Bikepacking The South Downs Way

How hard is cycling the South Downs Way? Well it is 160 km long or for those who prefer imperial 100 miles, it is steeply undulating with 3,810 metres of climbing along the route. A mountain bike is a must, with at least front suspension and preferably rear as well. It is mainly off-road and traces a route through the rolling hills of Hampshire and Sussex. Twelve years ago I bought a book about it ‘Mountain Biking on the South Downs‘ by Cicerone, so it was about bloody time I gave it a try.

On The SDW

The intervening years had not been good to either myself or my bike. I had what was now a 12 year old Giant Yukon MTB that was showing its age. Large framed and heavy as hell with splitting tyres and worn out disc pads for brakes. The description could also have been applied to myself without too much alteration.

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Everybody’s going down.

I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody’s going down.“- Lance Armstrong