England : Isle of Wight Night Ride Around The Coast 2020 (NEW PROVISIONAL DATE SEPTEMBER 4)

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
UPDATE 16 JULY: Thinking of running the ride on 4 September (I have that week off so makes life a bit easier for me). Assuming current regulations are still in place, a maximum of five other attendees. The Fishbourne ferry is still running (2359 still on the schedule) and still taking foot passengers, the catamaran is running again but one service an hour. Therefore, if nothing changes, it'll be back round to Fishbourne rather going than Ryde. Saves an eight mile round trip after breakfast, if we could find one... Ryde Tesco is closed overnight, so bring your own grub. The splendid Spinnaker Cafe in Old Portsmouth is doing take-out, including the full English, so I'll probably head there..

Yes, it's back. No, I hadn't forgotten- it was a case of finding a suitable weekend, and this one was a way off- but given what's going on with Covid-19, I thought you might like something to actually look forward to, that probably isn't going to get cancelled. Unless Wightlink decide to suspend sailings…Social isolation? Practically guaranteed on this ride.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the hardest night ride in the south of England is back again, for the seventh 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, that was 8219ft. In 190 miles....We're also going round in a loop, so a headwind, tailwind and crosswinds at various points are certain. Strength thereof can be highly variable. You may get get very wet indeed.

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 2345 at the absolute latest. And yes, after last year's timetable change, I have checked, the midnight sailing is on there…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 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. Then back north through Yarmouth and on to Ryde Fishbourne, either via Cowes and the chain ferry to East Cowes, or through Ryde. It might well be the latter, as it worked out quite well last year & the chain ferry is a real faff even when running. 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).

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, 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.
 
Last edited:

BurningLegs

Veteran
I'm planning to the randonnee on the bank holiday weekend in May (assuming it goes ahead!) and would opt in to this in a flash if it was day time.

I hope you don't mind me asking, but what's the appeal of doing it overnight? Am I missing out on something magical by instinctively thinking it isn't for me, or are just a bit mad?! :laugh:
 
OP
StuAff

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
I'm planning to the randonnee on the bank holiday weekend in May (assuming it goes ahead!) and would opt in to this in a flash if it was day time.

I hope you don't mind me asking, but what's the appeal of doing it overnight? Am I missing out on something magical by instinctively thinking it isn't for me, or are just a bit mad?! :laugh:
Night riding isn't for everyone. Some people just don't get it, some people can't handle the body clock shenanigans, some people can't fit it into their lives. And some people just can't get enough of it…Bit mad? Guilty as charged. And proud of it.
Why the IOW at night? Quiet, really quiet. On both the rides and the recces, usually about half a dozen motor vehicles cross our path between leaving the Ryde/Seaview 'conurbation' and dawn. We're at more risk from rabbits and foxes than cars. Fabulous views at night, dawn is pretty special too. Usually a bit of Island weirdness to contend with: some bloke who appeared to be on his way to nocturnal gardening, an impromptu race with a young lady on a BMX, the police asking at a stop if we'd seen a naked man (well yes, but not on the night in question)…

Why this ride instead of, or in addition to the Randonnee? Absolutely no chance of the kind of chain ganging ******s that infest so many organised rides these days. No queuing for ferries or anything else. And, IMHO, the route is better. More coast on my version- a detour up to Seaview for the, er, sea view, and after Bembridge we go through Sandown and Shanklin rather than cut inland. And we don't turn off the Military Road. Best stretch of road on the entire island and the Randonnee route makes you turn off it! When I did the Randonnee, a few years back now admittedly, the lanes between leaving the Military Road and rejoining it were terrible, though Island Roads might well have sorted at least some of them (to give them their due, many of the roads have been done in these past few years). Either way you have Blackgang and Freshwater Bay to contend with, but I prefer a bit more pleasure to offset the pain…
 
Last edited:

Soltydog

Legendary Member
Location
near Hornsea
I've booked onto the Struggle sportive on Sunday the 24th, but I suspect that may be cancelled & as i'm off work all that week, I may well sign up for this. Just need to look into travel & accomodation, as i'll make a weekend of it & maybe another ride or two while I'm down that way :okay: Is there any stupidly steep hills (ie 15%+) ??
 
OP
StuAff

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
I've booked onto the Struggle sportive on Sunday the 24th, but I suspect that may be cancelled & as i'm off work all that week, I may well sign up for this. Just need to look into travel & accomodation, as i'll make a weekend of it & maybe another ride or two while I'm down that way :okay: Is there any stupidly steep hills (ie 15%+) ??
I've always tried to avoid the really, really bad stuff (why we don't do Undercliff Drive, there's a 17% to get down there and something similar to get back up). More the 'death of a thousand cuts'. Only it's five or six thousand.. The steep stuff tends to be fairly short. You'll be glad of your bail-out gear though. The climbing only stops when we get back to the Ryde Wetherspoons. This is not an exaggeration.

However, given the current situation, this date is most definitely going to have to be a moveable one. Although this is only an organised ride in a very loose sense (it's more 'I'm doing this, would anyone like to join me?') but nonetheless I'm very concious of my duty of care. Cycling UK's guidance is that all group rides should be suspended. IMHO, this would be very very low risk indeed, assuming no-one comes along when they should be self-isolating, but there is a risk nonetheless. Making that call for myself and making it for others are very, very different. And whatever Wightlink might do to services in the next few weeks will have a big impact- if they decide to suspend passenger services overnight or put restrictions on vehicle types, we're done…it might all blow over by May 22, I hope it does, but I'm very doubtful. It will happen, sooner or later, even if it's just me on my tod, but I strongly suspect it'll be later…
 

Soltydog

Legendary Member
Location
near Hornsea
I've always tried to avoid the really, really bad stuff. You'll be glad of your bail-out gear though.

However, given the current situation, this date is most definitely going to have to be a moveable one. Although this is only an organised ride in a very loose sense (it's more 'I'm doing this, would anyone like to join thime?') but nonetheless I'm very concious of my duty of care. Cycling UK's guidance is that all group rides should be suspended. IMHO, this would be very very low risk indeed, assuming no-one comes along when they should be self-isolating, but there is a risk nonetheless. Making that call for myself and making it for others are very, very different. And whatever Wightlink might do to services in the next few weeks will have a big impact- if they decide to suspend passenger services overnight or put restrictions on vehicle types, we're done…it might all blow over by May 22, I hope it does, but I'm very doubtful. It will happen, sooner or later, even if it's just me on my tod, but I strongly suspect it'll be later…
I'm ok with hills, but I've not done really steep stuff in the dark, so just something I wanted to be aware of :okay:

Providing the ferry runs ok & we ride 2m apart we should be fine :laugh:
Just been looking at Travelodge & the cheapest hotels are actually on the IOW £60 (or £70 with cancellation option) for 2 nights & rail fare won't be much, probably only need to buy a cheap ticket from Waterloo to Portsmouth :okay: But I would need to navigate from Kings Cross to Waterloo, the scariest part of the trip for me :laugh:
 
OP
StuAff

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
I'm ok with hills, but I've not done really steep stuff in the dark, so just something I wanted to be aware of :okay:

Providing the ferry runs ok & we ride 2m apart we should be fine :laugh:
Just been looking at Travelodge & the cheapest hotels are actually on the IOW £60 (or £70 with cancellation option) for 2 nights & rail fare won't be much, probably only need to buy a cheap ticket from Waterloo to Portsmouth :okay: But I would need to navigate from Kings Cross to Waterloo, the scariest part of the trip for me :laugh:
The worst bit of getting from KX to Waterloo is all the traffic lights. Srsly. Always a drag.
 

Soltydog

Legendary Member
Location
near Hornsea
The worst bit of getting from KX to Waterloo is all the traffic lights. Srsly. Always a drag.
I'll more than likely be on the Enigma, if I do the ride & don't have a rack for it yet, so if I have a large back pack, I'll probably walk across London :okay: Traffic doesn't bother me normally, but I've never cycled in London & reckon it could be a whole new experience :smile:
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
I've never cycled in London & reckon it could be a whole new experience :smile:
It would, although I've always found it enjoyable.

One reason for that is the traffic runs at cycling speed or less.

The scary urban cycling is when there's lots of traffic, but not enough to slow it down very much.

Having lived in London for 15 years, I can still visualise a route between the two stations.

Knowing where you are going greatly eases the anxiety factor.

Google maps agrees with my thinking that it's either via Russell Square or Farringdon.

My first choice is Google's second one.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/K...003ba!2m2!1d-0.1123051!2d51.5031653!3e1?hl=en
 
Last edited:

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Further spanner: Tesco Ryde is now shutting at 10pm to allow for restocking…
Is that the one we visited?

I remember cycling straight into a kerb I didn't see on the way in.

Happily, I bumped over it without falling off.

The shop was a lifesaver at the time in terms of getting some scran and washing our hands after your mechanical.
 
Top Bottom