New for 2015, a challenging, very fast at times and beautiful bike course that truly has something for everyone.
Leaving the bike transition and following the Pink signs you will turn right on to Stane Street. Due to the lakes location we are forced to use a series of roads before we can break you free onto the bridleways and stunning Sussex countryside.
Heading East along Stane Street you will take a left on to Strettington Lane. This will be your 1st safety marshal point as you carefully cross the crossroads (please approach with care as visibility both left and right is restricted. As you continue along New Barn Lane you will soon reach a T-junction where you will turn right passing one of the gates to the Goodwood Estate. At this point you will take the road on your right and continue for 1.5K following the large flint wall that runs on your left. As you approach the end of this lane you will notice the road widens as you approach another crossroads, look out for the pink signs and prepare to take a sharp left onto Park Lane, which is marked with a bridleway sign.
At this point you should have noticed that in addition to the Pink signage we have also sprayed a Red paint dot on the ground every 500m. These are simply back-up markers, which are vital in either populated areas where residents remove our signage or off-road sections that could be tricky, and signage could be missed. We hope our combination of signs and paint dots ensures you don’t get lost.
On hitting Park Lane you are now fully off-road for the next 15KM and will experience some of the finest tracks and trails within the South Downs National Park.
Continue up Park Lane on the chalk track until you reach the gate. Pass through the gate shutting it behind you as cattle are often in the field. These are young heifers, quite inquisitive but perfectly friendly. Once through the field you will pass through another gate and commence your 1st ascent through Halnaker Park, a steady 3KM climb and your first true leg work out. As you reach the summit you’ll notice the bridleway swings left and you will pass some large stacks of timber, once again look out for the Pink signs and Red dots and your ride will be simple. Once past the timber you reach an open gate and section of road (Selhurstpark Road) with gravel parking bay. Turn right and continue along the road for 100m keeping an eye out for the next Pink sign and bridleway on your left. You will now follow a beautiful woodland trail that descends from 157m down to 80m. Take it steady on the descent and look out for tree roots that cross the path. As you reach the end of the trail you will drop down into ditch with a track running left to right. Turn right and follow the track, which leads you out to a T-junction on Droke Road with houses on your left. Turn left here and after 80m turn right onto the gravel track (New Road). New Road that is actually a bridleway is a steady 1KM climb that takes you North towards Charlton Woods. After 1KM you will dip down past a green gate and then swing left taking a level and muddy bridleway for 0.5KM. Don’t forget to look left here at the stunning views across the fields. At the end of this track you will turn right and after 200M take a sharp left which will be clearly signed with arrows painted in the dirt. BE CAREFUL, this is the most risky section of the ride, a short but steep descent through the woodland so go slow, use your brakes gently to prevent skidding and if in any doubt or not an experienced rider then simply get off and walk down (there are no prizes for falling off). At the bottom of this steep section is your 2nd safety marshal (Simon), make sure you give him a high-5 as he has the most lonely of jobs! Just behind our safety marshal is an old derelict barn (Postles Barn, Newhouse Lane) and on reaching this track you will turn right and continue your steady climb.
After 800M you will spot our signage and arrows taking you left up and across a large field. There are sheep in the field so simply lift your bikes over the low fencing and make your way up the well-trodden dirt track. As you climb up the field (Brockhurst Bottom) you will be treated with stunning views all around you and some of the best scenery in West Sussex. At the top of the field you will reach a wooded gate (please close this behind you) and continue North following our signs and dots until you reach the South Downs Way. Continue along the South Downs Way for 1KM, keeping your eyes peeled for our Pink signs and red dots. Now you are in for a little treat. Turning left off the South Downs Way you will drop through the woodland along a gravel track for 3KM. Once again please take care as this is super fast and you need to look out for other users. Also take care as the last time we flew down this track deer have crossed at speed and you certainly don’t want to be taken out by one of them! Keep heading South following our signs and the woodland track will soon turn into a closed in track before opening back up into a wider chalk track that drops you all the way down to the village of Charlton. At the T-junction turn right then immediately left… a staggered crossroads. Welcome to Knight’s Hill, from this point folks it’s all roads home.
Now some may complain that we’ve included road sections within this course but please be aware that these have ONLY been included after very careful consideration. They have either been included to get you to altitude quickly or because permission was not granted to cross-farmland or simply because it’s a quick route to get you safely back which is the case of this course. As you climb Knight’s Road you will quickly understand why we have included this section of road… it is simply stunning. As you climb you have a valley to your left with the famous Goodwood Race Course (horse not motor) positioned proudly on the horizon. Knight’s Hill is a 2KM climb that will certainly get your legs working and your heart pumping but do not fear, reward is close at hand. As you reach the summit and the 21KM sign you will be greeted by our Feed Station team who will have a range of delicious and tasty treats for you including sweets, bananas, water, Little Miracles and cakes… we are informed that there will also be an ice cream van here so bring some change if you fancy a lolly.
Once fuelled, you can get back in the saddle with the pleasant thought that it is literally all down hill from this point. Again on road, you will drop down Kennel Hill straight over the roundabout onto Claypit Lane past the Goodwood Motor Circuit, straight over the next roundabout swinging left to take the designated cycle path, which leads you to the finish line. This last section is quick folks so once again please be careful!