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Burgess Hill Rumble PREVIEW

by Holly Blades

Words and Images by Robin Biswas: In its fourth year, the "Rumble" is the 6th sportive in the SRS Events calendar and has become the established East Sussex, Ashdown Forest and Lower Weald sportive with riders returning year on year to complete the challenge in the peak of the sportive season.

The events HQ at Oakmeeds College located in Burgess Hill is easily accessible from the A23/M23 and is within 30 minutes of the M25. There is ample free car parking nearby and at the HQ.  Excellent facilities of changing rooms, showers, toilets and a lug- gage storage service with refreshments available before and after the ride is available at the HQ with Clif Bar providing free energy bars to riders before the they start the ride.


SRS Events believe in providing a choice of routes to cater for all types of riders and fitness levels so that riders can have fun and pick a ride suitable for their abilities. The "Rumble" has four routes to choose from: the 92 mile "Classic", 65 mile "Challenge", 43 miles "Tour" and 23 mile "Kermesse" with each route having its own challenge. Riders can, of course, change preferred route on the day.  

As normal for any SRS cyclosportive, Feed/Timing station checkpoint stops are mainly based in village halls with proper toilets. SIS energy drinks, a selection of sweet, savoury and fruit snacks are available and each stop is staffed by SRS staff who will do their best to provide encouragement and support should the energy levels start to diminish.


All the "Rumble" routes leave Burgess Hill on a basically flat course through the quiet country lanes of East Sussex directed by the distinctive SRS Events signs.  The routes skirt below the South Downs ridge and then all turn northwards through Plumpton and North Chailey Village.

The shortest 23 mile "Kermesse" route is a good family or beginners ride whilst the longer "Tour" route provides the climb of Cob lane as a challenge. The still longer "Challenge" and "Classic" routes include the climb of Pillow mounds and a "wet" surprise awaiting those that have not ridden this course previously. The spectacular vista of Ashdown Forest comes into glorious view after Wych cross. 

The locally infamous Kidds Hill, nicknamed the "wall" for good reason awaits riders with no doubt that again this year, photographers from Sportivephoto will be waiting at the top to capture the various expressions of exertion or grimacing! After this the 92 mile Classic route turns off to provide further climbs of Groombridge, Yorks and Toys Hill. Yorks Hill is used by the Catford CC for their popular hill climb event which includes 2 stretches of 25% gradient.


The Classic route is a real test of cycling prowess with a total ascent of 1937 meters. There are four feed stations for the Classic riders with the first at Danehill Village hall followed by Sundridge Village hall, which marks the halfway point of the ride. On the return leg there are feed stations at Forest Row Community Centre and St Peters School, Ardingly. The scenic rides continue to West Hoathly, Weir wood and Ardingly reservoir and also includes the 20% climb of Cob Lane and the last climb of the day of Deaks lane before a spirited last dash back to the Burgess Hill HQ and a welcome cup of tea.


As with all SRS Events Cyclosportives, included are the services of a mobile mechanic, medical assistance from "Want Medical" and a broom wagon should riders have a mechanical or be unable to complete the course. At the end of the ride timing printouts showing your time for the ride and age related finishing standards are produced for each rider. Certificates can be downloaded online from the SRS Events website after the event.

Lastly, whilst watching the cycling films at the HQ on the big screen and enjoying the end of ride atmosphere with the free post ride meal, this is the perfect opportunity to compare experiences with other riders and find out about forthcoming SRS Events. Reduced entry to forthcoming events will be available to Rumble cyclosportive riders on the day of the event.

All SRS Events are raising funds for the Sussex Heart Charity to find out more about this Cyclosportive and the Sussex Heart Charity please go to the SRS Events website link below.

For more information visit http://www.srs-events.cc/events4/event-details.htm or the Cyclosport event information page at http://www.cyclosport.org/event/21-Aug-2011/UK/the-burgess-hill-rumble-cyclosportive.html