The Hill Climb is still very much on for Sunday, entries are now closed and we look forward to seeing about 30 riders there. Final details are below, hopefully we have most things covered but any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the club WhatsApp group.
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.
Rides will leave from Brighton and Saltdean for those who wish to ride along the seafront cycle route to the hillclimb. These are just social rides, not ‘led’ club rides so riders will be responsible for themselves. The Brighton ride leaves the Velodrome at 08.30, St Peters Church at 08.45 and the Seafront (at end of the zipline) at 09.00. We recommend that anyone riding with children meets at the Zipline as the route through town includes some sections of busy road which are unavoidable.
The Saltdean ride will meet at 09.30 by the subway entrance on the undercliff cycle route.
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. Both rides are just social rides, you are responsible for your own safety and behaviour. 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, you can park at the top or bottom of the climb. The laybys at the bottom will be better for a quick getaway as if you park at the top, you won’t be able to get out until we reopen the road at 11.30. If parking at the top, please do get there well before 10am when we will close the road. We may be able to use the top field to park in, but if not there is space along the road past the summit, but please ensure there is enough space for a tractor to pass safely if parking there. Whatever you do, please park respectfully and if parking near the bottom 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! And it’s less riding up and down for Pete 🙂
At registration we will have a volunteer doing bike, clothing and helmet checks for all riders. 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.
Riders will be set off at 1 minute intervals.
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 closed and the small number of residents who live at the top are aware but we may need to let vehicles through in an emergency. 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 also 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 Mark (OR coach) and Pete (IR coach) 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.
Please do keeps dogs on a lead during the event.
There will be a short pause after the final rider finishes (probably about 10.45) while we verify the results, and then podium 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.
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 if it looks like wind or rain is possible. Nobody will have missed that this week has seen a lot of thunderstorms and some very impressive lightning displays, 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.
As always these events simply cannot run without volunteers and 12 people have stepped up to offer assistance as timekeepers, starters, marshals, first aiders, 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 close the 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/