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SDW overnight – brilliant or stupid?
Did a hilly fifty miler after work on Friday, and the climbing was about half a SDW. Finished in the dark with no lights (delayed due to rim ding, broken pump, and chips) and it was jolly fun.
Thought about training to Winchester instead, and riding through the night to Eastbourne. A warm night, fullish moon, Jevington in the predawn and a sunrise swim sounds brilliant. Or stupid?
I remember reading about a few overnighter horror shows on here, but I think the worst one involved a cold night and return leg of a double, neither of which I’m especially interested in!
Any thoughts, experience? Biggest downside I can think of is that the deli in Alfriston would be closed. :-/Posted 4 years ago
Take pics.Posted 4 years agonickjbFree Member
I’ve done a couple of brilliant, epic night rides but they’ve been largely unplanned and unintentional. I wonder if planning one would take some of the fun out of it. Anyway, good idea, carry on.Posted 4 years ago
I wonder if planning one would take some of the fun out of it.
Ha. I know what you mean.
I think I’ll semi-plan to be in Winchester with my bike on a Friday afternoon for August’s full moon. Can’t do this weekend. Shame to miss this weather, fingers crossed it’ll still be good next month.Posted 4 years agomattbeeFull Member
I set off from Eastbourne at 3:30am back in May & got well on the way in the dark/dawn. It’s certainly easier when you know you won’t meet any dog walkers etc…Posted 4 years agodjtomFree Member
Brilliant. Did it a few years ago overnight, and enjoyed it (apart from the weather, an unforecast thunderstorm made things a bit interesting for a while!).
It does make you feel a bit exposed though, so take it easy on the downhills. You could be out there for quite a few hours before anyone finds you if you have an off.
Writeup here if you are interested: https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/sdw-trip-report/Posted 4 years ago
Sounds a great plan to me but my main concern would be as mentioned above.
Coming off, injuring yourself then having anyone find you. There are a few hills were this could happen quite easily with a slight lack on concentration in the middle of the night.
Doing it with a full moon would certainly help with visibility and route finding, if a clear night of course.
I’m sure you could then ride many sections without lights for added experience.Posted 4 years ago
Cheers Tom, nice write up! sounds character building!
Yup, accidents/injuries are a concern, and will be my wife’s main issue – we’ve got a 2 month old baby, so everything’s a little heightened on that front. I have promised I’ll never die, though, a la Team America, so hopefully that’ll still carry some weight.
I’ve been checking some stuff and this Thursday is about as good as it’s likely to get. Dry, clear, 14 degrees min temperature, moon is full and up all night. I could go after work and take Friday off. Only other issue is bike on trains in peak hours. And the fact that this Thursday is in 3 days’ time… Ooo-er.Posted 4 years agobrakesFree Member
Do it Ed.
There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.
#terminatorclichéclaxonPosted 4 years ago
Next question: 4″ Jumbo Jim, 3″ Knard or 2.35″ BigOne? Bit of cush on the front would be nice, as it’s rigid. Bit of leeway on descents would be nice, too.Posted 4 years agomartymacFull Member
night time, you can’t see as well, you may be a little tired.
its not a race, enjoy the ride.Posted 4 years agopyranhaFull Member
I did some of it at night many, many, years ago, on my 1989 Kona Cinder Cone, It was an eventful evening/morning/weekend.
I’d had a trying few days at work, so decided to do ‘something different’. I got the last train from London Bridge to Eastbourne on the Friday night and set off. At the top of Beachy Head, I was having a snack when I got propositioned by some chap – suggesting that, instead of jumping (or whatever) I could go back to his place for a chat! I was quite weedy (8st ish) and getting a bit nervous as he wouldn’t leave me alone, so I get a wiggle on.
I had a bit of a snooze in the ‘phone box at Alfriston as I was getting tired and cold . . .
As I was coming over towards Birling Gap, I noticed a fire on the beach and lights in the water – it looked like a boat signalling. I dropped down to the valley where I was stopped by Coastguards, so I told them what I had seen, and they thanked me and asked me to keep moving.
After 30 or so miles, I decided I’d had enough, so went to Brighton for breakfast and a swim, then the train back to London.
The next day, the news was full of the murder if Ian Gow (Tory party Chairman), and that the police were looking for a cyclist who had been seen in the area during the hours of darkness – oddly the only person who I had told where I was going was a Met officer I knew. For her sake (since she would have to report me) I called the police for the scariest conversation of my life (this was before the release of the Birmingham 6). Luckily, I was wearing distinctive clothing, as, despite me being Irish, they didn’t take it further.
Hope it’s less exciting for you. I did enjoy the riding.Posted 4 years ago
blimey! yes, one fewer murders than that would be ideal!Posted 4 years agocorrodedFree Member
Do it this Friday and you’ll have a blood moon to accompany you – that’s got to be pretty cool. Plus it won’t be quite as hot so it’s a great ideaPosted 4 years ago
I’m very tempted to do it this week – you won’t get better conditions. I’ve done it a few times, on MTB, CX and fat bike – fat bike is best at night as you can just let it ‘run’ on the descents at speeds quicker than you have light coverage.Posted 4 years ago
An eclipsed blood moon to start with! But I arranged a while ago to walk up the hill and watch it with wife and son, so that’s firm.
Good to know, dovebiker, fat front is looking like the favourite.Posted 4 years ago
On the tyre front, it’s so loose up there at the moment that I’ve found myself struggling for grip on my fat bike lately. Took my 29er HT out last Saturday and it was much better. That’s only the bits up around Ditchling Beacon near where I live but the fatty will be staying in the garage for a bit now. 4.4 JJ’s on it by the way.Posted 4 years ago
I don’t quite understand, Painey, I’ve found the looser the surface, the better the fatbike does. What are you finding? do the 29ers dig down and grip better to the solid stuff beneath?Posted 4 years ago
This sounds good…Posted 4 years ago
I’m surprised by the fat tyre comment as well.
I’m currently running 4.8JJ up there at the moment and found them to float over the deep gravel nicely as you would expect while my friends on skinnies were digging in.Posted 4 years ago
Blood moon you say…
Righty, I’m trail running the bit from QECP to Kingly Vale.. Friday night.
Awesome.Posted 4 years ago
some pointers for time and direction, bikebouy:
I’ve just found that where it’s so loose lately, the small tread on the JJ tyres and the spacing between the knobs means it’s not gripping on corners. Sure I’m flying over it in a straight line but not enough bite when you want to turn. All seems to go a bit vague if you get me, doesn’t inspire confidence and all that. If it had a more pronounced tread pattern on the tyres I’m sure it’d be fine but the 29×2.3 Spesh purgatory I have on my hardtail was miles better at the weekend, to my surprise.Posted 4 years agoDrPFull Member
Ed + Pictonroad…..
If I can get someone to watch the kids for a bit, I’ll grab the train to Winch with ya and do the first half….
Leave GBS circa 1730 i guess???
DrPPosted 4 years ago
Don’t like the sound of any of the first 4.
I was thinking flexible start between 6 and 8, depending on what time P&P could do, but if you need to do 50 before bedtime, you’ll need to be off early? Or do you just need babysitter until DrRP gets home?Posted 4 years ago
Well, it wasn’t THAT stupid… although I now can’t actually sit down which is proving problematic. A full day followed by a very full on night is also somewhat messing with one’s tiredness quotient. 🤨
No idea about best Tyres but my full sus Spesh was once again, such a good tool. Do two full days blasting down the Southern Enduro champs, pump the tyres up, night time SDW in one go. I love modern bikes. 😎 Gave it full beans down the big hills and was very grateful for saint brakes to pull up for the gates from 35mph+ (proper brakes is never on the must have lost for a SDW attempt but I’d certainly add it)
A proper adventure, Ed and I did the whole thing, left Winch about 7:30pm, rolled down to a beautiful refreshing swim in the sea in Eastbourne about 8:30am. We weren’t rushing. Dovebiker joined us for the first section before doubling back for a luxury bivvy in QE park.
we saw so many badgers, deer, barn and tawny owls, foxes, even a kite being chased by a hare!
750mm bars, not compatible with train bike spaces 😬
We set off into a gorgeous cartoon sunset
Temperature stayed in the high teens all night, brimming bottles at every stop. We stayed bone dry despite forecast of sporadic thunderstorms. I managed just the one ‘shit, this is it’ moment plowing straight on over a loose corner and bouncing into a field. It was just too dry to want to slow down. 😎
Slightly flagging bodies were revived with careful use of painkillers and the most jaw dropping dawn I’ve ever witnessed (camera will never capture it)
Posted 4 years ago
The final 20 miles were beautiful dry but dear me, those last three hills, they are just soul destroying. How do you singlespeeders keep going? 🤢
Posted 4 years ago
Suffering Christ This forum is the worst thing I have ever used. Multiple posts from here, sorry.🙄
we were rewarded by a flat calm sea and high tide, such a pleasure to jump straight in after that epic adventure.Posted 4 years ago
Oh, and of course, hungry boys need feeding. Thanks to Biff for the heads up, the actual best breakfast I’ve ever had, in Eastbourne! Who’d have thunk it.
All in all, what a great idea Ed, I was ‘lucky’ that my bonkers work diary uncharacteristically had a day and a half free. Zero preparation, bag full of food and commit, we even dodged the train strike.
Finally ticked off the SDW in one (been meaning to do it for ages) and to do it under a full red moon on a roasting summer night. I think this will go down a a win.Posted 4 years ago
Posted 4 years agok1100tFree Member
Top work! 👍Posted 4 years agogribbleFree Member
Good effort. Did it in two days some years back. Last few hills were killer.
I did not find my Giant Trance X (now sold) the best tool for the job, but that was probably less of an issue than my fitness.
I was lucky as on the second day I was joined my a very motivational STW forum member, which kept me going and got me there for lunchtime.Posted 4 years agosenorjFull Member
Aces. well done.Posted 4 years agobubsFull Member
Fantastic.Posted 4 years agocyclistmFull Member
Wow looks incredible.Posted 4 years ago
It was fantastic and incredible! And brilliant and stupid in the best possible way. You don’t get brilliant without a bit of stupid sometimes.
Took a load of photos which I’m going through today. There’s a few bits I’d forgotten in the sleep deprived blear! More later…Posted 4 years ago
Nice write-up and photos, pr, cheers! And impressively coherent. I wasn’t in a fit state to do anything after I got home yesterday.Posted 4 years agowallopFull Member
Wow! Looks amazing – good work guys. This is a great example of carpe yolo!Posted 4 years ago
Cheers for the ride guys – here’s a couple of piccies:
Posted 4 years agodavosaurusrexFull Member
Awesome, great photos!Posted 4 years ago
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