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Showing posts from May, 2021

Nutrition Review – Creative Nature Energy Bars and Snacks

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To get the most from your long summer rides, you need to keep fuelling your body with tasty and wholesome ride snacks; the range of vegan snack bars and bites from UK-based brand Creative Nature are a great option that I have been trying out on some recent summer endurance rides. Creative Nature Raw Fruit Oaties are cold-pressed fruit flapjack bars; packed full of dried fruit, oats, and berries. They are raw, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free—making them suitable for all diet types. They taste great, are free from artificial sweeteners and refined sugar, and are also rich in Vitamin C—counting as one of your five-a-day. I have tried all six varieties, but I think the Carrot Cake is my firm favourite. Creative Nature Gnawbles are another super ride snack or everyday high-protein snack. They are crispy nibbles of pea protein coated in chocolate, in a variety of tasty flavours. The Dark Orange Chocolate flavour is particularly delicious. They are low in sugar, so the perfect sn

Best Gravel Bike Cycling Routes on the Isle of Wight

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I ride a gravel bike on the Isle of Wight more than I ride any other; it is the perfect way to explore the vast network of quiet roads and exciting open trails. In this  post, I have tailor-made a selection of the best gravel cycling routes on the Isle of Wight, with suggested pit-stops and highlights. The Isle of Wight roads, trails, and tracks are my home. I have toured all over the world, but whenever I come back to this small island off the South Coast of the UK I am amazed at how diverse and beautiful the riding is here. 'The Island' is very easy to get to with a bike—use one of the three car ferry routes from Portsmouth, Lymington or Southampton; or come as a foot passenger and bring your bike for free on the Wightlink FastCat  from Portsmouth Harbour train station. You can get to the Island from Central London in just a little over three hours. Once you are here, there is a plethora of bike-friendly accommodation: from hotels and B&B's to campsites and Eco-

Explore – 5 Best Mountain Bike Routes on the Isle of Wight

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The Lonely Planet rated the Isle of Wight as one of the best places in the world to explore by mountain bike; it might not have mountains, but it has hundreds of miles of fantastic natural trails with a wide variety of terrain, and spectacular views. I have been riding a mountain bike on the Isle of Wight trails for as long as I have been walking, and I can safely say I have explored every bridleway and bike path the Island has to offer. These five routes link up my personal favourite sections and paths; with a range of lengths and intensities to cater to different rider abilities. For routes for Gravel Bikes and Road Cycling, check out my other Explore-IOW posts. Wight Mountain Bike Route #1 — Red Squirrel Trail Difficulty – Easy Distance – 22.5 kilometres (14 miles) Elevation Profile – Flat (170 metres elevation gain) The Red Squirrel Trail is a signposted family friendly mountain biking route on the Isle of Wight. The below selection of the route is a circular loop sta

Explore – Le Tour de Wight – Isle of Wight Road Cycling Tour

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Last year I published a post on ' 7 Essential Ingredients for an Isle of Wight Bike Ride ' — they included highlights such as historical landmarks, beaches, café stops, and quiet country lanes. In this post, I have put together the 'Tour de Wight' — a custom made route that links together elements of all these highlights, and creates a road cycling tour that will show you the best of the Isle of Wight. The route is 100 miles long, starting and finishing at the Wightlink car ferry terminal at Fishbourne. This is a convenient starting point, but you could also begin from East Cowes, Cowes, Yarmouth, or Ryde Esplanade without needing to ride too much extra distance to join the route. From Fishbourne, the route heads south over the Downs towards Newchurch. Here you turn onto the Sustrans bike path towards Newport and continue through to the crossing at Horringford — a great piece of bike path that demonstrates the efforts made to reuse old railway line routes as bike p

Review – Aeron LAB Polartec Sleeveless Summer Base Layer

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Not all summer cycling base layers were created equal. Some are simply far cooler than the rest. The new Aeron LAB Polartec Sleeveless Base Layer utilises a unique cooling technology found in Polartec Delta™ fabric—to keep you comfortable when things hot up. Most summer base layers use a wicking fabric—designed to quickly move moisture away from your body and keep you dry. Polartec Delta™ is a wicking fabric with a difference though; it uses hydrophilic fibres that hold onto moisture a little longer, allowing the perspiration to also have a cooling effect on the torso. The superlight 'slow wicking' open-mesh weave maintains exceptional airflow through the base layer as well—further aiding the cooling effect; while the low neckline and low bulk make this the perfect layer to wear underneath race suits and jerseys. Out on the road, the dhb Aeron LAB Polartec® Base Layer does perform exceptionally well; feeling cooler, lighter, and less noticeable than most other summer base layer

The Wight Prestige — A Weekend of Gravel and Gourmet Food on the Isle of Wight

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Fancy joining me for a weekend getaway of the best gravel riding the Isle of Wight has to offer? Fancy tasting the best gourmet food on the Island and experiencing a weekend stay in a beautiful yurt on the grounds of the famous Garlic Farm? Welcome to the Wight Prestige... 24th to 26th September 2021 The Garlic Farm on the Isle of Wight This September, make an Island escape. I have set up an incredible all-inclusive* weekend of riding, relaxing, and fantastic food with The Garlic Farm. Here's what is on offer… Groups of four will be welcomed to a cosy yurt at the Garlic Farm. Fuelled by fully-catered (garlicky as you wish) meals, we then head out on two days of fully guided and supported rides on the trails and country lanes of the Isle of Wight. Accommodation, mouth-watering restaurant meals, luggage transfers and support from local experts are all provided within the package. Gravel n Garlic... Let's Ride! What is Included? Accommodation  Accommodation in luxury yurts at The