As this is published we hear that Rob Dean will be giving the infamous South Downs Double (SDD) a bash in an attempt to become only the 5th person to complete “The Double” in under 24-hours, but is the first to do a Winter Alpine SDD.
Deemed as a Winter Alpine double between the months after the clocks swing back and before they spring forward, the Winter Alpine has added challenge due to longer night hours and far less favourable trail conditions. Adding to the challenge are the perfect weather windows, often short or non-existent in terms of finding a nice time to ride without howling winds, rain or frosts.
Hove local and Downs regular Rob Dean has been inspired by the South Downs Double since news of Ian Butler’s first record ride in 2005. Rob’s inner belief that he too could take on the challenge was sealed with a very respectable ride in the Traibreak MaXx Exposure night enduro from Eastbourne to QE Park along the South Downs Way, where he finished third behind former South Downs Record holder Rob Lee and reputed South Downs one way champion Charlie Eustace.
News comes to us from Rory Hitchens, “curator” of the SDD, that Rob has been training hard for a good ride this winter and done his homework on the route very well. A couple of missed attempts due to weather, including one where all his water froze solid on the bike, has pushed his window for a Winter Alpine SDD right to the back end of the season. With trail conditions fair at the Eastbourne end but far from good at Winchester it will be tough for Rob to make the 200 miles in under the 24hr deadline.
Rory reports to have seen him off from Winchester at 10am and will be sending us updates during the ride so keep watching to see if Rob can do it.