White Chalk Hills UCX

We have to make it clear, what follows is NOT a race and NOT an event.  It is simply a suggestion of what will make a great UltraCross route in East Sussex, and a time and date which would seem to us as good a time as any to do this.  If you choose to do this at that time you are doing so of your own free will.

This is a route that pays homage to traditional cyclocross and the classic Three Peaks challenge and offers you a tour of the South Downs in East Sussex and a bleak mid-winter test to welcome in the New Year.

Distance: 46.4 miles (or approximately 75 kilometers)

Terrain: 1 / 3 grass Downland ~ 1 / 3 Chalk Bridalway ~ 1 / 3 Road or muddy woodland trails

Location: The Tri Store 49 Grove Road, Eastbourne BN21 4TX is probably the best place to start.

Date: 30 December 2012

Time: 09:00. We will have a quick briefing at about 08:45.

Cost: For free and for nothing – this will cost you exactly what it would cost you on any normal ride with friends.  This isn’t a race nor is it an event, see?

Support: See cost above. You are expected to be entirely self sufficient. Bring those spare tubes, tools, patches and enough food and water to get you round.

After Party/Awards: The Belgian Café, 11-23 Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3YN.  A place that sells the finest Belgian Beers – it really doesn’t need any more of an introduction.  This is a restaurant open to trade for the usual Eastbourne public on this day; you may want to bring an appropriate change of clothing, though Greg, the proprietor is very welcoming of cyclists.

The Course: The route is available as a GPX file on request (see below for details of how to get in touch) and contains some of the most fun and challenging segments that it is possible to ride in the South Downs from Eastbourne heading west and back again. Each rider will receive a route card and a control card.  There will be several places along the route where ink stamps will be left at various ‘trig’ points for your convenience, 1 to show that you were there and 2 for your safety to keep you on course.

What’s involved:

  • Road and cycle path
  • A fast section of strada bianca
  • 3 optional Bostal climbs – either road or chalky bridleway
  • Approximately 5000ft of climbing (if you choose to ride the Bostals above)
  • Grassy Downland and woodland trails
  • Some run-up sections, which are rooty and likely to be impossible to ride.

What’s NOT involved (remember this is NOT an event or a race, yeah?):

  • A pit area
  • Chip timing
  • Course Markings
  • Lines of supporters cheering you on
  • Broom wagon or mechanical support

Here’s what the route looks like.



And, here’s an idea of the course elevation.




This ride takes place on public roads, trails and bridleway.  You MUST follow all traffic laws and rules of courtesy, even if you think no one is looking.  NOTHING is worth giving cyclists a bad name.  We have designed the course to keep you away from the busiest of main roads but you are likely to encounter walkers (some possibly with dogs), livestock (sheep and cows), maybe deer, horses and other bike riders – a cheery “hello” is always welcome.


You can crash just about anywhere along this course though it is relatively safe – if you are unfamiliar with the terrain it is up to you to take all due care and consideration to keep yourself safe.  Do not take any unnecessary risks.

Preparation:  Ride your bike. Lots.

If you are interested in joining us please drop mark@velomorpha.cc a line – it would be useful to get an idea of numbers so that we can let Greg of the Belgian Café know exactly how many people are likely to turn up to his establishment.  We will reply with the GPX file and route card and any update details. This is cyclocross but no one will laugh at you if you bring an MTB. Please feel free to write and ask any questions.

Poster designed by @loisdesigns