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Hit the Downs MTB Information Hub

Sunday 11 October will see the return of Hit the Downs MTB, whether you are taking on the cool 30km or epic 80km route, here is everything you will need to get ready for the big day!


Event update 14 September 2020: COVID-19 safety measures

Following the government’s announcement regarding new restrictions around social distancing, we wanted to confirm that Hit the Downs is still planning to go ahead on Sunday 11 October.

We’re working closely with our event partners to look at how these new restrictions effect the event and what additional safety measures we’ll be putting in place on the day, based both on guidance from the government and British Cycling.

We’ll be updating the Hit webpage and directly to all our riders this week on the additional safety measures. Thank you for your continued support.


Your 30km and 80km ride training plan

With Hit on the horizon, now is the time to get some miles under your saddle. Whether you’re new to cycling, not cycled for a while, or are an occasional cyclist these training plans are perfect for you.

As you would before starting any new exercise regime, be sure to seek medical advice from your doctor, particularly if you’ve not ridden for a while.

Before you get started:
Keep hydrated:

It’s important to remember to drink and eat at regular intervals during training (drink before you’re thirsty, eat before you’re hungry). Always carry refreshments with you.

Get the gear:

As well as a bike suitable for riding long distances off-road, you’ll also need suitable clothing for the conditions and some lights if riding after dark or in shade. Plus, a well-fitting helmet.

Bike prep:

Make sure your tyres are pumped up to the correct pressure before each ride. You’ll find the recommended pressure on the side of your tyres, so best to get a pump with a gauge.

Always take a spare tube, puncture kit, and a pump with you on your rides.

Off-road is better:

Any time spent on your bike will help you get fitter and improve your skills but try to do as much of your training off-road as possible. Riding off-road takes twice as much effort as on road (but the views are often nicer!).

Remember, cycling on bridleways is allowed, cycling on footpaths is not. Not sure what track you’re on? If you come to a style where you have to lift your bike over a fence you’re on a footpath.

Dealing with inclines:

Hills – there’s no shame in walking up the hills. If you’re climbing speed has dropped to walking pace just hop off the bike and save your energy.

When you’re training make a note of how far you get up a particular hill before you have to get off, then watch over the weeks as you reach higher and higher each time.

6 week 30km training plan:

Find your full 30km training plan here.


8 week 80km training plan:

Find your full 80km training plan here.


If you need inspiration West Sussex County Council have a nifty little online cycle route planning tool here: http://cyclejourneyplanner.westsussex.gov.uk/


Read our previous articles:

Riding in wet weather

How do I do it? Why should I?

If you don’t have much experience of fundraising, now is the best time to start.

You don’t need any previous experience to do it, and do it well.

You set your own target – give yourself a goal to work towards – make sure it is one that will challenge you, but not give you sleepless nights. How far can you go?

You can do it on your phone – there are lots of ways to ask without even asking, from sharing a link to your JustGiving page in your email signature, to doing a birthday fundraiser on Facebook or why not send a text to every person in your address book?

Top tip: Sweepstakes are a quick and easy way to get people donating with minimum effort, and gives you an excuse to start talking about your challenge. Whether it’s the six Nations, FA cup or Grand National, you’ll find something for everyone.

OK, I’m ready. Now what?

Who do you know? – Your friends, family and colleagues is a great place to start asking for donations. This could be via a group chat, email, and social media or in person. Why not always carry your sponsor form with you to collect that loose change.

Make it easy to donate – the simpler you can make it for people, the more likely they are to donate. JustGiving is a very simple place to donate, and one your friends might already be familiar with. Put the link to your page everywhere you can think of – your email signature, at the bottom of a text, on Facebook or Twitter.

Make the most of your just Giving Page

This is your chance to tell the world why you are taking part, the more you share about your experience, the more those visiting your page will connect with your challenge and will go on to support you.

  • Add your picture, use that selfie you took on your last ride
  • Tell your story, why did you sign up? How are you feeling?
  • Aim high! Set yourself a goal and you will soon get there
  • Share your page – everywhere
  • Update your page, let your supporters know how well you are doing

If you would like any extra help and support with your fundraising please just get in touch – we are happy to help!

Read our previous articles:

Get the most from JustGiving

Littering and the law

Litter is anything from a crisp packet or cigarette butt to a bag of rubbish. All litter is unsightly and makes our local areas look untidy and uncared for. Common litter items include fast-food packaging, sweet wrappers, drinks cans, bottles and cigarette butts.

Litter does not clean itself away. It can take years to degrade, causing harm to wildlife and habitats. Food people drop – whether it is half-eaten burgers, chips or apple cores – can attract pigeons and vermin such as rats.

Please do not litter. Use a bin for your rubbish and if you cannot find a bin, take your litter home with you.

Dropping litter is illegal. People who drop litter can be fined or face prosecution in court. Authorised officers have the power to issue a fixed penalty charge of up to £80 for a litter offence, as an alternative to prosecution. If the offender is prosecuted and convicted in court, the fine could rise to £2,500.

If you see accumulations of litter in a public place, report it to your local authority. Be specific about location, type and the amount of litter. Some local authorities have litter ‘hotlines’. If your council does not have a special number to call, litter reports are usually dealt with by cleansing, environmental health or technical services departments.

Learn more on the Keep Britain Tidy website.

Read our previous articles:

Information on bridleways