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Isle of Wight launches cycling campaign

Posted by Richard Hammond at 01:12 on Wednesday 18 June 2014

The Isle of Wight's tourist board has launched a campaign known as 'Bicycle Island' to promote the island as one of the UK's top cycling destinations.

Miles of freshly surfaced cycleway are to be added to the island's 200 miles of bridleways and cycleways, plus a range of cycling facilities are to be installed, including baggage transfers on multi-day routes and several new “Bike-friendly Buses” with specially designed racks that can carry up to six bikes.

Visit Isle of Wight has already held workshops and meetings on the Island to encourage local businesses to get involved. In addition, The Isle of Wight Council is working with Community Action Isle of Wight to provide a Bicycle Island Development Grant Scheme, which is aimed at helping local businesses invest in new products and services to benefit visitors and residents.

Photo: Visit Isle of WightPhoto: Visit Isle of WightTom Ransom, who previously helped promote cycle tourism in New Zealand, is co-ordinating Bicycle Island for Visit Isle of Wight. He says, “We now have many tourism operators and accommodation providers wanting to be involved in the campaign. Whether it’s investing in hire bike services or becoming accredited as “Cyclist Welcome” accommodation, more and more businesses on the Island are becoming cycle aware. And the Bicycle Island web pages provide a really valuable platform for us to promote the Island as a genuine cycling paradise”.

The site shows the key multi-day route themes, mapping and - crucially - all of the specialist back-up services available to visitors wanting to tour the island. The most obvious innovation for visitors to the Island is the creation of a host of day rides and three new waymarked multi-day themed trails. Routes cover most interests, and some are specifically aimed at helping couples and families who would never normally consider taking on a cycling holiday, to take to two wheels.

  • The Taste Around the Island Cycle Route is a relaxed 64-mile, four-day tour on quiet country lanes. The route highlights the best food-and-drink experiences on the Island with luggage forwarding and accommodation in quality B&Bs also available.
  • The Red Squirrel Trail, mostly on traffic-free cycle ways and disused railway lines, is an especially family friendly overnight mini-tour. This “rail trail” route, similar to the French “Voies Verts” provides a gentle gradient and outstanding backdoor views of specialist wildlife habitats including some key red squirrel spotting stops along the way.
  • The Chalk Ridge Extreme Route has been created for more adventurous off-road cyclists. The 50-miles route offers some of the country’s most stunning chalk-ridge single tracks with panoramic views over the whole island

>> For more information about cycling routes on the Isle of Wight, see:
Walking and Cycling on the Isle of Wight

>> For where to stay and how to travel to and around the Isle of Wight, see:
Greentraveller Guide to the Isle of Wight

by Richard Hammond

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