Time for the first real ride of the year and one of my favourites, 100km of the Isle of Wight Randonnee. The day started a bit damp, with some horrendous rain in the early hours. I delayed by start till 9:30am and by this time the rain had stopped and it looked like it was going to be a cracking day. I checked in at Yarmouth and grabbed my stamp card and set off on the first leg to Cowes. This is the nice scenic part of the route, lots of leafy little lanes which meander along the north of the island. The quality of the roads on the island are fantastic, due to the lack of traffic and the mild weather, there are almost no potholes and road furniture on the island. On reaching West Cowes I jumped on the chain link ferry across the Medina river. Out of East Cowes the route starts to become more rolling. On the first climb out of the town I bumped in to this guy.
Now, I like to draft a wheel where I can, but I gave this one a very wide birth. All for a good cause – I did drop a couple of quid in his money slot (on his back) – but I do suggest he gets a rear mudguard for the next ride.
The bottom half of the island is where it gets a bit lumpy, and the climbs start to build up. The thing about the isle of Wight is that you are always going up or down. There never seems to be a flat section. The last two big climbs are out of Niton (Niton Down) and then onto the last double summit climb before Freshwater bay. The legs were not season ready, so I was hurting a bit up the final climb but gritted on through and got onto the final downhill to the finish.
Another great ride completed thanks to the Cycle Tourers of the Isle of Wight.