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It's nearly time for the mason south downs way...

Updated: May 15, 2023



It's going to be awesome!

An epic two-day bikepacking adventure along one of the UK's most spectacular and iconic off-road rides. Traversing the stunning South Downs National park from West to East - the route and scenery makes for a wild and unforgettable experience. We've teamed up with the lovely folk at Mason Cycles who will be hosting us at their bike barn for a midway (well 2/3rd's way) overnighter. We'll be kicking off the ride at the fabulous South Downs Social - Winchester's very own cool bike caff where you'll register and be able to enjoy the great coffee and eats at specially discounted prices. Refuel and re-caffeinate at one of a number of Cadence Clubhouses along the route - offering a delicious assortment of refreshments, meals and barista coffee - to keep you fully fuelled on your way - also at specially discounted prices.

Cadence is also kindly sponsoring a bunch of goodies and a selection of really cool prizes.


Here is all the info you’ll need to prepare and join in the fun:


Wild Mason South Downs Way is a non-competitive event. Rides are self-guided (routes provided) and although representatives from Wild Cycles may participate, you are responsible for your own safety and decision-making during throughout the event and the rides.


Know your capabilities and limits and adapt the routes to suit your ability and preferences. Be prepared - so please make sure you’re familiar with the guidance, the routes & profiles, the safety briefing and checklist below. As part of the ride is through remote areas you should effectively be self-sufficient.


Before 20 May

  • Make sure you familiarise yourself with the routes, features and profiles

  • As this is a self-guided event you need to download route GPX's from komoot onto your GPS - this will be the only means of navigating your way around the routes (below)

  • Check out the guide and checklist below to make sure you know - and have all you need to make it your best and safest cycling weekend ever

  • Study the safety briefing below - we’ll ask you to sign the waiver and confirmation you have read and understood ride features, risks and safety aspects when you sign on

  • Add the mobile numbers below to your contacts

  • If you haven't already when booking - please let us know by Friday 12 May - if you have any dietary preferences so we can prepare the right pizza for you!

  • The bicycling, brewing bros at stohk have crafted a wild range of brews to compliment your mountain-top experience - pre-order your stohks to ensure you remain refreshed throughout the weekend (15% discount code W1LD_W33K3ND.

  • For those wanting to camp on Friday night pre-event at Holden Farm just outside Winchester you need to book direct by emailing camping@holdenfarm.co.uk. Arrangements have been made to book for one night only (not avail to book online) @ £15.00 per person. The Camping Office m. 07599553740

  • For parking try: https://www.justpark.com/ or https://www.parkonmydrive.com/


saturday 20 may

08:30 Arrive at Winchester by train (under an hour from London) on Saturday and make your way to the start at the fab South Downs Social Café. 3-4 Kings Walk Winchester, S023 8AF.

Register and grab a delicious (discounted) coffee n bun.

09:00-09:30 Roll out on to day 1 route (below).

Enjoy your day out on the spectacular South Downs Way before arriving at basecamp at the Mason barn. You need to aim to check in by 6pm latest.

Spend the rest of the evening soaking up the fireside vibes, sharing your tales of the day's epic.


Oh... and dont forget to pitch your tent before you enjoy the evening too much.

Sundowner brews - courtesy of the brewing biking bros at stohk make for the perfect compliment to a day out on the dusty trails!


Dinner is served from 6:30pm onwards - a delicious home-cooked veggie chilli, pre-empted by savoury corn fritters and rounded off with a fab chocolate brownie.


As if it couldn't get any better....we are super excited to announce the latest addition to the fireside programme...


Naomi Freireich, one of Mason's super-heroes and ambassadors - 3 time British and 2018 European 24 hour mountain bike champion - will be hosting a once-in-a-lifetime fireside chat!


Naomi will be treating us to tales of her experiences competing in ultra-endurance races including the epic Highland Trail 550, Further East and the Lakeland 200.

Sunday 21 may

07:30 - 08:30 Enjoy a delicious hand-cooked breakfast including a Bircher muesli or granola and a quesadilla portion and fresh coffee.


Pack-up and roll-out by 09:30


Make sure you have the best day ever out on one of the spectacular routes, soak up the fabulous views and stay safe!


Aim to arrive at Cadence, Beachy Head by 4pm to join in the celebrations and to enjoy a finishing brew thanks to the stohk brewing bros.


You should head for the finish by 4pm. If you decide to stop riding at any point you must phone or txt one of the mobile numbers (below).

You must clock in at the end of your ride.


Planning and preparation is key!

With that in mind we have prepared a SAFETY BRIEFING and CHECKLIST to help you to prepare for your up-coming self-guided ride.

The following is essential reading so please be sure to digest and familiarise yourself with the crucial information provided. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions or need any more information.


routeS

Saturday and Sunday routes are all challenging as far as terrain, gradient, surface and profile is concerned. It’s your responsibility to ensure that you have the fitness, skill and capability to complete your chosen distances and profiles.


All rides are self-guided and although representatives from Wild Cycles may participate, as a rider - you are responsible for their own safety and decision-making during the rides. Know your capabilities and limits and adapt the routes to suit your ability and preferences.


Routes feature very steep, technical climbs and descents, loose, slippery, uneven and rutted surfaces requiring a very good level of fitness and advanced riding skills. Featuring a mix of loose and hard surfaces, flint, roots and ruts – they include gravel, woodland trails, sand, grassy fields, bridleways, public roads and lanes. It is therefore essential that you have experience of riding on public roads and off-road on varied terrain. Routes use and cross public roads used by motorists (light, medium and heavy vehicles) where extra care and vigilance is required. Conditions, degree of difficulty and speed will be significantly impacted by weather conditions. Check the weather forecast beforehand.


Conditions, degree of difficulty and speed will be significantly impacted by weather conditions. Check the weather forecast beforehand.


Download the routes from komoot - following links and instructions below.


Wild Cycles gifts you a komoot lifetime access region bundle’s for Hampshire and Surrey-Sussex worth £8.99 for free.


What you get at a glance:

Komoot is an app that lets you find, plan, and share adventures with the easy route planner. Driven by a desire to explore, and powered by the outdoor community’s recommendations, it’s komoot’s mission to inspire great adventures, making them accessible to all.

Offline functionality: Save individual Tours or entire regions offline for reliable navigation when you’ve got no phone signal.

Turn-by-turn voice navigation:

Whether trail running, hiking, cycling or mtb, just listen to the instructions or follow them on screen to keep your adventure on track.

Available on all your devices: Use komoot on all your favourite devices, such as your phone, Garmins, Wahoos, smartwatches, or practically any GPS computer.

Automatically follow Wild Cycles komoot profile and have access to the event routes.

Redeem your komoot voucher now by going to komoot.com/g and entering:

Hampshire voucher code- WILDCYCLESMSD

Surrey-Sussex voucher code- WILDCYCLESMSD1

Offer valid until 31/5/2023


Saturday

100km with 1710m climbing

From Winchester - the first day on the South Downs way starts as it means to carry on: glorious gravel, rolling countryside, excellent views - heading west towards Chilcombe before climbing Telegraph Hill and meandering gently southwards to Exton - past Winchester Hill Fort and then on to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. En-route you’ll find South Harting - complete with post office, a handful of shops and pubs. Elevation (climbing!) is rewarded in the form of the spectacular views as the trail leads you eastwards along the ridge up to the fort at Beacon Hill. At Burton Down you’ll start a long descent down to the banks of the River Arun. The undulations follow the ridge-line crossing a number of main roads (take extra care) before the final gradual descent ending up at camp.


SUNDAY

64km with 1310m climbing

https://www.komoot.com/tour/745348543

Day 2 on the South Downs Way is slightly shorter. The trail rides high above Brighton offering breath taking scenery across the Downs and the ocean beyond. Ditchling Beacon is the highpoint and the highlight of this section with 360 views. The roller coaster drops you down to the River Ouse - up to Firle Beacon - down to Alfriston (careful here!). The trail then skirts the cliffs - which are truly awesome to behold and signal a welcome end to the trail at Cadence Clubhouse, Beachy Head.


Bike & equipment

It’s your responsibility to ensure that your bike and equipment is suited to the routes and conditions. Have your bike serviced beforehand and safety checked before the start. Ideally start with a new chain, brake pads and tyres which are new or nearly new.


There is no formal mechanical support ono the event so you must be capable of repairing punctures en-route and at least one member of your group should have a basic mechanical knowledge and capable of carrying out roadside repairs.


We'd strongly recommend a gravel bike or mountain bike depending on your preference - with a minimum tyre width of 40mm and tread pattern suited to a wide variety of terrain. Tubeless tyres are also recommended.


Nutrition and hydration

Please note distances and route profiles. Parts of the route passes through remote areas which is great and part of the magic of the ride. However in light of distances, terrain and conditions you must plan ahead. Ensure that you carry sufficient nutrition, sustenance (fuel!) and hydration with you and plan your refuelling stops accordingly.


You must carry sufficient nutrition, water/hydration with you which takes into account opportunities to top up in remote areas.


CampING

Camp is in a stunning setting on Applesham Farm - which is home to Mason Cycles. Facilities are bike-packing basic and include water, loos & a spacious camping field with great views! Note there are no shower facilities available.


Catering & refueling

Meals included: Saturday evening (a delicious home-cooked veggi chilli, pre-empted by savoury fritters and rounded off with a fab chocolate tiffin thingy). Sunday breakfast is Quesadilla's and Bircher Museli) - Gluten free and veggie/ vegan options will be available.


Check out the maps for your lunch and refuelling stops en-route which are for your account.


Checklist

Essentials which you should bring with you (we're going for min-waste so please remember your coffee mug)


  • Your bike! Ensure it's in perfect working order, safety-checked, serviced beforehand and is therefore safe and suitable to complete the full distance

  • Your own quality cycle helmet which conforms to the latest safety standards must be worn whilst riding

  • Multi-tool, tyre levers, spare inner tubes and/or tubeless repair kit, tyre boots

  • Pump

  • Quick chain links

  • Spare cables & brake pads

  • Chain lube

  • Zip ties

  • Water bottles/hydration pack (also see nutrition/hydration guidance above)

  • 1st aid kit

  • Lights recommended

  • Bike lock recommended

  • Suitable clothing + extra/spare sets of clothing

  • Footwear & eye-wear

  • Gloves & waterproofs

  • Warm clothing for evenings

  • Tent/bivvy, sleeping mat, pillow

  • (for those who have hired a bell tent space - camp beds are provided)

  • Sleeping bag suitable for weather conditions (check the weather forecast and your sleeping bag’s temperature rating)

  • Mug for coffee

  • Toiletries

  • Sun-block

  • Torch

  • Personal medication


safety briefing and waiver

All routes listed in this guide feature very steep, technical climbs and descents, loose, slippery, uneven and rutted surfaces requiring a very good level of fitness and advanced riding skills. Featuring a mix of loose and hard surfaces, flint, roots and ruts – they include gravel, woodland trails, sand, grassy fields, bridleways, public roads and lanes. It is therefore essential that you have experience of riding on public roads and off-road on varied terrain. Routes use and cross public roads used by motorists (light, medium and heavy vehicles) where extra care and vigilance is required. Conditions, degree of difficulty and speed will be significantly impacted by weather conditions. Check the weather forecast beforehand.


Familiarise yourself with the route distances, profiles and conditions and make yourself aware of the risks and hazards associated with undertaking your chosen activity. All rides are self-guided and although representatives from Wild Cycles may participate, as a rider you are responsible for your own safety and decision-making during the ride. Know your capabilities and limits and adapt the routes to suit your ability and your preferences.


Please note the following aspects and Actions for your safety applies to all routes


1. Bike condition

  • See BIKE & EQUIPMENT below

  • Do a thorough bike safety check before the ride

  • Check and make sure your brake pads have more than sufficient life to complete the distance NB route profiles

  • Carry pump, spare tube/repair kit (see checklist)

2. Overhanging branches and fallen trees

  • Keep a look out and warn following riders

  • Adjust route if cannot be avoided

  • Wear a quality helmet and eye protection

  • Maintain awareness, be vigilant and exercise caution

3. Wet weather and terrain

  • Ensure correct tyre pressure and tread

  • Beware of livestock waste protect and/or clean water bottles & equipment

  • Wear appropriate clothing suited to weather

  • Know your abilities and limitations, ride and make decisions accordingly

4. Terrain - uneven, rocky, ruts, flint, roots mud & loose surfaces

  • Be vigilant and take extra care on these surfaces, watch your speed and ride within your abilities

  • Identify hazards and difficult, technical terrain

  • Be cautious

  • Ride within your ability

  • Warn following riders when approaching

5. Steep gradients - descents and ascents

  • Approach with caution

  • Use appropriate speed for the terrain

  • Know your abilities and limitations, ride and make decisions accordingly

6. Other users: Walkers, dogs, horse riders

  • Be respectful, give priority to walkers and horse riders

  • Leave plenty of space when passing

7. Warm, hot weather

  • Apply sun cream

  • Wear appropriate clothing

  • Stay hydrated and top up with fluids constantly

  • See NUTRITION & HYDRATION in the guide

8. Darkness and poor visibility

  • Unless you have the appropriate lighting - front and rear - should darkness fall or visibility fades you must call Wild Cycles for recovery

  • Monitor distance, average speed, progress in relation to time of day and sunset

9. Traffic and public roads

  • Obey the rules of the road and ride with the utmost care on public roads

  • Be vigilant and maintain high awareness of traffic on public and farm roads incl. cars, HGVs, farm machinery and implements

  • Maintain a steady line whilst riding on roads

  • Wear reflective/bright clothing

  • Be super vigilant and extra cautious when crossing roads and at junctions

10. Fatigue, accidents, injury

  • Carry a 1st aid kit with you to attend to minor injuries

  • Call 999 in the case of a serious injury to yourself or another rider

  • Monitor your performance and judgement and ride within your limits

  • If you feel exhausted and need to cut your ride short call us for recovery if required

11. Mechanicals

  • Carry the spares and tools listed below as there is no official mechanical support

  • See BIKE and EQUIPMENT in the guide

  • If unable to continue call us for recovery if required

12. Call us on one of the numbers below if you decide to stop riding at any point


13. Know your abilities and limitations, ride and make decisions accordingly


I hereby confirm that, with the exception of any liability which cannot be excluded by law, Wild Cycles Limited shall have no liability for any loss or damage I may suffer as a result of my participation in this event. Furthermore, I will indemnify and hold Wild Cycles Limited, its officers, agents and employees harmless from and against any and all expenses, losses, liabilities, damages and costs of any type incurred or suffered and any claims or legal proceedings which are brought or threatened, in each case, arising from my participation in this event.


or at registration:


Name:


Date:


Mobile contact number (for the weekend):


Emergency contact name and number:


Signed:


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Contact numbers


Emergency services 999

Paramedic 07917 191095

John 07501 006366

Jonathan 07305 973508


Insurance


Ensure you have adequate insurance cover for your property and equipment including bicycles intended for your use as well as medical expenses.


If you have any questions - please ask.


e john@wildcycles.co.uk

m 07501006366


See you on the trails!



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