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  • South Downs Way . In a day . oh my bottom.
  • singletrackmind
    Full Member

    1. Dont forget to buy bum cream
    2. see 1

    After checking the weather through the previous week,and doing an small section on saturday I took the day off on tues for another sdwiad advenure.

    i have completed it 3 times and failed 3 times as well so I know what to expect in terms of distance , time etc.

    This time though a tailwind was forcast for the afternoon to help things along, and the temps were steady through the day .

    Set off from winchester at 0530, with no lights . This cost me time initially as I was pretty much riding blind all the way through Cheesefoot head , still no one died. Weather was spot on , light westerly breeze with full cloud cover .

    QECP up in 2hrs , things going well . A change in strategy meant minimal stoppage times ( colin ) with foodage being moved from backpack to jersey pockets and bottles refilled and motion lotion added at that time. Been using SIS Go with good results , lowish levels but more of a top up of staple food

    Harting had a collie desperate to sink its teeth into my legs and its owner was struggling to hold it back ( no lead ) .- unsafe. I did let him know. the fast decent came and went without a Poopscoop crash in the gulley of death , Cocking and the fast section across Teaglaze all fine, a few people about , temps coming up and sun burning off the cloud. A287 crossing 4 hrs in and the winch up to the masts completed no dramas.

    Amberly valley and the multiple gates just take time, 2 min pit stop at the tap for more foodage and SIS Go , plus half a tab of zero, quick pee , move soem NAirns Ginger oatcakes to jersey and off , fulled up for AMbely Mount. Jesus, no matter how many times i ride it I forget its like a wall. I pushed here for the fisrt time, I wont lie , its just too much for me.

    Kithurst hill and rolling nicely along past some miserable , moody ramblers. This was the theme for the day , great them with a cheety ‘hello ‘ , and you get stonewalled . well sod you, I am enjoying myself so its not my fault you have issues . I get more response from roadies.

    Full Member

    Ace 🙂

    I rode it fully rigid in a day in June, vicar, I didn’t lube up but used flexi carbon post and bars + 2.4″ tyres which seemed to really help

    Oh, and all the weight was on the bike in a bag/water bottles not on my back.

    Free Member

    what’s the surface like at the moment – what do you think it will be like after yesterdays downpour ?

    Free Member

    Nice one! I did it for the 9th time over thur/fri last week.

    I gotta agree with you on the moody ramblers. Not all of them, but a disturbingly larger proportion than normal. Mostly the retired looking ones with all the gear. In fact me and my buddy reckoned the sillier the hat the grumpier the rambler.

    Although they were all put to shame during a little detour off the SDW by the middle aged dog walking lady who jumped in front of us screaming (hysterically at the top of her voice) that we were going the wrong way and weren’t allowed to ride there. I’d just checked the os gps map on my phone so I knew exactly where we were. As we rode past giving her a very wide berth she continued to scream “That’s why everyone hates you…”. Proper 0-100mph rage at the sight of us.

    It did make us chuckle.

    Free Member

    It’s been blinking windy, so what moisture landed will be gone on the exposed bits… the slime chalk at the bottoms might be gunk though.

    Full Member

    Then it was on to Botolphs and the testing climb up to Truleigh Hill YHA. Its not steep, its not long, but again , rode half pushed half. then the draggy road up to the YHA proper. By now my lack of planning on the bum cream was begining to tell.
    I only had some after shave balm , which I applied first thing, at the YHA another blob was added to the pad , quick pee, re-fill bottle, more motion lotion powder and off. In previous years I have had a 20 min stop here , this time it was 5, and the climb out was certainly easier.
    Met a lad also doing a 1 dayer on the climb out from Saddlescombe, he as quicker but was sending more time staionary. Being half my age ( 50 ) I let him pull away as I had a plan to keep to, but the gate duties shared helped whilst it lasted. being less clever than I lok I had a mantra, ” gates and gears” , there are so many and when tired its easy to forget to change up 4 or 5 cogs for a relaxed get away from the many , many stops, again it worked well for me.

    After crossing the A27 the grassy climb up to Falmer pump station was horrible , into a steady headwind and it was 3mph winch in 1st gear , once summiting and turning downwind the difference was remarkable. Yellow brick road was so quick, and then its just the last 3 biggies. Southease station , YHA peee stop, more water and magic powder, malt loaf in jersey pocket , gel scoffed and off up and up. rode the whole thing but it was touch and go up the last section , but 20knots of tailwind fair pushed me the hill.
    Along the tops and great veiws of Newhaven and the channel. Warm now , breeze on my back and sun on my face , lovely. Fast run into Alfriston , small detour as coundnt recall the correct route, avoided the pie shop and across the river and rooty singletrack then its up the testing climb to the start of Itford hill.
    I will admit to stopping at the resevoir half way up and applying more after shave balm to my now baboon like arse cheeks, undeterred the second half was more into the wind, which was nice. Cleaned it and by now you know its in the bag , job done
    Drop into Jevington oh so fast , and the slow, slow winch up to the golf course , dark clouds rolling in accompanieed by stronger gusts, rain felt very possible. The climb up to the golf course was hideous, feeling sick, burning fire down below, aching balls, cramping calf but I cleaned it with a combination of stitting then standing and mashing the pedals

    Every time you get the veiw of Eastbourne its such a relief , Block headwind all the way down to the wooden sigange at the road.

    10hrs 50mins. 35 mins staionary. 90 mins faster than my best solo time 3 years ago.
    100 miles, 11500ft, 6450 cals
    The tailwind , dry trails, nose powder, and questionable tyres ( IKON and Aspen Race tyres )probably all helped reduce the overall time on the day.

    100gms of SIS GO, 4 x SIS gels, 2 packs of Nairns Ginger Oat Biscuits ( 5’s) , 1 wrapper of 6 Scottish Oat cakes, 1 Malt Loaf , 2 x high 5 zero tabs. 8-9 bottle refills. 2 bananas. Fleeced for £40.90 for the train back though , nearly hurt as much as by backside . and no seats from Clapham to Woking

    Full Member

    Nice work. Is the evil amberley climb that steep with slight shelves and grassy. Not too long though. If so I think the only reason I got up that was because my tyre had about 3psi left from a puncture giving loads of grip.

    Full Member


    Ming the Merciless
    Free Member

    Well done.

    Full Member


    Full Member

    Very well done, although, if I may say, the account lacks something in drama compared with Poopscoop. 🙂

    Full Member

    oh my bottom

    One of the best moments of my life involved some bushes at Devil’s Dyke and a sachet of sudocrem. <ahem>

    Full Member

    Well done mate, still need to go back and complete the SDWIAD after bailing at 85 miles (I know, I know…) a couple of years back.

    For anyone wondering about the climb up Amberley mount, its an absolute slut of climb (though I always think the short gravel climb from High Tittern lane from Amberley up to the gate just before it is worse) not a simple steep climb its covered in divots and ruts too…the reverse Strava section down the hill is called “Like space hoppers” 🙂

    Full Member

    Good effort! I love that ride!

    Full Member

    Well done!

    nose powder


    Free Member

    SDWIAD at the age of 100 is amazing, nice one! 😉

    Full Member

    Top stuff…well done! 👍

    Free Member

    Nice going and great write up !

    Full Member

    That’s an impressive time !!!!

    Full Member

    I was over that way on Tuesday, i can categorically say that the gravel up to the foot of Amberley mount is far worse, it’s the perfect blend of steep and loose that you HAVE to stay in the saddle. The mount is plenty grippy and you can actually drop a gear or two and get out of the saddle. It’s all done in two minutes.

    Now, those bastard hills at the Eastern end that drag on interminably with morale stripping false crests. They can get in the sea…

    Full Member

    Good work, fella!

    Free Member

    Well done Rob, great time too ! As usual you have a great way with words.

    I must give this is a go………

    Full Member

    Singlespeed is the solution if you have a ‘soft’ ar$e 😉 Ridden it numerous times, but the time I chose to ride a SSCX remains ingrained on my consciousness – stupidly quick riding time too as you just have to HTFU.

    Full Member

    Well done. I agree about the Amberley climb. The other one that always does for me is Old Winchester Hill, but perhaps I’m tackling it wrong. I always end up having to turn 90deg left up a steep incline with a step at the bottom.

    That said, the total unrideability of it is something of a blessing. In that I *have* to push, and that rules out early on any worries I have about riding without pushing. Sort of breaks the duck, IYSWIM.


    Free Member

    Impressive Rob – 90 mins is a good improvement! Well done mate 🙂
    I’ll send DezBJr. out on the next one with you 😆

    Free Member

    The other one that always does for me is Old Winchester Hill, but perhaps I’m tackling it wrong. I always end up having to turn 90deg left up a steep incline with a step at the bottom.

    That is the proper route (“the Gunbarrel”) and it is pretty brutal. There is an alternate route north of Exton along the road I think, but it’s not really the SDW proper. The section from Winchester to QE is generally pretty mellow so the Gunbarrel and then the climb back up Salt Hill opposite the Sustainability Centre come as a bit of a shock!

    Full Member

    Kudos to the OP and everyone else who has taken this on (I gave it a go a couple of years a go, eastbound, but dropped out at Devil’s Dyke after injuries from an early crash became intolerable). I think similar-minded people might find this articale on a Brighton lad’s recent SDW double an impressive read:

    Full Member
    Full Member

    Bonkers ride from Bill!

    Full Member

    A double double link. How appropriate 😀

    Full Member

    ah, missed Chipko’s link, sorry!

    Free Member

    Interestingly, with reference to ‘the gunbarrel’ etc.. the official route for riders doing the double doesn’t go that way, it uses Hayden Lane between Warnford and Old Winchester Hill which is quite a bit faster and easier, same for the route beween Exton and Beacon Hill…
    I was planning to do the double this summer and was torn about which route to use..

    Full Member

    15 year old did the double at the weekend in 17h45m.

    Bumped into him and his dad Nick in Sedbergh while I was trying to C2C, and they had just bikepacked up from Brighton on the way to Dalby. So no, this performance doesn’t surprise me in the slightest! Nails!

    Free Member

    Nice going! I keep thinking about doing it, but I’m a distracted rider and tend to stop a lot for views, photos or if I spot some cheeky singletrack potential. Before I know it, I’ve taken a lot longer than I should. If I kept my focus I’d be okay.

    Kithurst hill and rolling nicely along past some miserable , moody ramblers. This was the theme for the day , great them with a cheety ‘hello ‘ , and you get stonewalled . well sod you, I am enjoying myself so its not my fault you have issues . I get more response from roadies.

    I get this on tow paths as I’ve probably mentioned elsewhere a few times. It’s the afternoon crowd I find are miserable. Morning folk are much happier. Other day, must have said hi with a smile to 50 people and only a couple said anything back and barely an acknowledgement from the rest. Some downright dirty stares from a few also. In mornings I don’t even have to initiate the greeting, they often say hi first.

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