Joy Ride

Day 154: Newport to Newport (loop) England, Wednesday September 20th

What’s better than a ride without the camping gear? A ride with just the essentials. Staying two nights in Newport meant we had a day to ride some of the island that we hadn’t visited yet.

The first section took us along the Medina river, heading north, then east on quiet roads towards the Fishbourne ferry that we will take to Portsmouth tomorrow. It was a very pleasant ride, but Appa lost a bolt holding the front rack to the fork. We couldn’t find it, but Deb jury-rigged it using an ivy vine. Jungle repair! This was good enough to keep the rack from making an awful clattering noise as I rode.

It got quite hilly as we worked our way over to Nettlestone, but it smoothed out some after we turned south.

When we had worked our way back to the Red Squirrel trail again we took it north for a few kilometres, then up onto gravel roads to get to the quaint village of Godshill. We met a cycletourer on a fully loaded bike and he helped us with directions. He was camping around the island, which made us feel a little like wusses.

In Godshill we went to the Model Village. This completed a sort-of triumvirate of miniature tourist attractions for us: Miniature Wonderland in Hamburg, Legoland in Denmark, and now this.

It opened in 1952 when a Mr. Dam built a model of the Isle of Wight town, Shanklin, in the Old Vicarage gardens. It’s been expanded since then by a family that first purchased the site in the late 60s. My favourite thing about this Model village was that it had the model village in it, complete with tiny tourists looking at the buildings.

We retraced our steps to the Red Squirrel Trail and rode back to Newport where we couldn’t resist going back to the Hogshead. This time the special was “pie and a pint” and the game was Manchester United vs Burton Albion. It was a hopeless cause for Burton, a team who plays in a stadium that holds less than seven thousand people. Soccer is weird.

Distance: 50 km

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