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Sat Aug 31st 2019
3* Isle of Wight Special 3*
Katherine Boyce
Start Time:
8:00 am
Start Location:
Lymington Pier
Based on the ride that John Talbot did for many years, this uses what I think was the nicest of the rides he did. Although this is just over a 100km riding with just shy of 1400m of climbing, done at the right pace, this is a very accessible ride that takes in the best of the Isle of Wight. Glorious views, swooping hills and a ferry ride at Cowes (1 pound), what more could you ask for .

IMPORTANT UPDATE 4 AUGUST 2019: We are now putting on 2 groups. Jenny Gower is going to lead the 08:40 group and I will lead the 07:40 group. Please text me if you want to do the early ferry, currently numbers for each ferry are evenly split. If too many want to do one or other of the ferries, I may need to just allocate people. Unless I hear otherwise by the 24 August, the default ferry for those that have told me they are coming and not expressed a preference will be the 08:40. Please DO NOT just turn up for this ride, it is important we know who is going and with which leader, if you have not already let me know you are coming, please do so without delay.

We will catch the 07:40 or 08:40 ferry from Lymington Pier (SO41 5SB). We will travel as day return foot passengers (17pounds for adults and 12.70pounds for 60+, tickets can be bought online in advance or at the ticket office before sailing. Alternatively if there are 10 or more of us we can buy a group ticket at 15pounds per person), bikes are carried free of charge. The crossing takes 40 minutes. There is a pay and display car park at the ferry terminal (8pounds for 2-16hrs). Bring enough change for the machines or alternatively you can use Ringgo to pay for your ticket, see here

You must arrive at least 30mins before the ferry to allow time for parking, buying tickets and boarding. Boarding commences 15 minutes before sailing. We will car share as much as possible.

There is limited food on the ferry (tea, coffee, cakes, toast) but there is a cafe at the ferry terminal if you want to arrive early enough to grab some breakfast!

We'll stop at the Old World Tea Rooms in Godshill for a late morning cuppa/comfort break. Lunch stop will be at the Toll Gate Cafe next to the harbour in Bembridge. We'll aim to stop for an afternoon tea/ice cream and comfort break at Cowes dependant on the time. Return ferry will either be the 16:05, 17:05 or 18:05 from Yarmouth.

I've provided last years route below, this may change in the coming months.
This is the ride report for the first group that rode the Isle of Wight on the 31 August. Jenny Gower had kindly offered to lead a second group which meant loads of us could cycle round the island (clap)

Sadly Jerry Bird wasn't well enough to join us, so only 8 of set off from Yarmouth before 8.30am. We'd all forgotten how quickly the hills start - by the time we made the obligatory pause for a view stop and comfort break beyond Freshwater Bay, we had enjoyed some great climbs and descents. The quicker amongst us showed us how the climb past Blackgang Chime should be tackled, their reward was a stunning view.

With the biggest climb out of the way we made Godshill and the same small cafe as last year before 11. We then had a very pleasant time eating cake and chatting. Before we knew it, we had been there for three quarters of an hour! Julie then found a splendid pair of sunglasses in a shop called Xanadu to replace her cycling specs that had inexplicitly broken. She had change out of a fiver :o

Before we knew it we were at the Toll Gate Cafe in Bembridge. The setting of this cafe is second to none and seems to be a magnet for people from Wantage - Joy and Dave both got approached by people who either currently live in Wantage or have retired to the Island from Wantage! As we waited for our food, James asked how far I thought the others were behind us, I looked up and there they were!! With the ferry being a bit late they had skipped the Godshill stop. It was great to catch-up whilst waiting for our food. We must remember next year to get water bottles filled at the same time as ordering food - there was a big pause whilst we waited to get the bottles back.

The wind got up after lunch and was quite testing at times. It couldn't decide if it was going to rain properly or not and it looked quite threatening for a while. We got to Cowes and straight on a ferry, the price of which had gone up by 50% since last year :( We made the decision to just have a comfort break rather than an ice cream stop as well.

Our legs began to feel the rolling nature of the ride and we were glad when there was shelter from the wind. But the wonderful views and quaintness of the villages kept us happy. The weather gradually lightened and the rain threat went, before we knew it we were back at the ferry having forgotten to do the slight detour to the ice cream shop (I know how could we have not gone to the ice cream shop (doh) )

Another splendid day circumnavigating the IoW on its totally splendid roads. A lovely group full of cheer and team work. Fingers crossed we get to do this again next year :)

Group 2:
After a much more leisurely (?) start than group one and on the 8:40 ferry we started cycling aroun 9:30 ish. Discussions within the group led to a decision to miss out the Godshill stop and push on to Bembridge for lunch, and it was good to see the other group before they set off on their post lunch journey.

We weren't quite so fortunate with the timings for the floating bridge in Cowes and just missed one so had quite a wait for it to go and come back, but it wasn't raining so no big deal.

We did stop at the kiosk but instead of ice creams all round there were several takers for hot chocolate which hit the spot and gave that extra energy required for the last stage back to Yarmouth. We arrived having missed the 17:05 ferry and with a time before the next one at 18:05....but that time was usefully spent with the group variously indulging in beer / ice creams / cool drinks.

Lovely day out with a great group of people
108.40 km (67.36 mi)
Ride Details:
Proposed Route:"
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Ride Filter
Start Locations
Wantage Market Place
Old Mill Hall, Grove
1* - Suitable for irregular, social, beginner or family riders, pace will match the slower riders. Not hilly or long. Expect rides up to 3 hours. Gentle exercise.
2* - Suitable for regular riders who prefer to cover some distance but at a more relaxed pace. Likely to be half-day rides. Solid exercise.
3* - Suitable for experienced riders, may be hilly, long, quick, or any combination! Likely to be half or full-day rides. Challenging exercise.
4* - Suitable for athletic riders who can ride safely above the 3* standard. Quick rides for the fit.
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