Isle of Wight Randonnee 2013
The weather gods smiled on us this year and the 1833 participants in the IOW Randonnee enjoyed a beautiful sunny day. I rode the route on Saturday (when it was cold and windy!) and then spent Sunday on the checkpoint at Whitwell helping to keep the riders well stocked with cake, chocolate and tea.
Most people start from the controls nearest to the ferry terminals so the first couple of hours are very quiet and anxious glances are exchanged. Will we really sell all this mountain of food? What will we do if we have 200 hot cross buns left over? There is no need to worry. The trickle of cyclists becomes a flood and then they descend like a swarm of locusts. By midday all the cake is gone and the chocolate is disappearing fast while the pile of used tea bags gets ever higher.
Cyclists spread out onto the roadside verge, mugs of tea in hand. A few look tired but most are happy, smiling, and enjoying the sun. Some are local but many are from further afield resplendent in their club colours.
A few years ago there were many people riding tourers, hybrids or mountain bikes but now the vast majority are on carbon road bikes.There is however, still a significant variety of bikes on display including several tandems, various recumbents and a few hardy souls on small wheeled folders. Roberta's twin was also present!
There was one cyclist who certainly raised a few eyebrows!
He was dressed like this to raise funds for charity but it seems a bit counter productive – where was he going to put any donations?? I do hope he had some clothes for the ferry home! Still, it takes all sorts, and, like everyone else, he was clearly enjoying himself.