Scenic County Down

Up early, kit on, Bicycle sorted and out the door earlier than normal to benefit from traffic free roads. The plan was to head out against the Wind, tackle a lot of hills and then turn for home on flatter roads hopefully with a tailwind.

I set off briefly along the Knock road then the climbing started by turning in to the Glen road and continuing on up the Ballygowan road, and Lisnabreeny road. Quiet roads, the still of the Morning and good views across County Down to the distant Mourne Mountains and that was where I was heading.

The Clontonacally road was dispensed with then I crossed the Comber road and continued on quiet country road after quiet country road skirting past Temple, past the Temple Golf Club through Boardmills, Bailliesmills and on to Annahilt and Ballykeel. From there I navigated around to Dromara and the long, hilly climb up the Rathfriland road through Finnis and up and up and up before finally a nice fast descent down this beautiful stretch of tarmac perfection.

Whilst still descending I decided to change my route taking a left turn across to Leitrim and the lumpy roads up over Dolly’s Brae to emerge out on to the Bann road and another descent down in to Castlewellan for a quick pit stop at Urban to refuel and hopefully reenergise the Legs after all that climbing.

Back on the Saddle and an easy start to get the Legs going again along the Newcastle road before swinging left across to Maghera and on to Dundrum then in to the country roads again towards Ballykinler.

By this stage the pit stop at Castlewellan had not reached the Legs yet and energy levels were low, forcing an emergency stop at a roadside Petrol station for some fast acting Sugar to perk me up until the slower acting food consumed at Castlewellan came good.

The scenery was great despite the now overcast day as I passed Tyrella and on to Minerstown.

Leaving the Coastal road at Minerstown and heading inland in the direction of Downpatrick the energy levels were restored and I was pulling strong again and finally caught a tailwind. Before long Downpatrick had came and went and I was continuing at pace along the Killyleagh road to Dellamont before navigating inland across the country lanes again needing to exercise caution as they had recently been stone chipped and the chippings had not fully bedded in yet.

Derryboye, Raffrey and Ballygowan came and went and soon I was in Comber with just the Comber Greenway left. A tough route but it was easy on the eye.

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