Isle of Wight

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
IanCh
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Isle of Wight

Postby IanCh » 30 Sep 2016, 7:22pm

I am taking a group of about ten mixed ability cyclists to "The Island" for a long weekend next April. The more able riders will be entering the Randonnee on the Sunday but I'm looking for two other rides for the Saturday before and the Monday after. It would be good to be able to offer a longer and shorter option on each day, with re-grouping at common coffee and lunch stops and preferably taking in a place of interest. We will be based in Newport. Any shared local knowledge or websites would be appreciated. Many thanks.

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Heltor Chasca
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Isle of Wight

Postby Heltor Chasca » 30 Sep 2016, 8:56pm

Good call. The River Medina Footpath which is traffic free and great for bikes. Depending on ability, you could go North to Cowes one day, South another to the lumpy coast.

eileithyia
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby eileithyia » 30 Sep 2016, 9:41pm

West to Yarmouth, south down the railway to Freshwater, little bit lumpy along the coast, then inland to Colbourne back to Newport..... would take in some good cycling and scenery...
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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Cunobelin
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby Cunobelin » 1 Oct 2016, 10:29am

There are two Randonnee routes

The shorter one is 55k, so less fit riders may "achieve" as well. This route is also flatter and easier (note - not flat and easy) than the full route. It could also be useful as a shorter ride, although the East Cowes to Alverstone part of the route would be repeated as it is common to both. A slight variation can be made by reversing the route

The "Wayfarers" site gives detail of both routes

After that it will depend upon where you are staying. There are miles and miles of wonderful country roads that have little surprises and delights en route

There is a list of short routes here that can be used as a basis for planning, or there is an alternative information source here that classifies routes from starting point and distance

Best of luck, and if you can register on-line as it avoids long queues on the day to register

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Farawayvisions
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby Farawayvisions » 2 Oct 2016, 6:11pm

Isle of Wight is a wonderful place to ride. The terrain is so diverse. One minute it's chalky cliffs, the next rolling countryside. Food is excellent and there is a welcoming attitude towards cyclists that warms the heart. Numerous quiet lanes, byways and cycle paths. I've just come back from another trip taking in some of the coastal path which is signposted as suitable for cyclists.

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Gattonero
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby Gattonero » 2 Oct 2016, 6:51pm

Would advise to avoid main roads, like Military road in the south, during Bank holidays/etc.
Lots of cars.

Otherwise, lovely for cycling on the quiet lanes and off the peak season
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby Heltor Chasca » 2 Oct 2016, 8:26pm

Gattonero wrote:Would advise to avoid main roads, like Military road in the south, during Bank holidays/etc.
Lots of cars.

Otherwise, lovely for cycling on the quiet lanes and off the peak season


I'll put my neck out and say that Military Road is my one of my favourite roads to cycle on. Bit of wind on your back and it is a lot of fun.

Car drivers on the IOW are a decent bunch and know how to pass safely. Even visitors seem to soak up the good example. There is a motor cycle meet on over the same weekend so expect some loud noises, but generally they pass with care.

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Gattonero
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby Gattonero » 3 Oct 2016, 1:02pm

Not saying is unsafe, but when every single minute you have a car behind, then is not a "peaceful" ride anymore.
Like said, this was over Bank Holiday, so it was a bad choice of mine.
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

robing
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby robing » 3 Oct 2016, 2:03pm

Heltor Chasca wrote:
Gattonero wrote:Would advise to avoid main roads, like Military road in the south, during Bank holidays/etc.
Lots of cars.

Otherwise, lovely for cycling on the quiet lanes and off the peak season


I'll put my neck out and say that Military Road is my one of my favourite roads to cycle on. Bit of wind on your back and it is a lot of fun.

Car drivers on the IOW are a decent bunch and know how to pass safely. Even visitors seem to soak up the good example. There is a motor cycle meet on over the same weekend so expect some loud noises, but generally they pass with care.


Yep I agree. Cycled round the island many times, I love it. And there's a lot of climbing. Military Road is my favourite too, just make sure the wind is at your back. The descent from Niton is fun. I'm not keen on the Yarmouth to Newport road, but you don't have to cycle on this much.

captain offensive
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby captain offensive » 16 Mar 2017, 5:39pm

Hi all,

I've got a rare Saturday empty available coming up and have got it in my head to do a silly day getting up early, driving to Portsmouth, doing a circuit of the Isle of Wight, and heading home. I was hoping for some advice on routes along the eastern side of the island.

I've noted that the sustrans route and the IoW Randonnee route both head inland between Bembridge and Ventnor. Can anyone give a reason why? Or rather why should I not stay along the coast and ride along the front through Sandown and Shanklin? I'm not too bothered by the prospect of climbing out of Shanklin towards Ventnor (though I reserve the right to change my mind on that). I'm guessing the choice of route is purely to avoid the towns and the A road; but I don't imagine that the roads will be that busy in March - or am I wrong?

I'm minded to keep on the Military Road alone the south west section as well though will probably then (after a diversion to the Needles) revert to the cycle route from Freshwater back up through Cowes and back to Ryde.

Any suggestions/advice on whether to follow the cycle route or the main roads much appreciated :-)

Bez
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby Bez » 16 Mar 2017, 5:47pm

You'll be fine, sounds like the route I take when I do a day loop. Though I've always done it anticlockwise. The bushes alongside the Military Road explain why :)

captain offensive
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby captain offensive » 16 Mar 2017, 9:58pm

Cheers Bez. Hadn't even thought of going anti clockwise. Just automatically looked at the route without considering direction! Any pros/cons to riding in either way? Would wind direction on the day be worth considering?

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pedalsheep
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby pedalsheep » 16 Mar 2017, 10:26pm

It is certainly worth considering wind direction, its a hard slog along the military road into a strong west wind. Personally I prefer to ride anticlockwise, the randonnee only goes clockwise to avoid problems with 100s of cyclists coming off the ferry in E.Cowes and heading straight for the floating bridge.
You can ride along the revetment between Sandown and Shanklin but it is a bit slow dodging walkers, kids, dogs etc. The coast road from Shanklin to Ventnor is very hilly and can be quite busy. The easiest route is the old railway line from Shanklin to Wroxall although I got 2 punctures last time I went that way!
Island roads are pretty quiet at the moment.
'Why cycling for joy is not the most popular pastime on earth is still a mystery to me.'
Frank J Urry, Salute to Cycling, 1956.

robing
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby robing » 17 Mar 2017, 2:31pm

I normally go clockwise but really depends on wind direction on military road as pretty exposed. From Bembridge I go past the airport and then go left down to Shanklin via the coast and past the zoo. The road was closed between ventnor and niton meaning a diversion via Whitwell, but haven't been since 2015.

captain offensive
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Re: Isle of Wight

Postby captain offensive » 17 Mar 2017, 3:10pm

Thanks all,

Think I'll leave the direction choice until closer to the day. At the moment in the longer range forecast my phone says westerly and the BBC says north easterly! Cheers for the suggestions around Ventnor - Shanklin as well. Looking forward to it now. Still got to get through next week first though :-)