Dave V. and Michael G. (plus two friends) made the most of the early October sunshine to tackle the Isle of Wight Randonee. Setting off from Ryde at around 9am, we swept round to the south east coast and the seaside towns of Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor covering a total of 70 miles.
There were some pretty sharp climbs and descents in and out of these resorts at around the 20% mark. After an obligatory stop at the White Mouse, which sadly has stopped selling 365 different types of whiskey, we headed for Freshwater. The climbs on this side are long and sweeping and the views are stunning.
A welcome break in Freshwater for lunch and a pleasant ride across the north of the island brought us to the chain link ferry at Cowes where we had a welcome break before riding back to Ryde for beers, good Italian food and more beers.
The IOW loop is an official route and is well signposted. It can be done in either direction and extended (as we did) to get right down onto the east coast. The only downside is the exorbitant cost of the ferry but as we travelled in one car, we could split the cost.
Well recommended, especially if you like a variety of climbs mixed into this rolling route.