Ready for White Down?

chappers1983

Well-Known Member
Evening all,

After a bit of advice if you can! (apologies if this isn't the right place for this as well)

Doing a Sportive next weekend which takes in the White Down climb near Dorking. Although I've have already done 3 sportives this year by then, they've all been of the rolling variety rather than with any decent climbing. Couple that with me recovering from a cold and not really had much time on the bike in the last couple of weeks, and I'm a bit worried how ready I am.

Normally I'm "OK" at climbing, can do the distance no problem and I really want to do it to tick off an infamous climb - but by the same token I don't want to blow up, endure the walk of shame and spend the rest of the ride hanging out of my ar*e and hating it.

So what do you reckon? Take it on, give it 100% and see how I get on - whether thats a climb of glory or shameful abandon and trudge up the last part? Or give the Sportive a swerve and take on one of my local rides as training to get myself in better shape for later in the year?
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
Have you paid to do it? Then give it a go.

It's not a race. And you'll see many people walking up hills; it's an individual ride but done as an event.
 

PK99

Legendary Member
Location
SW19
Evening all,

After a bit of advice if you can! (apologies if this isn't the right place for this as well)

Doing a Sportive next weekend which takes in the White Down climb near Dorking. Although I've have already done 3 sportives this year by then, they've all been of the rolling variety rather than with any decent climbing. Couple that with me recovering from a cold and not really had much time on the bike in the last couple of weeks, and I'm a bit worried how ready I am.

Normally I'm "OK" at climbing, can do the distance no problem and I really want to do it to tick off an infamous climb - but by the same token I don't want to blow up, endure the walk of shame and spend the rest of the ride hanging out of my ar*e and hating it.

So what do you reckon? Take it on, give it 100% and see how I get on - whether thats a climb of glory or shameful abandon and trudge up the last part? Or give the Sportive a swerve and take on one of my local rides as training to get myself in better shape for later in the year?
I did it yesterday - first hilly ride since broken rib in October then series of chest infections - i did the walk of shame from the hairpins.

Do it, but take it steady from the bottom, the 18% bit is half way up and it kicks again later near the top.
 

Cuchilo

Prize winning member X2
Location
London
Go for it . White down isn't that bad :unsure:
OK it is but its just the last bit that knocks you . Just when you think you are near the top it kicks up and says surprise :ohmy:
 

moo

Senior Member
Location
North London
With the right gearing most people could get up a sub 20% hill. Those that walk will either be under geared or didn't drop gear soon enough. That or they lacked the patience to climb at 3mph, which is understandable :smile:

A new cassette and chain is ~£35. Throw in a chain whip for ~£10 if you don't already have one. Your bike may well be due a new chain and cassette anyway. Just be sure the rear derailleur can handle it.

Better to be over geared than under on a long ride.
 

ayceejay

Guru
Location
Rural Quebec
White Down is easy one way but very hard going the other way - up.
If this climb is near the end of the route I say go for it but if it is at the beginning and knackers you out for the rest of the day then maybe not.
 

TheJDog

dingo's kidneys
Just take it easy. Throw it in your lowest gear, get out of the saddle (I think I was out of the saddle on a 34-26 the last time I did it), and don't stress yourself about going fast.
 

winjim

✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 😷
If you don't try it, you'll never know whether you could have done it. And if you only set yourself challenges you know you can complete, well what's the point?
 

PK99

Legendary Member
Location
SW19
On the hairpin, the road swings sharp left then right. If you stick to the LHS it is like climbing a wall, look out for traffic coming down and swing onto the RHS to give yourself an easier gradient, then back to the LHS for the RH bend.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
With the right gearing most people could get up a sub 20% hill. Those that walk will either be under geared or didn't drop gear soon enough. That or they lacked the patience to climb at 3mph, which is understandable :smile:

A new cassette and chain is ~£35. Throw in a chain whip for ~£10 if you don't already have one. Your bike may well be due a new chain and cassette anyway. Just be sure the rear derailleur can handle it.

Better to be over geared than under on a long ride.
That is the wrong way round! Overgeared = too high a gear = walk the steep stuff.
 

swansonj

Guru
... now its down the other side and a long to Annie's in Leatherhead.
Naaah - Pilgrim Cycles in Westhumble. Closer, and you can drool over the Surlys, Daweses, and now Spas too. Avoid Leatherhead at all costs (^_^ speaking as a resident)

Just got back from doing just that - up Ranmore, down Whitedown, then turn round and reverse, till refreshing on coffee and flapjack at Pilgrim Cycles. The main thing that struck me about Whitedown that I have 't noticed before was the number of cracks in the base of the pill box. I would guess it is slowly slipping into the road.
 
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