Benefits of Cycling
Regular cycling is not only an efficient form of transport, it's also a great way of exploring the countryside. It can help improve physical and mental health and aid relaxation.
The recommendation for health benefits is for adults to be physically active on at least 30 minutes on five or more days of the week. Cycling is a great form of activity and can contribute to the prevention and management of many diseases and conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers - remember that prevention is better than cure!
Cycling can also be helpful as part of a weight management programme, as the average calorie expenditure is 300kcalsl/hr if cycling at 10mph on flat ground. If you are cycling at faster speeds or uphill then the calorie expenditure can increase to 500 kcals/hr or more.
To track your progress, why not keep a diary to see how far and how long you are managing to cycle?
Local cycling clubs will be happy to assist and welcome you -
- Horsham Cycling (Club)
- Horsham and Crawley Cycle Touring Club
- Horsham Cycling Meet-Up Evening Rides
- Horsham District Cycling Forum
- Horsham Mountain Bike Club
- HSBC UK Ride Social
- South Downs Bikes Cycling Club
Governing Body Accredited Clubs
- National Events Search Engine
- Sussex Competitions Listing
- Sussex Cycling Racing League
- UK Cycling Events Listing
- West Sussex County Council (including cycling journey planner)
- Horsham Off-Road
- Mick Burren (for route suggestions and general advice) 01403 264649 /email@example.com
- Cycling Buddy
For equipment, servicing and advice -
- AD Cycles
- Horsham Bikes (mobile repairs)
- Pedal Out (repair services)
- Slinfold P and D Custom Bikes
- Southwater Cycles
- Storrington - South Downs Cycles
- The Cycle Room
- Try to avoid rush hour times.
- The condition of bridleways will vary according to the time of year. Some can be muddy and slippery after heavy rain.
- Before setting out, test your brakes, wheels, tyres and the overall condition of your bike. Check your riding position - many inexperienced riders have their saddle too low or, worse, ride with their instep on the pedal. The best position on your bike is the most efficient as well as the most comfortable and can be checked quite easily - seated on the saddle with the heel of your foot on the pedal at its lowest point, the knee joint should be slightly bent, not straight. The ball of the foot should always be used on the pedal.
- Be safe - be seen. Always wear suitable clothing for the prevailing weather conditions and preferably something brightly coloured.
- Carry high energy snacks and liquid. Biking can use a lot of energy.
- Ride in single file. Be aware of and considerate towards other road/bridleway users.
- Carry a small toolkit, puncture repair kit, spare inner tube and basic first aid kit.
- Anything you need should be carried in a small, tight-fitting rucksack with waist and chest straps or bike panniers. A badly laden bike will lead to unstable riding.
- Follow the advice given in the Highway Code and the Countryside Code. Do not cycle on footpaths.
- If you leave your car unattended whilst riding, make sure anyting of value is out of sight, preferably locked in the boot.
Local Cycling Routes
We have selected and tested 44 circular routes which, except for The Downs Link, start in the Horsham District and follow roads and bridleways suitable for enjoyable cycling at various levels. The routes cover a variety of terrain and each route has its own particular interest. Route descriptions include suggested start points (although you can start anywhere), approximate length, pedalling time and grading. Allow additional time for route finding, stops, refreshments and visiting places of interest. In fact most routes will make a good half or full day out. It is advisable to take the recommended map with you for additional route clarity and information. GR numbers in route decriptions refer to points on these maps.
- Beginner - Relatively flat, quiet roads and easy off road suitable for all age groups and fitness levels.
- Intermediate - Some steeper gradients, harder off road and interaction with traffic. A reasonable degree of fitness is required.
- Experienced - Steep gradients, some busier roads and technical off road. A good degree of fitness is needed.
We hope you enjoy these routes. If you have any comments or would like to suggest other suitable local routes please contact:
Parks and Countryside Department, Horsham District Council, Parkside, North Street, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1RL. Telephone 01403 215285 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Index of Cycle Routes This document gives a quick summary of each walk, including Level , Distance and Time.
- Cycle Route 1 This route uses mainly country lanes and the Downs Link Bridleway. It passes through farmland and provides excellent views of the very rural area around Southwater.
- Cycle Route 2 This route uses the excellent Downs Link, quiet country lanes and a short distance along a bridlepath. It passes through wooded areas and open farmland and some of the views across this hilly wooded area are quite spectacular.
- Cycle Route 3 This route is on bridleways and is a good introduction to mountain biking. The tracks are good and can be ridden in any conditions. There are excellent views south towards the coast and Arundel and north towards Horsham and the North Downs.
- Cycle Route 4 This route uses quiet country lanes and passes through several picturesque villages around the Arun Valley. There are spectacular views of Amberley Wild Brooks, the Arun Valley and the South Downs.
- Cycle Route 5 A delightful ride around the open farm and parkland of this rural part of West Sussex.
- Cycle Route 6 This route uses the flat, well-surfaced Downs Link, together with well-defined bridleways, to take the rider through the villages, fields and woodlands to the east of Southwater.
- Cycle Route 7 These interesting and varied routes make use of The Downs Link, The South Downs Way and minor roads.
- Cycle Route 8 The Downs Link, established in 1984 as a link between the North and South Downs, is a scenic, flat bridleway between Guildford in the North and Shoreham-by-Sea in the South.
- Cycle Route 9 This route uses country lanes and the cycle path around Tanbridge House School. The route passes through wooded areas, by farmland as well as alongside Warnham Deer Park and over the Rookwood Golf Course.
- Cycle Route 10 This route uses predominately country lanes, passing through beautiful scenery and provides superb views cross the Low Weald. The route includes a number of steep hills.
- Cycle Route 11 This route is on bridleways and is a good introduction to mountain biking. The tracks are good and can be ridden in any conditions. There are excellent views south towards the coast and Arundel and north towards Horsham and the North Downs.
- Cycle Route 12 This route uses mainly country lanes, the Downs Link and a bridleway, but there are two short parts along the main A281 road which can be busy at peak times. The route passes through farmland and gives good views of the South Downs and the Adur Valley.
- Cycle Route 13 This route starts and finishes in the ancient and attractive village of Steyning, which is worthy of detailed exploration as indeed is Bramber.
- Cycle Route 14 The route passes through gently undulating hills, wooded areas and farmland. The views of the South Downs are particularly good in places. During the spring the route rarely leaves superb bluebell woods. Trail conditions will be very muddy after rain.
- Cycle Route 15 This ride visits the two Iron Age forts on the South Downs, west of Steyning and east of Findon, and incorporates part of the South Downs Way. It is on good tracks but care should be taken on some of the steeper descents.
- Cycle Route 16 This route is mainly on bridleways and takes you through the middle of St Leonard's Forest on Mick Miles' Race, through Holmbush Forest and farmland north of the Horsham/Crawley Road and returning on the outskirts of Horsham. Going is muddy after rain.
- Cycle Route 17 This route makes use of the cycle way between Warnham, Horsham and Southwater with stretches on The Pedlar's Way, The Downs Link and country lanes. It explores the Horsham locality and visits Denne Hill, Rookwood Golf Course and Warnham Deer Park.
- Cycle Route 18 This route uses bridleways in the wooded area to the east of Horsham and Southwater. It gives spectacular views of the area from the ridges to the west of Nuthurst and the east of St Leonard's Forest.
- Cycle Route 19 This route uses quiet lanes, good bridleways and The Downs Link and passes through typical Sussex countryside with beautiful wooded and country scenery including old Sussex dwellings.
- Cycle Route 20 This is quite a challenging, hilly route. (The circular route of Nutbourne Lane, Gay Street Lane and Gay Street is probably the most undulating part). However, it is an extremely pleasant country ride with some lovely views.
- Cycle Route 21 This route follows and links two historic transport systems which have been closed for their original purpose and partly restored for recreational use.
- Cycle Route 22 This is a varied route with some long ascents and descents on good surfaces plus shorter, steeper and more technical sections of single track.
- Cycle Route 23 This is an extension to Route 22 which incorporates an exhilarating descent off Amberley Mount to Houghton and along a beautiful section of the River Arun to Arundel.
- Cycle Route 24 This route takes the rider along quiet country lanes to the west and south of Horsham with the exception of the first section on the busy Worthing Road to The Boar's Head public house.
- Cycle Route 25 This route follows and links two historic transport systems which have been closed for their original purpose and partly restored for recreational use.
- Cycle Route 26 This route, on quiet country lanes, climbs to the high ground on the Sussex/Surrey border and visits the pretty villages of Charlwood, Rusper and Warnham. There are fine views of the Surrey hills and, with luck, you will see deer in the park at Warnham.
- Cycle Route 27 This route, on minor and secondary roads, visits the Sussex/Surrey border area and goes through typical Surrey wooded lanes, the eastern border of St Leonard's Forest and typical Sussex countryside. There are some hills.
Guided Bike Rides
Horsham District residents are making the most of a low cost cycling routes pack offering a range of guided mouintain bike rides across the District. The rides are suitable for all abilities to anyone over the age of 12.
Arranged by South Downs Bikes, off-road rides on the first Tuesday evening (6:30pm) and the last Sunday morning (10am) of each month will start from Storrington (South Downs Bikes Shop) going up onto the South Downs.
Please note for all rides participants join at their own risk and ride leaders will take no responsibility for accidents, injury or the safety of bikes. Crash helmets must be worn and all participants should dress appropriately for prevailing weather conditions. Please also bring a spare inner tube, high energy snacks and a drink.
For further information, to book onto a ride or to hire a bike, please telephone 01903 745534 or email email@example.com
Details of other guided mountain bike rides in the District can be obtained from John Robbins 01903 742206.