South Downs Way 100 miles – Has anyone done it here? Route feedback required.

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  • South Downs Way 100 miles – Has anyone done it here? Route feedback required.
  • COZZY
    Member

    Hi

    I am planning to do the southdowns way 100 mile route.

    Has anyone done it here?

    Is it a plain ridgeway slog or are there some technical areas along the way?

    any feedback welcomed

    thanks

    K

    mudsux
    Member

    Has anyone done it here?

    nobody here actually rides.

    amt27
    Member

    nobody here actually rides.

    but some of us know how to search or perhaps use Google,

    mudsux
    Member

    seriously tho. it depends on a number of things…
    – how long you aim to do it
    – whether you are going to be self-sufficient
    ie camp or B&B
    – weather
    – direction
    ie Winchester or Eastbourne start

    5lab
    Member

    yeah i’ve done it. Its a slog, with some nice scenery, that doesn’t really change for 100 miles. glad i’ve done it, but won’t be doing it again. Other folk feel differently. There’s nothing remotely technical on the route

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Subscriber

    Hi I did it last friday. It’s non-technical (in the dry) although it’s alot of chalk in places and hence it’s a slippy git in the wet. There are a few climbs though!

    The signage is pretty good although there are maybe 3-4places along the whole route that you need to pay attention.

    There are also 3-4 water taps so you don’t need to carry masses of water and there are a couple of places where you could buy extra food.

    On a beautiful day (which we had) its a great day out. Oh and Winchester to Eastbourne maxs your chances of a tailwind.

    I plan to soon, I’ve heard of it done in 3 days (casual), 2 (intermediate), 1 (advanced) and the legendary there and back in a day!

    I wanted to do the whole thing in one with an early start and some lights, mates want to do it in 2 with a wild camp half way.

    Winchester start is easier/more popular due to the prevailing SW wind. I’ve heard/seen that it’s just relentlessly hilly, there’s also a section where you’re meant to link the trail with roads (not sure if I’ll obey this) but not for long.

    When are you doing it?

    m1kea
    Member

    Since 2004 I’ve done it in a day five times plus various 50+ mile variations. Should be doing it again in 3 weeks and I may sneak in the 65 mile BHF ride next Sat to get some miles in the legs.

    Anthony Beggs’ excellent Bikedowns is your site du jour. 8)

    There are no technical bits anywhere though plenty of hills to slog up 😈 and quite a few of them feature slippery chalk and/or flinty surfaces.

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    I guess it can’t be considered technical but that seems to me a slight disservice…get some decent speed up on some of the long steep chalky descents and it can get pretty interesting particularly if you’re tired and lacking concentration imo.

    COZZY
    Member

    thanks all

    I plan to do it in September.

    i was looking at the organised event with trail break which has an overnight stop. There will be up to 150 doing it – so there should be some good banter

    cheers

    Oh and Winchester to Eastbourne maxs your chances of a tailwind.

    I did (most) of it in a howling South-westerly and can’t remember feeling the wind being behind me anywhere much. Very little of it is actually flat, either at the tops or the bottoms of the hills and so for most of the first 80 miles that I did from Winchester you’re sheltered by hills, hedges or woods. That may be different on the run into Eastbourne but I didn’t find out because the weather and daylight were going downhill rapidly so I binned it at Brighton.

    anjs
    Member

    The Harveys map is very good

    McHamish
    Member

    I’ve done the trail break ‘lemmings trail’…fricking hard slog, but the support fro
    trail break with frequent water and flapjacks made it achieveable without much stress. The overnight stay was good but I chose the hostel rather then a tent (although we had a snorer). The meal and breakfast was great.

    Certainly the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was the first time I’ve done something of that distance.

    There’s plenty of banter and people were freindly enough…although there were some super keen people at the start who were a bit rude when trying to get past (some had team jerseys so I guess they were desperate for a good time!).

    You don’t need loads of water, as mentioned above there are taps and trailbreak provide water and SIS every 10/15 miles.

    It was dry when I did it so not too bad…wouldn’t fancy it in the wet – I heard stories of a lot more people giving up in the wet!

    COZZY
    Member

    Mchamish

    Thats the one – The Lemming Trail

    Thanks for replying – that helps alot.

    lol – with the snorer…I fancy the hostel to get a half decent rest –

    What long rides have you done since that may be worth putting on the to do list ?

    Friends and brother cant make it – so im hoping for a good group of general weekend warriors to tag along with

    cheers

    K

    Ashley
    Member

    Cozzy – the trailbreak is an excellent one and I’ve done it before. Especially when you factor the extra bit to get back to the start – almost worth it for that alone!

    But it is nice that you are not carrying too much on you and have food provided etc. There are so many doing it then that you can hop between groups easily and always find encouragement.

    The hostel is not to bad

    COZZY
    Member

    Thanks Ashley

    enveetee
    Member

    Shite in the wet

    Did it on the 25th in the pouring rain and mist – crap – Cramps got me at 65 miles because I did not drink enough

    Having another crack at it on Saturday

    Pay attention when you leave the QE Country park place, you can easily end up back at the car park having climbed out of the park.

    Did I mention it’s shite in the wet?

    sailor74
    Member

    did it a couple of years ago with a mate. we did it in 2 days and went self sufficient carrying all our own food, clothing, tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc etc. The ride itself is very basic so the self sufficiency thing made it into more of a challenge/adventure especially as the packs weighed over 30lbs each, which was more than the bikes weighed! We did 70 miles on the first day (after camping overnight) and the rest on the second. It wasnt particularly difficult especially considering we didnt do any training or long distance preparation.
    If i was to to it again I would just carry a camelbak and do it in a day.

    avdave2
    Member

    Oh and Winchester to Eastbourne maxs your chances of a tailwind.

    Yes it does but I did over 80 miles of it recently from Above Kingston to Winchester and I’m convinced I went down more than I went up! The reality is that from where I started off road just 200m from home I climbed more than I descended but I’m sure the hills are easier going to Winchester, longer but less steep and I also think the statue of Alfred the Great is a much better finishing point. I just waited for a day with little wind. The other advantage ids that after Buster Hill the final 15 odd miles seem a lot easier than the thought of the climbs out of Southease, Alfriston and Jevington. The Harveys map is useful to have with you and the signposts are pretty good, I only went wrong once when I headed for the trig point at the top of Buster Hill when I should have been heading slightly to the south. I really enjoyed the day and I’ll have a go at the full 100 miles next summer. I cycled a total of 91 miles in the day and still felt good so I’m pretty confident I can do it. I’ll be starting in Eastbourne again as it’s only 30 minutes drive away for an early start and again I’ll just keep an eye on the weather and wait for the right conditions.

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