Running from Winchester to Eastbourne, the South Downs Way is exactly 100 miles in length and, coincidentally, has as many gates to open and close along the way. Without doubt it’s a very tough ride, with 11,000ft of climbing you’re faced with a mixture of fast fire roads, technical sections, farmland and “flint” (oh and that’s not to mention the “moving targets” including sheep, badgers, cows etc along the way).
Ride it in one direction and you can feel satisfied that you’ve done a great ride. Flip around and ride back all in one day and according to the Oxford English dictionary you can be classed as clinically insane.
1: Exhibiting unsoundness or disorded of mind; mad; deranged in mind; delirious; distracted. 2: Doing “the Double”
It seems there are quite a few deranged individuals out there, most notably Rob Lee’s sub 21 hour “Alpine” style ride (respect all the way). The benchmark has well and truly been raised so I’m sure it’ll just be a matter of time before we see other riders testing their insanity on the Downs.
This months cover image was shot by Seb Rogers back in June 2006 on the killer that is Butser Hill. It’s a hard climb on any day but at this point during a flash of insanity I had over 19 hours in the saddle, 178 miles in the legs (back, arms, neck, feet, eyes, head…) and a whole lot of stories to tell around the camp fire.