To celebrate our first year of On Your Bike with Nick Marks, this month’s ride is something of a mini marathon, offering a thorough check of your fitness and bike technique, with lots of sights along the way and a priceless piece of local trivia.

1 Set off from the Palace Pier and head west towards Hove Lagoon, where you have to cross over the road and go north on Wish Road.

2 Follow Wish Road north past Wish Park to New Church Road. Turn left and continue to Boundary Road, then turn right and head north over the rail line at Portslade. Take the first left and continue along on the south side of a park until you reach a roundabout.

Turn right and head up to Old Shoreham Road; go straight over the crossroads and up Locks Hill, then follow the road round to the left and down into Old Portslade Village.

The road then rises up to the Community College. Take the left fork and continue for 100m until you see a footpath heading north on the right.

3 Follow this footpath over a small road and continue over the open fields to your left. Keep to the right hand side of the fields leading to a gate.

4 Go through and follow the fairly clear track heading due north. At this point you pass over the A27 where it runs through the hillside in a tunnel. At the next gate you’ll have to carry the bike through a stretch of brambles to rejoin the path.

5 From here on you can see your route winding up to the top of the Downs, where you will join the South Downs Way. When you get there, take a right and go past the radio mast, then down a fast descent, until you see two exits on your left.

6 Take the second exit and drop down into Edburton; the track ends on a spectacularly overgrown section of footpath that you can ride at high speed.

7 Once you hit tarmac, turn left, then look right for an entrance between two large houses. You can continue down the road and visit the beautiful 11th-century church. Otherwise, go through the gate and follow the broken concrete path north.

8 At the first barn you get to the path bends back on itself rather confusingly. Just follow it and take the narrow bridlepath heading north again. Continue past farmhouses and across private roads until you reach the next public road.

9 Turn right along a narrow lane to a T-junction. Turn left and you will come to a major road. Turn right and continue for about 200 metres until you see a gate on your right.

10 Turn into the gate and follow the bridlepath down a gravel track, through Poynings Grange farmyard, through a field of horses, and finally back to another country lane.

11 Turn left and continue over a roundabout with Poynings Road, then on for another mile or so until you are almost on top of the A23. Look for a small parking space on the left of the road and a footpath opposite.

12 Head up the hill through the ancient woodland of Newtimber Holt. It is very steep, with wet tree roots, loose chalk and no room for error. I didn’t make it without falling off.

13 At the gate at the top, turn right and continue up the hill until the scenery opens out. Go down the other side to Saddlescombe Farm, where tea and cakes await, courtesy of Kerry-Anne. Also awaiting you is Saddlescombe Donkey Wheel.

14 Kerry-Anne told me Mr Robinson, the farm’s owner in the 1850s, dug a well and used donkey-power to bring water up, providing the principal source of water for the town of Brighton for a while. In trying to create a water-based beverage that would wean his labourers off beer, Mr Robinson invented Robinson’s Barley Water.

15 Head back up the hill you just came down, up the wooded track in front of you. As the trees open out, take the path on the right and follow it south. This is the Sussex Border Path, and it will lead you all the way back to Brighton. Ignore all turnoffs and keep heading south.

At its end it opens out into a field, which drops down to Waterhall Road. Turn left, go round the roundabout, and join the A23 back into Brighton, finishing at the Chalet Cafe in Preston Park for more tea and cake if required.

Time: Four hours.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Your bike: Mountain bikes only.

Refreshments: Kelly-Anne’s Home Made Organic Cakes and Cream Teas, Saddlescombe Farm; the Chalet Cafe at Preston Park.

So you don’t get lost: OS 122.

Undercliff Path - Clarification In July’s Ride Of The Month I advised to return from Rottingdean to Brighton via the Undercliff Path. A reader has pointed out cycling is not legal on the Undercliff Path; cyclists should use the National Cycle Network which runs beside the road on top of the cliff.

The Local Access Forum is looking at the feasibility of changing the bylaw prohibiting cycling on the Undercliff Path, but walkers are justifiably frightened by cyclists who treat it like a racetrack. These cyclists, along with those who jump red lights or ride at night without lights, give cyclists a bad name. I urge everyone to ride intelligently, within the law, and with consideration for others at all times.