Event: 29-30 June
The South Downs Way Lemming Trail is one of the original UK mountain bike endurance challenges. First run in 1996, the two day Lemming format is still unique and gives the events a much more epic feel than one day rides.
There's no doubt about it, the South Downs Way is a mountain biking rite of passage. Conveniently almost exactly 100 miles from end to end, and loaded with an impressive 11,000 feet of climbing along that length, it is a badge of pride for any rider to tick it off their to do list. And the journey is more than worth the effort too. The scenery on top of the downs is consistently spectacular, and for every big, calf-crunching climb, there's a long, grin-stimulating descent on the other side. Ridden West to East (the traditional way), the south coast edges ever closer to your right shoulder, giving you a series of sweeping sea views for company in the final third of the ride. It's a magnificent ride, but a logistically complex one, which is where event organisers Trail Break come in. Their South Downs Way Lemming Trail offers a complete and comprehensive support package to let you concentrate on riding this iconic trail.
The Lemming format offers much more than a single day endurance event. Along with a full weekend of top class riding, you get an overnight stop that has camping and hostel accommodation right on the trail. You'll get a big evening meal and a Sunday morning cooked breakfast all in with the price of the event, and you can book a packed lunch for the second days riding and sustain yourself with free energy drinks, snacks and fruit at support stations along the route.
Trail Break also lay on a full support package. They'll carry all your gear for you; anything you don't need for the ride itself (clean clothes, wash kit, camping gear) can go in the truck to be transported to the overnight stop for you and then onto the finish. At the end of the ride, you can even book onto a coach to take you back to your car at the start.
On the ride itself, you get all the back up you could need. Waymarked trails to keep you on the straight and narrow, guides on route to help out if you get in any trouble, regular support stations stocked with food drink and bike spares, mechanical assistance and all the facilities at the overnight stop.
There is single day ride option too. If you can't make the whole weekend, you can ride day one of the event as a standalone option! Start from either Winchester or Queen Elizabeth Country Park near Petersfield, along with everyone else on the event, and ride through to the day one finish at Truleigh Hill, getting all of the event features and support along the way! There is even an option to upgrade to a camping and catering package! Your kit will be transported to the overnight hostel, where you can socialise and relax with all the other riders and head home either on Saturday night or on Sunday morning. You just need to make your own arrangements for your return transport, or to be collected from the finish.
Booking for a your club or a group? If you book for five or more riders at the same time, you get 10% off the total booking.
The South Downs Way Lemming Trail is on June 29-30; what better way take advantage of those long, summer evenings than with a long, summer ride.