This Weekends Club spin saw us depart from the norm and stick to main roads to start with, taking the Malone road through Ballyskeagh to Lisburn and staying on the main road up to Moira and past Magheralin before taking to the country lanes on the Springhill road. The Springhill road had recently been stone chipped and the chippings were still very loose a very real hazard to a large group of Cyclists so it was back on to the main Dromore road in to Lurgan.
Leaving Lurgan on the Gilford road navigating through Bleary and Drumnacanvy we were soon crossing the Gilford road and Cycling along the Mullahead road. The group then nipped on to the Newry Canal towpath to nip up to Scarva tea rooms for a pit stop. I on the otherhand bid them farewell to venture in to Portadown to visit the parental guidance but then it dawned on me they wouldn’t be at home so I implemented plan B and went through Ballylisk to Tandragee to visit a friend.
Leaving Tandragee on the Madden road I was soon in Gilford then passed through Lawrencetown and Blackskull to the edge of Dromore were I opted to go via Kilntown which turned out to be a lumpy wee road then emerging on to the Ballygowan road and on in to Hillsborough.
Back on familiar roads and finally with the wind at my back I made good progress across to Carryduff on to Moneyreagh and back home for a door-to-door total of 72 miles.
After faffing about for most of the Morning I finally got organised and out on the Bicycle on a Sunny 🙂 but very Windy Afternoon 🙁 Due to the strong Wind and even stronger gusts I opted for the Winter Bike with its shallower rims.
I set off along the Comber Greenway to give the Legs an easy start on the flat then along the hilly old Ballygowan road in to Ballygowan and a left in to Moss road and along the Ballybunden road to Balloo. A Van had lodged itself firmly in to the hedge on the Ballybunden road 😳
Leaving Ballydorn I continued on my way along the Strangford Shoreline deviating inland up Quarry road then along Castle Espie road to get back on the Ballydrain road to Comber and home again by the Comber Greenway for a tough 31 miles the Legs feeling the strain of doing battle with that Wind 😯
Another very warm, sunny, day and a short, very easy effort, recovery spin up the Comber Greenway, through Comber and out the Ballydrain road to Daft Eddie’s for a Caramel Square then home again with equally as low an effort on the Pedals.
Saturday Morning 06:00 hours, time to start preppin for the Phoenix Cycling Club group ride. I turned on the Cooker to Cook some Eggs but when I opened the Fridge there were none arggghhhh! A Bowl of Porridge was the substitute choice as I analysed my Cycle training data on my Laptop.
The Weather forecast promised lots of Sunshine and a very warm day. It was very overcast as I clipped in to the Pedals and set off along the Knock Carriageway for the House of Sport meeting point but already it was very very warm and muggy.
I just about made it over to the meeting point for the earlier Summer only starting time of 9am and soon we were in our various groups and rolling along the Malone road through Drumbeg, up the Sandy Lane to Hilden and in to Lisburn.
Taking the traditional Phoenix route up the Ballynahinch road through Legacurry, past the Pheasant and on to Annahilt. Climbing a few short steep Bergs around Kinallen then an even lumpier road across to Kilkinamurry saw the conversations stop and the heavy breathing intensify as the sharp gradients took their toll.
I was having a rare good day on the Hills keeping in touch with the strongest riders in the group, whilst the weaker rides dropped back unable to sustain the effort. Eventually the terrain relented and we pulled in at the side of the road to allow the stragglers to catch up and set off again as a whole group.
From Kilkinamurry the Sun finally came out and we meandered our way through the lanes to Katesbridge then across to Loughbrickland and a short stop at the village Shop to top up the Water Bottles and visit the public Lavatory. We took the Scarva road out of Loughbrickland all the way to Scarva and on through Gilford, Lawrencetown and Blackskull to the Ballygowan road. The main group turning off in the direction of Lisburn with myself and one other going straight on through Hillsborough towards Carryduff and back home with empty water bottles and soaked in sweat ready for a good shower.
A scorcher of a day on the Bicycle with plenty of hills to leave the Legs burning and a door-to-door total of 75 miles clocked up. This however was nothing in comparison to a group of about a dozen from my Club who on the longest day completed their now annual 200 mile ride having departed the House of Sport at 5am this Morning!
Home from Work and out on the Bicycle on a really pleasant Evening. The plan was just to get a decent few miles in before dark at a very steady pace but when I got out for a while I realised the legs were feeling good so I upped the effort and sustained that level all evening for a nice brisk spin and a good workout that left a nice burn in the leg muscles afterwards.
It was a dull evening but nice and mild and I kept mostly to the quieter roads looping from Dundonald to Moneyreagh through to Balloo then back to Dundonald via Castle Espie and Comber. Thirty Four miles on a School Night was a good return.
Out after Work on a grey but lovely warm Evening. Getting out later than planned and only realising after I had ventured out that I had forgot to turn on the immersion to heat Water for a Shower I decided to only do a short spin.
To make up for the lack of distance I needed to do some Work to get some training benefit out of the Cycle and so I tackled a local climb, the Ballyregan road, that to-date I had never ventured up as it is quite a long climb and has some very steep ramps. Upon completion of the climb I descended back down slowly to catch my breath and then turned around and climbed back up it a second time at a slightly faster pace.
Sunday Morning and I awoke earlier than planned, the forecast for later in the Morning was horrible so I ruled out the Club spin and instead went out early for a short, fast, spin before Breakfast. The Wind was very strong which made for very tough or easy Cycling depending on which direction you were trying to go. Not longer after returning home the Rain arrived, but I already had the feet up by then 🙂
Today saw my Phoenix Cycling Club host the popular Draynes Farm, Bob Crilly Classic road race. The popular race sees competitors do laps around a road circuit near Nutts Corner which then leads in to the iconic finish climbing all the way up over Dundrod to the top of Divis Mountain.
My mate Gavin was racing in this one today so I popped my little pocket camera in my Cycling Jersey pocket to go capture a few pics. Sadly a high-speed crash immediately in front of Gavin saw him and about a dozen others all crash out with Gavin coming off worst breaking his Collarbone.
Below is my edited footage from this years 2017 Tour de Connemara Sportive starting and finishing in Clifden, County Galway, Ireland. The day started damp and very windy and ended up warm and sunny but still windy.