Reflections on an unforgettable weekend
What an absolutely stunning weekend on the South Downs. Thanks to everyone who came along for the ride. You are the ones who made it special and one to remember. For those who didn't make it - we hope you enjoy a quick round up...
Our aim at Wild Cycles is to bring wild and exceptional outdoor experiences to a wider and diverse audience. Our signature approach is focused on impact, the finer details and experiences set in beautiful places that make for special and memorable adventures and moments. Combined with stunning routes, delicious food and obligatory fireside vibes they bring people together after a long, sometimes challenging day out on the trails.
Mason South Downs Way is no exception to that. It is the culmination of great ideas, planning and hard work - to create a sublime blend of these key ingredients - the making of a super special event.
Words don't really do it justice - so we'll let the pictures tell the story.....
Scroll down to link to the full gallery.
lovely people, sights and sounds
The South Downs Way has is famous for its spectacular scenery, coastal views and brutal undulating terrain - making it one of the UK's most desirable off-road routes.
Starting in Winchester - we were treated to the extraordinary hospitality of the South Downs Social Café - not to mention the fab coffee, pastries and breakfast.
Riders rolled out onto the trails - with 100km to go to basecamp at Mason Cycles, Applesham Farm. The route traverses the spectacular South Downs National Park, with its far-reaching views of the landscape and ocean beyond. Arriving at base camp riders were greeted with ice-cold stohkalishessness kindly provided by stohk brewery - and their now famous sundowner bar... the perfect way to finish off a long, hard day on the dusty trails!
@stohk rule no. 1 applies - of course "explore before you pour".
BAsecamp & evening by the fireside
Our favourite part of any Wild Cycles adventure is witnessing the aftermath of the ride. Riders returning from a day in the hills with endorphins soaring and stories pouring. There was no shortage of this in the evening after - the post ride glow was real!
Basecamp on Applesham farm is a stunning setting overlooking the Ardur River Valley and views of the sea beyond - glowing in full evening sunshine!
In the evening Mason rider - Naomi Freireich - 3 time British and 2018 European 24 hour mountain bike champion - hosted a fascinating fireside chat about her experiences competing in ultra-endurance races including the epic Highland Trail 550, Further East and the Lakeland 200.
AND to top it all - to celebrate a new FKT - having completed the ENTIRE South Downs Way the previous day in little over 10 hrs!
A delicious 3-course meal was served while people were chilling around the fire, chatting and listening to the folk quartet - Alfonso the Magnificent. And magnificent they were!
On Sunday riders rolled out onto the last 60km of the South Downs Way - with some truly spicy climbs - rolling into the finish at Cadence Clubhouse, Beachy Head...what a truly spectacular setting for a spectacular finish. Huge thanks to Cadence Cafe's en-route and at the finish for fuelling, great coffee and hospitality And for staying open until 7pm on Sunday which is precisely when the last riders rolled up!
A fabulous and beautiful route, camping in a stunning setting, chilled fireside vibes, great food and music - shared with an amazing bunch of people....so many special moments, sights and sounds... all of the essential ingredients to make an unforgettable event possible.
Nearly a year in the making - the idea for a joint SDW with Mason Cycles evolved and thanks to a load of planning and hard work it all came together on the weekend - making for an unforgettable weekend adventure.
The feedback has been incredible and by all accounts the people of many and varied abilities and setups hugely enjoyed the weekend on Mason South Downs Way...!
Until next time!
We want to say a massive thanks to all of you who came along for the ride. We're absolutely chuffed with how it went and so glad that everyone enjoyed their time here both on the trails and off. Our mission is to bring people together in incredible places of beauty through cycling and a love of the outdoors.
Another massive thanks to Hugh, Sarah and Jessica - who opened the gates for us to the stunning Applesham Farm. We couldn't have wished for a more glorious setting.
Thanks to Mason Cycles for collaborating with us and hosting at their iconic HQ, for their inspired setup, displays and hugely desirable, beautiful bikes.
Thank you partners komoot for their support and ingenious mapping technology and the bicycling brewing bros at stohk whose genius brews ensured that all were suitably refreshed and refuelled at sundown.
Thanks to Nick Mr Porter, Rik Mr Allen, Markovich M James for all your hard work and kind support - we couldn't do it without you.
Final thanks to Beatrice Mrs Heard for your untiring planning and meticulous preparation resulting in a feeding extravaganza - it were truly delicious....!
Thank you South Downs Social and Cadence Cafe's for the warm welcome, hospitality, great vibes and equally great coffee at the start, en-route and at the finish at Beachy Head - such a beautiful note to end on.
We're bloody genius and have set up a google drive with all the good camera pics from the weekend. Help yourselves, share, post and please don't forget to tag @wildcycles.cc if you do!
Download photos here
Huge thanks to our supremely talented photographers:
If you loved this - join us for a Rab wild wales adventure 30 Jun - 2 JUL
We'll be back for a gravel festival like no other in Wales in June.