Had some time booked off work for a North Yorkshire trip , but due to a lack of communication it didn't happen. Looked at the weather and thought I would have a crack at the SDW.
Left car in the St Catherines car park in Winchester and headed off at 0505.
It was pretty dark and used a small head torch for the first 20 minutes or so. Absolutely georgeous sunrise as i peddled along past Cheesfefoot Head, deep pink clouds all across the sky.
All went to plan, I intended to stop every hour for Malt loaf / Peanuts etc. This seemed to work well.
Got lost dropping off the original route onto the divert , ended up freestylin across a farmers feild , nearly taking out 2 deer in the process, to get back on track.
Sustainability center up in 2 hours, QECP in 3 hours. WAter stop and a Maxim Gel in the Camalbak then on eastwards . Amberly in 5 hours and feeling good , warm but not too hot and a very light westerly wind.
The climb up to Kithurst hill was harsh , but once over that it speeds up again. Cracking views with the combine harvetsers working in the feilds below.
Met a guy attempting the double at Truleigh YHA . He left Amberly at Midnight , the nutter. Its either Gate Hell or The climb up to Whiteways /Bury Hill straight off. He took 4 1/2 hours to get to Winch, then was in front of me all the way to Truleigh, where he shot off as i arrived.
I followed him a few mins behind and kept on catching glimpses but didnt reel him in.
Got lost over Blackcap ( above Brighton ) and stuck an extra 5 miles on the day, and had to backtrack, uphill and into the now freashening wind.
All good once back on track, just kept on trying to eat and drink and stop every 45 mins. Cleared Itford Hill with its false crests and whizzed on in Alfriston at mad speed. Didnt stop for real food despite the desire for a pasty.
Windover hill nearly beat me. Had to stop at the bottom for a load of food and a chat with walker , Tesco fruit Jellies are the new Tangfastics and a load of them plus a walk / grind /walk combo got me over the top then on to Jevington. Little horse interface on the V.fast drop into JV with 3 lovely laddeees on horses then on and the final grind up Jevington and across the Golf Course. Nearly cried once I saw Eastbourne.
I was proper done in. My @rse really hurt, and is bruised today on my sit bones. My shoulders hurt from lugging all the foodage and water neccessary for alpine stylee riding. Legs done in , icepack on slightly swollen knee now.Lower back very stiff and painfull.
How long did it take? 13 hours and 20 minutes in total.
The sigposts are rubbish and a sick joke. I have ridden 90% of it and I was lost / unsure if on course alot of the time. The hills go on and the climbs go from chalk to grass which is nice.
Consumed 250gm Peanuts, 2 Large malt loafs, 2 maxim gels, 2 Zero tablets, 4 flapjacks, 2 bananas and about 6 cereal bars, plus about 10 ltrs of water.
I got to see and appreciate the beauty of the south downs in summer, with the feilds being harvested and the veiws northwards towards the Surrey hills and out over the channel are stunning in the sunshine. Would be a different story if it was pouring down though!