Viewing 38 posts - 81 through 118 (of 118 total)
  • This Friday 24th June – 'SDW in a Day' – who's in? Roll call!!
  • Premier Icon piha
    Free Member

    Ha ha, no need for bike trailers, everyone made it to the end except for Wynne who was attempted the double (thanks for the email Wynne, hope your fine). I’ll try to do a bit of a report later with piccies.

    Thanks to the all the guys in the main group, without your help and encouragement I doubt that I’d have made it to Eastbourne.

    Premier Icon singletrackmind
    Full Member

    Home .- Safe , warm and dry and now fed and watered .

    All managed to meet up in Winchester in cold , but dry conditions.
    Quick spin up through Chilcomb and out onto the start of the SDW proper.
    A small ,elite group of 6 riders heading off into the unkown in a brightenin , cloudless sky.
    However the rainfall of the previuos week was enough to spoil the surface , which changed from Ok to almost swamp depending on the terrain.

    I work approx 3 miles from the SDW near Cheesefoot and it was pretty grim and rather hard work. We made steady progress through the early hours heading ever eastwards . We almost got the gate routine sorted so the group didnt have to waste energy braking to standstill, then accelerating back up to speed.I got slightly geographically embaressed at the Warnford diversion again , but a quick cut through a feild saw us right . Puncture #1 for Pscyle ,Trailwrecker rotating on the rim and ripped tube at valve…

    QECP first proper stop, bit of banter with a pretty girly who was starting work at 0820, then out the park over to Sth Harting down.
    All running Ok , with the sun now warm on our faces , and the sky blue with a few fluffy white clouds. Good run up to the Devils Jumps and along toward Cocking , water and a bar at Cocking then up and over Teaglaze , which is my favourite section, up in the big ring and really making progress .

    Pushed part of the hidous climb from the A286 up to Amberly , the chalk had rivers of water running down in the gulleys , so not really dry at all. Past the masts and onto whiteways , down the S shaped decent which is a test of your handling skills , with a swamp at the bottom. Blasted down to Amberly and through gate hell. Sodden ground round the feilds and a proper grind . Water and bar stop at the tap, Psycyle had some shooting cramps and was offered the train , but to his credit he carried on , suffering at the back in own personal world of pain .

    Up Amberly mount , over Kithurst and the chance to get the average up . More water at washington , then up to Chantonbury ring. The climb up is one of worst .A walk / ride / walk got me up. Barn , Piha and Germ just ground it out in granny . The flat section after was wet and muddy with puddles of standing water , wrong line choice meant wet feet and a sideways moment .
    We were motoring along toward Truleigh no bother , some good averages and no problems. Psycyle fell off the back, but to his credit stuck to it and caught us up at Truleigh hill. As did Nuke who rides about as as fast as a nuclear bomb shockwave . He started to 2 hours after us, and made it up over 50 miles.
    Too long a stop and a chain repair /toilet break meant cold legs foor the run along to the Dyke, where Barn depearted to meet familly .

    Nuke left us after the golf course, he was in another league and on for a good 11 hour time and we were holding him up.

    Got seperated after Black cap, but regrouped at A27 crossover . Survived the fiddly bit down to Falmer Resevoir and Mivi had a moment when looking back realsied after 11 hours he could ride to home in 20 mins . Being a hero he too carried on toward the big ones , Itford and Windover . Blowing hard , bit still moving we made it up Itford . The temperature had dropped by now and the wind was cold and gusty . I was shivering , but a loaned Gilet made a massive difference. Core temp up and blood released out to the limbs and up to speed again.
    Alfriston next , too late for the pie shop at 7pm, so no stopping and up to Windover . walk , grind , walk, grind and over the top . getting cold and light starting to drop , but the end is in sight ..
    Blast down into Jevington then minor disaster as Germs saddle bolt sheared (RF natch) . So he , with blown up destryed legs had to ride out of the saddle for the last 4 miles up Jevington hill and along thr golf course, not fun .

    Made it to the finsh at 20.10 , almost 15 hrs after leaving . The sticky mud making it slower . I did it solo last year in 13.20 , and i dont know where we lost the time .

    Signage rubbish , BHF signage rubbish . Alot of those riders will struggle as it was raining steadily once we got the train back to winch , via clapham to collect cars . I had to stick a Daily Fail up my jersey for the ride down to the car , and it really worked . Got in car gone 11 . Broken man now, porridge and some High 5 and a mounatin of toast on the go .

    Big respect to simon (psycle) dropped on every hill , but kept at , even when we were out of sight he dug deep and put himself through the grinder but was always moving on .

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Great write up, big respect to you all.

    Premier Icon corroded
    Free Member

    Well done all. You’re braver men than me, given the recent weather.

    Premier Icon peteimpreza
    Full Member


    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Full Member

    Well done all – character building stuff.

    Premier Icon wynne
    Free Member

    Well done all who completed it.

    I had a stab at trying to the double – Eastbourne to Winchester and back in 24 hours. I know I have it within me, but for me to be able to do it everything had to go just right. It didn’t – despite carefully watching forecasts and trying to evaluate ground conditions. I learnt a few lessons about self sufficiency – and that you don’t have to be somehwere remote (like the Highlands) to get hypothermia.

    I left Eastbourne about 5.30pm on 23rd June. It went wrong from the start. It chucked it down for the first two hours. Then a strong headwind really chilled me. Ground conditions were awful. I reckon on being able to ride 99% of the SDW normally, but I ended up walking about 30% of the 50 miles I managed. I was in my lowest gear on some of the flattish sections near the start, just trying to make some headway through the gloop. I was on my cross bike, on the drops just trying to get into the lowest tuck to to make progress into the wind.

    Every time I nearly dried out I got soaked again. In addition I was wearing prescription glasses which just kept getting filthy and which I had to stop and clean about every two miles. Even though I’m familiar with the SDW and I had excellent lights, because I couldn’t see well, I missed a few turnings and had to retrace my steps.

    My bike got so clagged that something (stick, vole, rock – I’m not sure) got stuck in my rear mech and bent the mech hanger. Gear changes went up the swanny. There was some severe runoff too. Most of the climbs and descents were running with water, and the lower lying sections had turned to a clayey morass.

    By about 1030pm I knew I wouldn’t make it to Winchester and I had long abandoned all thoughts of the double. I tried to get to Amberley in time to take the last train to London, but I missed it. Then I tried to find B&B in the village. No luck. The pub had just closed so I went back to the station and tried to get my head down in the waiting room. I didn’t get to sleep. About 2am I sat up with a jolt, shaking uncontrollably. I’m pretty sure I was hypothermic. I walked round the village trying to find anything to keep me warm – bin bags, textiles, old carpet – anything really. Nothing. I contemplated climbing into a large wheelie bin – but it was locked. So I was just walking round shaking and I knew I couldn’t manage like that for long.

    In total desperation I returned to the pub and knocked on the door to see whether they had a room. The landlord was understandably not very happy to be woken up. Turns out they don’t have rooms, but after initial anger he and his wife were tremendously kind and gave me a thermal top and leggings and a sleeping bag as well as a flask of coffee and sent me back to the station (because, perfectly reasonably, he didn’t want a random stranger in his pub in the middle of the night).

    I went back to the waiting room. I didn’t sleep but I did manage to get warm and pass the time until the first train at 6.26am. I returned the kit at about 6 and got on the train. I really don’t know what I would have done without their help. The consequences would have been good.

    I feel like a total idiot. I am an experienced long distance extreme/endurance cyclist and I normally get my clothing/kit choice just about right, but I really mucked this one up. The day before I had packed and then unpacked my bivi bag, thinking that I’d always be able to bail out safely somewhere. I hadn’t counted on the effects of ground conditions, exhaustion and elements. I also think that because I am very familiar with the SDW I was complacent about its dangers.

    It’s bad enough to get myself into a dangerous situation, but to then burden random strangers with the responsibility of getting me out of it is almost unforgiveable. Although I was perhaps unlucky, my equipment was not adequate and I hadn’t got a plan B. Pretty stupid.

    Lastly, apologies to anyone who heeded my ‘fast rolling tyres’ advice. My fifty miles the other night were harder then any of the complete SDWs I’ve done, so doing the whole thing with those ground conditions is a tremendous achievement.

    I’ll be back for more, but not for a little while.


    Premier Icon Elfinsafety
    Free Member

    (Bows down to those greater than himself)

    Fantastic effort. Hats off speshly to Psychle, who is completely mad no way was he getting me involved in such insanity. No thank you. I’d need a lot more training to even contemplate doing something like that. 😯

    This is not something just anyone could do, it takes a hell of a lot of bottle to attempt, and serious determination to achieve. Speshly in crap weather!

    I’m well impressed.

    See all those people ‘ooh that Psychle he just buys fancy bikes don’t actually ride them’; well, just shut up! 😀

    This deserves to be a Singletrack mag article. Do youse have pics?

    Premier Icon Elfinsafety
    Free Member

    Jeeze Wynne. 😯

    That sounds just like a ‘worst nightmare’ scenario. Proper horrible. Proper, proper horrible.

    I’ll be back for more

    Nutter! 😆

    Premier Icon mivi
    Free Member

    That was hard. It felt truly never ending from Brighton.

    For me, backache was the only real problem along with the soul destroying relentlessness of it…..but I always get backache and I knew it wasnt my kind of ride, just wanted to tick it off the list.

    Unlike 12 hour enduros usually being approx 1 hour laps, the point to point nature of this made for quite a difference. The sense of a need to pace carefully, not blow up a muscle and get stranded meant I was always being easy on the pedals. This, and not puffing so hard probably explains why I was fine at the end and my digestive system was holding up…..usually my downfall on enduros. I’m amazed how I feel today…been for a walk, gardening later. This is such a contrast to enduros that i’d trained for but which would leave me ragged for days after.

    Yet I still think i’d call it the hardest bike ride i’ve ever done.

    Well done gang, everyone really hung in well.

    Premier Icon Pauly
    Free Member

    Respect to the guys who did this in that weather..

    Couple of great write ups too.

    Wynne – wow!

    Premier Icon thegerminator
    Free Member

    Reflecting back at home in devon after an
    epic day yesterday!
    Thanks for the company guys,especially to
    singletrackmind for the powerlink rescue
    and subway at finish! mivi for that gel
    horrible it was too.
    Mr ibis for the cashews and climb pacing!
    and big respect is indeed due to psychle
    for hauling himself to the finish, and the
    bright idea in the first place.
    Seeing as everyone enjoyed it so much i can
    see this turning into an annual pilgrimage
    to pain, riding the last few miles with no
    saddle was the icing on that carrot cake i
    had been dreaming about for 50 miles.
    Thanks again and well done to one and all.

    Premier Icon mivi
    Free Member

    germinator, you dream of carrot cake…….where’s your ambition? My garmin credits us with 6000 calories.

    while i’m on statistics i’ve got max speed 33.5mph. The big reveal is our actual ride time…11hrs 52mins….so now you know where we lost the time Rob (10 x 10mins break is plenty isnt it so add 100mins and youre at 13.5hrs.)

    For garmin users, the 705 held out for the whole 15 hours, with the backlight down low. Simon, i’ll mail you my garmin process to try help you get a bit more out of it.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Free Member

    Wel done you nutters!

    real problem along with the soul destroying relentlessness of it…..but I always get backache and I knew it wasnt my kind of ride

    Doesn’t encourage me to join in next time!!

    Premier Icon brooess
    Free Member

    Not a lot more to say…

    Premier Icon Ming the Merciless
    Free Member

    Write up on Sussex Muddy@rse website to follow, piccie link soon.

    Premier Icon barn
    Free Member

    I can’t thank you guys enough. Being so new to the sport I had no idea what to expect, but from the off I knew that I was in safe hands and all I had to do was keep pedalling and stay upright.
    You chaps got me to Brighton, which is nearly six times further than I’ve ever ridden off road. It’s not a patch on what you achieved by doing the last brutal section, but I feel great to have been given a taste of what adventure can be had.

    Singletrackmind was the most brilliant guide; he was constantly pointing out the tricky bits for me and if he hadn’t shouted “lean back” I would have been over the bars on a couple of the 30mph sections!
    Piha and Mivi also gave me great tips about keeping the power on through the swampy bits and reading a line through the sections that demanded it. The Germinator was a powerhouse up hill on his hardtail and Pschle’s determination was an inspiring thing to behold. I learned heaps being around such confident and experienced riders.

    The banter was quality throughout. The group seemed to click and the whole day was great fun.

    Highlights for me were;
    Misty dawn light shining through the poppy fields on first ascent from Winch.
    The sigh of relief after proving that all our brakes worked on that Very steep bit during our ‘diversion’.
    Not getting killed by that early commuter nut job in the Mondeo.
    Learning Rob’s trick to squash a Soreen.
    Getting to the top of the long climbs without puking.
    Getting to the bottom of the slippery descents without losing the front (came too close on three occasions).
    The girls at the Park, especially that moody jogger.
    The quick pitstops where thousands of calories were consumed and jokes were made about whether Ming The Merciless had ridden through the night successfully or was hugging a tree somewhere like a broken man.
    The views.
    The water taps (would have been bad to miss one).
    The cheery old walkers who held the gate for us.

    Thanks guys. I’ve got the bug now.


    Premier Icon Ming the Merciless
    Free Member


    Premier Icon thegerminator
    Free Member

    What a great summing up barn
    the fact you departed to the
    family at brighton does not
    hide the fact that as a “newbie”
    it appeared that you were just
    warming up!
    The general consensus being the
    boy has potential,on a personal
    note the young lady on the horse
    was another highlight 😉

    Premier Icon nuke
    Full Member

    Congratulations to you all 😀

    Good to meet you albeit for a shortish section…I felt a git for riding off but I felt I had to go for it whilst the going was good and my back/knees were holding up. First time I’ve done the whole SDW in a day so it was all a new experience in endurance terms for me. Hardest ride I’ve ever done.

    Conditions were a lot tougher than 2 weeks ago when I rode the first 60 miles. The puddle dodging and general soft damp ground certainly felt like I was dragging a spare tyre on some sections. Never cursed so much on a ride! Seem to recall the section after Exton up to Old Winchester Hill was particularly curse filled. I was trying to sustain the same time as the previous ride but certainly felt it required way more effort to do it this time and by QECP I was getting worried it was even do-able.

    There were some sections were you’d be getting up a decent bit of speed only to be confronted by a pond across the whole path…slow down and lose the speed or power through and get soaked: I always went for the former 🙁

    Strangely the worst hill for me was the one out of Jevington right near the end….not the longest hill of the day but I just didn’t expect it (I thought the one out of Alfriston was the last of the big ones) and I was fighting to get in under 11 hours. Wind was certainly blowing by this point but scrapped it in in 10:50.

    Thanks to psychle for suggesting this ride…I been putting it off for ages and his suggestion finally helped me pin it down to a date.

    Last night I swore I wouldn’t do doing that again any time soon…strange thing is today I’d like to have another go at it but in dried out conditions.

    I read wynne’s email this morning…the stuff of nightmares 😯 Fair play to you…a true serious of unfortunate events.

    Wonder how the BHF riders are finding it today? 😕

    Premier Icon Ming the Merciless
    Free Member

    I bet it’s been grim for the BHF boys and Girls, all day the tops of the Downs outside Eastbourne have been cloaked in cold, grey murky cloud!

    Mrs Ming cooked a protein recharge for me tonight as I was a good boy and completed it!

    It would have been burnt toast had I failed! 😀

    Premier Icon singletrackmind
    Full Member

    Well done Nuke . You were flying along when we saw you . I reckon , given perfect conditions, you could knock best part of an hour off that time .

    Ming . well done mate . Doing it in the dark , Ok , with Troute Lights its actually not so dark, without a recce and no sleep , to actually finish is a great achievement . Look at Wynne’s story , an experienced sdw rider who knows the route and still got caught out . Great pictures showing the differing conditions on the day . Every pedal stroke took you nearer home , which must be a boost mentally.

    Premier Icon Kevevs
    Free Member

    you made it? respect, hat’s off etc. Good work guys!

    Premier Icon manton69
    Full Member

    Well done guys. I followed your tracks up to Cheesfoot Head at 0800 and did think about not turning off to work and trying to catch up. Just as well I didn’t and I was so knackered just getting to work let alone Eastbourne.


    Premier Icon piha
    Free Member

    Great write ups by the guys up there ^^^^^ and captures the day really well.

    I wont add many words but I thought I’d add a few photo’s….

    5;00am at King Alfreds statue.

    Plenty of smiles considering it’s so early.

    Early (energy gel) breakfast.

    Cheeky diversion.

    Slippery chalky descent dispatched.

    Woo (and indeed) hoo!

    Beautiful morning up on the Downs.

    Helmets not required.

    Open your eyes.

    Butser Hill grassy descent to QECP.

    Eastbourne is that way.

    Fast chalky descent near South Harting.


    Still smiling.

    Time to hydrate.

    Now, where did I put those energy gels?

    Mmmmm, ice cream, nom nom nom.


    Is this really the end?

    You can’t sleep yet, you’ve got a train to catch.

    I don’t think I’ll be going clubbing tonight.

    I agree!!!!!!

    Full set of photos here –

    Premier Icon bigyinn
    Free Member

    Cracking effort to all those involved. I’ve looked at the forecast and so far looking warm and dry. Fingers crossed for next sat…

    Premier Icon wynne
    Free Member

    Nice pics. I wish I’d been with you instead of buried in my own lunacy.
    That one of the cow looks unreal – is it levitating? And that tree in the background looks like it’s in a gale.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Free Member

    Well done fellas..Love the writeup and admire your determination.

    Premier Icon VanHalen
    Full Member

    good work fellas – especially so as the conditions were less than great

    gutted i had to miss out. i really really want to give this a shot now.

    Premier Icon cakefest
    Free Member

    fantastic effort. well done to everyone involved. chapeau.

    Premier Icon Ming the Merciless
    Free Member

    Writeup here

    Premier Icon VanHalen
    Full Member

    right i`m doing this with a mate(victim?)later this month

    has anyone got a route i can upload to my garmin etrex GPS thingie?

    email markn at hop dot uk dot com



    Premier Icon Bigface0_0
    Free Member

    GPSies is the way forward, its got the whole of the SDW and you can export straight into your gps..

    Premier Icon 29erKeith
    Free Member

    full set of route files on here

    [Edit]yep on GPSies too

    Premier Icon VanHalen
    Full Member

    cheers chaps.

    Premier Icon avdave2
    Free Member

    Van Halen are you doing Winchester to Eastbourne?
    I only ask because on Saturday I joined it 4 miles from home and rode the 80 miles to Winchester and my impression was that if you can do it on a day without a south westerly to battle into then it’s an easier ride. I kept on riding down pretty steep bits expecting to find myself going up something as bad very soon but that never really seemed to happen. It just seemed to be longer but less steep going up, I have to say at the bottom of the hill dropping to the A24 I thought please god I hope it’s not going to be the same going out and fortunately it wasn’t. Also after Buster Hill the whole thing seems a lot easier run in than in the opposite direction where you’d still be looking at the climbs out of Southease, Alfriston and Jevington. Getting to the statue of Alfred just seems a much more fitting end than a wooden board as well.
    I’d set off with the plan of getting to Petersfield and then seeing how I felt, as it turned out conditions were absolutely perfect and I still felt good so pushed on to Winchester. I will now go for the whole 100 miles at some point and I’ll wait for a day with little wind or a south or south easterly. It’ll also mean I can start from home as it’s only a 30 minute drive early in the morning.
    As for the route finding I carried the Harveys map but found the signs pretty good and only went a little wrong on Buster hill where I just aimed for the top and ended up about a 100M too far north.

    Premier Icon VanHalen
    Full Member

    yer goin winchester to eastbourne.

    hoping for a SE tail/cross wind and peachy dry trails. i’ll sack it in if its minging. TBH if we get to brighton i’ll be chuffed as we’re not XC riders anyway. its just one of thse things to do.

    the last bit from brighton to EB is a basterd. i suppose going from eastbourne means its not such a killer but i think the rarity of a non SW wind means a winchester start is better.

    living in brighton the trains home are easier too! 😀

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