600 miles on the clock in the first week, first service done, and now it time to put a few more miles under the belt with a trip to the Isle of Wight for Cowes Week 2010 sailing regatta.
To make the most of the opportunity I headed down on the Bumblebee… mer after work on Thursday rather than dealing with a 6:30am train from Waterloo on Friday morning.
As I have now come to expect, a great ride on the bike. So easy to set the bike up with the electronic suspension when the luggage goes on the back and for the quick trip down the A3 to Portsmouth it just chews up the miles.
Another great thing about travelling by bike is you just seem to be able to lob up to ferry crossings and they fit you on the next crossing regardless of your booked slot. So with a quick trip to Portsmouth, I was riding onto the Isle of Wight just after 8pm.
GPS said it was jut a 20 min ride to the B&B I had booked (Luccombe Hall in Shanklin if you are ever in the area), so naturally I made that trip take an hour and explored some of the surrounding town in the south east corner of the island.
Friday was sailing day in Cowes, so I dropped the bike off nearby and headed into the town to meet up with the crew for the day. Cowes Week is a very big thing for the town an everyone there looked the part. Right down to the sun-bleached pink shorts and lime green polo shirts. I would say it’s all very English, but I think it’s quite universal for the amateur sailor.
We were sailing on a J29 as part of a day out with a business partner and before heading off we were suitably kitted up with nice vendorwear. Very nice in fact. Musto gortex shell, polo shirt and cap. None of which were pink or lime green so it was a good start.
After a few practice tacs and jibes we raced from midday until about 2pm and finished in quite a respectable 13th place. I say respectable because I wasn’t the speediest on the winch, one guy suffered a quality head wound when putting up the spinnaker, and on the second try with the spinnaker it went up backwards. All in all it was great fun and a great event.
Today was all about the ride again. Up for a full English at the B&B and when the other guys headed for the ferry, I went for a lap of the island. For the next 2 hours or so I followed the coast line through little villages and stopped to take in the scenery as some nice spots looking out over the channel to the south.
Finally it was time to leave the small island and return to the big island and again, I got the 1pm ferry no trouble even though I had booked the 4pm crossing.
From Portsmouth I headed to Chichester and followed some quieter, windy roads back towards London arrive home about 10 mins ago (I wrote most of this on the iPhone during the ferry crossing!).
Another great outing with the new toy. The next trip is now in the planning stage as Sasha and I are heading up to Scotland for 6 days at the end of August. This will be Sasha first trip on the new bike so hopefully she finds it as comfy as I do.
Until then here are a few photos of my ride around the Isle of Wight.