Hayling Island is in a great position for the leisure cyclist. We have the South Downs national park right on our doorstep.
The best way is to join a group. That way you can:
- Learn routes that avoid main roads
- Enjoy exploring the countryside with like-minded people
- Stretch yourself knowing you have support from the group if you get into trouble
- Get good advice about clothing and equipment
- Find out other cycling possibilities in the area and further afield
Before joining a group ride:
- Make sure your bike is roadworthy
- Find out the club rules for group rides and make sure you understand them
- Find out what types of ride are available – start with a short ride and build from there
- Are you comfortable on your bike? Do you need to upgrade your bike or get some cycle clothing – if you’re uncomfortable after a few miles, that will only get worse over longer distances. Click here to find out more about cycle clothing.
- Equip yourself with:
- A map of the area you’ll be cycling in
- A puncture repair kit, pump and – preferably – a spare inner tube
- Mobile phone – if you have one
We’d be happy to try to answer any specific questions you might have.
You might find ride distances to be daunting, but try converting them to time on the bike. For example, 25 miles is not unsual for a starter ride. It might sound a lot, but it translates to just 2-3 hours of easy cycling.
You have access to a number of groups:
- Portsmouth CTC (Havant CTC, in practice) is a very friendly cycle touring club, who organise free rides several times a week. Rides are mostly at ‘touring’ not sporting speeds, and vary from short to long, slow and sociable to a bit faster. Day rides break for ‘elevenses’, giving you the choice to come back after that or carry on to lunch and afternoon. Some people eat in a café, others bring sandwiches. There are evening rides (to a pub) and regular club nights. New riders are always welcome and rides are free, but after your third free trial ride, you will need to join Cycling UK so that you (and the club) is covered by their insurance.
- Hayling Island U3A (University of the third age) Cycle group. Cycles on the first Tuesday of each month starting from HIADS. The group sometimes cycles to Havant, takes a train to the starting point and cycles back from there. To meet the terms of U3A’s insurance policy, riders must be members of the U3A. Rides are planned shortly before each event to take account of weather, and rider preferences. To find out more, contact Andy Henderson via the Hayling U3A web site.
- The Portsmouth Cycle Forum, also known as PompeyBUG (Bike User Group), is a campaigning organisation similar to Cycle Hayling, quite active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It also organises a few rides throughout the year, free and open to all.