Top tips for keeping your bike clean
1. Avoid riding in wet weather
2. Use a sturdy pair of mudguards
3. Stay away from bridlepaths and dirty tracks
Top tip for an enjoyable weekend
1. Ignore the above and get yourself and your bike to the Isle of Wight Annual Wayfarers Randonnee!
26 Willesden members did just that for the May Day weekend, and had a great time. The number of punctures must have reached double figures. Our bikes got horribly filthed up. At one point, people were seen taking their water bottles into public conveniences in order to fill up and squirt water on bikes to try and find them beneath the mud. This was after riding from a great stop at the Garlic Farm the day after the randonnee itself, through cycle tracks resembling Paris Roubaix without the cobbles. Then the sun came out and we had wonderful chips in Newport.
On the day of the randonnee, the hills around the Isle had once again been made steeper. It’s a 100k ride that feels like a 200. WCC set off in carefully managed groups in order to stagger our arrival at the excellent PTA run checkpoints, where cakes, tea and bananas were served by friendly, welcoming helpers. It is a free to enter event that this year attracted nearly 1700 riders. A real credit to everyone involved in the organisation. They don’t have to go round putting arrows out though – the round the island route is permanently signposted. But there were volunteers out in wind, rain and cold to make sure people didn’t miss the checkpoints.
Once again Sandown made us welcome at the St Michael’s hotel, which John Davies had fully booked for the Willesden. Neil brought us tea on arrival and after the ride, rushing out as every rider returned to open up the garage.
Sandown on a wet bank holiday was quieter than in previous years, but the Pier was open. Crazy Golf and bowling took place, but mostly it was the 2p machines. They certainly gripped Eliz. Just look at that focus in the photo below.
I was delighted to find that the beer festival was on at the Castle Pub, and more pleased to find Max the Beer Mat Catching Wonder Dog still there and as keen as ever to catch the beermat time after time.
Another trip is possible in the third week of September – the Isle of Wight cycling festival.