Cycling on the Isle of Wight

This neat little post on the London Cyclist blog has stirred in me once again the urge to get back to the Isle of Wight and do some more cycling. In some ways the island is the perfect destination for cyclists who love country lanes and varied views.

In other respects, with all its endless rolling hills, it can prove to be a bit of a nightmare.

But no matter. I’ve been visiting the Isle of Wight since I was about ten years old and the place holds a unique charm for me. And as I get more and more into riding my bicycle, I can’t seem to separate the two passions.

A spell there last August gave me and some pals the opportunity to sample just a small slice of the kind of riding the island offers. I wrote a few words about that here.

I’ve long considered one day tackling the round-the-island walking route, and in recent months the round-the-island cycling route has become an appealing prospect.

The London Cyclist blog entry is a little on the brief side. But I’m glad it exists, as the comments led me to this little nugget of information:

“Can I also recommend, for those with reasonable legs, the annual IOW Randonnee. It’s held on the Sunday of the first May Bank Holiday and is organised by Wayfarers CTC (Website and follows the Round the Island route. There are usually a couple of thousand riders, of all abilities. You don’t have to do the whole lot if you don’t want to. There is also a shorter route of only 32 miles, much of that on an old railway line that is now a cycle path – so it’s flat, which the rest of the Island certainly isn’t. The best thing of all is that it’s free to enter. They do ask for a contribution towards costs/club funds when you’ve finished, but there is no pressure.”

Very interesting. I don’t know if tackling the full round-the-island route will be possible for me in only a few months’ time. I can do that kind of distance – just about – but the hills would do me in for sure. Plus, splitting the longer route into a 2-3 day meander with nights in pretty campsites sounds much more my cup of tea.

Either way. Some food for thought as I look towards spring and summer and the prospect of longer rides becomes less daunting.