Isle of Wight in the Sun
To beat the ever shortening daylight hours, an early dark start for the ride down to the Red Funnel ferry for the 8:00 crossing from Southampton to East Cowes on the Island.
The weather is better on the Island than on the mainland. Just over 7 miles into the ride on the Island, Disaster! Ian has to brake sharply to avoid sliding into the rear of a pickup truck. The result is not pretty...
Luckily the nearest bike shop is less than a couple of miles away so a new tyre is obtained and we are all on our way again.
The Island is what most cyclists would describe as 'lumpy' with many ups and downs and twists and turns. The first real climb of the day is off the official Round the Island Cycle route. It is a local beauty spot affording great views across to Portsmouth as well as along the Island Coast to Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor. It comes about 16.5 miles into our route and is known as Culver Down.
From Culver Down its on to Ventnor via the coastal towns of Sandown and Shanklin. As we arrive in Ventnor, holidaymakers are eating ice creams and enjoying the sites. However, Ventnor is on our route for another reason.
The pirate outside the Spyglass Inn marks the start point for the climb out of Ventnor up to the Radio masts at the top of St Boniface Down. Initally when researching this, I came across the following extremely accurate description via Google
The latter portion of the Climb appears as a Strava Segment peaking at 28.1%!