Fri/Sun 3-5 July 2009 IOW + New Forest ride.
Only MA and PT on the Island ride this year, all others having fallen by the wayside for family or other reasons.
Convening at No10, we rode to the station to discover the discount fares did not start till 10, so paid the £21 to Ryde Pierhead and boarded the 9.25ish train arriving in Portsmouth in time for the cancelled ferry. Crossed to Ryde, and took the Nunwell Trail south out of town to reach the top of Brading down. Suicidal drop down the south side of Brading Down to pick up the disused railway track to Newport, and skirt south of town through (well, next to) a ford to emerge at the lunch pub. Glorious afternoon on the Tennyson Trail, meeting only 1 biker and two ladies with dogs. PTs bike quite squeaky, but liberal sloshes of oil on the rear suspension joints proved only temporarily effective. Broke two spokes as we rode along the road about 300 yards from the High Down Inn, where we stayed overnight. Walked into Totland to find bike shop after a fine dinner taken early due to heavy bookings in the pub.
Bike shop guy in Totland had no spokes, but directed us to bike workshop at the Yarmouth end of the riverside railway trail, where spokes were obtained and much bike was talked. On to the ferry, and then to find a spot in Lymington to effect the replacement (and obtain a spoke key).
Took a coastal route round the forest, mostly on road as the Solent Way is a walkers route, except for Woods Lane and then on to the open Beaulieu Heath, where we found a pub for lunch (crisps).
Eventually rejoining the Solent way at the Hythe Bypass, we entered Hythe along the coast, watched by cruisers!
A splendid welcome from John at the digs, Patti being away for the weekend. We left John making bread, and retired to the Hobbits for a fine dinner of venison in chocolate and raspberry sauce, and pork wellington. Inspecting the 1917 vintage railway that runs along Hythe pier, we resolved to take it and complete the return to Portsmouth along the other side of Southampton water, using as many ferries as possible. Thus we met Captain Pink, ferryman of the Hamble:
who took us across for £1.50, and our bikes for 25p. Along the coast, seeking directions from local storekeeper in Warsash then passing through Tichfield and Stubbington to Hill Head, Lee-on-Solent and Gosport. Finally on to the ferry to Portsmouth, and a train back to Worthing. 27 miles each day, and hardly any rain!
Sat 11th July – Trek ‘n brek to Melrose Close
JR, FL, RT & KBS
Church hill, Clapham woods, tarmac (!) to Highdown, across the A259 and down through Ferring to the coast, east via roads adjacent to the coast, then North past the leisure centre to Melrose Close. As we were early a lap of honour round the estate before arriving at the appointed time 09.15am.Joined by MA and a friend who had cycled the SDW to Falmer (?) and were to complete the remainder of the SDW that day. Excellent brek provided by Mr & Mrs Nightingale and we were honoured with the presence of the soon-to-be-weds.
Sat 18th July Trek ‘n brek to the Tank.
RT, PT, JR, CB, FL and newcomers David Snelson and George ?. LSV directorate in attendance.
An EPM the evening before convened by PM Mr Budd put the finishing touches to the plans, and we were able to interview Mr Snelson, whilst JR found another recruit propping up the bar of the Snooty Fox and put him to the test of arriving the following morning.