Monday, August 13, 2007
Cycling on the Isle of Wight
Last weekend I went off to the Isle of Wight for a long weekend. As part
of it, my girlfriend (a non cyclist) and I decided to hire some bikes in order to get around and just for it's own enjoyment. Thankfully the Isle of Wight seems a fairly cycle-friendly
place, with plenty of bike hire places and a variety of routes around
As part of our hire of two bikes from Wight Cycle Hire we got the Cycle Wight pamphlet which lists 13 routes of varying difficulty (they also sell it seperately for £2.99). On the Saturday we chose the Sunshine Trail (12 miles), supposedly named as it orbits the part of the UK which gets the most sunlight per year. It runs from Shanklin through Wroxall, Godshill, Sandown, before returning to Shanklin and mostly runs on cycle-tracks and very quiet roads. The "challenging
off-road" section is basically across a field, bumpy in summer, and
probably a mud pit during the winter months. The route was lovely,
quickly leaving Shanklin for some very rural fields and scenery.
On the Sunday we went for the more challenging Shanklin to Ventnor and
back route, which includes two substantial hills and for a lot of the time sticks to the main road (more appealing than it sounds). Although less rural, it does take you
to Ventnor for a dip in the sea/pint at the (http://www.thespyglass.com/) Spyglass Inn. We also opted for the extension to. It's supposed to end at Niton but we didn't find much there (it was probably around the next corner). Luckily we spotted a sign for a beach cafe at St.Catherine's Point and had a late lunch there.