South Downs way, end-to-end, TBC

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  • I did the Overnighter loop from Guildford yesterday and today.

    The missus said it looked like you were doing that ride - she spied the first half on Strava I think and the ride to the pub. Same thing we did.

    Stayed at the campsite at Cocking. Annoyingly the pub has gone to winter hours so stopped serving food at 4pm.

    Haha, I asked her what time you were at the pub and I was sure you'd get food, unlike us. But they changed their hours just to fuck with you! :D We couldn't be arsed with the other pub so just had beer and bar snacks. It was a lot later though.

  • Yes - I had a look at her route on Strava when I was planning!

    The pub closes at 6 now it's on its winter hours. It was all dark when I went past.
    It wasn't much hardship going to the other pub as the massive fucking hill is between the campsite and the first pub. It's just an extra two miles of nearly flat road, which was well worth it.

  • Is this the loop from Guildford via Pyecombe? If so, it's much better to ride to Pyecombe first and then head towards Shoreham. You can then finish by riding back up the Downs link, but to be honest, you gain nothing by doing that, it's just a boring, mostly flat, trail. If you want a bit of fun, loop back on yourself at Shoreham and then ride the other side of the Downs and then cross the ridge line and descend into Arundel. It's a similar distance, but much better riding. Then you can take the train home from Arundel.

  • It doesn't quite go as far east as Pycombe, picks up the SDW at Upper Beeding, but basically, yes. This is the route I was following (without the leg to the beach)
    https://ridewithgps.com/routes/33456572

    Agree about the Downs Link - it was so tedious! Next time I'll do something different. Would be good to ride the bits to the East and West of the section I road. I'd quite like to do the bit from Guildford down towards Petersfield as it was quite pleasant, then head to Winchester and train back or something.
    I'll also take a spare hanger and chain tool...

  • How were the trails at this time of year? Did you use a gravel bike?

    Note to self to get a spare hanger.

  • Fine. I watched the weather and wouldn't have gone if there had been significant rain in the previous week. But its been very dry.

    There was one muddy area, but rideable. And the chalk was a bit greasy in places but never slippery.
    Actually it was pretty good riding conditions.

    I put 40mm tyres on my ultra bike to make a gravel bike, which worked fine, apart from I only have rim brakes on it so a bit rough on the hands descending, but tyres were grippy enough.

  • Looks like our two loops are very similar. This was one of my favourite rides of the summer (except for the Downs Link), so I just did a route Shoreham to Shoreham looping in some of the best bits of the downs and the river by Arundel.

    Next time I ride it I think I'll start at Guildford, do the first part, then the return loop back via the Southern face of the Downs to Arundel, back to Shoreham and then take the train home. That should make for a fun day out in the hills!


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    • Shoreham loop.JPG
    • Guildford loop.JPG
  • Have you got a gpx for the Shoreham-shoreham route?

  • My older route went along the river side. That would be completely impassable at this time of year (too muddy).
    This route is revised to cross from South to North Stoke via the two River bridges.

    https://cycle.travel/map/journey/276651

  • @jerome If you fancy riding it, let me know, it's a route is like to ride again.

  • Cheers, yeah was more thinking for sunnier days to come! Sure, will give you a shout

  • I'd definitely be up for it rain or shine. It's a great route.

  • Definitely not shine up there today. This is near Firle Beacon.
    (part of a quick 20km loop, not the whole thing)


    2 Attachments

    • IMG_20211229_161836~2.jpg
    • IMG_20211229_155913~3.jpg
  • Conditions should be a little different to that ^ now.

    As it's been so warm and dry recently considering doing some SDW this weekend. Anyone know what conditions are like atm?

  • I don't, but I'd guess that they'll be great for the open areas, the stuff under the trees might be a little soft but it's been so long since it's pissed down that I'd expect it to be good.

    I'm going to be riding QECP (which the SDW runs through) tomorrow morning, such is my confidence.

    Now wait for the forlorn post tomorrow morning that I can't fit my camper under the height restriction in order to get in the carpark.

  • I haven’t ridden the actually SDW recently, but in general the trails are pretty dry around the Lavant/Kingley Vale area (around the halfway point, but a bit further south) with the exception of the occasional boggy puddle that is slowly drying up.
    Should be a good time to ride the SDW!

  • I don't, but I'd guess that they'll be great for the open areas, the stuff under the trees might be a little soft but it's been so long since it's pissed down that I'd expect it to be good.

    This is my experience underfoot, haven't made it up to the SDW yet though.

    QECP was riding astonishingly well in Jan, I think there should have been enough time for it to dry out since the recent rains.

  • Cheers, sounds promising. Will probably be doing some sections around the mid point, maybe linking up with some of the other routes up thread.

  • Conditions have been perfect all week I've been up on them every day on my commute. I live by Southease. Bone dry short grass and no wind and 17° today. I'd be up there for a 4 hour stomp myself this weekend if its wasn't for mothers day commitments

  • Rose QECP today and it’s dry (very dry) almost everywhere- I reckon SDW will be likewise.

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South Downs way, end-to-end, TBC

Posted by Avatar for Dammit @Dammit

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