England : Isle of Wight Night Ride Around The Coast 2019 (May 3)

Discussion in 'CycleChat and Recreational Rides' started by StuAff, 5 Jan 2019.

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  1. StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    EDIT: Due to Wightlink changing their timetable for no good reason, we will now be taking the 0100 ferry, there's no midnight one. Earlier sailing (2300) is too early for me on a work night, sorry (I did try getting the night off some weeks back, before I heard of the timetable alterations, no dice). Thanks to @Low Gear Guy for telling me!

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the hardest night ride in the south of England is back again, for the sixth 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. And if you think I'm joking about the amount of climbing...around 4500ft in 67 miles. When I rode Pompey-London-Brighton-Pompey last year, that was 8219ft. In 190 miles....

    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 0100 sailing- you'll need to be checked in by 0045 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 two 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 still still be off the menu, it's been reopened and very nicely too. What isn't nice is the steep multiple-hairpin descent to get down there, and (you'll never guess) a steep climb up at the other end.

    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…;)
     
    Last edited: 20 Apr 2019 at 10:22
  2. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    Brilliant stuff. I’ve always wondered what Shanklin is like in the dark.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Rather nice. Quieter than a very quiet mouse. We don't go through the town centre though, that would mean even more climbing!
     
    Heltor Chasca likes this.
  4. colly

    colly Re member eR

    Location:
    Leeds
    I would really like this. Sorting out a trip to Mrs Colly's sister in Kent might give a a good reason to be down south.
     
    StuAff likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    It's just a bit of a detour from Kent......
     
    colly likes this.
  6. Low Gear Guy

    Low Gear Guy Senior Member

    Location:
    Surrey
    I have put the date in the diary. Should be a good ride again.
     
    StuAff likes this.
  7. CharlieB

    CharlieB Junior Walker and the Allstars

    Location:
    Redkiteland
    At the moment, I'm in. This slip[ped my diary the last couple of years, but it's a terrific ride and I'm determined not to miss out again.
    C
     
    StuAff likes this.
  8. Shadow

    Shadow Veteran

    Hereby registering my perennial interest, Stu.
     
    Bollo and StuAff like this.
  9. PaulRide

    PaulRide Always at opposition

    Really pleased to see this Stu - this was a magic ride when I did it, even if I nearly missed the boat.

    I have had 2.5 years of minimal cycling so will need to think carefully about fitness levels, but maybe the tourer would work.
     
  10. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Interested!
     
    StuAff likes this.
  11. cosmicbike

    cosmicbike Perhaps This One..... Moderator

    Location:
    Egham
    I'd sooner do this than the one on Sunday. Can one park a campervan at Portsmouth?
     
    StuAff likes this.
  12. Bollo

    Bollo Failed Tech Bro

    Location:
    Winch
    Unless life gets in the way, I'm up for this as usual Stu.

    @cosmicbike - I'd bow to @StuAff's local knowledge but I would have thought you'd be able to park either in the Clarence Pier car park or along the front at Southsea common. It's pay-and-display and not especially cheap, but only a few minutes ride to the ferries. Security might also be a concern.

    BUT........

    Portsmouth is a backup port for Dover in the event of a no-deal, so I'd consider whether you'd want to drive all the way in if the whole shootstorm comes to pass. Pompey can be a sod to get on to at the best of times - it's a very tight city with relatively few access points. An alternative is to park at mine in Winchester and ride the 20 miles from Winch to the Port. If time is short or the weather's crap then it's an hour's slow train.
     
    cosmicbike and StuAff like this.
  13. OP
    OP
    StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Indeed, as @Bollo has stated, those parking spots are pay & display. Clarence Pier (and all the other seafront car parks) will cost £12 for over eight hours, and they'll have CCTV...
     
    cosmicbike likes this.
  14. OP
    OP
    StuAff

    StuAff Silencing his legs regularly

    Location:
    Portsmouth
    Shameless bump. There is no number limit, and it would be nice to get that into double figures! Recce pencilled in for Good Friday.
     
    cosmicbike, colly and Bollo like this.
  15. colly

    colly Re member eR

    Location:
    Leeds
    I keep watching for updates and unless there is some kind of non-Brexit related disaster....I'll be along. :okay:

    I've arranged to stay at my mrs sister's in Kent so it will still be a 100 mile drive or so but that's got to be better than 250 miles on the day.
    I'm toying with the idea of another ride on Sunday in Kent but I need to line up dates etc and fit in with Mrs Colly too.
     
    StuAff and Bollo like this.
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