Lanes, Gravel paths, Sunburn and Buns

An Indian summer is a period of unseasonably warm, dry weather that sometimes occurs in Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. The US National Weather Service defines this as weather conditions that are sunny and clear with above normal temperatures, occurring late-September to mid-November.

Today felt like an Indian Summer whilst out on the Bicycle on the Phoenix CC Saturday Club spin. There was a nip in the air as I left home to Cycle over to the House of Sport and meet up with the club, but soon we were basking in nice warm sunshine awaiting the off and no easy start this week as a much larger group than normal descended along the Malone road passing Lady Dixon Park then a Ninety left to start the long climb up through Drumbo taking the Front road and Carr road to get across to the main Ballynahinch Road for a short blast then back in to the minor roads to Saintfield, Listooder, Kilmore and on to the Quoile Bridge.

A left saw us then climb up through Saul and on to Raholp and more wee lanes before taking a gravel path along the shore of Strangford Lough to get to the National Trust’s Castle Ward for a well deserved Bun stop eating al fresco in the beautiful Sunshine under a brilliant Blue Sky filled with wispy White clouds.

Energy levels topped up we were soon rolling out of Castle Ward and dropping down in to Strangford keeping coastal we were soon in Kilclief and on to Ballyhornan then in to the Lismore road passing Bishopscourt race circuit where a round of the Irish Superbike championships were taking place. But there was no time to stop and spectate as we kept a good pace up all the way in to Downpatrick then kept to the Annacloy road all the way to Ballynahinch.

Leaving Ballynahinch on the Dromore road we had to drop the pace a bit to nurse home a girl who was out for her first spin with us and her legs had left her so much so a few of us had to put a hand on her back to assist her up the hills but we kep rolling on to Legacurry and Lisburn then a short stretch of the Lagan towpath, taking Sandy Lane back to Drumbeg and up past Lady Dixon park back to the House of Sport.

Six more solo miles took me from the House of Sport along the Malone road, up through Stranmillis then along the embankment to the Ormeau Bridge and across town to home. Door-to-door was 86 miles in brilliant weather, a cracking spin with lots of good banter within the group, I have had worse days!

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