Not many seem to have written about the round trip on Man. Try www.mapmyride.com for some suggestions
So without any real examples to follow here is my blog of the trip
Firstly 2.15 am to catch a ferry is not ideal. But that makes it all possible. www.steam-packet.com/ provides an excellent service. You park at Heysham Ferry Terminal Car Park (£7.50)then walk your bike onto the ferry and are off. Remember to buy your ticket online at least 24hrs before to get the reduced rates. Its not well advertised. Its much more expensive on the day. There was plenty of space to rest and if you dont sleep well bring a sleeping bag (but thats more weight). The trip is 3 1/2 hours so by 6am you are on the streets and ready to start. Check the weather first.
I chose a clockwise route
So off from the Harbour in Douglas then follow the A25 to Castletown
From here follow the A5 to Port St Mary and then do the extra stretch to Cregneash which has some wonderful views
Worth cycling to the end of the road at Burroo Ned
Then north but take the single track road that goes past Ballnahowe and into Port Erin. This is a lovely harbour (one of several) great beach and sea walls.
From Erin head out on the A36 towards Peel. Near Burro Meanagh there is a great view with a small pillar worth reading
Then follow the A36 to a cross roads and head for the A27 and Peel. At Dalby there is a short road to the beach. A good diversion.
Then on to Peel. Another lovely place for a walk aroundthe town and where I had a well earned Bacon Butty. Yummy. Also at http://www.panoramio.com/photo/10353332
Follow the A4 north along the shore. Through Kirk Michael and the A3 until Ballugh where you turn left towards The Cronk. This turns into the A10. Just passed The Lhun turn off left towards the coast for the Blue Point cafe and visitor centre (shop). Worth the diversion.
Stick to the A10 and take a further diversion to Point of Ayre well worth the view on a good day. After that head to bride and the road south towards Ramsey
Ramsey has a broad sea front and it would be easy to spend time here, eg lunch
From Ramsey the route to Douglas should be fine but there is a useful diversion to Maughold Head for 2 reasons. the first is the view, which is stunning
The second is the collection of stone Manx crosses in the local church. No vistor centre but explanatory notices for each. try http://www.gov.im/mnh/heritage/story/manxcrosses.xml
The road back to the main Ramsey Douglas route is the A15. Its surprisingly steep and longer than I though. At the main road, turn left onto the A2. This is a busier road than the rest but pretty safe. Where the rail line meets the road at Dhoon there is a small cafe. The proprietor is a real character and will swiftly explain whats wrong in the community. Salt of the earth and the tea cakes are good value.
Along the A2 is the Laxey wheel, a huge watermill, red and working. http://www.iomguide.com/laxeywheel.php
Follow the road south to Douglas. Douglas itself is a large townn with a wonderful sea front. You can lock your bike at the ferry office and walk aroun the shops pubs etc.
Finally the view from the ferry on departure is stunning. So save some battery power to take shots from outside.
The above is 84 miles worth and a big fatty like me did it within 10 hours so you have plenty of time to achieve this special trip. I hope to do it again soon
Few last thoughts.
- Its very windy.
- Watch the weather forecasts closely (Met Office)
- Cafes and Hotels are abundant
Hope you enjoyed this. I have posted more photos on the Picassa part of this site.
Next blog gets back to leadership issues I think