South Downs locals – trail conditions for double attempt…?
I’ve pencilled in a South Downs Double for Friday 18th/Sat 19th July and it’d be really helpful to have some idea of trail conditions between now & then (I’m not local). There’s patchy rain/storms forecast so could be hit & miss whether I postpone the attempt, but info from locals would be great if possible please. For starters…how’s it looking at the moment, and is it likely to get crappy with the patchy rain forecast for the next week or so? Cheers!Posted 6 years ago
I live on the edge of the south downs… Ok at the moment, but it gets very slippery very quickly with any rain. Happy to report back nearer the time!Posted 6 years ago
Thanks very much 🙂Posted 6 years ago
its been dry for the beat part of a month so its quite loose in places between brighton and eastbourne. a little bit of rain would be a good thing if you a riding a long way i recon.Posted 6 years ago
Sat 19th July is the British Heart Foundation SDW ride from Winchester to EastbournePosted 6 years ago
I am one of the mechanics for it so will be very busy on the saturday just to let you know
It was all a bit ‘a treacherous 3mm of mud on top of solid chalk’ last night round Brighton. On the plus side my bike stayed clean and I’m still running mud tyres on the SS so it wasn’t too bad.
It’ll dry quickly in most places though and if there’s prolonged rain it’ll actually be less slippery as it soaks in.Posted 6 years ago
Thanks all. Didn’t realise the BHF ride was Saturday, thanks for the tip. With my planned timings I’ll avoid the 35 mile riders, but will meet the 100 milers head on. Hmmm, I wonder how many are taking on the 100 mile ride. There I was hoping for a nice quiet early morning! 🙂Posted 6 years ago
Last year when I was a mechanic for it prob 70%+ did the full 100milesPosted 6 years ago
I cycled Eastbourne to Brighton last saturday and it’s in perfect condition. Firm, a few splashy puddles but no mud donut wheels.
a bit of rain yesterday, but again – this morning is fairly good. No surface water on my commute along the SDW.Posted 6 years ago
Crikey 🙁 . Change of timings required I think! Perhaps a late Thursday start intead of mid-Friday.
Thanks for the info everyone, really useful stuff.Posted 6 years ago
Watch out for the green stuff 🙂 It’s worse than ice.Posted 6 years ago
Good luck Mark! Have you got a target time in mind?Posted 6 years ago
Mark, what bike will you be using ?
The recent sun / showers are playing havoc with conditions, but I reckon you wont really know till the day before.Posted 6 years ago
Thanks Greg, Dave… you chaps should have a go at it sometime too :-).
Target time…well, with ideal conditions I’ll be going after Rob Dean’s pretty incredible singlespeed record (18hr 42m), but that will be quite a stretch particularly as I’m not very familiar with the route. Beyond that, I’d really like sub-20 hours. If the conditions are crap and/or I’m rubbish, then I’ll settle for sub-24 but will want to do it again :-).
Hi Ainsley…I’m going to use the Selma for this one as the Pegasus is in Ceci-mode. Although, I am pinching a couple of light bits from the Pegasus so the Selma’s a bit more racy :-). I think you’re right about conditions…going to be a lottery.Posted 6 years ago
Only other advice I’d give Mark – check out your water points. I’ve had pot luck with two of the taps in the past. Ask Rob about the horse trough he ended up drinking out of one sunny year 🙂
Also, it’s on the cards for this summer if I can get my suspected giardia dealt with 🙁Posted 6 years ago
I’d be keeping an eye on the wind, the real enemy 😉Posted 6 years ago
I’m down to do the 100 miles, though keeping an eye on the wind/weather as headwind + rain = no fun at all. Was planning on running racing ralphs front and rear, but have a nobby nic on standby for the front if it’s slippery – did it over 2 days last October on NNs and from Amberley to Eastbourne was in constant rain, so I know they can handle it!
I think there is at least one person planning on attempting the double, starting from Eastbourne on Friday evening and joining the BHF ride for the return leg. Is that an option?Posted 6 years ago
Oh crap I didn’t realise you’d got giardia, Greg…nasty, hope you heal quick! Have been leeching info from Rob already, and I’ll be taking the trusty chlorine dioxide tabs just in case I need to drink like a horse :-).
Wind…yes…anything too strong and I’ll postpone.Posted 6 years ago
Best of luck with your ride, Purbeckian :-). Riding the return leg with a bunch of other people is a nice idea, but I wonder if it’s the quickest way of doing things…more fun sure, but I’d have thought getting caught up in a constant stream of riders might not be a recipe for a fast time.Posted 6 years ago
That’s a pretty tough target 🙂 Especially as I think Rob Dean’s record was on the “old” route (i.e. Warnford not Exton, and not the Eastbourne extension) although I could be wrong. Are you going unsupported?
Shout if you need any help, I’ve got a Satmap with the 1:25k OS map card for the whole route if you need it.
Have thought about the double a few times myself, not sure I ever will though and def not this year! Might need to pick your brains again about Trans-Cambrian though, that could well be on the agenda…Posted 6 years ago
I’m in Eastbourne. I take it you’d start here for the (hopefully) SW wind on return. Sporadic rain will be fine, it drains quickly. Do avoid the BHF run though, will mess your times up on the narrow bits, although you’d end up getting a few gates openned for you.
Having ridden the 100 in 1 day this year, Chapeau to anyone doing the double. I would not have been able to turn round and do it again.Posted 6 years ago
Thanks D, much appreciated! Tough target indeed…if I’m honest probably not realistic, but gotta have a stretch goal ;-). Most doublers seem to still use the “classic” route for serious attempts. I’ve been e-chatting with Neil Newell and he’s going to confirm the route that Rob D took so it’s a level playing field.
Trans Cambrian…sure thing. I no longer hold the one-way record on it (mine was always a soft record anyway) but it’s a fun ride for sure. Not easy to navigate though. I quite fancy having a go at the TCW double sometime…I think it’s still only Ian B who’s had a pop at that. Only to be considered in dry conditions though!!Posted 6 years ago
richardthird…point taken on the prevailing winds, but logistics dictate a Winchester start. I may live to regret it…Posted 6 years ago
but I’d have thought getting caught up in a constant stream of riders might not be a recipe for a fast time.
How many people actually do this event, 80?, 800? – absolutely no idea! If you do end up mixing it with the BHF riders, I’m number 77264 on a white Giant Anthem – happy to help if you need it.Posted 6 years ago
Yep no idea on numbers. If our paths do cross my brain will probably be mush so apologies in advance! Of course, I’m riding unsupported so “help” isn’t allowed 🙂Posted 6 years ago
Did I mention gates? 180. 20secs each to slow down, open, go through, close, get back up to speed = 1 hour.Posted 6 years ago
Yeah, same gate hell on the Pennine Bridleway ride I did last year. Hateful things, but I suppose it’d be chaos in the countryside if all those sheep & cows could wander wherever they liked 😉
Thousands you say? Ok then, my ride has just moved forward 24 hours!! Thanks for the info!Posted 6 years ago
I plan (as in have a vague idea) on doing Amberly to Eastbourne and return on Friday and poss. Amberly to Winchester and return on Saturday. If I do any of this I’ll let you know what I find.Posted 6 years ago
I’m riding winch – e borne this Saturday.. Will let you know how it is..
DrPPosted 6 years ago
Brilliant, thanks guys! Enjoy 😀Posted 6 years ago
Pedalhead – feeling inspired by this thread, have sent you a message to your gmail address about the TCW (just in case it gets binned by your spam filter)Posted 6 years ago
When I tried to the do the double back in 09 I intended on ‘coming back’ with the BHF ride for a bit of moral support / people to chase.
That didn’t work out so cut to last year and chasing the BHF ride two + hours after they’d started
I dunno how many actually take part but it’s really not that busy and it’s nice to be able to chat to folk. I encountered handfuls of peeps at Cocking, Amberley, Truleigh, Southease and Alfriston. It’s possible that you’d hit a load of peeps at (their) start but it’s hardly going to be like a mass start lap race.
The newer route at Warnford is a bit longer and the revised start/finish at Ebo is further on compared to the original Paradise Drive point.
All the best with the attempt 8)Posted 6 years ago
The double’s been on my cards for a while but life/injury simply get in the way (not of the event, but for training)
I’m hoping to do the Wessex Way over 2 days sometime this year – I’m painfully aware the summer is going to come and go fairly promptly!
DrPPosted 6 years ago
Chris – got your email, will reply in a bit 🙂
Thanks m1kea. Excellent ride there, and a good lack of time spent faffing instead of riding (often my downfall!)Posted 6 years ago
You beat me by approximately the length of one faff at 12:12 last year, so you aren’t the worst offender 😉 (although probably you were simply faster)
Let me know if you’re doing the TCW again this summer and you’d like company!Posted 6 years ago
hehe yes that was a little close 🙂
Not sure I’ll get the chance to do the TCW again this year…although I might try & do something long on the weekend of Sep 13/14 in the run up to the world 24hr thingy…Posted 6 years ago
Thanks m1kea. Excellent ride there, and a good lack of time spent faffing instead of riding (often my downfall!)
More waffling about it here
I didn’t really stop per se so it was surprising how much time can be lost just on quick pit stops. That’s the fastest I’ve ever done it but is still waaay off the mark of the fast boys. – Chris Noble recently whizzed it in 8:20Posted 6 years ago
Excellent, I’ll have a read of that. I hadn’t noticed Chris had recently ridden it…I’ll tap him up for some info :-).Posted 6 years ago
Oh and I’m sure you’ve already been on http://www.southdownsdouble.net/
Ironically I caught Ben Amesbury (DaisyDuke on here) in 2011 climbing up to Truleigh. When he told me of the amount of punctures he’d had in the first 60 miles my immediate thought was f… that for a game of soldiers!
P.S if we get our act together, I’ll be doing Winc – Ebo on the 19th with a mate.Posted 6 years ago
Yup, downs are drying out really fast atm. It rained on Tues but it was already dry in Stanmer (Brighton) last night. Unless it actually rains during I don’t think it will make much difference (greasy chalk excepted) Agree on the wind – that’s the biggest factor IMO and why there isn’t so much of a “leaderboard” on the one-way times. If you are flexible I’d go when the wind is most favourable and maybe W-E daytime (with the prevailing wind) and return E-W at night (when the wind is likely to drop)
Hope you are fast at gates – 200 of them in your way! I don’t see any problem riding at the same time as BHF. They will likely be quite spread out and give you a good oppurtunity to chat or targets to help winch you along as you ride. SDW is almost all double track so I don’t think you’d be held up much.
Will be very impressed if you can beat Rob Dean’s record: 18:41 = 10.7 mph average. Probably doesn’t sound fast to some people but that’s a very quick pace to keep up over 6600m of climbing.
Watch out for the Hooksway and chanctonbury junctions – easy to overshoot on those as the track appears to go straight on downhill but the SDW turns off.
Good luck!Posted 6 years ago
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