Slaughter in the Quarter is a term of endearment used to describe the Winter Season, Night time high tempo Phoenix Cycling Club laps of the Titanic Quarter and Airport Road in Belfast.
It is a tough, fast paced, chain gang ride, survival of the fittest. Sometimes there is a second group ride for ‘Chat on the Flat‘ over the same circuit at a slower pace. Tonight I chose to suffer and opted in to the Slaughter.
I survived for three quarters of a lap but the timing of the changes at the front of the group worked against me (and my lack of fitness) and I was on the front through the section most affected by the strong Westerly Wind, my heart rate soared but I was holding on then on the change at the front the next guy rode through for his pull on the front and he lifted the pace to a level I wasn’t able to hold and the group cycled off in to the distance. I used the remainder of the lap to ride at an easier pace and bring the heart rate down to recover a little.
Waiting on the Sydeham road I saw all the Cycle lights coming up from behind and increased my speed to match the group pace and attempted to run with them again for a second lap. The pace was hot, very hot, topping out at 28mph down the Airport road then turning at the B&Q Roundabout and back up to where I blew up on the first lap. This time I wasn’t on the front, I cycled as close to the Wheel in front of me to maximise the shelter from the Wind and by the time it was my turn on the front again we were cycling across the Wind rather than full on in to it and all was good I was able to complete the lap in the group.
I would have stayed out for the third and final lap but I forgot to turn the immersion on to heat the Water for a Shower so myself and a couple of others opted out at the end of the second lap. Home for dinner and a shower, the leg muscles knew they had had a good workout.