Gearing up for Bicycle Island

By a County Press reporter

Monday, February 10, 2014

 

Gearing up for Bicycle Island

Cycling events, such as the Isle of Wight Cycling Festival (pictured above) could help bring more tourists to the Isle of Wight. Picture by Laura Holme.

CYCLISTS could hold the key to tourism success for the Isle of Wight, according to the man charged with boosting numbers of bike-riding visitors.

Tom Ransom has been appointed by tourism body Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW), thanks to the Isle of Wight Council's successful Local Sustainable Transport Fund bid.

Tom, who moved to the Island from New Zealand — where he was involved in its national cycle trail scheme — said: "Cycle tourists are looking for high-end accommodation and back-up services like baggage transfers and they are prepared to pay well for it.

"It’s less about speedy Lycra super heroes, more about active over 50s using comfort bikes on four nights.

"That way they van relax and enjoy our stunning scenery and have lots of opportunities to stop and spend."

He is to host a Cycle Tourism workshop on February 18, when speakers will talk about cycle tourism examples from around the world.

The invite-only event is due to take place at the Bargeman's Rest. Anyone who would like to attend can contact Tom via tom@visitwight.org

This year’s Isle of Wight Cycling Festival takes place from September 14 to 29.

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Displaying the last 10 of 26 comments - Show All Comments

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by Alan Rowe

11th February 2014, at 17:41:03

Tourism is vital for the Island and we as Islanders should support any moves to encourage people to come over, weather on foot, by car, coach or bicycle.
The anti cycling comments here are potentially damaging to the tourist industry, which is one of the Island's biggest employers.
Personally I find this sustainable transport initiative most welcome, good work.

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by David Blackford

11th February 2014, at 14:16:30

I think some of you chaps are just jealous of those chaps in their lycra shorts

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by James McAdder

11th February 2014, at 12:20:40

I see the anti-cyclist brigade are out in force again, tarring all with the same bush as an inconsiderate few.

In my experience, those motorists that whine most about cyclists are usually those whose own driving skills leave a lot to be desired.

Oh, and let's not have any garbage about "we pay our road tax". The Vehicle Excise Duty, to give it its proper name, does not go towards paying for the roads. As none of the roads on the IW are trunk roads, they are all paid for out of local taxation. So it is householders who pay for the roads, not motorists.

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by John James

11th February 2014, at 06:59:29

Most cyclists are practical folk, you have to be if you spend any length of time on a bike so I think the idea that they will be looking for high end accommodation is a bit daft.

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by Keven Ball

10th February 2014, at 22:00:44

Lee - what is that post about? Are you trying to say horses can use off road cycle lanes? maybe if you made an off-road cycle track away from horses then, lol. It gets better by the day.

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by Keven Ball

10th February 2014, at 20:07:19

Then it would be best to have an off-road biking track marked out to keep the cyclist away from the poor roads. Also, that will keep them away from cars etc. That way everyone is a winner? I do not worry about my name I gave-up with that days ago, lol.

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by Paul Cox

10th February 2014, at 19:56:56

Sorry Kevin, not Ken. apologies.

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by Paul Cox

10th February 2014, at 19:55:45

@ Kevin Ball - Yes you can Ken and I would have no problem whatsoever with any off road cycling event being organised, my concern is just with bikes on roads. The state of our roads is just not suitable for bikes and ordinary traffic. I ride a motorbike as well as driving a car, and to be honest I think the state of the roads is even becoming too unsafe to ride a motorbike on ! Not that the cowboys who are supposed to be "fixing" our roads are doing anything about it...

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by Keven Ball

10th February 2014, at 14:41:33

You can bike/cycle off road Paul!

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by Mike Crowe

10th February 2014, at 14:22:55

Well said Paul

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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