South Downs Way Question

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  • South Downs Way Question
  • Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    3-5 hours. It’s about 30-35 miles but you’ll want to stop to admire the views.

    You’re allowed to stop at the gates 😉 I think it’s more like 25 miles but will feel like more.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    yes, sorry – maybe I was remembering from Devils Dyke.

    [edit] here’s a strava ride of the route: http://app.strava.com/activities/20599762

    rewski
    Member

    Lovely ride that, a few tough climbs too, you’ll want the wind behind you 😉

    There’s a water tap at Southease, before the bridge.

    ottocat
    Member

    Thanks chaps… Just got to wait for a nice day and a passout from the Missus !

    ottocat
    Member

    Roughly how long does anyone think it should take to go from Ditchling to Eastbourne going at a steady pace whilst still being able to breath?

    Cheers

    avdave2
    Member

    There’s a water tap at Southease, before the bridge.

    And another at Jevington by the church

    rewski
    Member

    And another at Jevington by the church

    or a pint of long man at the 8 bells

    birdage
    Member

    3 hours or 4 with a diversion to Lewes for lunch or Alfriston for pub.
    Or turn that bastard Itford Hill into a picnic spot.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    Did you end up riding this? I thinking of doing much the same as I’ve to go visit the inlaws in Bexhill and will hopefully get away with taking a day on my bike.

    I walked a bit of the sdw from Alfriston toward Wilmington and remember it being largely farm track/fire road (though the bottom part nearest Alfriston looked more a promising descent).

    Would any of you say one direction was better than the other at all? I’m thinking of taking the train to southease and ride back (logistically preferable) but would be happy to ride the other direction of it is a significantly better ride.

    Cheers, and sorry to hijack/resurrect your thread

    ottocat
    Member

    Did you end up riding this? I thinking of doing much the same as I’ve to go visit the inlaws in Bexhill and will hopefully get away with taking a day on my bike.

    Not yet it’s on the calendar for this coming weekend

    belugabob
    Member

    West to East is the traditional direction, due to prevailing winds.
    Check the weather first.

    Was going to ride from Brighton to Eastbourne, via Devil’s Dyke, a few weeks ago but something came up.

    Looking at the diary to work out when I can fit it in – not looking good. 🙁

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    East to west is the traditional direction, due to prevailing winds.

    I disagree, the other way is far more common.

    belugabob
    Member

    You’re right – and I edited my post while you were answering.
    Must have spent too much time in the sun, to make a mistake like that 🙁

    Weather is not looking great in the next week. Heavy rainfall on wednesday pretty much all day on and off. Thurs looks grand , prefect but the SDW will be full of puddles and standing water . Fri wet again in the afternoon which kind of blunts Sat unless you enjoy wet chalky hills

    Long range shows early part of next week to be good conditions , but i dont rely on anything over 5 days out. Typically my colleague is on holiday all next week and as i could barely walk after last time i need the following day off.

    After my Brighton – London- Haslemere epic on sat my legs felt ok, helped by 5 pints of isotonic cider i think , and getting used to spending hours on the RB.

    http://www.yr.no is my current favourite weather forcasting service, although the windspeed is in M/S which is junk. 2.1 :1 conversion rate iirc

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    Weather doesn’t worry me so much, being from Yorkshire I’m used to it being wet and boggy all the time, even in the midst of drought, and as you say never trust the forecast unless it’s for rain, the met office couldn’t be sure what our did yesterday so I don’t to much trust their idea of what it’ll be like tomorrow.

    West to east it is then for me as it means no dashing to make trains home. Should make for a pleasant Sunday miss month.

    DrP
    Member

    It’s not so much the “I don’t like riding in the rain” attitude that STmind speaks of…more so that if it’s been wet on the SDW, it will add about 30% to your ride time! which can all add up significantly over the whole route…

    DrP

    belugabob
    Member

    The other weather consideration, that you probably don’t have in Yorkshire, is the slipperyness of chalk, when It’s wet.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    Those are both valid points (i assume no one actually doesn’t ride because it’s raining in the UK?!).

    The variable time thing from weather and mechanicals is my main preference for heading west east rather than trying to target a return train.

    I hadn’t thought about slippery chalk in honesty, as you rightly say, not much of a concern here, really wet tends to mean boggy hike a bike in these parts.

    By the by though, it should make for a pleasant escape, wet and slippy or dry and fast.

    Thanks for the input.

    rewski
    Member

    Er, rain is the least of your problems if there’s a 30mph headwind, then your talking pedalling downhill and doubling your time. All good fun though.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    Now there is my demon, I’d rather ride a week in the rain than an hour in the wind.

    m1kea
    Member

    dangeourbrain

    I’d personally not bother faffing with a train change at Lewes and just add a few extra miles to your trip.

    This 3.5 mile road / tarmac’d cycle path route (which is on the north side of the A27) would get you to Housedean Farm from which you cross over the road and then head back up and around Kingston Vale.

    That’d get you warmed up for Itford Hill after Southease 😉

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    Oh thanks for that, nothing wrong with a bit of black top warm up.

    Stupid question time: I assume this is more mile munching 29er than fun bouncy 26er country given the option or am I doing the route a great disservice?

    Disclaimer: The lack of 27.5 option in no way is intended to convey my opinion of the “middle” wheel size, nor to invite comment on it, I just don’t own one as at time of writing.

    Premier Icon billyboy
    Subscriber

    “Bastard Itford Hill”

    I know folk abuse it and reverence it……. but I never have had a problem with it!

    rewski
    Member

    mile munching 29er

    yep

    m1kea
    Member

    I prefer my 26″ XC F/S and am usually just as quick as my HT but that might be my advancing years.

    None of the SDW is remotely technical so whatever rolls the best for you.

    I always have black thoughts about Itford hill and its magnetic grass but that’s usually because I only ever do it after 80+ miles of riding.

    However it isn’t actually that bad, certainly when compared to Amberley Mount and a couple of other git climbs.

    Premier Icon adsh
    Subscriber

    Going west which is the grass hill nearer Eastbourne that seems the steepest and comes almost immediately after a right turn next to a farm and after a mile of farm track that is surfaced with builders rubble?

    That will be Itford Hill , false crests and a long diagonal climb over grass. 2 radio masts up top which are at the high point.

    Re wet chalk. I have actually managed to fall off riding up hill as both wheels went from under me . As its porous it retains moisture, has the drag co -efficient of ice sprayed with WD40 , and once some green slime appears ontop becomes really unrideable.

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    Yep, nothing does ‘wtf! How come I’m lying down in a hedge when microseconds ago i was riding along a flat farm track?’ better than green slime covered SDW chalk.

    rewski
    Member

    Itford Hill + Bad fog + exhaustion is quite an odd mix, you start hearing the voices of distant iron age settlers ramblers

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    None of the SDW is remotely technical so whatever rolls the best for you.

    I know its not technical by most people’s definition but speed & fatigue add there own risks…25mph+ down some of those hills into eroded chalky gullies makes things getting interesting quickly, add wet/damp conditions and things can get nasty

    Fortunately when I ride Dorking to Eastbourne offroad last week it was perfect conditions…love the SDW 😀

    Premier Icon 40mpg
    Subscriber

    I was out on Sunday on the Hampshire downs which are all chalk tracks too. Following Saturdays rain, the ground had soaked it up like a sponge, and it was still pretty dusty everywhere.

    Th only puddle was a notorious dip which has been wheel-deep before. There was a small pool of very stagnant primordial gloop in the bottom, thats all. I still haven’t washed my bike since Bontrager!

    If the suns shining on the day, get out there and lap it up while you can 😀

    m1kea
    Member

    nuke

    I know its not technical by most people’s definition but speed & fatigue add there own risks…25mph+ down some of those hills into eroded chalky gullies makes things getting interesting quickly, add wet/damp conditions and things can get nasty

    Concur

    I was hooning down Kings / Star lane into Alfriston on a ride last year and nearly did a 25mph+ OTB over one of the ‘speed bumps’. 😐

    Rewski

    SDW at night, in fog is unnerving and I’ve been glad of the GPS to show the way. Oh and going through a field of sheep and only seeing their eyes reflecting in your lights is quite freaky 😆

    xanboy
    Member

    I rode the SDW at the weekend, it took me about 4 hours to get to Eastbourne with a stop to eat some lunch at Southease.
    I was beginning to feel it at the end, but I reckon if you were just riding the last 35 miles you’d be done in 3-3.5 hours.
    It got a bit sloppy on the chalk on Saturday with some showers but it dried really quickly, it’s not to technical as has been said.
    I hit 39 mph coming off one of the descents, but a lot of them are easily 25-30 mph.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the advice folks, rode it yesterday and or was an enjoyable ride, very glad you mentioned the wind!

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