Just for a cycling-flavoured warm-up here’s a picture of a toasted bike c/o John Banbury-based Batts who sent it to me.

Jack trying out his bike with his new motorcycle exhaust attachment that Gary found in a local charity shop.

Hells Angel Daisy Dew.

Jack on his more peaceful-on-the-ear scoot-along balance bike.

My Isle-of-Wight-by-bike-and-pram-saga is now all done and dusted. In May half term I headed back to the Isle of Wight with 3 year-old Jack and  freshly 7 year-old Daisy. Here the young-wheeling duo  are heading onto the ferry at Lymington. Next stop Yarmouth.

Heading up the River Yar path to Freshwater in heavy rain.

The foothills of Tennyson Down.

Going up.

Still going up.

Daisy having a foggy rest.

Then it got foggier and foggier. Do we go this way, that way or t’other way?

T’other way proved the right way. The marble Celtic Cross of the Tennyson monument is sighted merging from the mist. It stands on the highest point of Tennyson Down – a long chalk ridge with sheer 500-feet cliffs on the south side.

The foggy top. In good weather this point offers some of the best views on the island. Not today though. The eerie bellowing of the booming Needles lighthouse sounded good though and made up in sound what we lacked in sight.

Daisy’s looking this way but the North Pole is that way.

Some handy hikers helping me to hoist the pram over kissing gate obstacle . Jack is in the pram and slept through the whole airborne operation.

At the entrance to a farm campsite we met an intriguingly friendly Dutch couple. The husband was riding a touring bike but his wife was riding a self- designed electric recumbent. She told me why.   Several years ago she’d  had a serious car crash which left her disabled. She had been very active but then, as a result of her disability, she became   depressed that she would never ride again. As  we stood in the misty rain she told me it was 0then that she read one of my books which apparently spurred her into doing something about it. So with her engineering son she designed a recumbent specifically around her disability, She was now very happy again and touring with her husband. I was then given a  touchingly big hug and thanked for something I had no idea I had ever done, It was a touchingly bizarre encounter and we’ve kept in contact ever since.

 

 

 

 

Above Alum Bay.

Wartime defenses dug into the cliffs around the Needles.

The high white cliffs of the needles.

The Needles lighthouse was manned up until 1994.

Jack and Daisy in full flow beside the River Medina north of Newport.

The wooded coastal path near Fishbourne.

The finish – Ryde Pier. Although the Isle of Wight coast path is 67 miles long we did 117 miles due to doing several sections multiple times and veering off-course to find food/beds and see interesting sights. Daisy rode her bike all the way; Jack rode his for 88 miles. I pushed him the resat of the way in the pram when his legs were tired or he was sleepy.