5th August 2019
#FastFar | Southern Discomfort 300
2 days before the weekend we decided to have a go at Jimbo's SD300 - Southern Discomfort 300km - bikepacking route. Starting almost on my doorstep, it was easy for us to get to, and seeing as it was a loop, equally easy to get home from. This ride was never really part of the plan, but I'm so glad it happened. Previous and longer-standing plans for the weekend were binned as one option started 6hrs train away (and the journey home again) and the other finished in Dover.
Come Friday, we fixed up the InSearchOfs with overnight kit and got ready.
We from Brighton to Worthing where SD300 begins. Had some coffees.
SD300 heads East as far as Friston and returns with fast swooping bridleway and double-track, passing through classically bucolic lands and a big-sky vista. Think: Ravilious at speed.
I discovered loads of new tracks and rediscovered the joy of riding fully flat-out down skinny, loose natural lines down escarpments. You can keep your doubles and berms, cheers. For now.
Early start for a big Day 2. Up to through the woods to Chanctonbury then you continue a traverse of the north side of the Downs. Pretty damn tough.
The western side of SD300 contrasts and compliments it's other half. Where the East has its wide open farmland and rolling hills, the West side is by comparison more wooded, secluded and properly fun. Loads of quality singletrack, fast descents and high-value climbs. I didn't take many photos on Day 2, didn't want to stop riding. The ISOs were perfect for this route. SO fast, so safe at speed and so comfortable.
Evening was closing in on us and we rode the last 15ish km of trails in the dark. Pretty cool coming back to the coast and seeing the city lights at dusk.
I need to give a massive shout out to Philippa for the motivation, company and inspiration to get this finished. She's a total legend for us at Mason and it was sweet to ride for those 37hours with you! And, a massive thanks to Jimbo for putting this route together. It's brilliant and a great way to see the incredible riding landscape we have in Sussex.