With doubts about whether my energy levels had had enough rest days to recover from Tuesday’s long day in the Saddle I clipped in to the Pedals and Cycled along the Knock road to the House of Sport for the Phoenix Cycling Club Saturday group ride. The Weather forecast gave Rain coming in from the West by lunchtime and we were hopeful of getting in a good ride and home in the dry before it arrived.
Leaving the House of Sport we set off up the Outer Ring through Milltown, Purdysburn avoiding Carryduff and winding our way around the lanes to bypass Ballynahinch too. At this point one of the group had a disaster when his rear tyre blew out, emergency repairs were carried out in a bid to let him limp home solo but then even more misfortune hit him when his rear gear cable also broke and it was time for him to call the missus for a rescue.
The group set off again through Drumaroad, Maghera and Bryansford in to the Kingdom of Mourne with the Mourne Mountains looking spectacular in the hint of Sunshine. Taking the Moneyscalp road over to Lough Island Reavy Reservoir near Castlewellan we were now finally on some flatter roads after all the earlier uphill lumps, bumps and drags. Making good time with the Wind now at our backs we were soon in Katesbridge where the puncture fairies hit another of our group. Repairs done we cycled on then stopped at McCoys Garage for a Water stop and to take on some more carbs to power us home. Just as we left the Garage the puncture fairies paid us another visit and we lost a few more minutes carrying out repairs before setting of again on our adventures.
A few short sharp hills stung the legs again before we got on to the flatter Gall Bog road but it was short-lived as we were climbing more bumps in to Kinallen and on to Ballykeel where not long after the puncture fairies paid us their final visit of the day just outside Annahilt, or was it just that it is hedge triming time of year as the roads were in a mess from hedge trimmings. Making good time through Legacurry and down in to Lisburn the time we lost earlier for all the repair stops was to come back and haunt us now as the heavy Rain predicted was now falling and we were now not going to get home dry.
From Lisburn through Dunmurry, Finaghy and Balmoral was uneventful bar a real good soaking and soon I was home with 82 miles clocked up. Regular eating and drinking along the way helped keep the energy levels up to fuel the miles. With a lot more Rain forecast for the Morning a bit of rest and recovery on the Pillow will be the order of the Day.