- SDW – route advice
Hi all. Thinking of doing a last-minute SDW trip over the next two or three days, and was hoping for some advice on the route and places to stay.
First off, the direction. I’m guessing that West to East makes the most sense, given the prevailing wind?
Also we’d be travelling from London via train, so what stations would we need at each end? Winchester and Eastbourne, or are there smaller local stations that are closer to the route?
Finally, do people have recommendations of bike-friendly places to stay along the way? (With secure bike storage, obviously.) I guess this will largely depend on whether we’re going to do it in two or three days. I know there’s lots of climbing, but we’re both pretty fit. What do people suggest?
Thanks all.Posted 5 years ago
Do a search there are lots of threads. The start of the SDW from Whichester is relatively dull compared to the Eastern sections. That being said mates did a loop from Winchester to QECP (and their updated mini trail centre) and back – something like 40 miles for a day ride.
People doing the SDW in two days tend to stop at Storrington I recall (search threads) – I leave it to the locals to say whether the 60m + 40m over 2 days are feasible in this amount of daylight, 3 days should be fine. It’s also a ride best done when it’s quite dry. Yes West to East based on prevailing winds.Posted 5 years ago
You’d want Eastbourne Station if that’s where you’re ending, there’s a few places where you can bail if you’ve had enough, there’s a station at Southease which will take you to Lewes, you can also drop down into Lewes from Black Cap, Lewes is served well for trains into London. Maybe stopover in Brighton, the SDW from Brighton to Eastbourne is a great ride, challenging in the wrong weather. You could stopover in Jevington, there’s a bike friendly B&B, then you’ve got Friston Forest to have a play in.Posted 5 years ago
Truleigh Hill youth hostel is a good stop-off, right on the route about 60 miles in, locked garage for bikes. Fewer miles on the 2nd day, but the hills are bigger. 2nd half is nicest, I think finishing in Winchester might be a bit of an anti-climax. Never done it that way, though, I’m sure finishing it is a great feeling whichever end you’re at!
I wouldn’t bother if its wet and claggy though. The sticky, greasy mud sucks so much time and effort, it’s not going to help with getting it done in the light available.
Don’t let that put you off though. Lights and good conditions and it’s still an amazing ride. Maybe plan it for a full moon and keep your fingers crossed forclar skies. That would be beautiful! Good luck!Posted 5 years ago
In all seriousness I wouldn’t bother. The conditions are miserable at the Winchester end and it gets tougher the more easterly you go.
Save it for another time and pick something else for now.
Yeah, you might be right.
Okay, well, does anyone have any other suggestions for a two or three day route that isn’t currently a sludgefest and is accessible by train from London?Posted 5 years ago
somewhere around Nice
We’re actually going over to Cologne for a five-day tour in a few weeks, but have some time off work this week so thought we’d warm up with something shorter in the UK!
Still a very poor substitute for the trans-Alp that we originally had planned for early October, but had to cancel due to work commitments. 🙁Posted 5 years agosuperfliMember
If you do ride it, avoid at all costs, the westerly bottom of Old Winchester Hill. Down by the old meon valley rail track. It will be a gloopy hell. Fortunately you can still follow the alternative SDW route, that is legitimate, but takes you up the road from Warnford. So all road from west of Warnford to top of Winch Hill.Posted 5 years ago
Saying that, there are plenty of other muddy hells on the way (like the next descent in fact lol!). Many of the downs, on the downs 🙂 could be ice like aswell.
Go and ride in the Peak District based around (say) Hope or Hathersgate. Train London Sheffield Hope / Eadale. You can pick rockier trails and routes and avoid the more peaty rides. Plenty of advice available on here.
Failing that you could ride to the South Downs from London (or get train to say Dorking) via Surrey Hills, then do last hilly bit and get the train back. @rewski above has done similar rides I recall.Posted 5 years ago
I did North Downs Way from Woldingham (near Croydon), picked up the downslink at Newlands Corner/St Marthas Hill, picked up South Downs Way at Shoreham by Sea, bailed at Black Cap near Lewes, ran out of food and wind picked up, will do it again next year.
Swinley is good for a day, if you get a nice B&B in Dorking/Box Hill area there’s more than enough riding.Posted 5 years ago
24 hour TT a velodrome? Then 48 hours recovery.
I think it would take me more than 48 hours to recover from a 24 hour TT. (It would also take me longer than 24 hours to do a 24 hour TT. 😉 )
Tongue in cheek not so obvious, it seems….
I’d somehow managed to miss that thread! That settles it then – Surrey Hills it is. Might even see if I can hire an Audi for the day… 😀Posted 5 years ago
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