Darren Slade – 23h 36m on the 12th May 2011. Completing the first Double of 2011, Darren Slade battled rain and a strong headwind to complete the ride in 23:38:21. According to this report from Tim Young, opening gates became almost impossible as he had no strength left in his arms towards the end!

Tim Young writes – A couple of years ago I entered the Maxx enduro ride with my riding partner Darren Slade. An internet search for advice on how to approach the Maxx led to articles about the South Downs Double…


Darren’s Ride

  • Darren’s Double started on May 12th at 3am from the farmers road at Treyford, between Cocking and Harting.
  • The ride to Winchester (classic route, road descent from Old Winchester Hill) was done in a brisk 2hrs 55 and back to Treyford in 2hrs 45.
  • From Treyford to Eastbourne was done in a steady 8 hours.
  • On the way back between Itford farm and Newmarket it was raining and there was a strong headwind. Darren described wearing winter gloves, jacket and a Buff as a balaclava as a rider came the other way with just a short sleeve top on. The rider said ‘looks like I am going the right way!’
  • There were a lot of other riders around the Devils Dyke for company
  • As it started getting dark the trees ‘started to look like people’
  • Darren was ready to walk up the hill out of Washington but a rider with lights coming up behind made him push on.
  • On the road descent to Amberley he allowed himself a rest on a bench.
  • From Amberley he walked all the hills.
  • Darren said that opening gates became almost impossible as he had no strength left in his arms.
  • The finishing time at Treyford was 23.38.21.
  • The sting in the tail was the 3 mile road ride from the Downs to his home.
  • Darren’s advice to other riders is to ‘do the night time section first’

The bike
The bike is interesting because of the heavy duty forks, brakes and wheels for an enduro bike.

The wheels are Merlin hand built UST rims on Hope hubs. The tyres (no punctures!) were Mountain king 2.4(!) tubeless and a Crossmark LUST with a tube. Gearing is traditional 3×9 (more reliable chain). Interestingly Darren rides with a remote seat post which he says is good for opening gates without fully dismounting.

Pedals were the new XTR trail pedals which Darren says are more supportive than regular SPDs.

Lighting was through an Exposure Joystick and Sixpack.