 2014 the weather was just about perfect and it felt like just about as good a day it was possible to have on a bike, with a warming breeze coming in off the sea and panoramic views in all directions.