Start and finish

Ford near Arundel

Sunday 13th May 2018

2 rides (100kms or 16kms)

£20 entry

£10 Kids entry

Fundraising target for Ataxia UK

£100 per adult


This years ride will be on the Sunday 13th May 2018

Email and more info

2 rides starting from Clymping, near Arundel, one of 15 kms , and one of 100 kms (63 miles).

Entry fee is £20 per rider, and £10 for kids, and we ask that everyone raises a minimum of £100 for Ataxia UK.

We can help you to set up a justgiving page if needed.

Please let us know if you are interested in riding by contacting me, thanks.


The 2017 ride raised over £16,500 for Ataxia UK which is a fantastic amount. The ride had 48 riders doing a mixture of the long and shorter course. The weather just about held up for most of us. The ride went without any major incidents and I think we all had a good day!

I would like to say a big thanks to all the riders and people who sponsored, and look forward to 2018 ride.


Written by Neil a fellow Ataxian who did the bike ride

This year’s Ataxia Spring Classic took place in glorious sunshine as riders made their way through the villages of Arundel and climbed the South Downs, twice!

The two rides, 100kms and 16kms, attracted an even split in participants and all finished the event, a few completed two or three laps of the short ride.

Thank you to everyone who took part and their sponsors. The event wouldn’t take place without the work of the organisers and helpers, all members of South Downs Group. Preparing the routes, catering, half way refuelling, logistical support during the rides... the list goes on.

Our three Ataxians, Sian, James and Neil, each completed the 16k route and the total raised will exceed £13,000 for the sixth year running.


From Ataxian, Ataxia UK magazine

The annual Spring Classic is now very much a feature of the Ataxia UK fundraising calendar and continues to go from strength to strength. This year’s cycle ride took place on the 10th of May.

There were two rides - one of 63 miles (100kms) and one of 10 miles (16kms).

This event would not have been possible without the support from South Downs members, and volunteers from Lloyds Bank at Brighton, at the start, halfway stop and finish. Well done to all the riders that took part!

Update- the ride raised over £17,000 including gift aid.


5 go ride in Sussex

First timers Fiona (plus Hugh), Sian, Anna and Neil joined James, as our 5 ataxians battled strong winds and cold to complete the Ataxia Spring Classic on 11th May 2014, in Arundel, West Sussex.

They rode a variety of tandems, handtrikes, and bikes to help us raise over £19,000 for Ataxia UK. There was time before the start for Sian and Anna to discuss tactics for the challenge, but then it was down to the serious business for the 56 riders who took on either the long and short courses.

We couldn’t, of course, do it without the support of South Downs members, who were out in force to provide refreshments at the start, halfway and finish points, man the map to help those who got lost (only one this year), sign the riders in, etc . A big thank you to all of them, and to everyone who took part – see you all again next year!

Update- This year was our 3rd and most successful ride raising over £21,000 including gift aid.


This year’s Ataxia Spring Classic has raised over £13,000 and featured 50 riders. There were two routes (an 11 mile course and one of 58 miles), with 25 people riding each, able-bodied cyclists and people affected by ataxia and other disabilities alike, this year featuring three riders on trikes/handtrikes. We also had a few children ride this year as an experiment, which worked well and will be repeated.

The weather was fantastic on the day (unlike last year’s almost biblical rainstorms), with brilliant sunshine at the beginning, followed by cooler, overcast conditions later on – perfect for cycling – most riders can boast tan lines where the lycra stopped! (And it didn’t start raining ‘til everyone had packed up!)

Cyclists teamed up into small groups, with departures staggered, all tackling the course differently. Practised cyclists chose the longer route with its tricky gradients, and those without the Bradley Wiggins ambitions, including parents with kids, opted for the shorter one. Both rides stopped for coffee and cake, briefly basking in the sunshine and relaxing tired muscles. Hardly anyone got lost, although no event would be complete without the odd worry or two about missing riders, who despite having written directions, a map, and big signs on every junction still managed to take the wrong turn – but all were accounted for at the end of the day.

Taking place in the South Downs area (twice over the hills for the longer route, flat for the shorter, which stayed between the Downs and the sea), the event was organised by Ataxia UK’s South Downs Branch, whose members either rode, or manned the village hall and halfway stops, providing tea, sandwiches, energy drinks, cake, and most crucially, chocolate!

Judging by the feedback on the day and from Facebook everyone seemed to have enjoyed it, and wants to ride again next year, so it does seem that we’ve created an annual event, which will hopefully continue for years to come.


April 29th 2012 will be remembered for a long time as the wettest day of the wettest April in living memory. Non-stop rain made for atrocious road conditions, caused rivers to burst their banks, and caused wide-spread flash floods. Many events were cancelled, and sensible people stayed indoors.

Those who rode Ataxia South Downs first Spring Classic bike ride will remember it too. We’ll remember the incessant rain driven in on 30 mph winds, unending hills turned into rivers, riding knee deep through the floods, punctures and more punctures. We’ll also remember the exhilaration and sense of achievement at the finish. Even the most experienced cyclists said they were absolutely the worst conditions they’d ever ridden in.

We set out a few months ago to plan 2 rides – a shorter 20 mile ride for less experienced cyclists, which would also work for handtrike riders, between the Downs and the sea; and a 56 mile tougher route over the South Downs. We had a raft of volunteers – marshals, starters, emergency backup, catering and manning checkpoints – all drawn from Ataxia South Downs members.

On the day 12 riders tackled the 20 mile route, including 2 trikes. In the near wind and rain lashed conditions it took nearly 5 hours to complete the ride – including the almost compulsory puncture! 18 riders took on the longer challenge, which with a fabulous ‘cake stop’, took some of us nearly 5½ hours. We all rode more than 60 miles because of blocked roads, diversions and missed turnings, caused by washed away signs.

Our fantastic helpers cheered every rider ‘home’, and made sure we had plenty to eat.

So far we have raised more than £16,000 which is an absolutely amazing amount for our first year.

Will we do it again? – of course we will, and the weather can’t be worse, can it?

Ataxia UK

The ataxias are a group of neurological conditions that affect walking, speech, and movement

Ataxia UK is the leading national charity for people with ataxia, their families and carers. We provide support and aim to find treatments and cures.

What is ataxia?

Ataxia is the name given to a group of neurological disorders that affect balance, coordination, and speech. There are many different types of ataxia that can affect people in different ways.

Who gets ataxia?

Anyone of any age can get ataxia, but certain types are more common in certain age groups. For example, people with Friedreich’s ataxia are usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence.

How many people have ataxia?

The ataxias are rare conditions. Estimates from recent studies say that there are at least 10,000 adults and around 500 children in the UK with a progressive ataxia.

Is there any cure?

Some forms of ataxia are treatable, but in most cases there is still no cure. We are supporting research and putting all our efforts in trying to get treatments or cures for the ataxias. See our Research strategy for more information.

For more infomation on Ataxia and Ataxia UK please visit


Andrew Downie

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