34 / 52: Randonnée


Mhhh, bank holiday sundays! It feels good to wake up and know the weekend isn't even close to being over. In an attempt to re-start a habit, this weekend began with an adventure. The goal: ride around the Isle of Wight, a route loosely inspired by the official Randonnee. After struggling to find somewhere to park the car in Lymington, we made it to the ferry just in time to set over to Yarmouth. We were lucky, we hadn't booked in advance and still managed to squeeze onto the 11am ferry. About 40 minutes later we were back on land, looking out for a sign marking the official Randonée route.

As we didn't see a sign we decided to stick to the main roads that appeared to run closest to the perimeter of the island and that worked quite well. We initially missed one turn-off but were quickly back on track. The scenerey, especially towards the southern-most coastline was beautiful. We rode counter-clockwise and got views of fields to our left with endless roads stretching out in front of us. A glance over our shoulder showed us the beautiful, stark white cliffs the island is so famous for.

The first few bigger climbs were great fun. It was very hot by this point but we were having a great time soaking in the sun, snacking on gummy bears and drinking bottle after bottle of water. We were on track to ride the roughly 65 miles in about 5 hours - give or take.

Unfortunately, a couple of mechanical hiccups affected my shifting and the odd cadences made my IT band pain flare up again. It appears, that pain always starts when you are literally as far away as you could possibly be from the end of your ride. We had found ourselves literally halfway across the Isle of Wight in this case.

We decided to turn land-inwards and cut about 15 miles off the ride. At this point, we still had about an hour and a half to go before we got back to Yarmouth but it was still the best option. If nothing else, I thought, this gives me another reason to return and do the whole loop some other time. Now I know what kind of hills to expect, where we can stock up on drinks, to use that chamois cream, and to stretch and strengthen beforehand.

So, after 50 sometimes painful miles on the 'cycle island' I can say that I absolutely recommend it. Not all the time, because the ferry crossing is fairly expensive and takes a little while. And parking, as well, is a bit of a pain. But if you haven't done it before, the sun is shining, and you feel pretty fit, then you should definitely give it a go! I hope you enjoy.

And now for some fun reads

Athletes Unfiltered

If you regularly run, bike, swim or practice any other sport you probably heard of or have your own Strava account. Strava is for everyone: the weeekend hustler and the pro athlete. This ethos is perfectly summed up in their recently published video "Athletes Unfiltered". Because athletes don't have miles and miles of happy rides and runs, don't feel great or beautiful every minute of their activity, and certainly come in all shapes and sizes.

Watch the video.

My Dad Wrote a Porno

If you've been following for a while you probably know how much I love podcasts. Well, this one is a very recent discovery of mine and it's hilarious. The title says it all. Three friends come together to read and comment on one member's dad's porn novel "Belinda Blinks". It had me in tears of laughter!

Subscribe to the podcast.

The failure the 'Dan Plan'

Here's the idea: if you invest 10,000 hours into an activity, you stand a chance of making it very far. That's what Dan tried, he had the time and resources available to start a big mission: to become a pro golfer. The plan would have been to invest 10,000 hours. Unfortunately, Dan came short after an injury sidetracked him. Nevertheless, his achievement is pretty inspiring. You can read all about it on his blog or read this piece on the "failure" of the 'Dan Plan'.

Read the article.

Made me laugh

And finally, something that made me laugh. Because some of us would love to be able to prove that an item actually cost less than you said it did. Although some of us, like Adam and myself, would probably never get away with it. We just love gear too much.

See the photo.