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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 124 > I LOVE WIGHT

I LOVE WIGHT

Dean Hersey goes island hopping with this early season leg stretcher over some of the Isle of Wight’s green, rolling hills.

It’s late winter and the monotony of washing bikes and kit is wearing thin; the promise of spring not quite in full effect. Winter means fitting both riding and the chore of trail maintenance into a few short hours of daylight. The one thing keeping the majority of our band of riders together is the talk of summer trips and planning of adventures further afield.

With most of the country fulfilling the picture-perfect winter postcard setting, I got the shout from Chipps to host a ride down south. And you don’t get much more ‘south’ than the Isle of Wight. While we don’t boast great towering peaks, what we lack in technical trails we can more than make up for with stunning scenic rides that travel through quiet and charming villages along some of the most beautiful coastline in the country. After all, how many other rides start and end with a boat ride?

With Martyn, Jon and Adam endlessly busy expanding Rockets and Rascals, the local bicycle emporium in my corner of the world, our weekend rides and evening blasts together have been put on the back burner for the past couple of months.

Anyone for a boat ride?

After a week of dry weather, I knew they wouldn’t refuse the promise of a boat ride over to the Isle of Wight and a reason to reminisce over last summer’s escapades there over a pint. Mountain bikes are dug out from the backs of garages, loaded into the van, and we head for Lymington.

With no time to waste and the ferry already in its berth, we hurry along to the ticket office. Reaching the ramp just in time for it to go up, we hear the crackle of the captain’s voice booming safety info over the tannoy, lean the bikes up and head to the lounge. Our crossing is calm with a beautiful blue-sky day, so we know our luck is in for today’s adventure.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: The wider we travel, the more narrow our focus… Travel isn’t going to broaden your mind if you keep travelling to the same damn place. Interview: Dan’s Secret Forest Dan Atherton has made his home in a far flung corner of Wales. He’s teaming up with the locals to give you a lot of reasons to make the trip there. Behind The Scenes: Filth Camp Chipps gives a West Coast American a lesson in UK weather. It’s not (just) about the rain. Classic Ride: I Love Wight Dean Hersey escapes the grips of winter by going south to the Isle of Wight. Still Going: Keep Pedalling It’s not a review, it’s a relationship. Hannah’s DMR Vaults have been given some TLC. Interview: Grayson Perry: Bloke On A Bike Hannah finds that fun is in the eye of the beholder – and artist Grayson Perry sees things differently to her. International Adventure: Getting High in Colorado Rich Rothwell is seeing more than stars as he battles altitude sickness and injury through the wilds of Colorado. Bike Test: Rackpacking Antony de Hevenigham checks out three mountain bikes that come ready for the long haul. Bikes with racks, from Mason, Salsa and Trek. Behind The Scenes: Bounce Cycles Barney admits to being a little bit boggled by those who aren’t afraid to look at something and say ‘Give me a minute with this lathe and I’ll make that better for you’. International Adventure: #vanlife, Canada Anna Cipullo finds that the camera might lie, but the smell of mould does not. Pete’s Pros: Joe Barnes Pete Scullion catches up with the enduro racer and van dweller as he moves back to Orange Bikes and starts his own team. Last Word Hannah pushes up a hill just to ride down it again. Sound familiar?