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Isle of Wight cycling

ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,219
edited July 2018 in Road general
Just back from the Island...

Really don't understand why people fly to Majorca, with all the hassle involved in boxing bikes and travelling on those flying cattle carriers, taking your money abroad when you have some of the most incredible cycling an hour drive from the Capital and a very similar climate.

Tarmac is "french quality", plenty of climbs, incredible views, good cafes, light and well behaved traffic... enough roads to make an interesting full week of cycling... plenty of accomodation for all pockets.

South East around Shanklin/Ventnor is best for me, but the A road along the south coast to Freshwater is breathtaking...

Posts

  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    edited July 2018
    I live a 15 minute ride from the ferry to Cowes. It’s a great place to ride, especially when you have views like this available. The roads haven’t always been “French quality”, until recently, some of them were ‘Tanzanian quality’ but recently, a lot have been sorted out nicely. There are still some nasty bits ( through Newport for example), but they are much better than they used to be.



    2Apag62.jpg
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Agree Ugo, I keep meaning to schedule a day doing the tour de wight. Whats the deal with taking bikes on the ferry, cat, hovercraft etc?
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  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    drlodge wrote:
    Agree Ugo, I keep meaning to schedule a day doing the tour de wight. Whats the deal with taking bikes on the ferry, cat, hovercraft etc?

    The cat, and the passenger ferry, just deal with you as a foot passenger, you put your bike in the cubby holes at the end of the car deck, and off you go, the Red Jet from Southampton, won’t let non-folding bikes on, but you can go over on the red jet, and hire a bike over there, if you want to.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,473
    drlodge wrote:
    Agree Ugo, I keep meaning to schedule a day doing the tour de wight. Whats the deal with taking bikes on the ferry, cat, hovercraft etc?

    The cat, and the passenger ferry, just deal with you as a foot passenger, you put your bike in the cubby holes at the end of the car deck, and off you go, the Red Jet from Southampton, won’t let non-folding bikes on, but you can go over on the red jet, and hire a bike over there, if you want to.

    Do you just have to balance your bike somewhere (Against other bikes), or do they have suitable things to lock them to?
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  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,219
    This was my favourite short loop... ignore the little appendix, that Rew Lane is just silly, you don't want to go up there... (or maybe you do if you are a nutter... :twisted: )

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1699128277

    As far as I know, this is the biggest climb on the island, from the seafront in Ventnor to the top of St. Boniface Down, where the radio antenna is... about 230 mt of vertical ascent, with bits at 20%

    https://www.strava.com/activities/1694844003
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,004
    After spotting that Ventnor climb back in the spring, it's another on my to do list, it's almost certainly the biggest cat3 hill you can continuously cycle up to the summit in Hampshire. Rew Lane looks tasty too, like a miniature Draycott Steep! :twisted:

    Considering I'm only literally a few miles from Southampton ferry terminals, I really haven't got much of an excuse, albeit I expect the tourist numbers to ramp up for the summer from this coming weekend once the kids break up.

    Butser Hill summit from Butser Ancient Farm is close at ~594 feet gain https://www.strava.com/segments/18090016 , but you have to dismount to open the gate just after the car parks (plus you have to negotiate a roundabout just up from the farm! :lol:
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  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,219
    After spotting that Ventnor climb back in the spring, it's another on my to do list, it's almost certainly the biggest cat3 hill you can continuously cycle up to the summit in Hampshire. Rew Lane looks tasty too, like a miniature Draycott Steep! :twisted:
    :

    Down Lane from the seafront is beautiful, with a set of tight switchbacks...

    Rew lane is nice at the bottom, but the top (steep) part is rutted, gravelly and ends up nowhere... the gradient is 25+%, which makes the descent rather unpleasant... I wouldn't bother if I were you. I was hoping to be able to descend to the opposite side, but no...
  • HantsTooFLatHantsTooFLat Posts: 122
    To those asking about travel, the hovercraft has very limited space for bikes and probably not recommended if you are massively precious about your bike. Room for 2-3 bikes and these are in the hold with everything else.
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  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Daniel B wrote:
    drlodge wrote:
    Agree Ugo, I keep meaning to schedule a day doing the tour de wight. Whats the deal with taking bikes on the ferry, cat, hovercraft etc?

    The cat, and the passenger ferry, just deal with you as a foot passenger, you put your bike in the cubby holes at the end of the car deck, and off you go, the Red Jet from Southampton, won’t let non-folding bikes on, but you can go over on the red jet, and hire a bike over there, if you want to.

    Do you just have to balance your bike somewhere (Against other bikes), or do they have suitable things to lock them to?

    You can lock it to the metal work at the bow end of the car deck, or lay it on it’s side, there aren’t usually too many bikes on each crossing ( Randonee day excepted ) so it’s easy to find a decent spot for the bike usually.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    I keep looking at it as a possibility, used to go there alot for holidays as a child, and doing round the island seems like a fun thing to do even if the climb around Blackgang Chine looks awkward:) ...but then I get sidetracked by all the logistics how you get there, where do you stay, what do you do other than the cycling, do you take your own bike and before you know it the good weather has passed again for the year.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,219
    awavey wrote:
    I keep looking at it as a possibility, used to go there alot for holidays as a child, and doing round the island seems like a fun thing to do even if the climb around Blackgang Chine looks awkward:) ...but then I get sidetracked by all the logistics how you get there, where do you stay, what do you do other than the cycling, do you take your own bike and before you know it the good weather has passed again for the year.

    Not sure why the climb would be awkward...
    The logistics are actually pretty simple... drive to a pier, take a ferry, drive to your destination. Any flight involves a lot more in terms of logistics (how do I get to the airport, how do I get to my destination from the airport... will my bike box arrive?)

    Plenty of things to do depending on the season... like anywhere else. From bird watching to visiting a garlic farm or a donkey sanctuary, going to the beach...
    What would you do in Majorca instead?

    As for weather... the good thing is that you can book everything virtually the day before without losing money, so with a "weather guarantee", whereas it is difficult to book flights at the last minute... so you are taking a bigger gamble on the weather going abroad
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 4,702
    Logistics: drive to ferry, park car, take the bike on the ferry.
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,369
    Pretty much the whole of the official RTI route has been resurfaced over the last two years making it a much nicer proposition that it was. I tend to do it at least once a year. The western end is a much nicer (less traffic) ride than the eastern end which is busier. Wight Mouse is a great lunch stop with stunning views.
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  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 4,702
    awavey wrote:
    I keep looking at it as a possibility, used to go there alot for holidays as a child, and doing round the island seems like a fun thing to do even if the climb around Blackgang Chine looks awkward:) ...but then I get sidetracked by all the logistics how you get there, where do you stay, what do you do other than the cycling, do you take your own bike and before you know it the good weather has passed again for the year.

    Not sure why the climb would be awkward...
    The logistics are actually pretty simple... drive to a pier, take a ferry, drive to your destination. Any flight involves a lot more in terms of logistics (how do I get to the airport, how do I get to my destination from the airport... will my bike box arrive?)

    Plenty of things to do depending on the season... like anywhere else. From bird watching to visiting a garlic farm or a donkey sanctuary, going to the beach...
    What would you do in Majorca instead?

    As for weather... the good thing is that you can book everything virtually the day before without losing money, so with a "weather guarantee", whereas it is difficult to book flights at the last minute... so you are taking a bigger gamble on the weather going abroad

    Are you embracing your inner-brexit?
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,219

    Are you embracing your inner-brexit?

    I am the least biased person I know... :D

    I even agree with Trump on Germany's contribution to NATO...
  • paul2718paul2718 Posts: 471
    We drove down to Portsmouth late last summer, got the foot ferry to Ryde and did a clockwise orbit of the island including an out and back to the fort at the Needles. Good day out.

    But I'd still look at a few days in Mallorca in the spring to escape the cold and damp...
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    awavey wrote:
    I keep looking at it as a possibility, used to go there alot for holidays as a child, and doing round the island seems like a fun thing to do even if the climb around Blackgang Chine looks awkward:) ...but then I get sidetracked by all the logistics how you get there, where do you stay, what do you do other than the cycling, do you take your own bike and before you know it the good weather has passed again for the year.

    Not sure why the climb would be awkward...
    The logistics are actually pretty simple... drive to a pier, take a ferry, drive to your destination. Any flight involves a lot more in terms of logistics (how do I get to the airport, how do I get to my destination from the airport... will my bike box arrive?)

    Plenty of things to do depending on the season... like anywhere else. From bird watching to visiting a garlic farm or a donkey sanctuary, going to the beach...
    What would you do in Majorca instead?

    As for weather... the good thing is that you can book everything virtually the day before without losing money, so with a "weather guarantee", whereas it is difficult to book flights at the last minute... so you are taking a bigger gamble on the weather going abroad

    well maybe the profile on this map is misleading, https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dbim ... MapNew.pdf but it looks a pretty big bump at Blackgang, and I remember the carpark there used to be on a crazy slope angle, and if youve gone clockwise round the island youll have been climbing since Ventnor, biggest climb Ive ever done is just over 600feet, there just arent that many hills round my part of the country, so yeah it looks awkward, sure Id get over it eventually but probably wont be much fun.Im not a mountain goat :)

    and what would I do in Majorca, sit by the pool in the shade read a book and drink cocktails or cheap beer/wine from the local supermarket, its almost the absence of options that makes it easier to choose what to do, than when faced with the feeling there must be something else to do.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    awavey wrote:
    awavey wrote:
    I keep looking at it as a possibility, used to go there alot for holidays as a child, and doing round the island seems like a fun thing to do even if the climb around Blackgang Chine looks awkward:) ...but then I get sidetracked by all the logistics how you get there, where do you stay, what do you do other than the cycling, do you take your own bike and before you know it the good weather has passed again for the year.

    Not sure why the climb would be awkward...
    The logistics are actually pretty simple... drive to a pier, take a ferry, drive to your destination. Any flight involves a lot more in terms of logistics (how do I get to the airport, how do I get to my destination from the airport... will my bike box arrive?)

    Plenty of things to do depending on the season... like anywhere else. From bird watching to visiting a garlic farm or a donkey sanctuary, going to the beach...
    What would you do in Majorca instead?

    As for weather... the good thing is that you can book everything virtually the day before without losing money, so with a "weather guarantee", whereas it is difficult to book flights at the last minute... so you are taking a bigger gamble on the weather going abroad

    well maybe the profile on this map is misleading, https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/dbim ... MapNew.pdf but it looks a pretty big bump at Blackgang, and I remember the carpark there used to be on a crazy slope angle, and if youve gone clockwise round the island youll have been climbing since Ventnor, biggest climb Ive ever done is just over 600feet, there just arent that many hills round my part of the country, so yeah it looks awkward, sure Id get over it eventually but probably wont be much fun.Im not a mountain goat :)

    and what would I do in Majorca, sit by the pool in the shade read a book and drink cocktails or cheap beer/wine from the local supermarket, its almost the absence of options that makes it easier to choose what to do, than when faced with the feeling there must be something else to do.

    The round the island route has a fair few climbs on it. The one up to Blackgang is steep ( ish ) but steady, the climb up military road towards freshwater is the one that surprises most people, and there’s Victoria road, near Cowes, which is always a demoraliser, but not that long. There are other up hill sections, but the three I’ve mentioned are the ones that most people remember.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,004
    Do you have to deal with a lot of motor vehicles on the island loops, Mon-Fri? Noticeably different level of busyness compared to weekend?

    It's been years since I last went over to the island, must have been around summer 2007 when we stayed in Shanklin(?) for a week. Back then the island seemed like going back in time, such an anti-rat-race way of life, but in 10+ years they could have turned into (or allowed more) motor psychopaths on the roads! :lol:
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  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 24,219
    It's one of the few places where you can ride on A roads... there are stretches which can be busy, but it's hardly ever a problem

    Basically it's like Wales... A roads are like B roads in England and B roads are like unclassified in England
  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 5,883
    Did the Round The Island route anticlockwise a few years back, the minor road sections had some kickers but Blackgang Chine was no problem, graded A road so constant, even had an ice cream van in the car park at the top. Last bit on the east side got a bit repetitive up and down as we were getting to the end so getting tired. But a grand day out.
  • TurboTommyTurboTommy Posts: 493
    Some friends and me did a loop of the isle of wight last summer. The weather was great and most of the roads were too. All in all it was a great day. I’d much rather ride in lots of other places in Europe and beyond for quite a few reasons. But yeah, IOW is definitely worth a trip for anyone who hasn’t done it. And I’ll most likely go back at some point.
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