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England : Isle of Wight Night Ride Around the Coast 2018 (May 4)

Discussion in 'CycleChat and Recreational Rides' started by StuAff, 3 Mar 2018.

  1. StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the hardest night ride in the south of England is back again, for the fifth time.
    Previous attempts at finding a refreshment stop were unsuccessful, and the peloton for this one has for some reason remained compact and bijou. Oh, I remember: It's because there are hills. Lots of hills. Whatever type of hills you really don't like, it's got them. More climbing than you can shake a stick at. Therefore, as per previous editions, the halfway will be self-catered and in a car park, unless LOTS of people suddenly sign up. Sorry.

    So: If you'd like to do lots and lots of climbing on an island in the Solent with no convenient bail-out points, please express an interest.

    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, 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. Undercliff Drive will probably still be off the menu, I can't find any news of it being sorted out yet. Year before last we got to ride on some brand-new tarmac though...

    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, hopefully via Cowes and the chain ferry to East Cowes (the alternative via Newport is rather more prosaic and much busier). This is sadly dependant on the ongoing not-very-funny farce that is The New Chain Ferry being somehow sorted out. The alternative passenger launch might be an option. 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.

    Oh, and if you think this might be more fun in daylight, do the Randonnee on the Sunday instead…;)
    Low Gear Guy, Bollo and Trickedem like this.
  2. Bollo

    Bollo Chaaaaaa!

    While Stu's obliged to warn the unwary, the ride rewards the effort. There's no other trundle that squeezes the same variety out of 100km. Yes please.
    StuAff likes this.
  3. Shadow

    Shadow Über Member

    More fun? In daylight?
    Shurely this is not possible.

    Hereby expressing interest.
    StuAff and Bollo like this.
  4. Eddie_C

    Eddie_C Senior Member

    And me!
    StuAff likes this.
  5. Redlight

    Redlight Active Member

    Blackheath, London
    I was over there in the summer and was able to ride through Undercliffe from, Ventnor to Niton. Cars are still unable to get through though.
    StuAff likes this.
  6. OP

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

  7. Bunker

    Bunker Senior Member

    StuAff likes this.
  8. Low Gear Guy

    Low Gear Guy Active Member

    Also interested
    StuAff likes this.
  9. CharlieB

    CharlieB Junior Walker and the Allstars

    I’m in, please!
    StuAff likes this.