SDW Experts / Locals

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  • SDW Experts / Locals
  • I have SDW pencilled in for next Friday (21st).

    Has it been as wet down there as it has across the rest of UK? In your experience will the relatively dry period ahead be enough for the SDW to dry out by Friday?

    Thanks

    It was a little greasy in the woods tonight but still pretty hard and fast running. If it stays dry-ish for a week I suspect the SDW will be running very well indeed.

    It’s been dry for ages really, had a lot of rain in the last week but it’ll get soaked up quick and it usually only takes a few dry windy days to dry out again …. I’m the Brighton to Eastbourne end of the SDW

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    QECP/Harting Down bit is squishy top layer over firm.

    Some exciting rain gullies and collections of gravel on corners.

    Given the relatively dry but windy forecast for the weekend into next week I suspect that it will be pretty dry by the 21st. I’ll be out there this pm anyway so if it’s any different I’ll update

    andyg1966
    Member

    There is a walking event that day. No idea of the turnout. It might help with gates or might hinder.

    Linky

    I’m at QECP end, by a Friday should be ok with a few sticky spots approaching Cheesefoot and around Meon Fishery.

    Post how you get on please.

    Splash-man
    Member

    I’m in the Worthing area.
    It has been raining again today but as mentioned above it will only take a coupe of windy days to dry out the puddles so I would anticipate it to be dry & fast running by next weekend.
    Most of the route in my area is open track with no grass or tree cover so dries really quickly.

    5lab
    Member

    just pedalled along the stretch from tank tracks to ditching beacon – was damp but plenty of grip.

    Premier Icon winston
    Subscriber

    Just cycled over Firle beacon on my way in to work. Was riding Arkose with Nano 40’s. Exposed sections have dried out but bit greasy on anything covered by vegitation.

    DrP
    Member

    I’ve got my washing out… IS it raining in Worthing ? Hmm…

    DrP

    Premier Icon mccraque
    Subscriber

    a couple of puddles but generally firm betwwen Lewes and Clayton this morning.

    Cow Turd was more of an issue.

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    QECP to South Harting section has plenty of puddles but not a lot of actual mud.

    Should dry out nicely over next few days.

    Thanks for the info so far 🙂

    OK on the Worthing section today, some puddles, but otherwise alright

    Hotels booked at either end. Just car parking to sort (at both ends) 🙂

    Premier Icon johnjn2000
    Subscriber

    QECP was a bit wet this evening and some of the chalky sections were like ice. A week of dry weather will sort out most of it apart from maybe the section before the fishery after Winchester hill.
    You going for it in one go this time?

    Yup. Setting off Friday at 5am (ish).

    Tope tips gratefully received 🙂

    Like Thunderburts or Rocket Ron’s?

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Within reason, your tyre choice won’t be the reason you do or don’t complete a full sdw. One may roll better, but puncture more. You may get lucky with one, or not.

    Ride what’s fitted and you know.

    Yup. Most things are over thunk

    Hmm. So possible thunderstorms (not thunderburts) on Tues & Wed. But dry thereafter….still likely to an OK ride?

    Top tip: watch out on the chalky bit at the bottom of the descent from Harting car park, it’s mega slippery even when it’s dry!

    Premier Icon muddy@rseguy
    Subscriber

    The trails on the SDW are pretty much all hardpack now and as its summer you will most likely only encounter slippery chalk just after rain (or maybe if you are riding at night and there is dew on the ground). Most of the chalk descents are exposed to the sun now so will mostly dry out in a day or two.

    As has been mentioned, the ones to be careful on are Harting Down but also the chalk descents off Bignor Hill and the next one into the Arun Valley (Houghton/Amberley).

    There are some rain gullies now cut into the chalk in a few places but just take it nice and easy, dont treat each descent like a full-on DH race and you’ll be fine.

    Hob Nob
    Member

    We’re doing it on Saturday, starting at Eastbourne, as home is only 10 minutes from the other end, so getting home isn’t an issue after.

    Not planning on changing tyres on my little bike (Minion DHF front & Ardent rear). I imagine it will be the least of my worries, having never ridden 100 miles before, on or off road 🙂

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    it will be the least of my worries, having never ridden 100 miles before, on or off road

    HAving seen your posting over the years, you’ll be fine… just don’t go off too hard.

    Splash-man
    Member

    Tope tips gratefully received 🙂

    Remember to make the most of the water tap stops and fill up at these.
    Let me know if you need the details of where they are.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    agree on the water stops – if you use all of them you can use one large water bottle on your bike and avoid carrying a lot unnecessary weight (I used SIS tablets with mine).

    littlerob
    Member

    We did it last Friday and it was very wet for the first few hours. I think the forecast for 21st is looking much better.

    Not sure I have any top tips other than, as other’s have said, check the locations of water points. We were able to fill up at: QECP (lots of work going on there, but porta-loos and a tap at the far end of the building), Washington, on the A27 crossing, and Jevington church. The tap near Amberley was out of order, but there are plenty of others.

    Don’t forget to stop and tale it all in, its really stunning.

    LR

    Tap at QECP is by the tempory tea rooms , a little way past the old visitor center . You will ride past it , its on your LHS.
    Do not turn right near the Devils Humps and end up down at the Royal Oak, Njee will tell you thats not the correct route
    Do not miss the 90′ right turn at BlackCap and caryy on for miles in the wrong direction, Singletrackmind will tell you thats not the correct route
    My top tips, stop only at the tap stops , and only for 2-3mins each time . Hoover up a load of food and get moving again.
    And start early , 0600 ,or even 0500. Its magical up around Cheesefoot early doors .

    Premier Icon Painey
    Subscriber

    Good tip if you need to fill up on food is to stop at the petrol station in Pyecombe. It’s a stones throw from the SDW and I don’t know of many other similar places along the route that are so close to it. Well not until you get to Alfriston anyway.

    Our club – South Downs Mountain bike club – has its annual mooch on sdw this Saturday; its a go for us and I personally think the conditions will be fine – the above comments about the cheeky chalk are spot-on. Also, ride the tyres you know, and strip off daft extra weight such as dropper posts, mobile tool workshops and food you won’t feel like eating by the last half.
    Zero effort on the uphill sections, work hard on the flats and give it the beans on anything that points downhill.

    littlerob
    Member

    Regarding food, what I did noticed on Friday (but didn’t use):

    There is a farm-shop just after the A286 crossing near Cocking. No idea what they sell, but there was a sign for ice-cream I think.
    Trueleigh Hill YHA has a sign for Cafe “open to all”.
    There is a cafe at Saddlescombe Farm.
    Often an ice-crean van at Ditchling Beacon car-park.
    When you hit the A27 (and turn right for the water stop) if you were to go left 1/4 mile or so there is a petrol station.
    SouthEase YHA has a cafe that I think is open to passers-by.

    jonnyyeti
    Member

    So we think it will be ok Saturday? As I am planning an attempt as well and weather looks fantastic for Saturday!

    Also out of interest what is a reasonable amount of time to do Winchester to Eastbourne I am fairly fit so was hoping 10 – 12 hours would be realistic.

    Premier Icon richardthird
    Subscriber

    Sub 12h all in is a good target for mortals.

    Great tips and feedback from everyone – thanks.

    Has the rain stopped and loitered over the SDW today? If so, does it change the conditions and should any attempt be deferred accordingly? 🙂

    Thanks

    Premier Icon richardthird
    Subscriber

    East end at least will be absolutely fine.

    72hrs of dryness is my preferred target, then most of the puddles should be gone and you can run slick-ish tyres

    So you are saying it won’t be fine then?? As there will only be one day of dryness (according to weather reports)

    Does anyone have a decent gpx that they could send me please? I have one on the Garmin already but when i did it last year (2 days) it was a little erroneous…..thanks

    Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    I’m no expert but i do love a sdw thread(and done it a few times)…just had a look at the weather for Brighton – I reckon you’ll be fine on Friday – strong wind tomorrow to dry this afternoons showers up. Plus ,it’s not too warm on Friday so the water thing will be less of a stress. I took 750 ml & 500 ml bottles but DO Not miss the Lewes tap in the wall though. Big old thirsty climb after it. Ha.
    As for the map I just put my phone on airplane mode and used open bike map via viewranger. The signage is much better than it was a few years ago imo.
    Good luck and have fun. Any more than three gates opened for you and you have to go back and start again. 😉

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