Location: Yarmouth Institute, St James Street, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
Event: 27 August 2012
‘So what’s all this about the Isle of Wight being one of the best places in the world to cycle then?’ (Lonely Planet 2011)
Even if this isn’t a question you’ve been asking yourself, perhaps it’s time you came and found out why Lonely Planet and many other cycling oriented parties think this is so. We, the humble enthusiasts at Square to Square Cycle and Endurance Challenges already know why it’s such a great place for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Allow us to share some reasons with you.
Firstly, it’s different! You’re coming away from the busy mainland, making a short ferry journey to a place where there are no big roads; where the dual carriageway is just that – one short section just outside Newport that is a novelty feature for island residents. The A roads we have aren’t known by their number. Most islanders wouldn’t know where the A3020 goes, but they’ll gladly give you directions to any town or village if you get lost.
But you won’t get lost. You’re never more than twenty miles from your start point and you’re not going to drift off into another county without a swim! Just follow the coastal roads and you’ll get back to the ferry eventually, with stunning scenery into the bargain.
We won’t let you get lost though, and with well signed routes, we’ll make sure you enjoy a lot more than just coastal scenery. We have used our local knowledge to devise routes that will take you through picturesque villages and historic towns, along quiet country lanes and over stunning downland scenery.
Ah yes! We have hills to challenge you too. There is a misconception that the Island is flat. We may not have alpine length climbs, but there is a long spine of chalk downs to ride up and along with the reward of views stretching to the coast and beyond.
And remember, you are allowed to stop. It’s up to you how much of a challenge you want from a sportive and you may not be able to resist the opportunity of a memorable photo or the lure of a sunny café garden.
And after a challenging day of cycling you can relax with a coffee on the ferry home and plan your return visit – maybe for longer next time, after all, there’s always another lane, another view – another Square to Square challenge.