Last weekend was one of those “why have I not done this before?” types of weekend. Guy rang me on Thursday and suggested that it might be a good idea if we went to the Isle of Man for a bike ride. Me and Dave already had plans for a big ride but after checking with him and also checking that Guy definitely meant bicycles and not motorbikes we were all set.
The plan was simple. Drive to Heysham in the van at 10pm Friday, leave the van there and get the 2am boat to the Isle of Man which would arrive at 6am-ish. We’d all be wearing our cycling clothes, ready to go. Off the boat, ride for hours and hours, back to the boat for the 8pm sailing, back home by 2am. Less than 40 quid return, it seemed almost too straightforward, but apart from a café stop (which included beans on the thickest slices of toast I’ve ever seen), a ‘just popping in here to buy me dad a Triumph” stop, a quick visit to my mate Ron and several cup of tea stops, the straightforward plan is precisely what happened.
We rode 125 miles of some of the quietest, smoothest and toughest roads in the country (I know it’s technically not the UK, but anyway) and the views were stunning. The comparative lack of potholes and damaged roads wasn’t confined to the TT course either – the whole island rode like a dream really.
I’m not sure a one-geared road bike was my brightest idea but Guy was taking his fixed-wheel bike so what was I supposed to do? We encountered a lot of very steep gradients that we had to zig-zag our way up and I’m surprised that my back didn’t explode outwards, but it was a good workout I suppose….
If you’ve never ridden in the Isle of Man before, you really should.
In true “do you know who we are?” fashion, we were treated very well by the crews on the ferries and at Douglas port. We’re talking cabins (so our 28 hours away from home was punctuated by a few hours sleep) and sandwiches here, no messing about. Thanks to the lovely Steam Packet crews for looking after us :0)
A great adventure and not for the last time either.