South Downs Way – Partial
A group of friends and I would like to ride the SDW but before we commit to riding the whole route, would like a shorter route that we could comfortably do as a day ride.
I was thinking that maybe 50 miles where we park up somewhere suitable and then ride out and back 25 miles to save the logistics of getting back to the car at the end of the ride. Maybe also covering some of the bigger climbs so that we can scout what sort of thing to expect on the whole route.
Could those who have experience of the SDW please suggest a suitable starting point for a ride something like this?Posted 4 years agonedrapierSubscriber
I wouldn’t discount doing the whole thing for starters. You can split it over two days, stay at the Truleigh Hill hostel (@ 60 miles if you’re going west – east) there are quite a few options to bail at train stations along the way.
I organised a group to do exactly that a few years ago, guys and girls, a few of whom wouldn’t have said they were particularly fit. There was a bit of walking up some of the hills (and some tears!), but everyone finished with a smile on their face.Posted 4 years agomissnotaxMember
I did the Winchester to Amberley part last weekend (for the train back to Winchester to collect the car!) – worked well.
The big hills are in the second half from what I understand….
Some buddies of mine carried on and did the whole thing to Eastbourne in one day (hence I got the car and collected them). That’s definitely not an easy option!!Posted 4 years agoTimCoticMember
You Haven’t said which is the nearest bit of the SDW for you. I like to ride bits of the 2012 Wiggle South Downs Epic 44 miles course. The best start point for me is Funtington (near Chichester). Most of the ride is NOT actually on the SDW, but it’s lovely stuff with some challenging climbs (well they are for me LOL). If you have the 25000 OS Chicester map then you can modify to suit you. I’ve got the PDF file of the 2012 course map if you want to email me.Posted 4 years ago
I would consider Amberley to Eastbourne and then a train back.
Amberly is pretty much halfway and is easy to get to – with the station right by the SDW.
It’s just over 50 miles to Eastbourne, and you get most of the good scenery… pick a day with decent weather so you can appreciate the views, and avoid days with strong headwinds. You do get most of the big climbs too (which is either good or bad depending on your view of things) – including an immediate climb up Amberly Mount, which I think is just about the longest and steepest on the route.
This is definitely the harder half of the route, so once you’ve knocked it off you will know you are ready!Posted 4 years agoVan HalenMember
its 20 odd miles from falmer/woodingdean to eastbourne.
my SDW in a day training route!
although for a nice diversion and actual singletrack go to Friston forest rather than eastbourne and do a lap of the red (or the main red descent then ride a few drops on teh DH tracks like i did last week)- i`m not cut out for xc.
excellent training. big climbs and a bloody nice sausage roll in alfriston deli. you can also demonstrate your climbing prowess on the super steep grassy climb out of the farm at southease on the way back. guarenteed to get you puffing.Posted 4 years agosingletrackmindMember
AMberly to Alfriston and train back might work out.Posted 4 years ago
Depends what you want to try to acheive, are you doing this for fitness or to recce the route .
Fitness.- ride out and back
Recc.- ride the direction you intend to travel and train back .
Do not underestimate the climbing, its also about the same in each half. first half is more climbs of less feet, secong half less climbs of more feet.
Thanks for all the suggestions, quite a few options to consider there. I hadn’t realised that it’s possible to get a train back from certain locations so maybe I’ll look at that solution. Whenever I’d looked at the trains in the past it always looked like the only option was in to London and back out again.
Coming from Essex so didn’t really want all the faff of going in to London to get the train down and back at this point.
We did the Wiggle South Downs Epic yesterday (39 miles) and found it okay and could probably have managed 50 miles reasonably comfortably so the whole route would be doable at some time.Posted 4 years agobartimaeusMember
I also did the Epic on Sunday… and I really enjoyed it. The western half of the route counts as ‘local trails’ for me. If you found that OK then you’ll do fine on the SDW. Some of the SDW climbs are bigger (e.g. Amberley Mount which is steeper than this profile suggests), but there’s nothing quite as vicious as the climb up out of Upwaltham which we did on Sunday.Posted 4 years agojmckeeMember
I’d suggest that if you pick any spot from QECP and head east you’ll have a good day out. The section west of QECP has more road and isn’t nearly as interesting or picturesque with exceptions of course such as Old Winchester Hill.Posted 4 years ago
Based purely on where I live I enjoy the route from QECP to the cafe (or pub) by the river at Amberly, quick refuel then back. Come to think of it you could also do a quick loop of the Red Route in QECP if Amberly and back is too easy 🙂jimificationMember
Whatever you go for, definitely base it on the forecast and prevailing wind direction (particularly if you take the one way ride / train option) it will make a massive difference to the fun factor.
Also note, depending which 50 mile route you pick, the climbing will likely vary from around 1400m to 2000m and it’s the climbs that get you. (the whole thing is about 3300m of ascent from memory)Posted 4 years ago
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