This is a not too strenuous 25 miler and it’s OK for us beginner/lightweight types.
Starting at the Dyke Tavern it rolls up the Dyke Rd across the A27 and out into the country. Keeping left and heading north we follow the road towards the Dyke taking the road right just before the last turn off to the Dyke itself. This is the final uphill bit before a great downhill section which ends at a T-junction.
Here we turn left and join the Saddlescombe Rd which is often busy so we need to be extra careful, there is a fantastic downhill dip which if you build enough speed takes you up the next hill with least effort. Shortly after we take a sharp left into Poynings Rd.
Follow this into Fulking and then take the left into Edburton Rd this meanders west along the bottom of the Downs past the Shepherd and Dog which although it’s tempting it is a little too early in the ride to contemplate a pint. Continuing sadly past the pub continue to follow the road whilst glancing up at the paragliders until the T-junction where we turn left on to the busy Henfield Rd, this always feels uncomfortable as the cars pass very close along here.
Follow the road until we reach the T-junction and take a right and then left to Bramber. Follow this through the village (avert eyes from more pubs) until the busy roundabout on the A283 Steyning Bypass. We go directly across this and take the gradual road up Clays Hill towards Steyning. Turn left into Maudlin Lane/Annington Rd head towards Botolphs and enjoy the ride which includes a small sharp incline. Beware, some of the fast turns at the bottom of the hills often have gravel on the road and if you are doing this at night make sure you have good lights as it is extra tricky in the dark! Follow this winding road all the way to the A27 and cross it right then immediate left past the airport and over the old bridge to the Old Shoreham Rd.
Follow this to the coast road roundabout but don’t continue along the coast road as it is fairly unpleasant, especially when it’s raining. Instead take the bike route left opposite the new bridge, cross over the railway tracks at Shoreham station and then follow the cycle route which takes us out back onto the coast road directly opposite the locks which we cross over to get to the Carats Cafe Rd. Follow this all the way east squeezing inside the speed bumps and picking up speed if you have the wind behind you (more likely coming the other way!) follow the cycle lane all the way past the lagoon and Marroccos (ice cream) to the Drive where we head back up the hill turning right on to the Upper Drive for the final little climb up to the Dyke Tavern. Hooray now for that pint.
Oops forgot about the bike. The Simoncini was a joy to ride, fast downhill was rock steady and confidence inspiring. I did notice however that on the flat I didn’t get into top gear even with the wind behind me and that the 53 tooth cog on the front might be a little ambitious for my puny legs.