- 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 5 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 5 years ago
Hi TaffPosted 5 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 🙂brooessMember
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 5 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 5 years agoPacemanSubscriber
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 5 years agoPacemanSubscriber
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 5 years agobikebouyMember
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 5 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 5 years agoDaisy_DukeMember
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 5 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 5 years agooffthebrakesSubscriber
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 5 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 5 years agorobdeanhoveMember
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 5 years agonotmyrealnameSubscriber
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 5 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.
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