Past Ride

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Sat Aug 30th 2014
Round the Isle of Wight 3*
John Talbot
Start Time:
8:00 am
Start Location:
Lymington Pier
Now in it's 5th year this classic CTC Wantage ride will use the patented John Talbot's "Isle of Wight - Ultimate Route" in 2014. This route is a combination of the End-to-End and Round the Isle routes. Taking the best of both and cutting out the most unpleasant sections of the Round the Isle route (especially near Ryde and Wootton Bridge).

See last year's ride report for photos of the ride.

We will catch the 08:40 ferry from Lymington Pier (SO41 5SB). We will travel as day return foot passengers (£13.80, tickets bought before sailing), bikes are carried free of charge. The crossing takes 30 minutes. We will be avoiding the Bestival weekend again this year.

There is a pay and display car park at the ferry terminal (£6.00 for 2-16hrs). Bring enough change for the machines.

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

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

The route will take in the Needles for breathtaking views across the Solent, stunning coastal roads, quaint inland villages, seaside resorts, bustling sea ports, ancient ruins and buildings. Pretty much everything this magnificent island has to offer!

We'll stop at the Old World Tea Rooms in Godshill for a late morning cuppa/comfort break. Lunch stop will be at the CTC Affiliated Toll Gate Café near Bembridge.

We'll aim to stop for afternoon tea/ice cream and comfort break at Cowes. But if we are seriously delayed we will take refreshments on the return ferry (probably the 17:05 or 17:40).

The route is undulating with few flat sections and several stiff climbs but is very scenic. Distance is 109km (68 miles) with 1,390m (4,500 feet) of climbing.

We will cycle at touring pace averaging around 18-20kph (11-12.5mph). Expect around 5.5 to 6hrs of actual cycling time and bring/wear clothing appropriate for the weather forecast.

Please let me know beforehand if you are coming on the ride so I can tick you off at Lymington.
Andy Pixton
Calum Clark
Chris Walters
David Talboys
Des Higgs
John Talbot
Julian Duncan
Katherine Boyce
Phil Stubbings
Rachel Bennett
Richard Saunders
Robin Tucker
Riders = 12

sunny intervalswhite cloudblack low cloud
Twelve riders gathered in the light drizzle at Lymington Pier awaiting the 8.40am ferry. Quite a few IoW virgins too! By the time we had voyaged across the solent the Sun was shining and gilets, arm warmers and jackets were quickly dispensed with as we cycled to the Needles.

We spent some time exploring the rocket launching pads, enjoying the views and soaking in the rays before descending to Freshwater Bay. The glorious views along the Military Road helped by magnificent atmospheric clarity followed before we turned inland along narrow lanes towards Godshill.

A relaxing twelvsies was enjoyed in the sunshine in the garden, some having early cream teas, some brunch, others just a drink. After a decent break and natter we resumed towards Bembridge.

A change in the route for 2014 took us into Sandown and the impatient motorists on the seafront. It's swings and roundabouts, another view of the sea or the climb on the busy Marshcombe Shute?

We completed end to end at Bembridge after a short excursion on a gravel road (sorry!) before lunch at the eccentric Toll Gate Café. Pro-active water bottle filling indicative of the welcome they give to cyclists.

By now the sunshine had disappeared and the sky had gone milky but it was still warm enough. We used the 2013 route out of Bembridge which involves a short distance on a busier A-road but avoids some of the hills. We negotiated the rolling terrain towards Wootton Bridge, regathering where possible.

A slight confusion ensued as I'd forgotten I'd altered the route to use the back streets and avoid the always maniacally busy main road and traffic light junction through Wootton Bridge. But we got where we needed to be in the end!

It's a short quiet run in to Cowes where we had to wait for the chain ferry. For a change (and to avoid the pointless up and down and up and down again to avoid the town centre) we walked through the town which is one way against counter-clockwise cyclists.

Our usual ice-cream booth had closed for the day so we continued to Gurnard where the café and window were still open. We enjoyed our ice creams and drinks watching the huge cruise ships leaving Southampton on the high tide and a group of people doing the ice bucket challenge on the beach. We suggested to Rachel that she might like to do hers at the same time, but cycling back to Yarmouth in wet clothes didn't appeal for some reason :)

The run in to Yarmouth is quiet and rural, it's also always the quietest part of the ride in the group as there's less chatting amongst the riders with different levels of fatigue. It's a fairly easy run in though after the earlier exertions. The cloud had thickened during the afternoon and a very few light spots of rain were felt occasionally but once again this ride has been blessed and lucky with good weather.

Although the average speed and cycling time were very similar to previous years, a slightly later morning ferry, larger group, longer breaks, sightseeing and waiting at Cowes meant we arrived at Yarmouth later than usual at 6.30pm to board the 7.10pm ferry back to Lymington.

A great day out, relaxed and chilled cycling with great scenery. The island is welcoming to cyclists where the New Forest seems determined not to be.

Thanks to everyone for coming and a huge thanks to everyone who took a turn sweeping during the ride, I always say this but sweeping is a huge benefit to the leader who is able to relax a bit more and enjoy the ride more themselves.

109.10 km (67.79 mi)
Ride Details:
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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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