May, should have started off with the annual cycle trip across the Isle of Wight, which is always held on the first bank holiday in May. There’s usually a good crowd of at least 50 people of all ages and abilities. Unfortunately this year there was only me, as a lot of the families that normally go have teenage children and they had exams to do the following week, so they decided to stay at home and let them revise for their exams, as a result of this it was decided to cancel the trip. I only decided to go at the last minute on Friday night. The Friday had been really nice with loads of lovely warm sun and seeing as I wasn’t there last year I thought that I should go and keep up the tradition. Should have known better, the Saturday started off sunny, but it soon clouded over, the wind got up and there was the odd shower, normal Isle of Wight weather really! But it was still a nice ride across the island.
The Isle of Wight trip all started off about 10 years ago and has seemed to get bigger each year. Everybody normally meets at the ferry terminal in Portsmouth on Saturday morning, getting there by whatever means possible, usually, most people arrive by train. We then catch the 10.30 ferry across to the Isle of Wight where everybody cycles the 17 miles across the island to the campsite at Brighstone.
The Saturday evening usually includes a trip to the bikers (motor bikers) festival held in an old run down holiday camp, a couple of fields away.
The biker’s trip all started some ten years ago on one of the first IOW trips. We’d had supper and were sitting around talking and drinking. We could hear some music coming from the field next door and had seen a lot of bikers in the day, so at about midnight after rather a lot of drink Myself, Dave Barr, John Barr, Fiona Ross and Emma Taylor all decided that we would go and investigate.
Off we set for the short walk across the fields jumping a couple of fences and sneaking around the backs of tents and some old holiday chalets hanging precariously on the edge of the cliff. There was a big marquee in the centre of this old holiday camp where all the music was coming from so we made our way to that, upon arrival we were greeted by several big hairy bikers urinating right outside the main door not being discreet at all! There was nobody on the door so we just walked straight in, once in it was nothing like we were expecting, everybody was in fancy dress, it resembled something from the Rocky Horror show! The music was nothing like the sort of heavy metal music that you might normally associate with bikers; it was anything but, old school disco and some 70’s glam rock! The lead singer whilst singing would change the lyrics of the songs and just keep telling everybody to f**k off! We did look a bit out of place, not in the way that we expected (we thought everybody would be dressed in leathers, well some were but it was more like the sort of leather clothes you get in an adults speciality shop!) but nobody took any notice and everybody was so friendly, we even managed to get free drinks all night!
As the years went on we would sell the IOW trip to new people telling them about the bikers do, it became a tradition that we would gate crash the bikers do and it even got to the stage where the bikers knew us and would expect us to gate crash! Didn’t go to the bikers do this year, it wouldn’t have been the same on my own and too scary!
I decided on the Saturday night that I would make the weekend in to a mini tour. On Sunday I cycled round the island or three-quarters of it and got the ferry back home Sunday night. Monday I cycled back to Portsmouth to visit a friend that I hadn’t seen since I went away on my big cycle ride, way back in 2011. Not having any work booked in for the Tuesday I decided to ride in the opposite direction and went to Brighton via Arundel for the day, a nice weekend ride of about 240 miles. May bank holiday
The following weekend I went up to London with Julie on the train for the day and walked along the south side of the river Thames from the Houses of Parliament up to Tower Bridge taking in the sites, we crossed the Thames at Tower Bridge then walked up along Fleet street and up to Leicester Square and had something to eat in China town, which is just behind Leicester Square, before walking back to Victoria train station via Buckingham Palace and getting the train home. A pleasant walk of about 8 miles. London
Bought a new barbeque, my old one had rusted away so I decided that I needed a new one and got carried away buying food for it. I spent nearly £200 on meat and I wasn’t even going to invite anybody round! Luckily the freezer was empty, so I managed to squeeze it all into there. I’ve had a couple of barbeques over the month, (not just for me!) but not as many as I would have liked, every time I think of doing one the weather turns wet! Typical British summer really!
I’ve been for a few short rides, mainly on the weekends, but nothing major. One Sunday I went for a ride to Arundel about 9 miles away and went through the woods at Binsted, really pretty with the Bluebells in full flower. Other than that I’ve been working, very boring!