The clue is in the name of the Wiggle Haywards Heath Howler – by the end of it, you’ll join other riders in howling with joy for finishing the hill-heavy ride, as well as making wolf-like noises owing to the pain in your legs. It’s a tough one, as you take in the worst of what Sussex can throw at you – but the sheer scale of climbing distance you’ll cover makes this as rewarding as it is tricky.
Now in its sixth year, the Howler is fast gaining a reputation as one of the Super Series’ toughest events on the calendar, making it a haven for cyclists in the south of England and beyond for one great test.
More than 2,500m of climbing pay dividends to this ride’s fierce and revered reputation as it takes in the most notorious ascents in the area. Starting off from the South of England Showground, the first challenge that presents itself to riders is in Turners Hill, but there’s much more testing challenges to come.
It’s relatively easy going from there until you hit testing reservoir climbs around Balcombe and Ardingly – and then the route takes no mercy by leading up the infamous Ditchling Beacon – only to come straight back down again and head back out into Sussex.
The terrain relaxes henceforth, as you can take stock of the distance in your legs, before heading into Ashdown Forest, which is as intense and fast as it is a challenge to conquer. The devil waits for riders around Weir Wood Reservoir – but one more push over seriously steep hills will take you over the finish line.
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