South Downs Way Double Question
Next years daft day out, will be the South Downs double.
The query is what part is best ridden at night ?
I may think about doing the BHF ride on the return leg (starting at 06:00 ish ), just to have some other riders to gauge performance by. So I could leave Eastbourne at 18:00 and ride through the night. This would hopefully get me to Winchester by early morning. Quick turnaround and a lovely negative split and it’s home for tea and medals.
If that part is rubbish/difficult at night, I can adjust start times to suit.
Any advice from night riders in the vacinity would be great.
Thanks in advance
ColinPosted 10 years ago
The stretch up to QECP is really straight forward. It can get a little complicated from QECP towards Winchester hill from the point of view that signs are easily missed. Have you ridden that stretch before or any SDW come to that?
Funny that you mention BHF as I looked at that earlier with thought of doing the samePosted 10 years ago
Hi TaffPosted 10 years ago
Yes, I did the bhf ride last year and really enjoyed it. Beautiful scenery, sunny, bit if a red letter day to be honest. I keep thinking of bits of the ride, but can’t actually remember where they were.
I would definitely give the route from Eastbourne to Winchester a recci in the daylight first.
Roll on summer 🙂
Nav going east from Winchester can be tricky – very wooded. Once you’re on the open downs it’s easier – you just follow the ridge to Eastbourne.
Although I wouldn’t underestimate the ability to go the wrong way on SDW, and if you’re doing the double at night, you don’t want to waste energy getting things wrong – worth thinking about GPS IMOPosted 10 years ago
I know what you mean. Without looking at the map I can spout of the various segments. Can’t wait for summer especially as QECP – Winchester – QECP took longer than planned. Mud was unbelievable! If you ride a month or so before hand it may be worth asking on here about signage issues. One was very hidden a few weeks back and I went storming past!Posted 10 years ago
Colin – I’ve similar plans.
Living a mile off the SDW means I can scout segments out till I know it like the back of my hand!
Panning on running GPS through the night too!
I’ll post here when I’m heading out for a few training rides if you’re invested…
DrPPosted 10 years ago
Excellent plan Colin. Might even see you on the BHF return leg if all training goes to plan next year.
It’s all fine to ride at night, nothing technical to worry about except the chalk if its wet. I’d use a GPS or at least pre-ride the bits you’ll be doing in the dark just to be sure.
I’ve only done it one way in a day and that was super-tough. Good luck!Posted 10 years ago
only issue with doing whilst there’s a lot of other riders is that some sections are fairly narrow and you may find your ‘rhythm’ is interuppted by slower riders (or faster ones badgering to get past)?Posted 10 years ago
Only issue with doing whilst there’s a lot of other riders is that some sections are fairly narrow and you may find your ‘rhythm’ is interuppted by slower riders (or faster ones badgering to get past)?
I’ve never found this a problem on the BHF ride, the field is completely spread out within the first couple of miles, and there is very little singletrack on the SDW.Posted 10 years ago
I’ve done it a few times recently having done it a few times a few years ago, the only time I’d want to do it at night is on the Longest Day and for it to be clear sky and full moon, It’s not so I can see more, just like I’d like to see more of the environment in the longest dusk/early dawn/full moon..
I’ve been up Beacon Hill (on the SDW) on the Longest Day and it’s a fantastic view over Old Winny Hill at sundown.
Maybe it’s because I ride up there a lot but I’ve never found it that hard to pick the signs up.
It’s gloopy as fek at the moment BTW.Posted 10 years ago
It may also be worth lining up several weekends as ‘possibles’ – you don’t want to end up doing half the ride into the teeth of a gale when the next/previous weekend would be clear and still?Posted 10 years ago
Bikebouy. Signage is sometimes hidden. There is one as you’re heading from West Dean woods towards Winchester. at a cross roads and several times I’ve shot past it but it now sticks in my mindPosted 10 years ago
I may think about doing the BHF ride on the return leg (starting at 06:00 ish ), just to have some other riders to gauge performance by.
this was done a couple of years ago by a guy living in Eastbourne, might be worth googling, he was quite inexperienced iircPosted 10 years ago
Thanks for all the replies.
I used a gps last year and it was perfect to the yard, whch was a great help. The plan is to do the BHF ride, but if the weather is more favourable the week before or the week after, that is when I would head down.
Sometime earlier on in the year I will head down with the Mrs and ride the Eastbourne to Winchester, just to see what what.
Once again, thanks.
ColinPosted 10 years ago
Its how i did my double last year, but I rode out with the BHF from Winchester, then just turned around at Eastbourne. Route finding is very simple, EXCEPT when it’s dark and 3pm and your brain is a little fried, it’s hard to make sense of anything let alone sign post arrows. I remember starting at one SDW signpost in the dark for 5mins totally confused. Triedness does play tricks with your mind. Back to the BHF plan, I’d struck up great conversations with fellow riders on the outward leg and had massive encourgement from them all as I passed them on my return leg. A real day 24hours to remember. PM me if you want any further info or thoughts on the route.Posted 10 years ago
Might be busy on the downs next year. I’m planning a double as well!Posted 10 years ago
Daisy, Many Thanks, but cant see your email.
Pete, what dates, if any do you have in mind ?Posted 10 years ago
Colin, was thinking of May, but the exposure 12 and the Erlestoke 12 are both then. So probably mid June, as ill get max daylight too. However if the weather has been really wet I’ll out it off til a dry spell.Posted 10 years ago
Yep Peter, same theory as mine.Posted 10 years ago
The bhf sign the route now too which helps.Posted 10 years ago
shortest night and full moon coincide next year. if the weather was good that would be perfect.
me and some mates are considering a 24hour non-stop relay to Edinburgh from London that day/night…Posted 10 years ago
Looking at the dates,my favoured start would be Friday 14th June. My aim would be to start in Winchester at 4pm. If every thing went according to plan,I’d be turning around about the time it’s getting light so I’d not be riding in the dark too much when tired. I’ve got a Satmap GPS which I’ll load a gpx of the route on so should be able to follow that in the dark. There’s a downloadable gpx on the southdownsdouble website. I’ll be riding my SC tallboy which I think is perfect for the job. As I’ve said above, if the weathers been wet, I’ll put it off til a dry spell. Riding the chalky downs when gloopy for that distance doesn’t bear thinking about.Posted 10 years ago
If you want .gpx files, search for my sdw write up thread as I put the whole route, and ‘100 waypoint’ sections (i.e. The route split into 4) on there..
DrPPosted 10 years ago
Bear in mind there have been some changes to the start at the Eastbourne end recently. Don’t know if the Southdownsdouble website has included them yet.
There are also 2 options near Winchester Hill.
The old route through Warnford is faster and still perfectly legal from a ROW perspective, but isn’t signposted SDW any more. The new route through Exton is slower.Posted 10 years ago
DrP, I used a .TCX file as my Garmin would not read more than 100 waypoints, which is why I guess you have done it in 4 sections?
I have a Satmap Active 10 that will read a .GPX file, but does not give route prompts when riding.
Offthebrakes, I have found that looking at the actual finish or start at Eastbourne. Doesn’t seem too clear. But that may be me just being a plank.
Cheers ColinPosted 10 years ago
I would do the bit you do first in the dark, when you’re fresher and are riding harder. Once you’re exhausted and going slow you’re more likely to get cold at night (even in summer). Plus, riding in the daylight, it is easier to keep your spirits up when you get overwhelmingly tired, at night it all seems harder!
If there’s one bit you know the navigation, I’d do that in the night and leave the harder navigation to daylight riding. Even simple navigation can be hard once you’re exhausted and it’s pretty hard to keep concentrating for the whole 202miles so simple nagivation mistakes do happen, particularly at night. Mike Cotty took a wrong turn on the section of trail that was almost closest to his home in the night on his last SDD!
Good luck! 🙂Posted 10 years ago
shortest night and full moon coincide next year
I’ve just been looking into this and it looks like it could be the best time to try for a double.
I’m aiming for a 12h solo attempt next year and I’m considering doing it overnight on 21st June with it being the shortest night.Posted 10 years ago
I think I’ll try and get a few decent training rides in on the route before then to try and familiarise myself with some of the route.
Date for the BHF South Downs Way ride is the 20th july 2013.Posted 10 years ago
And the longest day in 2013 is June 20
Thanks RobPosted 9 years ago
The topic ‘South Downs Way Double Question’ is closed to new replies.
Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.
Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.