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  • SDW in a day- advice wanted
  • rapidrob95
    Member

    Yep, another SDW in a day thread. I’m looking to do the route from Winchester to Eastbourne, on a CX bike.
    I’ll be staying the night at Eastbourne, so first Question- any pointers on overnight parking near the start?
    Also, I may be wanting to buy some nosh somewhere about half way, is there anywhere decent that is close to the route to save any detours?
    Also, are the water taps currently working? I don’t seem to drink much so shouldn’t need too many top ups, so I guess maybe 2 or 3 tap stops.
    And finally, any worst/best bits that I should know about? I’ve walked some decent chunks of it, but not ridden much.
    I’m aiming for 10 hours riding time, will be starting off nice and early. Looking at Friday 10th July

    john_l
    Member

    Taps at Truliegh YHA, Adur and Washington are working, not sure about the others but I’m sure people will confirm. If 10th July is anything like last week, bank on needing more water.

    There’s a cafe at Houghton Bridge, which is pretty much half way and on the route, but expect to queue. There’s also Whiteways cafe a bit further on or Steyning, both a bit off route.

    If you’re aiming for 10hrs then you’ll probably won’t want to rely on stopping for food.

    I’d also fit the widest tyres you can and take plenty of tubes.

    5lab
    Member

    I parked on a road called turnpike down in winchester, was as close as I could get without paying. Left the car there 3 days, was fine.

    Take food with you, there isnt much en route and you’ll need a lot of snacks as well as meals, the route burns approx 10,000 calories. The BP garage a pycombe is open 24 hours (60% through) and not far off route

    I dont think you could pay me enough to do it on a cross bike. Its relentlessly bumpy. Short travel full sus would be much better.

    Premier Icon Painey
    Subscriber

    Another shout for the BP garage at Pyecombe. The SDW goes almost right past it. If you find yourself climbing up through Pyecombe golf course then you’ve gone past it.

    I’d stock up on food there as there aren’t many options after that apart from Alfriston and the hills get pretty tough from there on in.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    If you’re fixed on 10th July, you’ll need to factor in more water stops if it’s roasting hot. Unless you ride overnight!

    Also, what they said about the CX bike. No ta for me! I’ve ridden decent chunks of it on a CX bike, but 10 hours would leave my neck and shoulders crying for relief a lot sooner than my legs. Not just about the suspension, I had a good time on a rigid Jones, riding position is just a lot more forgiving.

    rapidrob95
    Member

    yep I’m probably mad doing it on CX, I’ll be using 40mm G-ones so hopefully manageable. Coped fine doing 70 miles on the ridgeway so there’s some hope. Spare tubes are a definite, got a spare G-one that I will take too. Thanks, ah yes I know the BP garage. I’ll take plenty of food to eat on the go, but always nice to eat something proper that hasn’t been shaken around for 6 hours in your bag

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Subscriber

    You can park at the far end of Petersfield Road in Winchester, about 200m from the start. CX bike with 40mm tyres is ideal for the summer – however tubeless is advisable.

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Subscriber

    SDW is a bastard for flints gashing thin cross type tyres. It’s a constant hassle round here to the point that it’s worth planning routes accordingly. Take it easy and go gentle on the descents.

    Good call on the spare tyre, but is there any way you can fit something with a thick sidewall? I’d hate to be stuck with a car at one end and a pair of slashed tyres half way. (You’d have to be unlucky to totally kill two tyres but I’ve read about some calamitous luck on here regarding SDW attempts)

    Also, do it overnight, it’s much more fun. 😎

    rapidrob95
    Member

    I could take 2 spare tyres, I could change to better tyres, what would you recommend? I’m well aware of the risks to tyres, and agree that its worth doing what I can minimise those risks. Haha, maybe if I succeed in the day, I can think about an overnighter! Thanks for all the pointers

    Premier Icon peekay
    Subscriber

    what would you recommend?

    I’d recommend a short travel lightweight mountain bike, or even a rigid Mtb with flat bars if you have one.

    I did it on a cross bike with 40mm tyre up front and 35mm at the back a couple of years ago. The others that I rode with were on mountain bikes. They had a much more comfortable time and the speed benefits of the cross bike on the flat smooth stuff was soon lost on the rough stuff and downhill bits.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    Only done it once but have been planning a second attempt for this year so have looked to learn from my mistakes. A few things that might help:

    Comfort is key. The constant chatter of the small stones and bumps are relentless! I was in a 120mm full susd and stupidly thought that was too much bounce so ran the suspension a bit firmer than usual with less compression damping. Should have left the pressures at normal.
    Don’t wait until you run out of water to worry about finding a tap, if you see one top up your supplies.
    Get your pacing right. I went too slow to start with, too hard in the middle and blew up on the final climb. The first 2/3rds are similar but the final 1/3rd is mainly big ups and downs so save a bit for that.
    Variety in your food is important. Eating the same thing for 10-12 hours is tough, mix up sweet and savoury to make digestion easier.
    Keep stops to a minimum. All those gates and photo opportunities add up!
    A good night’s sleep before is essential. Preferably for the two nights before actually.

    I stayed in a Travelodge just outside Winchester and parked the car in Eastbourne on someone’s drive I booked online, meant I didn’t have to worry about things at the end. It was a case of washing the bike, getting changed then driving home. For me that was a 4 hour drive back to Cardiff!! Might look at a Travelodge on the motorway for the way back this time. And something closer to the start, added an extra 6 miles onto the start last time which was annoying.

    Aiming for sub-10 hours is a decent target, I’m hoping to get under 12. Good luck.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Subscriber

    Southease tap was working last week. The cafe is shut but the gate was unlocked.

    v7fmp
    Member

    Whiteways cafe is no longer a cafe, its a ‘mini-mart’. As far as I can tell, they obviously do food, but more packet stuff, rather than freshly made bacon rolls and suchlike.

    A few buddies have done the SDW, and they are trying to get me to do it…. it just sounds like misery tho! haha

    corroded
    Member

    The tap at the Sustainability Centre before Butser is A OK. I’ve done the SDW on a hardtail and loved it but I’ve got a friend who did it on a CX – he said never again! That said, if you were doing it today you’d be in Eastbourne in about four hours with this wind.

    packs
    Member

    There’s the Riverside Cafe in Amberley which isn’t far off the route at around half way.

    rapidrob95
    Member

    The reason for doing it on a CX bike is that the choice is currently that or a road bike… I know, sacrilege. I’m sure I could borrow a MTB but it would be suicide spending 10-12 hours on an unfamiliar bike.

    Good luck on the rocky/flinty descents. I suggest riding the banks/verges as much as you can otherwise carrying too much speed on the wrong bit will diminish your 10hr window.

    FTR I rode a small portion of the SDW on my Friston (with 40mm Maxis Ramblers) and stayed away from the rocky stuff. Totally different story bombing around on my HT.

    superfli
    Member

    As mentioned above, park on Petersfield rd at start/end of SDW.
    https://goo.gl/maps/iCGNGXyapVnCZxWK6

    All water stops were working apart from both of them in Amberley as of about 5 weeks ago. However, Amberley is a good place to grab a bacon sandwich at the cafe by the river.
    I would fill at every water stop and just drink remaining water at the tap (check its working first!). That way you wont run short, even on 1 bottle.
    Punctures can be a nightmare. I would rather tougher tyres/tubeless and take spare tube+puncture repair, tubeless repair kit. You could be lucky and not get any. You could get 5.
    Yeah, BP at Pyecombe on the main rd is only supermarket on route, but combine that with Amberley hot food and then snacks and you should be good.

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Subscriber

    I’ve done it countless times – MTB, fat bike but most of all on a CX bike as IMO it’s the best tool for the job. My fastest and hardest was SSCX – sub 8 hours moving, it was just a case of HTFU and ride all the climbs. Some might prefer a hardtail, but hauling a full-susser all that way seems daft as you’ll never recover on the downhills what you lose on the climbs.

    Premier Icon pictonroad
    Subscriber

    ^ I respectfully disagree and I don’t recall struggling to catch you on the ups. 😘😂

    corroded
    Member

    Regarding bike/tyre choice, I’ve done a lot of it on a GT Grade gravel bike with 35mm tyres and it’s fine (and faster than a MTB on all but the roughest descents). I do wonder about tubeless – the last puncture I had was a slice from a sliver of flint on the SDW (on the Grade). And I’ve gashed a MTB tyre on a flint (Conti not-so-Protection). Out of that small sample I reckon you’re more likely to cut a tyre than get a thorn-type puncture – obviously the former is fixable if tubeless. It’s probably more to do with riding lightly and being lucky.

    rapidrob95
    Member

    Nice to see a variety of opinions re choice of bike. Maybe my 10hr time mentioned gave the wrong impression- I would be happy with 12+ hours, so I’m not going to be hurrying along taking risks. Pinch punctures and slices are the concerns for me, I’ve never taken the plunge with tubeless, and I’m not even sure my g-ones are tubeless compatible. Fully expecting 2 or 3 punctures along the way.

    Rockape63
    Member

    All I remember from that trip on my full suss Epic, was that my arse was like raw steak at the end of it….so the thought of doing it on a gravel bike turns my stomach!

    I did actually manage to ride the whole length on Fast Trak (tubed) tyres without incident though.

    5lab
    Member

    I *think* petersfield road is now residents only the whole way up – unless someone here has some local knowledge. I drove up it when I was looking for a spot to park a month ago (having parked there before) and discounted it. I might be wrong (maybe it was weekends only parking? I needed to leave it there for a few days), give it a go, but be prepared to faff around for a bit trying to find somewhere else.

    I’ve never had any problem with the flint (I live a mile from the sdw), but it is continually lumpy, and I’ve never tried to ride it on anything with skinny tyres.

    I’d take puncture repair kits as well as spare tubes. I went through 2 inners on my rear (running 35 psi on a full sus bike) – when I got my bike out of the car the next day, it was flat again. The additional weight of some of those pre-glued patches makes it a no-brainer

    DrP
    Member

    I quite like the SDW.. wither riding in one go, or using as a ‘motorway section’ between other areas.

    I’ve done half of it on a CX bike with 32c tyres. Was rough. 40c would prob be fine. But rough.

    Big tyres trump suspension for me, and it’s not ‘rocky’ per se, but bumpy. YMMV.

    A comfy saddle is a must – one that fits, as you spend a lot of time in the saddle.

    Fill up at EVERY tap. 2 bottles is a good hydration strategy.. learn to eat and drink on the go (unless it’s a proper bimble, then just do what ya want).

    TBH, I wouldn’t wear baggies, just lycras.

    It’s a nice ride..enjoy it.

    Funnily, I’ve never had a puncture doing the SDW. Meh.

    DrP

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Subscriber

    I absolutely love the SDW and ive have a few surreal adventures riding it and met some amazing people along the way.

    I’ve always ridden it over 3 days though and bivvied on the way.

    Have a great time op and take a few pictures to post up on here. It is a little too easy to stop every 5 minute to take them though. The scenery is just beautiful. Beautiful.

    I’ll miss not riding it this year but I’ll be trying Peddars Way and back instead, in a day. Hopefully. Possibly.

    Good luck buddy. You’ll love it!😁

    superfli
    Member

    I *think* petersfield road is now residents only the whole way up – unless someone here has some local knowledge. I drove up it when I was looking for a spot to park a month ago (having parked there before) and discounted it. I might be wrong (maybe it was weekends only parking? I needed to leave it there for a few days), give it a go, but be prepared to faff around for a bit trying to find somewhere else.

    It wasnt about 5 weeks ago. The majority of it is residents only, but the last 200m isnt and theres always plenty of spaces.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    I have left a car in the Chesil Street multi-storey overnight before. 100m or so off Petersfield Road. Just in case you can’t find an on-street spot.

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Subscriber

    I’ve used Just Park app to park in a safe/convenient location before.

    curto80
    Member

    Very welcome to park at mine. It’s a couple of km to the start but the trade off is your car will be safe.

    Edit: not implying Winchester is some kind of car crime hotspot!

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    A few buddies have done the SDW, and they are trying to get me to do it…. it just sounds like misery tho!

    I’m not doing it in a day again, fo’ sho’ – and I’d only do it at all if a mate really wanted to

    I admit I wasn’t all that fit at the time (it was the furthest I’d ever ridden, including on roads) but even if I was fitter I’d still be looking at all the little tracks going off to the the sides and thinking how much more fun they must be

    rapidrob95
    Member

    Thanks all, especially Curto80 for the offer of driveway space. I have used the Chesil car park before so will head to that if Petersfield road is not suitable. Yeah I’ll be sure to report back on how it goes…

    Premier Icon peekay
    Subscriber

    Might be worth trying to build some flexibility in to your plans.

    The wind was blowing East to West last time I did it, so made the decision to start in Eastbourne and ride to Winchester instead of the more traditional direction.

    stayhigh
    Member

    Without deviating too much from the topic but how are the people who leave there cars at either Eastbourne or Winchester getting back to them? I take it there is a train involved which would therefore enforce a deadline/

    I’m doing one on Sunday – easiest to ride out and leave the car at home. Also, at the moment, I don’t really fancy the train to come back to Havant cos of the virus, so its a night on the downs for me and a ride home on Monday.
    Logistics sorted.

    5lab
    Member

    how are the people who leave there cars at either Eastbourne or Winchester getting back to them?

    I live near brighton. I drove to winchester, left the car there and rode the 70 miles home on my roadbike a couple of days before the ride, then the guy who I was doing it with picked me up from home and dumped his car in eastbourne. We picked it up the day after

    rapidrob95
    Member

    GF has volunteered to pick me up from Eastbourne, and pick the car up on saturday, so I’m pretty spoilt. Would use the train in normal circumstances. Forecast for wind is looking OK at the mo.

    Premier Icon Wally
    Subscriber

    Good luck Rob, I hope your namesake comes true.
    Done it in a day a few times and it’s an amazing ride.
    You will want to start at 4 or 5am and go steady, there are 100 gates.
    On your own this is hard.
    Never trust green chalk and be ready for flint slashes with anchovies and tyre boots and tube.
    Travel light as possible.

    Premier Icon marvincooper
    Subscriber

    I’ll be having my third go at the SDW in a day weekend after next, if weather is ok. Plan to ride to Winchester from home on road (50 miles) then straight on the SDW after a quick pit stop at the garage near the start. Did this a few years ago on a hardtail with a seatpost that wouldn’t stay up after the first 40 miles or so. That was a tough day! This time it will be on my gravel bike cos my MTB is 5kg heavier with draggy 2.8″ tyres (would be comfy mind!). I’ll be bivvying at Eastbourne end, then riding to north Essex to meet family the day after the SDW which would be tedious on the MTB… I’m a little nervous about the tyres and but they’ve survived various abuses in mid-Wales last year and did the Ridgeway a few weeks ago so fingers crossed…. Really looking forward to it

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    Without deviating too much from the topic but how are the people who leave there cars at either Eastbourne or Winchester getting back to them? I take it there is a train involved which would therefore enforce a deadline/

    I left the car at Eastbourne on someone’s drive I booked via Just Park, meant I had the added motivation of the snacks I’d left in the boot! Dropped the bike and kit off at the Travelodge on the Tuesday (early check-in) then drove to Eastbourne and parked the car. Train back to Winchester, then food and an early night’s sleep. Ride back to the car the next day.

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