Great cycle training loop for the kids which can be adapted for all ages!
This ride takes you along the seafront coastal path which is littered with a few cafes, SUP shop, at least 3 parks and a row of beach huts which have been turned into an artist colony. Even if you just take this path to Shoreham and back, it is a good ride and never on the road.
Starting the ride at Worthing pier promenade, shared with pedestrians but no cars, you will travel along the shoreline to Shoreham. Once in Shoreham you can use the Airport as a cheeky cut through to the A27.
Once you cross the busy road you are transported into the country lanes and ancient woodlands of Coombes and Botolphs whilst riding parallel to the Downs Link. As you come up to the top of Botolphs there are a couple of very short hills and then you come straight into Steyning Village. This is a great rest stop if you are tired and if you turn around and go back (I have many times), it is still a great ride.
It’s then decision time at Steyning! If you and the kids want a challenge and sense of achievement, offer them Borstal which is one of the UK’s top 100 climbs. This could be a leg on the Tour de France and you even get a special badge from Strava for this one with 20% gradient and challenging length. It will push the most advanced cyclist, but the reward is a fantastic 360 degree vista of some of West Sussex’s most beautiful scenes with the view stretching as far as the Isle of White. You may not care by the time you arrive but regardless, they are there to be enjoyed.
It is then a downhill sprint all the way down Tich Hill with some small hills, but you will feel them. Just at the end of Sompting school from here, you will need to cross the A27 which gets very busy at rush hour, so plan ahead. You will then navigate the winding narrow roads of Sompting village and through urban Worthing, eventually meeting the sea front.
You will usually catch the beach fishermen bringing in their boats and selling their catch along this East Beach stretch. Parched by now there are a scattering of coffee shops, restaurants and ice cream outlets to enjoy. The boys always have a well-earned ice cream from Macari’s home made Italian ice cream shop on the seafront.
Tip: For smaller children, it’s best to walk some of the route up Borstal, bearing in mind it is a road and the gradient is unforgiving for most and you may get distracted yourself. But the top really is an amazing achievement and worth the effort.
Estimated time: 1hr 30mins to 3hour (depending on ability & age) Elevation gain: 1,023ft Distance: 18.2 miles