Glorious Gravel

South Downs Gravel X

28th September 2024 | Plumpton

Long Route

90km | 1720m

Medium Route

60km | 1100m

Short Route

48km | 900m

Ride Overview

Escape the city and head to the South Coast for this summer gravel epic taking in parts of the South Downs Way & quiet lanes around Lewes & Brighton.  

 

With a choice from the medium  60km to the full 90km, there is a route suitable for all riders on this challenging terrain with plenty of punchy climbs and stunning long flowing sections on the Downs. A perfect early Autumn off road epic!

Highlights

  • Ride parts of the legendary South Downs Way.
  • Six big climbs on the long route (with glorious views from the tops) including Plumpton Bostall & Itford Hill.
  • Brilliant fast flowing sections on the South Downs.

Included in Entry

Fully Signed Route

Our team work tirelessly to create the best gravel routes in the UK. All courses are fully signed so you can just enjoy the ride.

Checkpoints with Proper Food

An epic ride deserves proper support. We have tea, coffee and cake at the first feed and sandwiches & crisps at the main feed. Checkpoints are approx every 30 - 35km

Accurate GPX Files

A few days before the ride, we will send GPX files for all of the route options so you can follow the course on your GPS as well as the signs.

Mechanics Available

At the rider village & at selected feed stops we have mechanics available to help with any bike issues. We also have spare inner tubes, CO2 & more .

Rider Support Vans

We are here to make sure you have a great day on the gravel. If you have any major mechanicals or need collecting, support vehicles are a phone call away.

Beer at Finish Line

You will be greeted at the finish line with a beer & food available from our food truck. Perfect to chat about your day with fellow riders.

Event Program

26th Sept –  GPX files and pre ride briefing video sent by email to each rider.

 

28th Sept – 7.45am: Ride village at Plumpton Racecourse. Collecting your ride number takes approx 10 mins.

 

28th Sept – 8am to 9.30am: Ride start. We will give you a short ride briefing and set you off in small groups.

28th Sept – 5.30pm: Rider village closes

 

28th Sept – 7pm: Link to ride times & rider photos sent to each participant by email.

Long Route

The South Downs way has long been a storied ride for the off road trip. 

Starting from Plumpton Racecourse we hit the first (tarmac) climb after 4km and then hit the South Downs Way and follow it over three gravel climbs to the furthest point (Jevington).

The way home takes in some great local off road tracks and three big climbs before rolling back into Plumpton for a well earned beer.

 

Percentage of Route Off Road: 70%

Distance:

90km

Elevation:

1720m

Difficulty:

4/5

Medium Route

The medium route cuts out 17km at the bottom of the route towards Alfriston. 

There are two climbs (one road, one gravel) on the way out and two on the way back. A challenging 60km option but very rewarding with most of the route miles away from the crowds and some stunning views.

 

Percentage of Route Off Road: 55%

Distance:

60km

Elevation:

1100m

Difficulty:

3/5

Short Route

The short route goes out to Southease & back with one road climb on the way out and two gravel climbs on the way back. Within 50km you will get well off the beaten track, test yourself on some big climbs and ride some thrilling descents.  

Percentage of Route Off Road: 50%

Distance:

52km

Elevation:

1100m

Difficulty:

3/5

Bike Selection & Packing List

Bike Choice: The route is about 65% on gravel and 35% on back roads. Most of the off road sections on the South Downs Way are chalky or grass. We recommend a gravel bike though a mountain bike will be fine. E-bikes are allowed on all of our rides.

 

Tyre Choice: We will send an update on conditions closer to the ride. Mid April should see good conditions so a slightly wider (40 to 50mm) all rounder gravel tyre will be ideal.

 

Packing List: Bring equipment to be self sufficient on the route as we go into remote areas without phone signal (inner tubes, sealant, multi-tool, pump or CO2 etc). We recommend a bell to warn walkers / runners of your presence.

 

Clothing: Sept on the south coast should see nice temperatures but can be changeable so keep an eye on the forecast. With plenty of long descents and some exposed sections on the tops, a lightweight wind jacket will be useful. Helmets are mandatory, you will not be able to ride without one.

FAQs

The ride starts and finishes Plumpton Racecourse. There is free parking onsite as well as toilets & refreshments. We will send the ride village address by email. 

Yes, e-bikes are allowed on all Glorious Gravel ride. These must comply with UK law.

We have first aiders & mechanics at the feed stops. There will be a phone number on the back of your ride number – call this if you need collecting.

Yes, we start between 8am and 9.30am and set people off in small groups so the off road sections are not too busy. Please come to the start line with anyone you want to ride with, we will give a short ride briefing and set you off.