CISSBURY LOOP 1

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This is where it all begins....
The beginning is quite easy to find, its just above and to the east of the Rectory park, just off the A27 and up First Avenue (top speed 39.9mph I hasten to add) its the only left hand turn, and you will recognise the above picture. The Green Dots represent approximate photograph points on the map.
The terrain is partly mud, sticky in the winter, superb in the summer though! Watch out for the wet, hard chalk, its a killer! You'll see what I mean ... I have the scars to prove it!

 

The first part is a wide track for car access to the car park, its deeply rutted but its fairly grippy, I've never come off there, the medium gradient gets you warmed up a bit. When it opens out into the car park, you can see quite alot looking to the left, of the golf course, and on the horizon you can see Cissbury Ring. If you carry on through the gate you will encounter chalk on the right, mud on the left (I always stick to the left!), followed by a 4way crossroad. Left takes you to the golf course, going right up the hill takes you to a different route (Cissbury Loop 2) to Charmandean Lane, but straight on (no gradient) takes you through some very pretty woodland. Don't go too near the left though, theres a large hole (like, about 20feet sheer drop) on the left, partially covered by bushes. If its raining or wet, this part is very slippery (As the cameraman soon discovered!!). A little further and you will pass a discreet pathway on the left, you will come out of there later (on the map, its the split). The scenery is equally beautiful as the rock face on the right fades into woodland, and after passing an archway of overhanging trees you emerge into more open space (around the 2 dots after the split, on the map).


With short bushes and barbed wire fencing either side, you approach a steep and particularly interesting part. If its wet, you might not be able to cycle up it, because it is really hard, slimy chalk, with monsterous ruts, Its easy to wheelspin and lose your momentum, and not have the grip or space to get going again without falling into a 12inch rut. Once you get past the steepest bit, it evens out a little, with a series of hard chalk-surfaced sideways slope which can make the bike suddenly wash out from under you. Before a large tree (its quite distinguishable) there is an uphill path coming from the right, which comes off Cissbury Loop 2. You may have noticed that the Cissbury Ring Hill Fort has got alot closer, You just have to carry on ahead along the triple-rutted path, the centre or right is generally the best, and at the end you come across a gate. Straight ahead takes you to the top of Cissbury Ring, Chantonbury Ring route, Nepcote route and also a path that goes off to the east.
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We take the path going to the left, its a steep descent and particularly rocky, you can pick up quite some speed in a short, twisty distance, but I strongly reccomend you are going slowly by the time you pass a gate, because there is a large rut with sharp rocks to the left, and the hard chalk path you follow banks until it acute enough to make the front end lose all grip, front end loses grip and before you have time to protect yourself, you may well be leaving a trail of blood and bike parts, watch straps etc. I did! If you can still walk by the time you splash through the tractor-tyre water-filled ruts, there is a short climb, followed by a daring downhill part, and another uphill climb, which progressively gets steeper until it evens out towards the top, and the view is amazing! At the gate, you turn left and pass through another gate, if you look right you see all of Findon Valley, and left you can see where you've been, the countryside, you can see for miles! The next part is a long, fast and easy part, its usually a bit mucky up there, rarely dries out for some reason! At one point you have the choice of going through a 'tunnel' over overhanging trees, which adds a bit of variation, watch out for the prickly vines that hang from the ceiling though! Both routes end and a slight right bend, and you coninue the adrenaline inducing speeds along the gravelly rathway over a small jump :) and along to the end where the pathway splits into many different directions (If you go when its snowing, you'll probably hit a sheet of ice and slide into a wall, I did!). If you stop on the concrete section, you will see a public footpath to the left (If you go straight on, you end up on the A24, Warren Road or whatever it is called). This is possibly the fastest and safest part, the smooth grippy mud is great for doing 25mph+, but after the second downill, theres a rut you may want to bunnyhop to save getting a jolt up the backside! The final stretch is fairly steep, and comes back into the chalk we all know about (probably coz I wont shut up about it!), and you may recognise the junction, if you turn right you end up the way you came, only faster!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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