An Isle of Wight sportive with an opening circuit held on closed roads will return next year.
Organisers of the Isle of Wight Riviera, a sportive started by all participants on a 25km traffic-free loop, have pledged to bring the event back to the island in 2013.
Some 550 people rode the inaugural event on Sunday 20, tackling one of four routes that ranged from 25km to 154km.
Martin Harrison from organisers, Southern Sportive, said the event would return at a similar time next year.
“It’s a spot on the calendar that works. Why change it? We opened entry to all of this year’s events last November, and we’ll do they same next year,” he said.
Peter Mulloy, 58, a teacher from Southampton, was among those who tackled the route.
“I’ve ridden the Island four of five times. It has a nice circular route, clockwise or anti clockwise. We were taken onto some roads that I’ve not taken before,” he said.
An experienced touring cyclist, preparing to ride from Nantes to Austria in two weeks time, he said he was impressed by the organization of the Riviera, and pledged to return next year to improve his time among those who recorded ‘silver’ times.
“If you’re going to do the Isle of Wight, the cycle up to Blackgang when you’re presented with the Needles in the distance has to be a must for everybody,” he said.
While deprived of the brilliant sunshine that illuminated many areas of the UK in days building up to the ride, the mild, damp day provided ideal cycling weather, said Harrison, with riders rolling out from Yarmouth Harbour under high, thin cloud into a day that grew steadily warmer.
Four complaints have been logged by motorists with Southern Sportive (“three of them polite”) said Harrison, who added that, to his knowledge, the local authority had received none.
Photographs of the event will soon be able to download from Southern Sportive’s website. A £1 donation for each image will go to the Island’s Earl Mountbatten Hospice, a charity nominated by RCUK.