What’s the SDW like in this heat?
I know it will be hot but as there is no shade pretty much from Truleigh hill onwards, is it too hot at 30c+?
Will be carrying 2l of water on the bike.Posted 3 months ago
ride faster to create a breeze.
there are taps so you might not need to carry quite so much water on teh ups.Posted 3 months ago
Personally I’d avoid it – but I’m sure there is an official water stop map for the sdw online somewhere, although quite a few of the stops are away from the main route.Posted 3 months ago
I ran it at the start of June in a bit under 15 hours, around 25°C, albeit I did drink 5 litres along the way plus 2 Calippos. On a bike I wouldn’t see any issues on a bike in 30°C.Posted 3 months ago
The sun reflecting off the chalk, especially on the climbs is pretty brutal. I find it quite tough in these kind of conditions.Posted 3 months ago
Thanks for the taps map, sounds like a bit of a challenge but I guess if I keep hydrated, should be ok.Posted 3 months ago
Plenty of suncream too. And insect repellent, I’m guessing the horseflies will be relentless.Posted 3 months ago
Do it overnight. Moon will be full or close to from now and over the weekend. Set off at 7pm, it’ll still be pretty hot then, but dropping off quickly to min of 17ish overnight.
See loads of wildlife, don’t have to stop/slow for walkers, ride by the moon on the open sections, swim in the sea at Eastbourne and have a leisurely breakfast rather than rushing around to get home.
It’s brilliant.Posted 3 months ago
I wouldn’t like to do it in this heat, but good luck if you do. It’s a great ride.
Be aware that a short section is currently closed due to the Boomtown Festival and a diversion is in place:
Posted 3 months ago
The main thing is knowing where the taps are and keeping your water topped-up – the stretch after Cocking can be one of the toughest as there’s lots of exposed chalk, climbing and if the Littleton Farm tap is out, the next one in Amberley.Posted 3 months ago
As Wait4me said, the chalk tracks really reflect the heat and make it seem much warmer.
Also, if youre with anyone else, dust. There were a couple of fast descents when I last did it (in similar conditions) where I couldnt see the trail when following someone, and very nearly came acropper. Apart from gummy eyes and a mouth like Ghandi’s flip flop.
And you’ll have a light headwind if doing the traditional West to East the next few days. Could help with cooling but (as I had last time) you’ll still be wishing for a tailwind later on!Posted 3 months ago
I did it in mid July and all the taps were working. I went Eastbourne to Winchester because it’s much easier logistically for me that way and a very gentle headwind was also a help. I was also in the shadier part for the afternoon which again helped. I was on it on Sunday and that was pretty warm. I always seem to find myself doing the climb out of Alfriston back towards Brighton at the very hottest part of the day. There was an Ultra run going on and talking to one guy it was the heat that was proving the biggest challenge.Posted 3 months ago
There’s very little cover/shade along the SDW so you’re almost always exposed to the sun. It’s pretty much a ridge, and it’s bloody unforgiving in 30+deg with humidity.
Some people are designed to cope better in those conditions. If you’re one of them then crack on. If you’re not, then be sensible.Posted 3 months ago
A very fit mate in Sussex spent a night in A&E after a fast trail run last week, so be careful. But I do find the wind cooling effect with riding helps a lot.
Living in the sub tropics we pretty much always ride in that kind of heat.
General principles that may apply:
– On really tough humid rides I allowed for up to a litre/hour before my body adjusted and of course make sure you’re replacing the salts.Posted 3 months ago
– Wear a long sleeved collared shirt and don’t wear a backpack. The shirt gets soaked in sweat and that helps you cool. Backpacks stop the heat from escaping I have a mate who does astonishingly long rides and that’s the approach he uses (this kind of madness Terra Australis Epic Ride ).
Wear a long sleeved collared shirt and don’t wear a backpack. The shirt gets soaked in sweat and that helps you cool.
I had everything on the bike when I did it and wore arm coolers which work really well. I use them all the time now if it’s hot.Posted 3 months ago
I will be riding the SDW over Wednesday and Thursday next week, forecasts have been all over the place but its looking like a slight cool down to about 25-28c and maybe some rain, so hopefully won’t be too hot but looks like its going to be humid though.Posted 3 months ago
+1 on the overnighter – timing your ride to arrive at Eastbourne when Tesco Express opens, or more leisurely for the cafe for a cooked breakfast. There is the hazard of badgers though, who will suddenly and unexpectedly charge out of the undergrowth!Posted 3 months ago
problem with an overnighter is that the pubs are open then, rather rabid Badgers then feral Otters and white tailed eagles.Posted 3 months ago
I ran it at the start of June in a bit under 15 hours
This deserves more recognition. Chapeau!Posted 3 months ago
I thought he mis-typed but running the SDW in 15 hours, double Chapeau!
Looks like the thread has jinxed the weather, 😉 now forecasting rain on the two days I’m on the SDW, best start another thread on what is the SDW like in the wet… 🙂Posted 3 months ago
This deserves more recognition. Chapeau!
A mate did it in 7:40 during recent heat, his jersey salt stains look decidedly “crusty”.Posted 3 months ago
I’m toying with getting the train to Winchester on Thursday am, and just riding back to devil’s dyke…
Don’t say its gonna rain!
DrPPosted 3 months ago
Watch out for wildfires if you’re doing it this weekend!Posted 3 months ago
I rode up the hill from `Brighton Pier towards North Hove. Was tooo flicking hot! I did have my growing 7 year old on the back of the cargo bike…but still was roasty toasty!!!
DrPPosted 3 months ago
rather rabid Badgers then feral Otters and white tailed eagles.
Funnily enough, we have no badgers here, but right now I’ve got 14 red deer on my garden and driveway, which would make an interesting encounter for anyone that would care to cycle down the gravel track to my house.
Anyway, I digress, the other hazard of the SDW at night are the doggers that frequent the car parks…Posted 3 months ago
Just start at dawn, so 0500 give or take. You should be ok with 2 x 500ml bottles as the taps are every 6 to 8 miles apart now.Posted 3 months ago
New ones at Winchester end plus cognation coffee stops en route at A272 and A285 crossings.
Personally i wouldn’t do it in anything over 24c but its your choice
Its tough, you will be pushing at some point, kithurst hill is a test.
Stopping is what kills the overall time. My 10.50 was 9.50 moving so approx 10 x 6 min stops.
Tubeless, fast tyres are helpful as some of the flints are like razors.
good to hear about the new taps, will be riding it Wednesday and Thursday so will be fine looking at the weather.Posted 3 months ago
That taps link is so useful!! Pre internet I used to mark every tap I found on my paper OS maps, most of which are now trashedPosted 3 months ago
Tap at QECP is right on the trail, by the seating area, on the far side (going west) of the main centre building. Don’t come onto tarmac to the main entrance to look for it, or go in and ask for it, you’ll kick yourself when you seed it, having wasted 2 minutes – it’s as obvious as it could possibly be!Posted 3 months ago
What’s your plans/itineray like? I.e where are you camping/staying..you riding alone etc..?
I might ride from winchester, but also (if you’re up for it) could meet up with you on thurs am?
DrPPosted 3 months ago
I’m riding it with a mate and his son, we are starting in London and riding the North downs way to Farnham, picking up King Al’s way, with a stop at Liss, to South Harting and then SDW to Eastbourne, will be camping at Truleigh hill above Shoreham on the Wednesday night. Welcome to hook up if you want some company.
I think my mate is a bit clueless about the SDW as his son will be riding his CX bike and I asked what tyres has he got suitable for the trip and the reply was Conti four seasons 😮Posted 3 months ago
Hopefully a wind up!
I’ll PM you my number… I’m not too far from there so depending on my plans I could jsut ride up to Devil’s dyke, turn left and ride towards you!!
DrPPosted 3 months ago
Rode about 25km of it (firle area) on an extended commute home yetsrday afternoon – never ever seen it so dusty. Incredible, my bike was absolutely coated when I got home so make sure you use minimal dry lube only.
Heat was fine as there was a breeze. Bonus was that there were way less walkers than normal.Posted 3 months ago
Things get quite surreal pertaining to how quiet everywhere gets when temps notch up beyond 30. If you’re adept in the heat then it would make for a great ride. I was section hiking on the Cotswold Way yesterday and it was eerily quiet. Much slower than usual due to the heat but the light was exquisite.Posted 3 months ago
Like everywhere else at the mo – too bloody hot.Posted 3 months ago
Did a 35 mile loop from Amberley Thursday. It was very dusty and got very hot after 1pm. But, it was lovely and quiet. No rain. No strong winds. Blissful.Posted 3 months ago
Dont worry about the rain. The chalk will suck it up and the only difference will be the amount of dust you kick up. I had a run out on the Winchester end this morning and it soo warmed up so. We came back down and cooled off in the river 😎Posted 3 months ago
Thanks, as Thunderstorms forecast now Tuesday and Wednesday, hopefully the sea breeze will kick in and push all the storms north of the South Downs, it regularly used to do that when I lived in Shoreham by sea.Posted 3 months ago
A few years ago we did the SDW over two hot blue sky days. First day I didn’t drink enough, but still ran out of fluid, and suffered with pretty bad cramp on the last 10 miles of the 50 we did. Day 2 I filled my 750ml bottle and 2l camelback at every tap we came to, even if it was just a small top up, and constantly drank. Result no cramps at all, lesson learned.
We out yesterday morning in searing heat, 30 off road miles, and I got thru 750ml bottle, two 750ml bottles of Lucozade Sport as well as a pint of water and 3 cups of tea at the obligatory cake stop. Still peeing something resembling Tizer afterwards!Posted 3 months ago
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