Sun. May 22nd, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Randonee returns

2 min read

Cyclists at the Floating Bridge

After a three-year break, the IW Randonee returned on Sunday with more than 2,500 cyclists from across the country enjoying either the 100km (62 mile) all-Island route or the 55km distance.

Hardened participants, as well as the occasional rider, started their treks from checkpoints around the Island, including Yarmouth, Ventnor, Bembridge, Wootton, and East Cowes and enjoyed a day which started at around 9am in good conditions, and ended in drizzle.

Both routes were supported by refreshments provided by parent-teacher associations from St Mary’s, Bembridge and Yarmouth Primary Schools, with volunteers from IW Wayfarers directing traffic, helping with QR code registrations and aiding those new to the Island get their bearings.

The floating bridge carried countless cyclists across the Medina, with the checkpoint at Waitrose in East Cowes being busy all day.

Caroline, a cyclist from a London-based club, said: “I’ve been over for the weekend and the Island is a tremendous place for cyclists to visit, and catching the floating bridge adds to the event.”

The IW Randonee was started in 1985, two years after the formation of the Wayfarer Cycle Touring Club for like-minded individuals who enjoyed the gentle pursuit of cycling.

Due to the nature of the event, the Randonee is now administered by Cycleisland CIC, a not-for-profit organisation which donates any surpluses to local charities, and has introduced Covid-safe measures, such as on-line registration, to reduce infection risks.

At Alverstone, a cross-over point for both 100km and 55km routes, a group of cyclists from Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool discussed the challenging parts of the route, as well as the off-road former railway routes, including the shaded track from Sandown through Newchurch, Horringford, Shide and Newport, finishing at Cowes, and following the Medina for much of the journey.

Doubtless there will be quite a few saddle-sore cyclists sharing memories of the 2022 IW Randonee, with exclusive medals for participants, and plans in hand for the 2023 event, with many volunteers likely to be involved in the running of the Tour of Britain Cycle Race finale on September 11, 2022.

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