A group of seven participants from Seaford College set off early on Sunday morning to complete the annual Round The Island bike event on the Isle of Wight. Starting from Ryde, the route is a 100km anti-clockwise lap of the island, sticking as much as possible to back roads.
“In the morning we were blessed with good weather and although we took a couple of wrong turns leaving Ryde, there was little to hold us up as we made our way through Cowes and on towards Yarmouth,” said houseparent Matthew Pitteway, who organised the day. “Although undulating, the north of the Isle of Wight is not too hilly and with little wind we made good time, arriving at our lunch destination in Freshwater Bay just before 1pm.
“From Freshwater Bay, the first of the day’s climbs began. Taking on a decent amount of fuel helped us as we powered our way up the old military road heading east towards Ventnor. Another climb at Blackgang Chine, just outside Ventnor, proved the most demanding of the day, especially as by this stage the weather had changed and the rain was coming down. We still had more than 30km of cycling left and the mist was down, the rain was persistent and lunch seemed a long time ago.
“From the top of Blackgang Chine we were rewarded with a long steady decent. A quick pitstop at a shop in Ventnor allowed us the opportunity to take on more fuel and this gave us the motivation to power on through to the finish.
“Arriving back in Ryde in time for the 4.45pm ferry, although tired, we were all incredibly proud of our achievement. We look forward to the next event – the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in July!”