England : Isle of Wight Night Ride Around the Coast 2017 (May 19)

Discussion in 'CycleChat and Recreational Rides' started by StuAff, 13 Jan 2017.

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  1. StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the hardest night ride in the south of England is returning for its fourth edition. Last year,I came up with a Cunning Plan for both boosting numbers and making a halfway stop possible. Unfortunately, after an initial positive response from contacts over the water, everything went quiet. Well, silent actually.....nonetheless, if enough people are interested it might be worth making enquiries...
    So: If you'd like to do lots and lots of climbing on an island in the Solent with no convenient bail-out points, but would only come if there's an actual halfway stop, please express an interest.
    And if you'd like to come even if the halfway stop is The car park at the summit of Blackgang, not the roundabout at the bottom, please express an interest. As I'm sure you'd prefer an actual halfway stop too.

    Let me be quite clear: Without enough bods, there's no point me even looking for a halfway stop, let alone actually getting a positive answer from somewhere suitable. So if you're interested, even if you'd bail if there was no formal halfway stop, please, with bells on, let me know.

    Right, with that over with, what's this ride like then? What's the plan? As per the previous editions, this will not be a formal FNRttC (at least not without that halfway stop), but run very much in the same vein. Route will be thoroughly recced day and night, waymarkers if needed, TECs, no-one left behind, and so on. Rather than write a whole new blurb, I'll (mostly) quote that from previous years:

    Meet at the Portsmouth car ferry terminal (a short ride from Portsmouth Harbour station) in time for the 2359 sailing- you'll need to be checked in by 2344 at the absolute latest. Anyone going via an alternative route or an earlier sailing will need to be at the Fishbourne terminal to meet us at quarter to one or so. After the safety talk and letting The Traffic get on its way (there will be more vehicles on the ferry than we'll see the rest of the night ), we will head south and then east, picking up the IOW Randonnee route for a while, thus avoiding the exciting nightlife of Ryde. Round to The Only Shop That Is Open On The Entire Island, Ryde Tesco, for all your retail and rest stop needs. Then on clockwise to Bembridge, Sandown, and Shanklin. The useless quango that is Wight Roads has still not sorted Undercliffe Drive out, sadly. Might get done by the time of the ride, allegedly....Last year we got to ride on some brand-new tarmac so they do get something done.
    There is a further rest stop opportunity at Bonchurch (community toilets, open all night) before our half-way stop. Blackgang picnic site, al-fresco, but plenty of benches, and fantastic views. Unlike the roundabout at the bottom....

    After that, the coastal road all the way to Freshwater- even if I say so myself, an absolutely glorious stretch, and then to the Needles and Alum Bay. View from the Needles is absolutely glorious, and you don't get it on the Randonnee. Then back north Yarmouth and on to Ryde, probably via Cowes and the chain ferry to East Cowes (the alternative via Newport is rather more prosaic and much busier). Chain ferry fare is £1. Breakfast in Ryde (Wetherspoons were very helpful and did an excellent job for previous rides, many other options available). Return to the mainland either from Ryde (catamaran to Portsmouth Harbour station- ideal for trains but you'll need to buy two singles, and cat tickets are more expensive as well) or four miles back west to Fishbourne (others may prefer to leave us at Yarmouth or East Cowes if it suits better).

    Please be aware that this is considerably lumpier than any of the usual FNR routes, something in the region of 4,500 to 5,000ft of climbing. In comparison, London to Brighton, and then back to Pompey, is less than 3500ft, in 50% more miles. This is not a ride for those who are hill-phobic. There are flat sections of road, some visible without the aid of an electron microscope, but it never really settles over the 65 miles or so. Nothing really nasty, there are no Ditchling Beacons (those who did the first year, Cowleaze Hill will not be on the route this time....) but it's a lot of ups and downs. Compact or triple chainsets and sensible cassettes strongly recommended. I have seen people doing the Randonnee on fixed. Suffice to say, on your head be it....You will need good lights- large sections of the route are well-lit, but as much isn't. In view of the very limited bail-out opportunities (there are ferries during the night, but you might have a bit of a wait both to get back to the port and for the boat), please take extra care to check over your bike and kit, and make sure you have spare tubes, tools for non-quick release wheels (been there, done that....), and so on.

    If you're interested, please PM or email me (stu underscore affleck at yahoo dot co dot uk) to get on the list, including your CTC or BC number, mobile number and confirmation that you've read the basics. Please also state if you if you'd be OK with an alfresco half-way or would only want something more civilised.
     
    redfalo, _aD, Eddie_C and 1 other person like this.
  2. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Location:
    Atop a Ti
    May 19th is also the Man Of Kent Audax which I have signed up to.
    I'm destined to never do this ride.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Hence Date TBC ;)
     
  4. mmmmartin

    mmmmartin Random geezer

  5. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    Location:
    Atop a Ti
    Bollo and StuAff like this.
  6. PaulRide

    PaulRide Always at opposition

    Would love to do this ride again. This was my fave ride of 2016 (not that I did many others, tbh).
     
    Bollo and StuAff like this.
  7. Flying Dodo

    Flying Dodo It'll soon be summer

    I can heartily recommend this ride. There's nothing finer than trundling along the Military Road along the south-west coast of the island, and then stopping, turning off the lights and then admiring the night sky, and listening to the sound of the waves on the shore. Amongst other things.

    It's in my calendar, and I've even taken a diary note to stop at the car park at the top of Blackgang, and not the roundabout at the bottom. I don't need a proper halfway stop!
     
    Last edited: 15 Jan 2017
    Bollo and StuAff like this.
  8. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    Me too, even though Stu and I didn't do a great deal of it on the recce a couple of years ago due to a mechanical.

    One of the highlights was being abused by a group of inbreds, sorry, islanders sitting outside a pub at about 2.30am.

    Realistically I'm unlikely to get to the ride, but I agree with @Flying Dodo a 'proper' stop is not required.

    Food and drink options are still numerous; bring your own, buy it on the ferry (half decent bacon roll), at the terminal (vending machine if it's working), at Tesco, at McDonald's (possibly) and, of course at 'spoons at the end.

    Having somewhere in mind to stop which has a bit of cover might be a wise precaution, just in case it's chucking it down.
     
    Bollo and StuAff like this.
  9. Bollo

    Bollo Failed Tech Bro

    Location:
    Winch
    The Queen Stage of Friday Nights returns!

    This deserves a larger audience. Times by 10. It's easily the most interesting and varied ride on the Friday night calendar. Where else are you going to get pretty seaside villages, scabby seaside towns, beaches, woodland, farmland, white cliffs, bunkers, views of the UK mainland, a chat with the police, insulted by Captain Birdseye, the unfulfilled promise of red squirrels, two boat rides and the occasional incline? Stu is obliged to point out the issues, but don't let that put you off. The hills nag rather than punish and the lack of facilities has never proved to be a problem.

    The only caveat I'd add, not mentioned by Stu, is that the riding character of the IoW changes dramatically in bad weather. Drizzle is ok, but heavy rain and/or strong winds convert this ride into a bit of a beast. The Military Rd section with a strong prevailing south-westerly can be a challenge. However, for the last two years the weather has been a pussycat, so fingers crossed.

    After all that I'm up for this but.....this year I'm doing a few more competitive TTs and (hopefully) the occasional race, so once the date has settled I'll have to see where it fits in to the calendar. Also, the schlep to Pompey from Winch on the train is a bit of an @rse, so I'll probably take the slow boat from Scum and meet you at Ryde. I'm still up the the Wetherspoons breakfast, although there'll be no impromptu introductions to the delightful ladies of the IoW Synchronised Skating team - the rink has been repossessed. Sorry.
     
    Eddie_C, Pale Rider and StuAff like this.
  10. redfalo

    redfalo known as Olaf in real life

    Location:
    Brexit Boomtown
    I did the inaugural ride in 2014, and it was really ace. Not sure if I can squeeze it in this year though but will double check.
     
  11. HorTs

    HorTs Über Member

    Location:
    Portsmouth
  12. OP
    OP
    StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Shameless bump. Will be doing the nocturnal recce this Thursday night/Friday morning. Cowes floating bridge is still out of action and will be for another few weeks at least (Wayfarers posted on Facebook that the Randonnee route is going to be diverted) so I'll be going round via Newport instead. Should the bridge not be running on the 19th, I'll have checked it. If it is, it'll be a return to the standard round-IOW route for the final stretch.
     
    Bollo and mmmmartin like this.
  13. Gordon P

    Gordon P There's no Calvados? I'll have a beer or a whisky

    Location:
    London E3
    That's how I feel. After a lot of wriggling around dates, Lonica and I will be heading off that day for an 8 day tour of our relatives in Belgium (my cousins) and the Netherlands (hers plus some friends and Vrienden op de Fiets).
    Next year?
     
  14. OP
    OP
    StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Recce completed. Praise be, Island Roads have been busy. Still plenty of craters but much of the route is now smooth tarmac. Pass the smelling salts. Even on Good Friday morning Newport-Ryde sucks so hopefully the chain ferry will be back by the 19th...
     
    Bollo, Shadow and velovoice like this.
  15. Bollo

    Bollo Failed Tech Bro

    Location:
    Winch
    Would have replied earlier but had to establish that I wasn't in an Inception sequel! Smooth roads on the Island?!
     
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