An unseasonably mild day had me thinking about taking the ‘summer bike‘ bike out for a ride, but a look out the Window revealed the Roads were still soaking and covered in all kinds of debris and so the Winter bike was the Bicycle nominated for active service yet again. I got fuelled up with a decent Breakfast, and then mused about what clothing to go with to avoid over-heating and likewise being too cold. Clothing decisions made, Water bottles filled and out the door I went.
I was early for the Weekly Castlereagh Cycling Club Sunday ride so meandered across town to the meetup point at Forestside, but already had noticed there was a strong Southerly Wind making life difficult (a Cyclist always knows about Wind strength!). I took a mental note to stay as close to the wheel in front as I safely could when it wasn’t by turn at the front of the group in order to conserve the energy levels. The mild Weather saw a larger turnout than normal and so we split in to two groups right from the start as we rolled out of Forestside Shopping Centre and up the Saintfield road at a steady pace. Soon we passed another bunch of Cyclists as yet another bunch (from Phoenix Cycling Club) passed both of our groups.
We took the main Saintfield road up to Carryduff then in to the Country roads making our way to Ballygowan through Darragh Cross, Raffrey and Derryboye then on to Crossgar and Kilmore but not before stopping whilst one of our number fixed a flat tyre after an unwanted visit from the puncture fairies.
We left Kilmore and meandered our way to Ballynahinch where we were forced to stop for some food and drinks as one of the lads had hit the dreaded energy bonk. His legs had left him with about three miles short of Ballynahinch and he was really struggling. Suitably refuelled we were ready for more but alas his energy levels were still depleted and so we opted for a direct hit back to Belfast along the main road through Temple crossroads and Carryduff. Just coming through Temple crossroads another of the lads had an unwelcome visit from the puncture fairies and his luck really was out as he punctured again only another few hundred yards up the road after the first repair. All back home I felt I still had more in the legs so I kept a tight pace up the Airport road to Holywood and back home via a wee trip up Massey Avenue and a climb up to the biggest lunatic Asylum in the Country aka Stormont.
With Fifty Nine and a half miles (the half is important!) done I called it a day happy that I had got a sixty miler in on two consecutive Weekends.