Tag Archives: Bicycle Island

Red squirrels with wheels? It’s enough to make you go Twizy…

Already famous for being one of the few places in the UK where it’s possible to catch glimpse of a red squirrel, the Isle of Wight can promise a lot more sightings from Spring, 2016.

The only difference is that this particular colony has wheels, rather than big fluffy tails…and will have much more in common with the French postal service, than a cute species of squirrel.

New, “Red Squirrel Electric Bikes” are already available for hire on the Isle of Wight.

The same make and model of electric bike as used by the French postal service, they are fitted with a small battery-powered motor, giving a subtle power boost which makes riding into wind feel like a gentle breeze, and hills like a gentle slope.

In a nut shell, they will allow visitors to “Bicycle Island” the opportunity to cover much more ground and have more time exploring the hidden corners of the Isle of Wight than they would on a conventional bicycle.

The bikes offer a range of up to 60 miles on a single charge, and the front wheel motor provides three levels of assistance on speeds up to 15.5 mph, as well as a ‘walk assist’ mode which is useful for pushing the bike up steeper inclines.

With a lightweight aluminum frame and front suspension fork, the Red Squirrel Electric Bike comes fully equipped with a sprung comfort saddle, full mudguards to prevent clothes being affected by oil, lights, a useful rear pannier, and even a handlebar mounted USB charging point handy to boost your mobile phone or music player!  Braking is taken care of by powerful alloy V-brakes with a battery cut off for efficient stopping in all conditions.  There are charging locations across the Island.

The new colony of Red Squirrels are based at the Guildhall Visitor Information Centre in Newport, on the Isle of Wight, where a friendly team of Travel Ambassadors will always be on hand to offer ideas on places to go, and things to see.

Alternatively, details of several well-marked bicycle trails around the Island can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/inspiration/bicycle-island.  And everyone hiring a bike will receive a Bicycle Island Isle of Wight Cycle Map, featuring 12 routes from a gentle 5-miles route to Sandown, to a 16-miles run out to Cowes.  A separate 66-miles ‘Taste the Island’ route is one of the other trails available to keener cyclists.

Once named in Lonely Planet’s Top 10 World Cycling Destinations, the Isle of Wight is a year round cyclist’s paradise – with over 500 miles of cycle and bridleways weaving their way through dramatic and contrasting Island landscapes.

The Peugeot EC03 200 bikes make light work of some of the Isle of Wight’s hilly terrain, and offer visitors a great new way of exploring the Island.  As the new website address says: you’d be “nuts not to”.

For further details, visit http://www.nutsnotto.co.uk.

Hire charges range from £20 per bike for one person for half a day, to the value-for-money £120 full day hire for four bikes.

Not satisfied with already introducing this eco-friendly means of touring the Island, the Isle of Wight also plans to launch a similar opportunity from the seat of an electric powered Renault Twizy, from March 15th.  Further details will be announced shortly.

For further information about The Isle of Wight, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672



Ten Reasons To Visit The Isle of Wight This Summer

The Isle of Wight – proven in the past to be one of the sunniest places in the whole of the UK – has a hot summer season of festivals, events and activities for its visitors to enjoy this year.  Here’s just ten reasons to spend some time there this summer:

1. The Carnival Capital of the UK

The Isle of Wight is home to the oldest carnival in the UK.  Ryde Carnival was first held in 1888, following a highly successful and hugely popular event of the previous year, which marked the Queen’s Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria who attended the event herself.  This year’s Ryde Carnival takes place on Thursday, August 27th.  All the Island’s major towns host similar carnivals, and have also been joined on the summer calendar by Bestival’s Carnival Fancy Dress Parade.

2. Dinosaur Isle

Named the “Dinosaur Capital of Britain” in 2013, the Isle of Wight is the perfect destination for anyone inspired by the latest Jurassic World movie.  Download the Dinosaur Isle app to follow in the footsteps of giants and have photographs taken with them, or head to Compton Bay or Yaverland beaches to search for fossils.  Dinosaur Isle at Sandown, meanwhile, is an interactive museum with life-sized reconstructions, some of which move, that also houses over 1,000 fossils.

3. Sailing Isle

The Isle of Wight’s world-famous Cowes Week is scheduled to take place this year from August 8th to 15th.   But Visit Isle of Wight and Universal Yacht Charter have also joined forces to create a new Bike & Sail experience for the summer.  This new short active break is expected to attract interest amongst groups of friends, families and perhaps businesses looking for something slightly different.

4. Music Isle

Having already successfully staged the latest edition of The Isle of Wight Festival, the Island will be staging v-Dub between July 23th and 27th, followed by one of the world’s best music festivals, Bestival, from September 10th to 13th.

5. Isle of Arts

Each July, Isle of Wight artists and crafts-people open their studios, homes or exhibit in public venues over two open studios weekends.  This gives visitors the opportunity to meet local artists, see their work and find out more about the techniques they use and the passions which inspire them.  Open Studios is a free event and offers the chance to view and purchase a great range of work including painting, sculpture, print-making, photography, textiles, jewellery and ceramics.  Open Studios will be held in West Wight from July 17th to 20th and in East Wight from July 24th to 27th.

6. Garden Isle

The newly introduced “Wight in Bloom” has as its Patron Alan Titchmarsh, and will result in a garden party/awards ceremony this August.  Perennially popular with green fingered visitors, the Island can lay claim to Osborne House, Ventnor Botanic Gardens, and Appuldurcombe House with all of its Capability Brown associations.  A new Isle of Wight Gardens Trail is also planned for launch this summer.

7. Taste of the Wight

Rachel Koo will be the special guest at this year’s Garlic Festival over the weekend of August 15th/16th; the Isle of Wight’s annual Sweetcorn Fayre will this year take place on September 26th to 29th; and the Bembridge Harbour Food Festival is set for September 25th/26th.  A full listing of Taste of the Wight events can be found here.

8. Attractions Isle

Children will enjoy the Island’s mix of attractions this summer, including Punch & Judy at Osborne, the Knight School at Carisbrooke Castle, The Railway Folk at the IW Steam Railway, Dino Nights at Blackgang Chine and Music & Magic in the Skies at The Needles Landmark Attraction with entertainment, fun and interaction for the whole family.   There are also lots of outdoor nature activities like nature trails, bug hunts as well as lizard safaris at Ventnor Botanic Gardens – and a unique rockpooling opportunity to discover the amazing array of marine life that has made a home Under the Pier – bring a net and a bucket if you have one and make sure to wear wellies or waterproof shoes. Expect to get a bit splashed!

 9. Pure Wight

Adventurous visitors should consider Compton or Freshwater Bay for surf lessons, or kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding to hidden caves and Victorian forts.  For a thrilling view of the coastline, take a high-speed RIB ride around The Needles or paraglide from a hillside near the unspoilt chalk cliffs of the West Wight. Rewarding views and a treetop hammock are on offer for those who conquer technical tree climbing, whilst those searching for something a bit different should consider climbing into a three metre inflatable ball and ‘zorbing’ their way down a hillside. Or if G-forces are not your thing, stick to two wheels and glide around a Segway course.  For these and more Pure Wight adventures, visit http://purewight.co.uk/

10. Bicycle Island

The family-friendly Red Squirrel Trail has been tailored for cyclists who prefer car-free cycling on mainly flat, gentle routes.  Stop-off at golden beaches and cafes passing woodland and the wild flower grassland of Alverstone Mead nature reserve.   Bring your own bike – Island Coasterbuses can take up to six bikes each – or why not hire one?   Routfifty7 bike hire are based just 300yds from Shanklin railway station and lead directly on the Red Squirrel Trail as well as the Chalk Ridge Extreme Trail and the Round the Island Taste Trail.   More routes and bike hire companies can be found at http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/bicycle-island


For all other information about the Isle of Wight, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk.





For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Visit Isle of Wight Press Officer

Tel: 07766 705672

E-mail: sue@visitwight.co.uk


A new Visitor Project Manager who is being 100% funded by the Local Sustainable Transport (LSTF) project has been appointed by Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) to undertake the next stage of the Government-funded campaign, designed to encourage travel behavioural change.


Zoe Stroud, ‎who previously worked for the IW Chamber of Commerce as their Group Marketing Manager, has joined the DMO (Destination Marketing Organisation) on a one-year contract to ensure co-ordination across the Visitor LSTF projects.


Specifically in relation to the “Drive Less See More” campaign, Zoe is developing a team of eco savvy travel ambassadors, who will be helping holiday-makers to enjoy the Island without the need to use their cars.


The ambassadors will visit key tourist sites and will provide free information and special offers on some of the Island’s great car-free experiences, from riding an open-top “breezer” bus to hiring bicycles, or taking great countryside walks.


Working alongside Tom Ransom, VIOW’S “Bicycle Island” champion, Zoe’s other duties will include growing the walking and cycling festival economy and managing the other elements of Access to Visitor experiences.


Zoe said: “I am delighted to join Visit Isle of Wight in this new exciting role. I look forward to continuing working with businesses across the island and developing new partnerships.”


VIOW has worked with the Isle of Wight Council to successfully secure £230,000, a third year of LSTF funding – part of which was used to bring the Pearl Izumi event to the Isle of Wight earlier this month.


Some of this funding is also being used to employ Zoe who with her previous experience in the UK’s tourism industry, will bring much to the benefit of the scheme and the Island.


David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Zoe has shown great strengths in her different roles and is ready to apply her great enthusiasm and passion for the Island in her new role.


“The success of last Thursday’s (14th May) Pearl Izumi Tour Series cycle race in Ryde further reinforces the roll-out of Bicycle Island and we welcome her support in building on existing sustainable travel projects as well as supporting new initiatives”.




For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org


Notes to Editors


•             The attached image was taken at the Pearl Izumi Tour Series cycle race on Thursday, 14th May and shows (left to right) Zoe Stroud, Visitor Project Manager, David Thornton, CEO and Tom Ransom, Sustainable Transport Marketing Executive – Visit Isle of Wight Ltd.


Drive Less See More (DLSM) is the primary public facing brand developed by Visit Isle of Wight for the Isle of Wight Council (IWC) “Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism” project.


This project has been funded by IWC after securing £3.95 Million from the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). The project started on the 12 November 2012 and runs until October 2015.


VIOW has been engaged to deliver the “hearts and minds” marketing/promotion element of the overall bid. This strands primary brand is Drive Less See More. A secondary brand/work stream also carried out under the LSTF funding is Bicycle Island. This is a dedicated campaign to promote and develop the islands Cycle Tourism industry and increase the numbers of visitors on bikes.


What’s been happening so far?


In 2013/14 a number of marketing campaigns were developed by VIOW to support the LSTF bid targets. These included:


Branding and marketing for the LSTF funded coaster Dinosaur bus and promotional materials off island- Meridian TV adverts, leaflets and posters on SW Trains network-+£120K

Spring poster and landmark billboard “your next stop “campaign featuring how close the Island is from London on the train -£39K

Adverts in national magazines such as radio Times, Metro, Times Magazine, BBC Countryfile etc. +£100K

Development of Bicycle Island brand for Cycle Tourism including adverts and promotions EG 6 page feature in the Guardians “Cycling Breaks” magazine supplement-£10K and London tube coving adverts-£26K.  http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/bicycle-island


The next major element of the Visitor LSTF project will be the opening of a travel ambassador centre at a high-profile location on the Isle of Wight – to be announced shortly.


The 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series Rides into Ryde

Thousands of people turned out for one of the Island’s most memorable ever sporting occasions as Ryde town centre was transformed into an incredible 1.3km cycling circuit for the day (14 May 2015).

Community races involving amateur racers and professional team time trials took place throughout the afternoon before the spectacular, main event – The Pearl Izumi Tour Series at 7.30pm.

Paul Herbert, Service Director, Island Roads said: “We are delighted to have played a major role in bringing such a prestigious event to the Island.  As our roads are improved through the highways PFI, it would be nice to think that the Island could host even more top quality cycling events in the future.”

Cllr Ian Ward, Chairman IW Council, said: “I think this is the kind of terrific event that the Isle of Wight needs and we should work together to attract more events of this calibre.”

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Visit Isle of Wight is extremely proud to bring this event to the Island.   A huge audience of visitors and local residents turned out to give ‘Bicycle Island’ a tremendous start to the season – well done to everyone involved.”

Don’t forget to look out for the TV coverage on ITV4 tomorrow evening (15th May) at 8pm!


For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org




An invitation to visit the Isle of Wight on a new “Bike & Sail” experience (Subject to availability)

Visit Isle of Wight and Universal Yacht Charter have joined forces to create a new  “Bike & Sail” experience for 2015.  To help promote this, we would like to invite you to experience this new ‘short break’ during a press visit to the Isle of Wight.

Your tailor-made visit can be made at a time of your own choosing, featuring an itinerary along the following lines:

-Join your yacht in Hamble (a few miles to the south of Southampton) on Friday afternoon for an evening sailing to Cowes.

-Meet-and-greet by Visit Isle of Wight, with the handing-over of a bicycle.

-Overnight on board the yacht on the Isle of Wight.

-A full day of biking around the Isle of Wight (dubbed “Bicycle Island”) following road or off-road routes and finishing in Yarmouth for a second night, or rejoining the yacht to sail back to Cowes.

-Evening meal arranged by Visit Isle of Wight.

-Overnight on the Isle of Wight.

-A full day of sailing back to Hamble.

Other stuff worth knowing

As well as using hire bikes, it is also possible to have your own bikes transferred by ferry for the duration of your visit.

The yachts mainly in use for this experience are Dufour 385 & Beneteau Oceanis 37 – 37/38ft with 3 cabins & saloon area.  The Skipper has own cabin, therefore 6 people share the other 2 double cabins & the saloon berths.

A one night option is also available – sailing from Lymington in the morning to Yarmouth, to arrive lunchtime with a picnic lunch onboard.  Bike provided for the afternoon and then a ferry crossing back to Lymington.

A very special opportunity exists for the 2015 Round the Island Race 2015 (Practice Day Friday 26 June, and  Race Day Saturday 27 June): “We are entering a Skippered Beneteau Oceanis 50 for the Round the Island Race this year.  We already have 8 people booked who are all staying on board, but we do have a couple of spaces for people wanting to join for the days only (overnight accommodation in this instance would be arranged on the Island by Visit Isle of Wight).  We would be happy to give a place to a journalist for these days”.  You can see more details about this at http://www.universalyachtcharter.co.uk/round-the-island-race-2015/.

The story

This new short active break is expected to attract interest amongst groups of friends, families and perhaps businesses looking for something slightly different.  For further details, visit the “Bike & Sail” page at: http://www.universalyachtcharter.co.uk/bike-and-sail-activity-weekends/.

To book your visit

Please contact Ian Weightman at ian.iwms@virgin.net

From Ryde to Bath, the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series

Ryde on the Isle of Wight to host first round as details of venues and teams for the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series announced

The 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series will start with a ticket to Ryde for Britain’s nine fastest teams, as they head to the Isle of Wight on Thursday 14 May, which will culminate five weeks and twelve events later in the world-famous city of Bath on Thursday 11 June.

Four new venues join the unique, team based Pearl Izumi Tour Series, sponsored by leading cycling, running and triathlon apparel brand Pearl Izumi, with Motherwell in Scotland and Croydon joining Ryde and Bath on the ten event schedule, with two debutant teams among the nine squads that will take part in the 2015 Series.

The brand new Team WIGGINS formed by 2012 Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and the ONE Pro Cycling team of England cricketer Matt Prior join the list of teams headlined by defending champions JLT Condor presented by Mavic, who hope to become the first squad to defend their Tour Series title.

Commenting on the announcement, Kellie Parsons, Marketing Director of Madison, Series sponsors with the Pearl Izumi brand said:  “This is our third year as title sponsor of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series. Last year’s Series was a huge success and the line-up of venues sets the tone for an exciting five weeks of racing.”

Week One sees the opening round take place on the Isle of Wight in Ryde, with a tough climb of Union Street shaping the circuit that will play host to an opening team time trial and traditional circuit race.

Week Two continues with the return of two regular venues, Redditch in Worcestershire on the Tuesday evening before the Aberystwyth event on the Friday night kicks off the weekend festival of cycling in the Welsh resort with both a circuit race and a hill climb up to Constitution Hill overlooking the town.

A triple-header week of events will take place during half-term, with a new race in Motherwell, host to the triathlon events during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, before Thursday night’s notorious Durham race and a return for the very popular Barrow event in Cumbria on the Friday night.

The penultimate week of racing will see two events in London, with a first visit to Croydon on the Tuesday before the Thursday night’s race in Canary Wharf, which will also include the popular Corporate Grand Prix event.

The final week of racing will see Peterborough host Round Nine before the final event in the historic city of Bath, using an iconic circuit that takes in the Royal Crescent.  All ten rounds will once again have highlights on ITV4, screened the following evening, the seventh successive year it has been televised by ITV.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Securing pole position of the prestigious Pearl Izumi Tour series – AND hosting the opening team time trial – is a major coup for the Island.

“The Isle of Wight is the only place on the south coast where you can see the race and we look forward to welcoming visitors from Portsmouth, Southampton, the New Forest and further afield.  Not only will they be able to enjoy the thrills of the racing action, but also use it as a reason to stay over and embrace the unique atmosphere that a sporting event of this stature brings to an area.”

“We are delighted to announce the seventh season of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series with prestigious new venues and high-profile new teams,” said Mick Bennett, Race Director of Series organisers SweetSpot.

“The season ahead is certainly going to be highly-competitive and we look forward to what will be an action packed five weeks of competition with Britain’s fastest teams vying for the title.

“As always we have tried to challenge our teams with something new, so we have four new circuits plus what will be a very tough hill climb event as a part of the Aberystwyth event.”

Alongside JLT Condor presented by Mavic, ONE Pro Cycling and Team WIGGINS, three further British registered UCI Continental teams will take part – Madison Genesis, NFTO Pro Cycling and Team Raleigh – GAC.

Three further non-UCI British teams will also enter the full Series, Pedal Heaven RT, SportGrub Kuota and Velosure Starley Primal, with a new trophy being inaugurated for the highest placed non-UCI team at the end of the Series.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series will also once again include a five-round women’s Grand Prix Series, culminating just a week before the biggest women’s cycle race in the UK, the Friends Life Women’s Tour (17-21 June).  Further details of the Grand Prix Series, including venues, will be announced shortly.

Past winners of the unique, team based Pearl Izumi Tour Series are Team Halfords Bikehut (2009), Motorpoint Marshalls Pasta (2010), Rapha Condor Sharp (2011), Endura Racing (2012), Team UK Youth (2013) and Rapha Condor JLT (2014).


For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Image attached ……


Notes to Editors

Round One                  Thursday 14 May        Ryde, Isle of Wight (including Team Time Trial)

Round Two                  Tuesday 19 May         Redditch

Round Three               Friday 22 May             Aberystwyth (including Hill Climb)

Round Four                 Tuesday 26 May         Motherwell

Round Five                  Thursday 28 May        Durham

Round Six                   Friday 29 May             Barrow

Round Seven              Tuesday 2 June                      Croydon

Round Eight                Thursday 4 June         Canary Wharf

Round Nine                 Tuesday 9 June                      Peterborough

Round Ten                  Thursday 11 June       Bath

The nine teams for the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be JLT Condor presented by Mavic; Madison Genesis,  NFTO Pro Cycling, ONE Pro Cycling, Pedal Heaven RT, SportGrub Kuota; Team Raleigh – GAC; Team WIGGINS; and Velosure Starley Primal.  Joining them will be one guest team per round.

About Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

About Pearl Izumi

Pearl Izumi was founded in 1950 in Tokyo by a devoted father who wanted to produce Japan’s first bicycle racing apparel for his son, a promising racer. He took time researching the best technical clothing for his son with a dedication and determination that underlines the company today.

The brand began distribution in the US in 1981 and in 1989 Pearl Izumi USA acquired the license for the US market, with the research and development team based, in Boulder, Colorado. But as it celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010, which in many eastern cultures means a time for rejuvenation or ‘Kanreki’, Pearl Izumi’s marked its rebirth by a return to its roots in Japan, as part of a Shimano brand.

Using technologies derived from cycling, and working closely with 2 times Ironman champion, Tim DeBoom, Pearl Izumi successfully diversified in running and triathlon with footwear technologies such as the seamless upper and 1:1 interface.

Now an internationally recognised brand, Pearl Izumi is distributed in more than 25 countries worldwide.

About Madison

Madison has come a long way since 1977, from its modest beginnings as a small suburban bicycle shop in North West London, to now being the UK’s leading distributor of bicycle parts and accessories, as well as the UK’s fastest growing motocross and freesports equipment supplier.

With a wide portfolio of market-leading brands such as GoPro, Shimano, Thor, Pearl Izumi, Park Tool, Lazer and many more, Madison is a well-respected entity with an award-winning B2B system and reputation for excellence.

Facebook – www.facebook.com/madison.co.uk

Twitter –  www.twitter.com/ukmadison

About The Pearl Izumi Tour Series

2015 will be the seventh season of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, a unique team based, televised city centre cycling series organised by SweetSpot Group Ltd, the company behind the organisation and promotion of The Tour of Britain and The Women’s Tour.  The Pearl Izumi Tour Series brings together the very best in British professional teams and riders, competing on town and city-centre circuits in front of packed crowds as a part of a full day of cycling activities.

SweetSpot is a sports marketing and events company specialising in the creation and execution of high quality, commercially successful, annual sporting events.

You can follow The Pearl Izumi Tour Series on Twitter @TourSeries #tourseries or Facebook or via the official website at www.tourseries.co.uk

For further press information, logos and images, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Peter Hodges              PR Manager                peterh@thetour.co.uk             01932 831 485

Grace Metcalf              PR Manager                grace@thetour.co.uk               01932 831 485


Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW), the Isle of Wight Council and Island Roads are pleased to announce that after months of negotiation, they have been successful in their bid to host one of the stages of The Pearl Izumi Tour Series – one of the UK’s leading televised cycle races, bringing action and excitement to the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series – put together by the same team behind the organisation and promotion of Tour of Britain – brings together the very best in British professional teams and high-profile, celebrity riders, competing on town and city centre circuits in front of packed crowds as a part of a full day of cycling activities.

The main, team-based race, which is open to 10 teams comprising of five professional cyclists, is a highly popular and competitive event. Registered entrants have the chance to ‘test their mettle’ around the circuit and against the clock. The team with the fastest lap times will be presented with winners’ medals on the professional podium!

Taking place at 10 venues around the UK in May and June, the star-studded sporting event will use a circular route around the town on Thursday, 14th May. Ryde town centre will be converted into a professional race circuit giving residents and visitors an adrenaline-fuelled glimpse of Britain’s top professional cyclists battling out in our streets.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, said: “Attracting high profile events like The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is only possible because we have Visit Isle of Wight, our own destination management organisation (DMO) building partnerships and opportunities.

“This single event should deliver approaching £750,000 of media value and visitor spend this year alone.

“Winning the bid to host the race on a Thursday rather than the usual Tuesday is a major coup for the Island as it provides an opportunity to build long weekend business in mid May.”

Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, added: “It is very pleasing we have been able to secure this prestigious event to come to the Isle of Wight in such a wonderful location. The council recently secured nearly £1 million under the government’s second Local Sustainable Transport Fund and the money is being used to support local initiatives and projects such as ‘Bicycle Island’ to encourage people to leave their cars at home and use sustainable transport. Part of the LSTF grant can be used to support local events and we are delighted to be supporting such an important sporting occasion using some of the funding, because major sporting events such as the Pearl Izumi Tour are shown to inspire people take part in recreational cycling.

“Elsewhere the tour has attracted thousands of spectators and I am sure local residents will come along and support this event and join in the fun. It is also a great opportunity to celebrate the Island as a place where people want to live, work and visit.”

Alastair Grant, Commercial Director at Sweetspot, commented “We are excited to be bringing the Pearl Izumi Tour Series to Ryde and the Isle of Wight, which will be the first, not just for the Series, but also for one of SweetSpot’s event. We are sure that residents from across the Island will be excited by the chance to watch Britain’s fastest teams in action, and hope lots of fans travel with us to enjoy the race in a beautiful setting.”
The team-based, cycle race series, which attracts thousands of spectators, will be televised the following evening on sports channel ITV4, bringing action-packed and exciting team-based racing into living rooms across the UK.

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is being funded by VIOW and LSTF – the project which aims to improve and promote the Island’s sustainable transport network – with support from Island Roads, Ryde Town Council, Ryde Business Association, Southern Vectis and ferry operators Wightlink and Red Funnel.

The staging of the event, which follows months of negotiation led by VIOW, will cost just over £90,000 – a joint investment of £27,250 by the DMO and partners, £45,000 from the LSTF fund and a cash equivalent of up to £20,000 by other partners including Island Roads.

Paul Herbert, Service Director at Island Roads said: “As an Island company passionate about improving the highways network for the benefit of all road users, we are delighted to be playing our part in supporting this high profile event which will bring both positive publicity and an economic boost to the Island.”

With a wide range of community activities and support events planned for the 14th May, plus the main Pearl Izumi Tour Series race at 7.00pm, there’ll be plenty to see and do for local residents and visiting spectators alike.
The race route and full schedule of events will be available by the beginning of April.


For further information including interviews, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to editors:

Image attached (to announce The Pearl Izumi Tour Series being held in Ryde, Isle of Wight). Left to right; Paul Wyatt – Ryde Business Association, Cllr Jonathan Bacon, Leader, Isle of Wight Council, Lee Matthews, Recreation and Public Spaces Manager, Isle of Wight Council, Roi Milburn, Mayor of Ryde Town Council, Cllr Luisa Hillard, Isle of Wight Council’s Executive member for sustainability, environment and public realm, Paul Herbert – Service Director for Island Roads,David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, Tim Blackmore, Commercial Assistant, Southern Vectis. Front James Sumner (cyclist) TAV Cycles, Ryde

The Pearl Izumi Tour Series

The staging of the event, which follows months of negotiation led by VIOW, will cost just over £90,000 – a joint investment of £27,250 by the DMO and partners, £45,000 from the LSTF fund and a cash equivalent of up to £20,000 by other partners including Island Roads.

The event organisers, Sweetspot, believe the event will bring an economic impact of £447K to the Island (see below). The TV coverage on ITV4 is worth £250K, plus a print value of no less than £50K, which equates to an overall value of £750K in terms of economic impact and positive PR.

The full list of ten teams teams for the Pearl Izumi Tour Series will be announced at the Series launch on Thursday, 26th February, alongside the full calendar of venues for the 2015 Pearl Izumi Tour Series, the seventh season of the unique team-based cycle race Series, with the official launch of the Series at Madison’s IceBike trade show. For more information, visit www.tourseries.co.uk

SweetSpot are cycling specialists, currently organising a wide portfolio of events throughout the year. You can follow the links below to find out more about all of our world-class events.

SweetSpot Group are a sports events and marketing company specialising in the creation and execution of high-quality, annual sporting events. SweetSpot were behind the successful revival of the Tour of Britain, the UK’s largest professional cycle race, in 2004 after a five-year absence, which now forms a cornerstone of the British sporting calendar and is the country’s largest free-to-watch sporting event.

Visit Isle of Wight
Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight. As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org


A new grant funding opportunity dedicated to supporting sustainable transport projects on the Island has been announced by Visit Isle of Wight and the Isle of Wight Council.

In 2015, Island businesses, organisations and community groups will be able to apply to the “Drive Less, See More” grant scheme, which will be administered by Community Action IW. They can seek financial support of up to £10,000 for projects which help visitors to travel around the Island by bus, train, bike, on foot or electric vehicle and help to grow the value of the visitor economy.

The grant funding has grown from Isle of Wight Council’s previously successful applications to the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). A whole new series of green transport initiatives supported by a second central government funding bid will be announced this year.

The news of the new grant funding scheme is being welcomed by the Isle of Wight Council’s Executive member for sustainability, environment and public realm, Councillor Luisa Hillard, who said: “The LSTF funding is already making a real difference to how visitors travel around the Island, including the popular Coaster Bus Service and the many improvements made to cycling and walking routes. It is hoped these innovative projects will inspire even more Island businesses to apply to the Drive Less, See More Grant Scheme to make their project a reality”.

This new grant scheme is hot on the heels of last year’s successful “Bicycle Island” Development Grants Scheme that saw a number of new cycle tourism services developed across the Island. The Drive Less See More scheme expands this idea, to allow applications not just about cycling but from ANY form of sustainable transport. Essentially, any organisation with a great idea that helps get visitors to experience the Island in a more sustainable way can apply for funding.

Drive Less See More has been used by Visit Isle of Wight in 2014 to brand promotions that attract more car free tourists to enjoy an Island holiday. It encourages them to leave the car behind and enjoy the real Isle of Wight on a variety of transport modes.

Tom Ransom from Visit Isle of Wight said: -“Adverts and promotions on the London Underground and in the national press in 2014 have focused on the Isle of Wight being an easy and fun place to take a car-free break. We already have an enviable range of car-free holiday options but see the sector expanding significantly in 2015.”

For further information, and to download the full Drive Less, See More Grant Scheme guidance and application form, please visit http://www.communityactionisleofwight.org.uk/drive-less-see-grants/ or contact Community Action Isle of Wight: email hello@actioniw.org.uk or telephone 01983 524058.


For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org

Notes to editors:

The Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) was launched in September 2010. The Fund allows local transport authorities outside London to “build on their plans for sustainable travel measures that support economic growth and reduce carbon”. In December 2013 the Government announced that a further £78.5 million of revenue funding was to be available across the country for more LSTF projects in 2015/16. Councils have to go through a competitive bidding process to be granted any funds.


It’s shaping up for a superlative summer down on the Isle of Wight, especially if you have children to entertain. You can travel through time to the Island of Adventure and find fantastic fantasy worlds where anything is possible.

Actress Celia Imrie is the ‘voice’ of the Isle of Wight in our new TV advert enticing UK holiday-makers to visit the Island and to journey back in time by following a new Time Travel trail with the Transformers: Age of Extinction film that was launched on July 5th. Following in the giant footsteps left behind by Dinosaurs last year, the Isle of Wight is capitalizing on the new Transformers blockbuster, starring Mark Wahlberg and introducing several new prehistoric robot characters, including the Dinobot T-Rex Grimlock.

Pick up Your Passport

First of all you pick up your Time Traveller’s passport from your ferry or an IW Tourist Information point and your journey back to the future with the help of a new Time Travel app begins.

Visit the historic attractions and heritage sites in your passport that are linked to the Dinosaur era; Ancient Britain; the Roman Empire; Medieval times; the Tudors and Stuarts; the Victorians; the present day; and a Dinobot Hunt set in the future and you could win prizes by collecting stamps at each location. These include tickets to Isle of Wight attractions, free holiday travel, cinema tickets, merchandise and a visit to Paramount studios in Hollywood plus a holiday on the Isle of Wight.

Dinosaurs of Blackgang Chine

Winners of Trip Advisor’s prestigious ‘Certificate of Excellence 2014’ for the second year running for consistently achieving outstanding traveller reviews on the TripAdvisor website, Blackgang Chine now boasts huge life-size moving dinosaurs in their new ‘Restricted Area 5’. An Iguanadon, a Stegosaurus, screeching Raptors, an Argentinosaurus bigger than a double decker bus and the most gargantuan T Rex ever seen all make their own distinctive sounds and react to the visitors.

The park’s resident celebrity baby Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs, Shadow and Sheila, delight the crowds with their ‘LIVE’ performances during the summer holidays and there are new baby dino friends to meet: Jack & Jill, the walking Procomsognathus dinosaurs, George, the baby Brachiosaurus and ‘Caulkie’ the mischievous Caulkicephalus. www.blackgangchine.com

Victoria lives at Osborne House

It is the Victorian era that is brought to life at Osborne House with a new exhibition at the Swiss Cottage and games and dressing up on the beach. ‘Small Adventures for Royal Children’ lets you join a Victorian explorer for tales of adventure and bravery and go on a bug hunt for exotic flora and fauna. You can let your little soldiers run off some energy in the rifle drills and hobby horse relays or watch the antics of Mr Punch and his wife Judy at their seaside show. Take a dip in the Solent and enjoy a game of quoits or skittles with a delicious Isle of Wight Minghella ice cream from the café. www.english-heritage.org.uk/Osborne or telephone 01983 200022

All Eras at IW Steam Railway

Kids go for free at the IW Steam Railway throughout August and you can time travel from the Victorian era to the swinging sixties on board one of their lovely locomotives. Special themed weekends help to take you back in time such as the Victorian Weekend of August 2nd and 3rd, the Jaguar Classic Car Show on August 10th and Island Steam Days on the same day, which celebrates 1940s lorry travel and freight travel throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

The 40th Island Steam Show from August 22nd to 25th is a fabulous family day out and 150 years of Steam Travel is celebrated at the station on August 30th. http://www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk/events.aspx

Beautiful Bicycle Island

Whether you’re a Mamil (Middle Aged Man In Lycra) or a mummy whose bike has a basket on the front Bicycle Island – Isle of Wight – is one of the best places in the country to discover from the saddle of a bike. Take the whole family on a cycling holiday around the Island’s 500 plus miles of cycle and bridleways that weave their way through our dramatic and contrasting landscapes.

This year Bicycle Island has added new cycle ways, bike-carrying buses, additional bike hire, baggage transfer, and new cycle parking across the Island, to make your Isle of Wight cycling holiday even easier. The Isle of Wight recently scooped top spot in Lonely Planet’s “Top 10 World Cycling Routes.” http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/bicycle-island

Enchanted Evenings

The Needles Park at Alum Bay is world renowned for its coloured sands, the stunning chalk stacks of the Needles and the ski style chair lift that takes you down to the beach and back. For five weeks only the park is open late every Thursday for a non-stop party of games, live music and street entertainment, with a spectacular music and fireworks finale lighting-up the skies above the Needles from 9:30pm.

Music and Magic in the Skies takes you to the Rio Carnival in Brazil on July 31st, the 1970s on August 7th, to Children’s Movies on August 14th, to Space on August 21st and has a special Christmas theme on August 28th. http://www.theneedles.co.uk/events.php

Robin Hill hosts Bestival in September but on balmy summer holiday evenings the woods are transformed into a magical realm of light and sound with the Electric Woods from dusk until 10pm and rides and attractions open late into the evening.

Fridays at Robin Hill are ‘Days of Adventure’ and visitors are offered the chance to ‘test their aim’ at archery and ‘get hands on’ with fire lighting and survival skills as part of their Bushcraft Activities. For those with a wilder side there are also mountain boarding taster sessions. Robin Hill, sister attraction to Blackgang Chine as also achieved a Trip Advisor ‘Certificate of Excellence for the second year running. http://www.robin-hill.com/events




For further information, please contact:   Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Tel: 01983 201048, 07766 705672, E-mail: sue@visitwight.org





It is now easier for cyclists to take their bicycles to areas across the Island using public transport instead of their cars.

The Isle of Wight Council is working with Southern Vectis to provide bike storage facilities on four buses. The buses, which are the existing ‘Coaster’ route vehicles, have been converted to each store up to six bicycles at a time using money from the council’s sustainable transport access to tourism project, which is funded by the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).

Four journeys will leave per day from either Ryde or Yarmouth, with some extended to include East Cowes and Newport, providing a round-the-Island connection for cyclists. It will mean cyclists can now visit local attractions or areas they would normally drive to using public transport instead with their bicycles.

Luisa Hillard is the council’s Executive Member for sustainability and welcomes the new buses. She said: “This project is part of the council’s commitment to promoting greener, car-free tourism on the Island. It will support cyclists getting from the ferries, to and from their accommodation and to the tourist attractions in more remote locations and will be particularly useful for those who may not feel able to cycle long distances but enjoy cycling locally.

“This is just one of many other exciting projects which are benefiting from government funding to improve the cycling infrastructure for visitors and locals and will strengthen the reputation of the Isle of Wight as one of the best places for a cycling holidays in the world.”

General manager of Southern Vectis, Matt Kitchin added: “The Coaster route has proven to be tremendously popular as it is a great way to see the Island and visit attractions without the hassle of driving. The addition of space for bikes on board gives more opportunities for cyclists to get out and about, enjoying the scenery without relying on a car.”

The Island’s destination management organisation Visit Isle of Wight has recently launched its ‘Bicycle Island’ scheme which is aimed at bringing more cycle tourists to the Island. Tom Ransom from Visit Wight is responsible for promoting cycle tourism and said: “Having the bike buses is a really valuable addition to our cycle friendly reputation. It makes cycle touring more accesible to all by providing a service to those of us who perhaps do not have thighs like those of Chris Hoy. Combining a bus trip with a bike ride allows people to be bolder and go further, without needing to use a car for transport”.

The newly converted Coaster buses will begin service from 5 April and will run daily until 28 September. There is no charge to carry bicycles on the buses other than the normal passenger fare.

The mechanism used for storing the bicycles has been designed by two local engineering students

Notes for editors

Please credit Isle of Wight Council if you use any this photo which shows bicycles in use on one of the storage racks.   Other photos are available on request.

The Isle of Wight Council’s Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism project is a £3.95 million project that is funded through the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund. Funding was won in the summer of 2012 and the programme continues until March 2015.

The Sustainable Transport Access to Tourism project involves improvements to walking and cycling infrastructure, public transport services and the provision of improved passenger transport information. In addition, the project is funding extensive marketing of the Island as a destination for “green” travel holidays. This element is being delivered by Visit Isle of Wight, the Island’s tourist board.

The overall aim of the project is to encourage more people to use sustainable travel as opposed the car while on holiday, as well as boosting the local economy by attracting increased numbers of visitors who come to the Island and travel sustainably.

Issued by:

Simon Butler, Media Relations Officer

Tel: 01983 821000 ext 6254

Mob: 07976 347636

Email: simon.butler@iow.gov.uk