Hill climb plans for Sunday

Entries are now closed and we look forward to seeing nearly 40 riders at Rottingdean on Sunday, which is well up on last year. Final details are below, hopefully we have most things covered but any questions please email chair@ppycc.org.uk or use the club WhatsApp group.

Getting there

You can ride or drive to the hill climb. Once you turn into Bazehill Road, continue up the hill about 500 meters. You’ll go past the final house and out onto the Downs, the start line is where the Private Road sign is, at the second layby. We have permission from the landowner to close the private road, but we couldn’t afford the Council rates to close the public portion of the road further down, in case you wonder why we are starting so far up! This still leaves about 1km of climbing though.

A ride will leave from St Peters Church in Brighton at 09.00 for those who wish to ride along the seafront cycle route to the hillclimb. Parents or carers MUST accompany any children riding to the event, these are not ‘led rides’ and there will be no-one to take responsibility for your child. Any older riders who are used to riding by themselves are welcome but ride at their own risk. Please note that the seafront path to Rottingdean is a ‘shared space’ frequented by pedestrians and dog walkers whose animals may be off the lead so please exercise caution and politeness.

For those driving, please enter Rottingdean from the North (Woodingdean) direction to avoid driving through the village high street, which gets extremely congested with traffic. There is street parking in Bazehill Road and along the lane towards the Start line. There MAY be parking in a field at the top of the hill (we won’t close the road until 10.00) HOWEVER we won’t know until a site visit on Saturday whether it is too wet to drive onto, the farmer told us it was very wet during the week. There are also three public car parks at Rottingdean seafront which is a 15 min walk or 5 min cycle away. Please do park respectfully and if parking near the bottom of the hill do be mindful of the residents who live on the ‘lower slopes’.


There will be a registration desk at the BOTTOM of the climb, open from 09.45. At registration we will take the parent/carer name and phone number, and will ask whether you would like to meet your rider at the top when they are finished, or would rather have your rider escorted back down to the bottom once they are done. We will have a club coach on a bike who can escort riders back down, although bear in mind the presentations at the end will be at the top so we encourage you to collect your riders up there!

Please ensure your bike is in good working order, you are wearing suitable clothing (nothing that can flap around and get caught in your chain, including shoelaces) and a well-fitting helmet.

Rider safety

Riders will be set off at 1 minute intervals from 10am.

Riders on the climb itself should keep to the left hand side as this is the shortest route, the climb is pretty much a 1km long sweeping left curve.

We would be grateful if spectators on the roadside could stand on the grass verge on the left hand side of the road (when looking uphill). This will keep the right-hand side of the road clear for riders and volunteers who may need to cycle back down throughout the event.

The road will be barriered off and the small number of residents who live at the top are aware but we may need to let the odd vehicle through. In this case the event will be paused until the vehicle is safely off the course. Key volunteers will be in communication with long-range walkie-talkies so we can pause the event quickly if needed.

There is a good mobile reception on the hill in the unfortunate event we need to call emergency services and we have 5 qualified first aiders on site (all PPYCC coaches), although John Rockliffe (club coach, at bottom of the hill) and Claire Wheller (Club welfare officer, at top of the hill) are our nominated first aiders.

It is possible that ramblers, dog walkers and horse riders could all enter the course from top or bottom or from surrounding fields and paths. We will have marshals along the course to advise any other users on where to position themselves for their own, and others, safety. Spectators and riders, it goes without saying, should be polite to everyone you come across on the hill.

Please do keeps dogs on a lead during the event.


There will be a 10-15 min pause after the final rider finishes (probably about 10.45) while we verify the results, and then presentations and photos will be at the top of the hill, so carers and families will be encouraged to meet at the top of the climb and celebrate all the riders achievements. There will be presentations for the top 3 riders in U8, U10, U12, U14 and U16 ages across Boys and Girls categories.


High Hill is exposed to the elements on top of the South Downs. After a thundery and wet week the forecast for Sunday is looking much better, but please come with appropriate clothing as it’s been a very showery week on the coast. Nobody will have missed (apart from me who slept through it!) that this week has seen some impressive thunder and lightning, so if the forecast changes and there is a strong probability of thunderstorms then we will have to cancel the event. Likewise if we hear a rumble of thunder once we are on the hill on Sunday (however far away it sounds) we will also cancel immediately and retreat to vehicles or lower ground as it’s not worth taking any chances with lightning in such a high and exposed site.

South Downs Series

Riders over the age of 12 will score points in the South Downs Hill Climb Series and get the chance to ride further events with some serious athletes in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere. Please note that the remainder of the events in the series are run as Cycling Time Trials (CTT) events, which have a minimum age of 12 years old. Other events in the series include Steyning Bostal, Ditching Beacon, Firle Bostal and more, and youth riders will also be in the running to win series titles such as Prince or Princess of the Downs along with cash prizes. 


As always these events simply cannot run without volunteers and 12 people have stepped up to offer assistance as timekeepers, starters, marshals, photographer, sign-on and first aiders. Thankyou so much to everyone involved! And a massive thanks to Martin Carr from Balsdean Farm who kindly gave permission to use the farm’s private road for this event. Martin’s family have farmed this land for 50 years and he has an excellent vision for sustainable farming on the South Downs, and delivers farm produce from Newhaven to Brighton and Southwick, and also offers wild camping on the farm, for more information see https://www.highbarnretreats.co.uk/