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near Winchester, England (United Kingdom)
Fantastic route, 160 km of bridleways in South East England, a great surprise. In fact, much better than expected.
The ride was harder than expected as well... not because of its length or technical difficulty, but due to its 3,800 m of ascent, some of them quite steep (needed to dismount several times).
With a maximum height of 245 meters above sea level, how is it possible to climb so many meters in such a narrow band? The answer is simple, the whole trail is a huge roller coaster. Every time you cross a river or a major road, you know what comes next!
- First day, from Winchester station to Truleigh Hill youth hostel, right on the South Downs Way, 104 km - 2,400 m - 11 hours
- Second day, from the youth hostel to Eastbourne station, following the bridleway route through Jevington, 61 km - 1,400 m - 7 hours
The time needed to complete the South Downs Way will depend on many factors, such as your fitness level, type of bike, weight carried, surface condition, wind direction, punctures, diversions... In my case it turned out to be quite longer than what I had "calculated" beforehand, and I guess the same thing has happened to other people as well.
Everything regarding the South Downs Way is very well explained at:
The best advice given there may be this one:
"It is also worth remembering that except for a few exceptions most pubs, cafes and shops are off the Trail, therefore you should take some snacks and drink with you to ensure you don’t get caught out."
To be repeated!