Cycling the South Downs Way is a great challenge, whatever pace you do it at, and well worth considering if you ever ride a bike at all. We would thoroughly recommend a reasonable standard mountain bike, with front suspension as a minimum and good tyres for the conditions. You should also do a reasonable amount of training and be comfortable in the saddle for several hours at a time. Even the best riders find that they need to push their bike up some stretches of hills, so don’t worry if you can’t scale a vertical cliff on your bike as there’s no shame in pushing!
You can aim to do the whole route, as laid out below, or just do a section or two – we can help you with either of these aims.
Five day Option
This is a more leisurely way to cycle the South Downs Way whilst still feeling you are putting in some effort! We are happy to help you arrange doing it in a longer time
Four day option
Many people cycle the whole route in around four days with three overnight stops en route. This means approximately 25 miles per day of riding and allows time for; leisurely breakfasts and lunches, visits to a few places en route and for a mid-late afternoon
Three day option
Three days means you are less likely to be coming down from the ridge for lunch and we will need to plan your route so that you are in the vicinity of one of the few places to eat along the South Downs Way or you will need to arrange to carry a pack lunch or chose one of our VIP options of having lunch delivered to you. This will mean three full days of riding, covering approx 35 miles each day.
Two day option
Fifty miles a day or any balance of the hundred on either day to suit your preference – we can break the journey to suit your preference. A bit more of a challenge but achievable if you are pretty bike fit and prepared to put in around 7-8 hours of cycling each day. You will probably want to carry your lunch and provisions for this sort of ride
One day option
Only recommended if you are a regular off road cyclist, have done plenty of training and are prepared for a tough day. We would recommend you arrange a lunch point along the way to save carrying everything or being stuck without enough sustenance. When we last cycled this route in Summer 2012, in wet conditions, it took us almost fifteen hours.
There and back “in a day” – the extreme option
It can be done and the record is to go from one end of the South Downs Way to the other and back again in well under 24 hrs. Have a look at this link to read all about it http://www.southdownsdouble.net/. An option probably for the super fit or the super mad
We will happily tailor whatever you are looking to do and build the right trip for your level of cycling, the time you have available and the distance you wish to cover. let us know via the “contact us” page