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Wow.

That place is amazing.

It's been three or four years since I last cycled over there and I'm amazed by the quality of the roads in the west of the island now. Military Road has been resurfaced, but so have the back lanes just off it. Beautiful tarmac worthy of Majorca. Not a single close pass in a week of riding. Really challenging rolling terrain, and Ventnor must have some of the steepest short sections of road in the country (western exit to the prom in particular). Strongly recommend heading one road inland from the Military Road because it's better protected from the wind and much more engaging to ride - constant gradient changes.

Has the Tour of Britain ever visited? You could build a fantastic stage over there, and being September the massed hordes would have left. Possibly not enough miles available without disrupting the whole island I guess.

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CXR94Di2 [2657 posts] 1 month ago
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I did enjoy my one time cycling around the whole island.  I and few mates did the loop in a day- fish and chips, the needle etc.  Shame for us there were a few close passes.  

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kil0ran [1558 posts] 1 month ago
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I was surprised. Did a fair bit of driving too, necessarily pootly with three bikes on the back (Atera Strada DL - whatarack laugh) and just seemed to be far less rubbish driving. The roads were teeming with cyclists at the weekends and people seemed to be fairly relaxed about getting around them. Heading up Niton Down I couldn't overtake a singled-out group for probably half a mile or so, no honking of horns or revving of engines or the like. There was a bloke in club kit doing the round the island on a Brompton  who was leaving people on expensive pro bikes for dead. Also saw my first Fairlight Strael in the wild, nice as a Faran owner.

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kookenhaken [22 posts] 1 month ago
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The climb up to the top of Down Lane from the Esplanade in Ventnor is great fun!  I had a similar experience to the joys of the Island in May on a family holiday and have been planning a return (solo) trip ever since.  

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mike the bike [1235 posts] 1 month ago
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kookenhaken wrote:

The climb up to the top of Down Lane from the Esplanade in Ventnor is great fun! .......  

 

You are so right Mr K, that is the toughest 2.5 km I've ridden on the island. But there are some supermen who laugh at it and one of them is Tim Wiggins (no relation) who repeated it thirty-eight times in a day for charity.  And also to pick up his 'Everesting' award, which he bloody deserved.

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kil0ran [1558 posts] 1 month ago
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kookenhaken wrote:

The climb up to the top of Down Lane from the Esplanade in Ventnor is great fun!  I had a similar experience to the joys of the Island in May on a family holiday and have been planning a return (solo) trip ever since.  

Likewise - going to try and get a cheeky weekender bikepacking and do the whole island.

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Awavey [595 posts] 1 month ago
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Im always surprised people say the road traffic is ok to cycle with around the Isle of Wight, as fair enough it was a very long time ago since I used to visit regularly on family holidays, but the roads always seemed fairly fraught to drive on, pretty much akin to being a newbie driving in London, let alone ride a bike on, as the way the locals used to drive it was like they were all secretly competing in an Isle of Wight TT race. Even now the Island has 2 roads in the top 10 worst rural roads for KSIs in the whole of the UK.

So whilst its absolutely something I want to do, one of these days, I am always slightly hesitant about commiting to do it, with that feeling the roads are still more how I remember it was.

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kil0ran [1558 posts] 1 month ago
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Awavey wrote:

Im always surprised people say the road traffic is ok to cycle with around the Isle of Wight, as fair enough it was a very long time ago since I used to visit regularly on family holidays, but the roads always seemed fairly fraught to drive on, pretty much akin to being a newbie driving in London, let alone ride a bike on, as the way the locals used to drive it was like they were all secretly competing in an Isle of Wight TT race. Even now the Island has 2 roads in the top 10 worst rural roads for KSIs in the whole of the UK.

So whilst its absolutely something I want to do, one of these days, I am always slightly hesitant about commiting to do it, with that feeling the roads are still more how I remember it was.

It's undoubtedly a bit crazier in the height of the season, and it's worth avoiding the Middle Road if you can (runs to the north side of Afton Down). For a tourer you can always ride the old railway route - dead flat shared use path, with just a few yards on the road

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bumble [23 posts] 1 week ago
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help requested please!

i've been talked into a couple of 'easy' days on the i-o-w, in a couple of weeks (mid August).

the idea is to go over as foot passengers, landing at Fishbourne, then head to Newport, then south to st Catherines point, then west - needlesish, and back round along the north coast.

(as a rough guide)

i'll be honest, it looks bloody dreadful!

the cycle map shows a cycle route beside the A3054 (?), on closer inspection, the cycle route *is* the A3054.

it seems there are a few crappy old train lines, which don't join up, and then it's fast sweeping roads rammed with cars.

What am i missing ?

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CXR94Di2 [2657 posts] 1 week ago
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There are lots of sections on main roads, but vast majority of drivers were considerate. If weather is fine, its a good ride to squeeze it in between ferries the whole loop

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mike the bike [1235 posts] 1 week ago
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bumble wrote:

 What am i not seeing?  

 

The easiest way to ride the whole island is to simply follow the permanent 'Round the Island' signs.

From Fishbourne ferry you should follow the lane to the traffic lights and turn right for Newport.  Half-a-mile later you should see the big blue and white sign and you turn left for Havenstreet.  You are now on the clockwise circuit, which will keep you away from traffic.  That's not to say it's deserted but it's a huge improvement on mixing with the local drivers.

There are many places worthy of a visit.  Some are actually on the route but others require a brief diversion and include Ventnor, with its superb chippie on the Esplanade, and Cowes, with its sea views and coffee shops in the pedestrianised High Street.

The route will take you across the chain ferry from Cowes to East Cowes and this will cost you a quid or so but avoids Newport, which is the den of the devil.

Have a good day ......