With the sun bathing the entirety of the United Kingdom over the weekend, it would have been rude not to put the TV remote down, get out of the sofa and venture outside.
IGO’s George Bullard and 7 friends did exactly that and set out to cycle the circumference of the Isle of Wight.
Sleeping is always difficult the night before an adventure, not because I was uncomfortable, but because I was reassured by the weather man that the sun would be doing nothing but shining on us and was therefore a little excited about the day ahead. When we woke up on Saturday morning and I could hardly see my own nose because of the dense fog you can appreciate that I was a bit upset. The rising air from the warming land drew the sea mist onto the island so my initial enthusiasm was dampened – but only slightly.
With approximately 65 miles to go to make it around the circumference of the Isle of Wight we set off, nose to tail, in search of brighter climes. We had rented bikes which made the logistics a bit easier, but it did mean that the first few miles were spent getting settled into what was a rather uncomfortable ‘bum bruiser’ of a saddle!
Starting on the North-Eastern side of the island we headed anti clockwise. The prevailing wind comes from the South-West and since the southern side of the island is a little more exposed, we wanted to go with the wind on that side. Bike seats aren’t renowned for their comfort so sure enough by the time we had
reached the 13-mile mark at Cowes, I had lost all feeling below the waist!
Unperturbed by the lack of sensation, we arrived at the western end of the Solent in good time and in spectacular conditions.
On reaching the half way mark, The Needles, coachloads of “Island Tours” arrived… The people watching began from behind our mirrored sunglasses and the next 30 mins seemed to fly by as every variety of homosapiens processed up to the view point 30 yards from the bus.
Our route, cleverly planned around the prevailing wind, didn’t quite work as we might’ve hoped when a gentle easterly wind kept us at a steady 10mph for the length of the south side. The peloton formed, the sweat poured and the hard work began as we fought the headwind.
Arriving back at our start point, that sense of achievement was rife and we all vowed to do it again next year! It is that ‘adventure ecstasy’ and shared experience that we try to replicate here at IGO but on a larger scale in some of the world’s most spectacular wildernesses.
So, in exactly a year we will be back on the bikes to pedal around the island again – you have roughly 365 days until the next ‘round the island update’… stay tuned until then!