It was a very chilly Morning as I clipped in to the Pedals to Cycle over to the House of Sport for the Saturday Club spin with Phoenix Cycling Club. I was glad that I opted for the Winter Jacket after some deliberation on what to wear.
Along the Knock road the traffic lights were favourable to me which was just as well because I was running it very tight on time to get over for the 9am departure time. No sooner had I arrived at the House of Sport when all the various groups started leaving for a Morning in the Saddle. My group set off on the Malone road through Drumbeg in to the Sandy lane and Hilden to Lisburn.
It was a large group and getting through Lisburn out on to the Ballinderry road saw the group fractured a couple of times due to traffic or traffic lights but we regrouped on the Ballinderry road and Cycled along together enjoying a bright Morning with dry roads before peeling off on to Temple road to bypass Ballinderry, Glenavy and Aldergrove to get in to Antrim then briefly out towards Randalstown before turning right in the direction of Kells and Connor. Until now I had been finding the going very easy whereas others were outside the comfort zone.
Good big Squad out on today's #phoenixcc club spin. For once the Weather was kind. #stravaphoto #stravacycling #cycling #outsideisfree #cyclingni #roadcycling #wahooligan #inmyelement #fromwhereiride #cyclingmemories #roadslikethese #ridewithaview #mycyclingweekend #BuiltByTheRide @sigmasports #discoverni #northernireland #LeCol100MileChallenge #BackYourself
But now the tables were turning as we started to do some sustained climbing, the longer climbs in particular saw a few of us falling back from the main group two in particular were well spat out the back. For a change I was able to remain in touching distance of the main group at a distance I knew I could easily close when the terrain levelled out.
Safely back in the group and taking my pull at the front a few guys and one girl decided to lift the pace quite a lot. Had they seen or have knowledge of a 30 mph speed limit sign I was not aware of? I kicked and went with the breakaway group confident that if it came to a sprint for the speed limit sign I would have the power to be in the thick of the action.
The guy that instigated the breakaway must have realised Doagh was just a bit further away than he first thought and the pace settled back down to normal again as we rolled along for another mile or so and then he kicked again. With the squad rotation I was now three bikes further back but decided to jump on the Pedals anyway and give chase. I rapidly came around the Bicycles in front of me but was still a sizeable gap behind the leader as the crest of a hill came in to sight, I dug deep and kept the power on and was now right on his wheel as we crested the hill and the 30 limit signs came in to view. Momentum was with me as we descended to the speed limit signs and I took his scalp.
From Doagh home the pace was a lot more sensible as we climbed more hills across to Glengormley and then descended through very busy traffic on to the Shore road and back to Belfast for another 70 mile day in the Saddle.