Most years, Kent Velo Girls have a special day out in summer called the One Day Tour (ODT) where we travel somewhere completely different for a long ride. In 2021 the ODT was back after a few years off and involved a ferry trip to the Isle of Wight and a 65 mile ride around the island. Read Janet’s account of her first ODT.
‘Having joined KVG during Covid I had heard many tales of Sportives and KVG days out, riding 100 km plus heaving trestle tables full of food. For my first One Day Tour I was apprehensive but excited (and ultimately tired but elated) and definitely not disappointed!
The trip started the night before the event with a drive down to Portsmouth with Hatty. Putting my bike up onto the roof-rack was something I had never done before – and a real struggle with my heavy bike! Meanwhile, in comparison, Hatty’s almost floated up there and with that I determined to get a new bike should I complete the following day’s challenge!
We spent the night in a hotel and had a meal with some of the other KVG. After breakfast and then the ferry to Fishguard the nervousness grew: would I be able to get round and how would it compare to the roads of Kent, Sussex and Surrey?
Well! With incidents near the start lights & then an immediate sharp left-hand bend showed there were going to be some differences – and I wasn’t allowed to ride (hide) on the back! At the first food stop there were so many different types of cake I couldn’t really choose so decided to have a bit of each! There were other options bananas, bars etc but I can only remember the cake. I was a bit disappointed there was no alcohol on offer (well, it was midday!) but for everyone else a cup of tea was welcomed.
There was much talk and trepidation from me about Blackgang Hill but we all got up. What took my breath away was after leaving that food stop being faced with the most enormous white cliff and seeing all the KVG climbing it ahead. It looked at it and thought it seemed impossible but of course it wasn’t! The wind at the top was unforgettable but we survived that too.
There was a real sense of achievement when got to the lunch stop at Yarmouth after 45 miles. The lunch stop was even better with the most amazing freshly baked baguettes – all delicious, fizzy drinks, fruit yet more cake (if only I had more pockets!) little bags of haribos, cashew nuts, mixed nuts and dried fruit to get us through the last 25 miles. All amazing, I was like a little kid in a sweet shop!
Although I felt very tired at the start of the final 25 miles, the lovely James Orr let me draft him for the first few miles and we caught up with all the other groups at the Cowes Chain ferry. We had done 61 miles so we were on the home stretch after that. This didn’t stop me feeling almost jealous of the group that had a mechanical by the seafront as I’d have loved to have stopped for an ice-cream!
It was for me a very tough ride but if I could do it you can too! I’m so grateful for the support of the group I was with and the support team and vehicle but I’m also definitely looking forward to the next big challenge.