South Downs Way – Day 3 (and a bit)

Another pretty decent sleep, but I did wake up in a bit of a muddle a few times, after sliding down the hill a tad. Another amazing sunrise, over a cracking view then all we needed now was coffee and porridge…ah look at that, cookers on and hey presto, perfection. We had about 10miles to go and Will had made the decision to head straight back as he now had to get to work the next day, so for him, it was a looong and lonely ride home, but he was happy, cruising solo, but he left a big hole in our close knit little group and was a right shame to have him go.

Not a bad spot eh?!

So we packed up, watched our mate head into the distance, making us laugh til the end, waving as he went! So, direction Eastbourne and…maybe not fish and chips, but maybe a full on breakfast instead. The last section was pretty damn lumpy and it felt like we could see the sea for a long time without getting to the end! Then finally we dropped off the edge of the world and down to the sea…and breakfast! Full English for three then we’d be set up for the day (and some) and it was a damn good one at that! Not content with that, Stu saw the apple pie on the menu…”I’m definitely having one of them”. So…three apple pies later, we got suited and booted and hit the tracks (that laid back thing I spoke of – yea, in full force here).

Our thoughts on breakfast…

It had then dawned on us that it was early afternoon and we were STILL in Eastbourne, bugger. A cruise along the south coast to Brighton, massive smiles on our faces, living the dream. Through the centre of Brighton, racing the traffic and then into the lanes and trails and direction home. We rode and rode and rode…ticking off the miles and having a great time along the way. The evening was coming way too quickly but we cracked on, our next points of interest, Godalming and Guildford. It got to tea time, so a quick corner shop stop and filled the tanks for the start of the night section.

I know what you’re thinking, this is beginning to seem like a food tour…well, yea, it seemed to turn into one, we ate A LOT! The food consumption hadn’t finished yet, but the ride hadn’t either, by a long way! We headed into the night and the temperature dropped a fair amount and the further we went, the colder it got and the fog then started, this was turning into an epic. Its really interesting to see how people are affected by sleep deprivation/long distance rides and both mixed together. I was first to feel sleepy, really starting to struggle from midnight onwards, becoming more and more keen to stop and sleep. But the freezing fog would have made for grim camping out and to be honest we didn’t talk too much of stopping, maybe just in my head I thought that – or maybe not just me?! A quick stop in Godalming for cheesy chips, something warm was very much needed and I’m pretty sure the chap selling them thought we were a tad mad, laaate on a Sunday night, out eating chips on our bikes.

Night rider(s)

It was really getting a little grim with the cold, the tiredness and miles in our legs and a 2am stop at a petrol station to get us through. Coffee and a meal deal, I was quite happy with my haul, maybe more so than I realised at the time. Jamie filming me getting excited at what was on offer made me chuckle when watching it back the day after…it was good though, all for like £3.50, bargain. Back on the road, more layers on, it was now getting cold, real cold and then a turn in people tiredness, Jamie’s turn to feel half asleep whilst Stu was just plugging away, but noticeably quieter than normal. The end was in sight and we were nearly there, Jamie pulled off to go home and left Stu and myself to ride the last stretch back…which made it harder, loosing one of the gang. It was around 5am when we split off fomr Jamie, then the last few miles back to Casa Stu and a well earned shower and BED! 145miles later at around 5.45 we rolled in, knackered but happy…we’d done our little epic, fun was had, food was eaten and lots of laughing. More of the same soon please, thanks lads.

The South Downs Way epic was around 300 miles with a fairly high percentage of off road tracks and trails. Will got back safe at around 8pm and a few texts were passed back and forth between himself and the three amigos left plugging away…well, until they were too tired to text. Look out for Jamie’s cracking bike ‘Spec ‘n’ Tech’ blog…see what the lads rode, wore and slept in. Adventures are fun, bring on 2021 and more of the same!

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