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The backdrop of West Sussex’s share of the South Downs is arguably one of the best with which you can conclude your trail-seeking cycling season. This November, the Wiggle Fallen Leaves Mountain Bike event will give you a chance to wrap up your off-road calendar in the tranquillity of the National Park as you take in swooping downhill sections and great views out on the compact wooded course.
Leaving from Fontwell Racecourse, you’ll head out and cross over the A27, past Eartham and over Nore Hill before entering the South Downs loop, which heads around the area in a clockwise motion – passing through trails and zig-zagging in and out of fast runs in the dense woodland area, which varies in terrain consistently.
Shortly after the Standard and Epic routes split, the longer route heads into the South Downs park for some fast single track trails, before skirting around the base of Court Hill to come back out and re-join the main clockwise loop that continues on the hills through East Dean, and Charlton, then heading into the wooded section once more for more narrow trails.
The section of the ride from Heyshott Down to Littleton Down is quick and free-flowing, as it sticks to wider main trails on rolling terrain. You’ll be able to appreciate the woodland at speed before one last technical part of the route, which is steep to climb but fast in return going downhill, from the point of the second feed stop around Barlavington Down and across Farm Hill and beyond.
Soon enough, you’ll be on the final straight once heading out of the National Park circular loop. The lateness in the calendar of this popular mountain bike event may conspire with the weather to ensure you cross the finish line caked in mud, but you’ll be able to wash away the evidence of a great ride in idyllic surroundings when you get back to the ride HQ.