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Infinity and beyond
1 - Start at the Level, heading up Elm Grove to the racecourse. As you pass you can join the Drover’s Path on the left, which soon branches away from the road and takes you along the top of Woodingdean.
2 - When you reach the Falmer Road, cross over and take the path to the left that heads up towards the radio mast. Once you get there, go through the gate and follow the path for another mile and a half where you reach a dew pond.
3 - Bear right, following the path slightly uphill as it turns towards the south east and follows the ridge, with views of Lewes and Firle Beacon to your left.
Continue for another mile until the path makes a sharp right through a gate.
4 - Follow the South Downs Way south east again, down a long, dead straight concrete road that stretches off in front of you as far as you can see, before disappearing over the horizon.
When the road eventually bends round to the left down towards Rodmell, you need to go through the gate in front of you and carry on, down through a field that becomes a vast cattle-churned quagmire as you reach the bottom corner.
5 - Cross over into the next field and ride up to the next gate, then down a narrow footpath with a huge country villa with electric gates on your right. Go straight on, following a faint track ahead of you down through more mud to a dairy farm.
6 - Turn right and ride through the farm, past mounds of silage and rusting tractors, following the path as it takes you round the meadows and eventually up to the ridge on your left, joining a road.
7 - Turn right and ride down into the very pleasant village of Telscombe, replete with manor house, stud farm and big 4x4s. Savour the feeling of not being entirely welcome, especially if you are looking a bit muddy.
8 - Follow the road through Telscombe, then uphill and out, and suddenly you can see the sea gleaming just over the hill. Take the direct route, following the path due south and finishing down on the main coast road.
9 - Turn right and ride on the shared-use pavement until you can drop down on to the undercliff path at Saltdean.
10 - When I did this ride it was half term, and the path was thronging with individuals and families of all ages, about half of whom were on bikes. All the cyclists were riding carefully, respectful of the fact that pedestrians have priority on this path. The pedestrians, meanwhile, seemed happy to tolerate the presence of well-mannered cyclists. It is evident that the de facto shared use arrangement can work, without the need for bye laws and rights of way, as long as we all behave like adults.
11 - Choose your route and head west back to Brighton, passing the Marina and ending up back at the Palace Pier.
* Time: Three hours.
* Difficulty: Moderate.
* Your bike: Mountain bike with tyres for grass and mud.
* Thirsty work: There’s a great café where the coast road passes Saltdean. Also the popular cafe on the undercliff path.
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