South Downs Way single/double – roll call

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  • South Downs Way single/double – roll call
  • doordonot
    Member

    Having picked up tips from here, a few years ago I did the single SDW in sub 12 hours. Then a year later I tried the double but was off the pace after 60 miles so turned back. I’d like to have another go at the double, aiming for a sub-24 hour, but leaving contingency for simply completing it if I’m off the pace for the sub-24.

    Just wondering whether anyone would be interested in doing their own SDW challenges (whatever distance) over the same period? It would probably be a Friday so there are fewer people in the route.

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    I’m looking at another single attempt late may/early June and a double later in the year.

    Need to build up my mileage first though as I’ve been a bit slack so far.

    oldnpastit
    Member

    One way in 12 hours is one thing, going fast enough to do both ways in 24 hours… I’m not going to keep up for very long!

    Trimix
    Member

    I would be up for a double, but it would be with a Bivi half way and at a pace slow enough to finish it. So it’s likely to be very slow.

    Premier Icon mechanicaldope
    Subscriber

    I’m thinking of the double but more as a way to end up back at the car! Probably not in 24 hours either!

    Please don’t take my double double time apart.

    Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    I’m thinking of doing it again this year,just for fun and to beat last years time. Ha.
    I don’t think I have the cojones to do a double.
    I did it on a Thursday last time… it was bliss. 🙂

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    I did it on a Thursday last time… it was bliss.

    Me too! Thursday night/Friday morning, anyway. It was amazing, the sunset, moonlit night riding, pre-dawn and sunrise really broke the mileage up and made it much more interesting than a long succession of hills. I’ve got a few summer full moons marked in the calendar for a hopeful repeat this year.

    I took the Jones, with a 3″ Knard in the front. I really appreciated the position and the choice of positions, I felt less sore on that than any other long ride I’ve done. Not too light, and it felt a bit like I was going backwards on the last few hills!

    Ti Jones plus then, with big, light tyres!

    Definitely go for the comfy bike. I’d much rather finish half an hour or an hour slower and not be in pain that lingers for weeks like I’ve had before. My cross, gravel type thing might be quick, but it would be minus fun for the last 30, probably.

    dovebiker
    Member

    24 hour double is a serious proposition IME – you need to be able to sustain 15-16kph moving average for the first half i.e. sub-10 hour because you’ll lose 45-60minutes each way with gates, water and feeding, plus your average pace will probably drop to 1-2kph on the return, adding another 1-2 hours.

    doordonot
    Member

    Well, that’s why I don’t want to say sub-24 hours or go home. There’s still merit in finishing the double ‘as fast as I can’, and therefore the challenge then becomes one of figuring out the best average to maintain without hitting the wall. That’s partly where I went wrong first time: being so fixated on the sub24, that I didn’t allow myself to concede that finishing the double was still a worthwhile achievement.

    There are several points I need to get into the mindset for, including the climb out of Eastbourne back on to the SDW to start the return journey.

    So anyway, in a roundabout way I was wondering if anyone else wanted to start at or around the same time as a sort of pace-making challenge. It’s not that everyone goes at the same pace or needs to talk to each other (I know! Crazy), but rather that seeing someone else you recognise from the start, either pulling away, chasing one-another down or still on the outward journey while another is on the return, could make it quite motivational. At night, seeing other bike lights flashing about on the route would be an experience.

    I walked that hill out of Eastbourne both times. There is zero point in trying to ride it; it will just make you tired and slow you down overall.

    doordonot
    Member

    Ok, good to know. How long did it take you to walk the climb?

    Agreed , the grassy climb out of Eastbourne is nasty , and is turd city as well.
    I always wanted to do the Exposure event which was EB to QECP but never got round to it, for pretty much what you said , seeing a long line of bright white leds flickering away in front and behind is a thing.

    Premier Icon cobrakai
    Subscriber

    I’ve did the SDW in a day twice. First attempt 14hrs 2nd 12hrs. That was end to end not moving time.

    Flirted with the idea of the double in under 24hrs this year but it would be a serious commitment for me.

    Not only training, but even with good tyres my whyte t130 wouldn’t manage. I personally would want a short travel 29er.

    I’d be happy to help as a pacer/gate opener/ snack provider/ nonsense talker if anyone was doing it. I’m local to the western end.

    doordonot
    Member

    Cobrakai, thanks for the gate opening offer, but for me that’s part of the challenge. Sounds like you’d be a similar pace though, so keep your options open in case we can agree a date.

    I did the sub-12 on a 1×10 29er Scandal with 100mm Rebas and tubeless 2.25 Spesh ground controls. This time will be same set up but with tubeless nobby nics. Also, I don’t use gels or energy drink, but if it’s hot I’ll take a few electrolyte tabs.

    In terms of my training, an added twist is to do most of it in zwift with club/solo rides when possible (because I’m time-pressed). People ‘dis zwift but it got me pretty fit last time.

    As with the single (W-E), presumably the official start/finish for the double is the Winchester monument?

    @robcolliver, when you did the double double, did you go all the way to the Winchester monument each time? It’s a bit tedious.

    So is the SDW actually a good ride or is it just hyped as it’s a convenient distance and near the capital?
    I did the WHW, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Keep thinking I ought to do the SDW, but wonder if it’s actually fun or just hard work. In which case maybe I should just do LOTLoops in the Peak ( though if course it isn’t an imperial ton)

    DrP
    Member

    I really want to give the double a go.. I’m lucky that I live a few miles from the middle of the SDW, so may think about starting from Washington – eastbourne – winch – washington…

    last year i did the single in sub 9hrs, but it wasn’t really leg fitness killing me; i ahd really bad tennis elbow and couldn’t ride the last few climbs due to arm pain (it’s a SS.. so you need to yank!).
    I think i’ll stick some bar ends on just to change the hand position a bit…

    I’ve plenty of time on my hands at present, so will go for the single but in reverse later this year, then maybe try the double…?

    DrP

    Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    “So is the SDW actually a good ride?”
    Imo it is yes.It’s fun and hard work.
    Underestimate it at your peril.
    Go mid week and it is surprisingly quiet.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    presumably the official start/finish for the double is the Winchester monument?

    thought the official start/end is the city mill, but if you use the statue as the start/end it’s a negligible extra few metres of leg effort, and you go right past the mill anyway?

    had planned on doing it this year, but nowhere near fit enough right now (only planned a single, or a cheating double by staying in the middle and doing out+back both ways on 2 different days during the week).

    Premier Icon mccraque
    Subscriber

    we’re going to have a crack at the double in July. did the single in 12 hours, 10 hours moving time. We live near Brighton but it didn’t feel “right” to start and end in Ditchling….so we are going EBourne to Winchester and back.

    So is the SDW actually a good ride or is it just hyped as it’s a convenient distance and near the capital?

    I would say yes. It’s a lot of climbs and descents, but nothing too techy. And the views are great in places. Green and pleasant, with a bit of a seascape thrown in from time to time.

    djtom
    Member

    I’ll have a go at the double at some point this summer, maybe July? I did the Ridgeway Double last summer with the intend of following up with a SDD, but ran out of nice weekends.
    Got a few big running events to get done first before I can put in enough time on the bike to train properly for it though!

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou
    Subscriber

    Was thinking about doing the Badger Divide over 5 days at the end of June, but a SDW double would be a lot cheaper in train fares and time off work!

    I’d also be looking to complete in 60 hours, not 24!

    Premier Icon peekay
    Subscriber

    So is the SDW actually a good ride or is it just hyped as it’s a convenient distance and near the capital?

    I have done various bits of it over the years on foot and bike, and did the full thing on a bike last year. In my opinion, it is worth doing if you can guarantee a good day, but I wouldn’t plan your life around it. While the scenery is stunning, after 20 miles of being on a big open hilltop with the sea one side and views to the North Downs on the other I found it got a bit samey.

    Aiming for an arbitrary 12hrs / 24hrs is putting yourself under undue pressure and will likely mean that you get less time to enjoy the more interesting bits, worry about first train/last train admin, feel rushed at gates/bottle refills, no cafe stop etc.

    Premier Icon nixie
    Subscriber

    I really want to give the single a go. Main thing putting me of is the tediousness of getting to the start at the eastern end from Southampton.

    doordonot
    Member

    did the Ridgeway Double last summer with the intend of following up with a SDD

    Ha! This is what I’m thinking as I grew up local to the Marlborough Downs part of the Ridgeway, then lived in Tring for a while, so did the single from Ivinghoe Beacon westwards. The double (about 180 miles?) seems pretty straightforward on a dry day, and a good training session for getting the lights and nutrition dialled.

    DrP, I think it was you and njee who I was keeping tabs on about your speedy attempts at SDW singles and doubles. Sub-9 hours is remarkable; do you/have you done much xc racing?

    In terms of what the big deal is about the SDW; for me it’s a nice and fast, rolling route, sense of exposure without being too remote, and water taps means it can be done lightweight.

    Slow reply re going to the monument each time…. yes of course you have to go to the finish/start each time.
    Re is it a good ride – yes I think so, but its so much easier than the top loop of the Highland Trail (I’ve just been up there and done it as a recce for the race at the end of May.

    I have no idea how long the walk out of Eastbourne takes – I just switch of my head till I’m back on the bike!

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