The Devil in the Downs Sportive
15th September 2013
One Event - Three Rides
The Devil in the Downs
You want a challenge - you've got it!
We may not have the Alps or the Pyrenees in Sussex, but there are enough hills to get you out of the saddle and test those legs. Long grinding climbs and short sharp hills that are enough to get your heart pumping, the lungs bursting and sap the energy from even the fittest thighs. And, when you get to the Devil's Dyke, you'll find that even the views are breathtaking.
The view from Devils Dyke
This is a Devilishly designed 125km route with 1500 metres of climbing. En route, you will tackle some of the finest hills that the High Weald has to offer - Bonfire Hill, Brantridge Lane, Cobb Lane, Saddlescome Hill, and of course Devil's Dyke itself.
It's a celebration of Sussex viewed through the highways and byways seldom travelled. The route will take you through a picturesque landscape, along quiet country lanes, open fields, forests and woodlands. There are some short, punchy climbs and some long, slow drags.
En route you'll travel past Shipley Mill, home of Hilaire Belloc and the setting for the TV detective series 'Johnathon Creek'. The Devil in the Downs route will take you past the Grade II Listed Balcombe Viaduct - a stunning piece of engineering with 37 semi-circular arches created from 11 million bricks! You'll also pass ancient hammer ponds - evidence of the county's ancient iron industry, but now just a spectacular sight. Take a moment to absorb the views from Devil's Dyke. On a clear day you can see forever.
The Little Devil
Just like his big brother, but a bit shorter at 85km. This route follows 'The Devil' but misses out on some of the longer, more tortuous hills, but is still enough of a challenge for any rider. You'll go up Bonfire Hill and the Devil's Dyke, and you'll have the bonus of riding up through Warninglid before you re-join the route of 'The Devil'.
This is a ride for the solo or the social rider. Ride it by yourself or with a group of friends. It can be family option for those who are keen on a fun day out. It can be whatever you want it to be. Perhaps for the less experienced cyclist or those wanting to give a sportive a try for the first time, this shorter route will allow you to ride at your own pace. You can ride as slow or as fast as you like, on your own or in the company of other cyclists, on a loop incorporating a feed stop half way around. Yes, you'll take in Bonfire Hill, but, when you've got to the top, it's downhill almost all the way back - almost! It's a ride to be enjoyed. A day to be enjoyed.
It's a shorter ride than the other routes - just 50km. It may sound a lot, but think of the satisfaction you'll have when you cross that finishing line. The satisfaction of holding that certificate in your hand to prove that you have completed 'The Imp in the Hills'. The satisfaction of knowing that you have made a contribution to The Chestnut Tree House Children's Hospice.