Just 218km to fit in today so an early start for porridge AND Weetabix before heading out at 5.15am. It is cold out in the Forest this morning with temperatures down at 6c but with 60km to fit in ahead of the 7.45am ferry there is no time to dawdle.
Jp sets off through the Forest for the first 60km of his Longest Day
Onto the Lymington to Yarmouth IOW ferry, bikes on first so off first, saving another 10 minutes! A double coffee crossing to warm the hands and we’re on the island by 8.30am. Six hours of cycling ahead taking in some of the IOW’s less ridden roads and hills.
First stop is the Chocolate Apothecary in Ryde for mid-morning hot chocolate, the absolute best, before some lovely little hills out of Shanklin and Ventnor, you know what’s coming when the Garmin tells you to turn up Alpine Road L. A few detours due to road works (the roads on the island are generally superb and will only get better ahead of the Tour of Britain’s visit in 2022), a sandwich stop at the Peddlers Café, and a bit of on the fly navigation through the islands interior and it’s back along the Military Road whilst keeping an eye on the clock and thankful the wind is being kind.
Heading up the final climb to Tennyson Down, with views over Christchurch Bay and the Purbecks, and it’s all downhill back to Yarmouth, with time for an ice cream ahead of the ferry back to Lymington. A nice easy spin home with E joining me and home by 4.30pm with 230km on the clock for a celebratory drink, and cake of course. A cracking day out!
JP Riding in Hengistbury Head looking over to the IOW.