Having not eaten enough on the Bicycle yesterday I knew today was probably a bit optimistic and I would be better sitting at home recovering the energy levels, but the Weather forecast was too good to miss the opportunity for another bike ride on the ‘good bike‘ before the Roads turn to a grimy, salty, wet mess.
I got myself a good Breakfast of Granola and Greek Yoghurt for slow release energy followed by Tea and Toast for a faster release of energy, chose the cycle clothing option careful given the reduced temperature and soon I was clipping in to the Pedals and rolling out.
There was a considerable chill in the air but the roads were beautifully dry and the Sun was shining down, it didn’t really help much to distract me from my legs feeling like lead, the pedals harder to turn than yesterday despite being on my better bike.
Being early for the Phoenix CC club spin I took a short detour at Milltown in to the Ballylesson road and was rewarded with some gorgeous Autumnal Sunrays streaming through the thick canopy foliage, I just had to stop and take a Photograph.
Freewheeling down the hill to Minnowburn Bridge expecting another Photographic opportunity but the Sun wasn’t high enough in the Sky to flood the Bridge and Burn with light so I continued on my way the short distance to Shaw’s Bridge and up the hill to the House of Sport.
For whatever reason only Six people turned up on such a beaut Morning for the Club spin and almost immediately we were down to five as one of the guys got called in to Work. To make things worse they were all faster, stronger lads from a group I do not normally ride with added to that my fatigue from yesterdays ride and I knew I was going to struggle. What I didn’t expect was to be struggling so soon, they gapped me on the Malone road climb up to the Finaghy road but I dug in and caught back up to them only to be gapped again on the short hill up from Drumbeg and at that point I just let them go mentally preparing in my head for a solo spin.
Up through Ballyskeagh and in to Lisburn I was running through the route options in my head and ended up taking the Blaris road out of Lisburn and the Bog road through Mazetown to Down Royal Racecourse then the Cockhill road to Halfpenny Gate and the Hillsborough road in to Moira.
From Moira I took a new road (to me) turning in to the Clarehill road then the lumpy lanes with big expensive houses and endless views across to Belfast and beyond. Not knowing the roads I wasn’t quite sure where I was going but eventually I emerged out on to the Ballygowan road which I did know well and from there I cycled on to Hillsborough.
At Hillsborough I took the Comber road and found a second wind with my legs feeling strong again but it was short-lived and a few miles further on I was in limp-home-mode but luckily I was soon in Carryduff and the nice downward trend to the elevation profile as I enjoyed some free speed down the Saintfield road to the Knock dual carriageway.
The wind on the Knock road was in my face slowing my progress and it was a bit of a grind to knock out the final three miles to home clocking up 45 miles for my Morning on the Saddle.