Offroad Long Distance Routes Taster Long Weekend

Status – Expressions of Interest from
Steve Davoile
Carol Lee
Ann-Marie McIntyre
Peter Farrell
Brid Reeves
I have an idea for a possible long weekend ‘taster’ offroad bikepacking trip for 2023 … (it was previously called “Offroad Bikepacking Introduction” but I do think that that title failed to convey the focus on the Offroad challenge).
The concept is to do  –
  1. One day of relatively easy but long cycling the Downslink railway line from Farnham to Findon or Worthing
  2. A second day covering a shortish distance ride but quite climbing heavy and challenging terrain riding the middle part of the South Downs Way into Hampshire
  3. A third day again quite a quite tough day but not aa long distance, doing a leg of the King Alfreds Way back to Farnham
Hopefully this would be a way of seeing if you like the idea of doing offroad bikepacking and a warm up before committing to a full on offroad trip such as the King Alfreds Way or West Kernow Way.
You will need to be reasonably fit to do this tour and will will need to be consistently doing at least the Intermediate road rides, around 40 miles at a good pace, and you should be participating in the club Offroad rides on regular basis.
Bike ?
And the question you all ask is what sort of bike – it will be best on a hardtail mountain bike or a wide tyred gravel bike with low gears for the steep climbs, knobbly tyres for grip on the chalk of the Downs and the sand and gravel of the KAW through the Surrey section.
The bike will need to have a good rack if using panniers – especially if you are carrying a tent
We will have a few preparatory sessions for those new to Offroad Touring to work on kit configurations and test rides.  
The Route

Day 1 – Downs Link
A relatively easy day (until the sting in the tail of the climb out of Steyning where pushing will be anticipated !) through the changing scenery of the Weald, primarily on an old Railway line, getting us down to the South Downs as a warmup day, and a chance to check your bike and equipment.
If possible I would like everyone to be able to get to stay in Findon close to the Downs, however there could be limited accommodation availability outside of ‘double-bed rooms’. To get over this there are two options
      1. We might well end up have the less experienced riders stopping at Findon (which is 5 miles shorter but does some climbing at the end of the day rather than doing it on Day 2 ,..and the more experienced riders going further on down into Worthing where there would be more accommodations options
      2. Or for all the group to aim for accommodation in Worthing.

Accomodation options in Findon

2 x Twin Rooms already booked at the Findon Rest hotel in Findon
Other Findon accommodation possibilities – 
The Village House Pub/bed & breakfast ( do one night stays )
Clip Clips bed and breakfast
Also look on Air BNB
Accomodation options in Worthing there is a Premier Inn on the Seafront
Farnham to Findon Route Profile – Around 46 miles with 560m of ascent

(Click on the Moutain icon to see the elevation profile)

Farnham to Worthing Route Profile – Around 51 miles with 380m of ascent
Day 2 – Central part of the South Downs heading west
Climbing up to the South Downs Way and heading west with wonderful views. A tough day of ups and downs (!) where your ‘granny gears’ will be much in use
Possible accomodation – Stay in the Premier Inn Petersfield or if camping then Ridge Farm Caravan & Camping, Steep just outside Petersfield.
From Findon to Peterfield Route Profile – Around 33 miles with 1000m of ascent

(Click on the Moutain icon to see the elevation profile)

From Worthing to Petersfield Route Profile – Around 38 miles with 1100m of ascent
Day 3 – King Alfreds Way from Petersfield to Farnham

A real mixed day winding through woods and heathland with lots of sand and gravel.
Route Profile – Around 34 miles with 600m of ascent
(Click on the Moutain icon to see the elevation profile)
The Downs link
The South Downs Way
King Alfreds Way


Day 1 – Start on morning of Friday 5th May 2023 in Farnham and spend that night in Findon
Day 2 – Cycle from Findon on Saturday 6th  and spend the night in Petersfield
Day 3 – Cycle from Petersfield on Sunday 7th arriving back in Farnham to drive bck to Coventry