Across the Isle of Wight and Into Hampshire

Today's mission; cycle the 31 miles to Portsmouth, jump on the fast Cat to Ryde on the Isle of Wight, cycle the 17 miles to Yarmouth, jump on a ferry to Lymington and then cycle the 7 miles to New Milton and crash at my Brother-in-law Steve's house.

Completed. Again quite chuffed with this, time in the saddle is getting easier on the legs but harder on the bum. A total of 55 miles in some pretty blistering heat. Sun tan protection is a must first thing tomorrow. I'm normally pretty blasé about this, but its getting a little out of control already.

Portsmouth harbour itself is quite a piece of work and these days is not a bad tourist attraction. They've certainly spent a bit of cash round here and smartened the place up. Some old favourites remain though;

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The fast Catamaran over to Ryde is pretty cool I have to admit. 22 minutes and £11.30 later I was on a whole different island.

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The cycling on the IOW is very nice indeed. Rolling hills rather than mountains and the main roads are pretty well maintained. Previous experience though tells me that once you get off those A roads its a different story and a 4x4 is a handy tool.

I was in a pretty positive mood by the time I landed in Ryde and really wanted to get that leg cracked and back onto the mainland. The 17 miles went by pretty much without incident, apart from one octogenarian jumping out into the street in front of me at traffic lights to quiz me on my destination and route, before tripping into a story about a guy who rode round the world. All useful stuff (?) But I was too polite just to ride on.

On finding Yarmouth my brakes decided that they had done enough work for the day. Conveniently this was at the point of spotting a ferry in port just under final loading and I raced straight onto the boat, shouting my apologies to a rather bemused ticket collectors as I passed. The ramp up onto the car deck slowed me enough to perform the child's favourite "feet down and pray" emergency stop without too much embarrassment.

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Felt a little bit odd to be leaving IOW after such a fleeting visit, but having been delayed leaving home by a day and the prospect of work commitments on my return, I seriously need to up the pace.

Tomorrow's challenge is the first of what I am terming "the lumpy rides" heading out from New Milton for Dorchester. The real lumpy ones begin after this, but its a good 45 miles with some not so rolling hills so it will be good to see how the knees, back and bum stack up. I've already been tipped off about some cheap support bandages in the local vicinity which I may well invest in. By the time I get to Land's End I reckon I will be wrapped up like a mummy and smothered in deep heat.

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