Knobbly Tyres, Crunchy leaves and Autumnal Sunshine

Today I dipped in to the annual leave and took a day off from the
daily grind, the day was set to be fair. I grabbed my ‘Winter
Bike
‘ (a CX or Cyclocross Bike designed for riding on Tarmac and
Gravel) last Night and I whipped out the road Tyres and fitted some wider, knobbly
tyres ready for a few hours of just that, tarmac, gravel, single track.

I started off in the lunatic asylum Stormont Estate
to give the rush hour traffic some more time to disperse, the grounds
of the Estate are well maintained and have numerous paths, if you have
never been you should pay a visit.

From Stormont I took the Comber Greenway in to the Beersbridge road
then made my way through Ormeau Park and out on to the segregated
Cycle path on the Annadale and Stranmillis Embankments which was
bathed in beautiful Autumnal Sunshine with crispy leaves on the ground
however the cold air of Winter was making its presence felt..

I then took the Lagan towpath from Cutters Wharf through the Lagan
Meadows to Shaw’s Bridge before going off-road again on the Gravel
path to Mary Peters track at Barnett Desmesne. Here is where it got
real technical taking the Blue Mountain Bike trail through Barnett
Desmesne taking the bike round a narrow, rocky, muddy trail threading
the eye of the needle between the Trees not wanting to run out of
road. Both I and the Bicycle made it around the trail relatively
unscathed only clipping my upper arm on one Tree branch.

Back on to the Tarmac at Shaw’s Bridge I stopped briefly to watch the Kayakers.

Through Minnowburn and up to the Giant’s Ring I sat listening to the
wind blowing through the Trees as I reached in to the Backpack for a
bite of lunch.

Leaving the Giants Ring I went up through Milltown and the Belvoir
Estate to Belvoir Forest and back on to the gravel for a lap of the
Belvoir Forest Park and some very testing steep climbs on loose gravel
with the rear wheel struggling to gain traction as I put the power
through the Pedals. Pausing in the Car Park to catch my breath the
driveway down to the Car Park was lined with Trees starting to show
their Autumnal foliage.

I left Belvoir and descended down through Annadale back to the Ormeau
Bridge taking the Lagan path in to Belfast stopping at the Waterfront
to admire the view of the City bathed in Sunshine with some moody Sky
above.

It was too good a day to return home just yet so I took a spin round
the Titanic Quarter then along Sydenham road in to the Airport road
and a bit more off-road fun in Victoria Park.

Back in the Airport road over the Dee Street Bridge and over to
Holywood Arches to pick up the Comber Greenway again to head home for
a hot shower, with leg muscles now feeling the strain. Another good
day on the Bicycle, my Phone is a poor substitute for a proper Camera though.

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