Castlereagh Cycling Club was formed in 2000 and was formerly known as the Belvoir Road Club. The club name was changed to reflect the changing nature of the club from purely a road cycling club to both on and off road.


    We meet on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9:30am at the Sainsbury's entrance to Forestside Shopping Centre. On Saturday, we typically ride about 50 miles at a moderate to fast pace. On Sunday we have a "lite" (30-40 miles at 13-15 mph) and a "full fat" (50-100 miles at 16-18 mph) run to suit all tastes.


    All are welcome - we would like people to join the club, but we would rather people come along first and make sure they enjoy it - we hope they will.

Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am at Forestside Shopping Centre

Thursday, 21 January 2016

McConvey Cycles: Bike fit demo and talk

Huge thanks to Lance and everyone at McConvey Cycles for the bike fit demo and talk tonight. Lance was brilliant at explaining each step in an idiot proof way and still being willing to answer our idiot questions. I thought it would be good, but it totally exceeded everyone's expectations and was good fun.
Everyone there learnt loads and should be a lot more comfortable and potentially injury free going forward, with their cleats in the "new neutral" position. If there is interest in another session later in the year I'm sure Lance will accommodate. Thanks too, to Twinkle Toes for his skill as a crash test dummy - really good sport.

PS I promise I'm not just saying nice things because Lance told me my bums not as big as I thought!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Neither Fish nor Fowl

In the words of Retro, today was neither fish nor fowl. My interpretation of that, was that it wasn't nice, but it wasn't terrible either - cold and damp, but doable for a while if you went hard enough to keep the heart pumping, or in Sean's case to keep it close to max....

Nine of us left Forestside, with a mixture of Lites and heavies. My notional plan was to keep it steady and flattish to Balloo, then split. If the Lites went round the coast for coffee in Castle Espie the heavies could do a longer loop and maybe arrive before they left. After we split Retro requested a visit to Nendrum and I'm all about making wishes come true, so that's where we headed, followed by another loop. Flashdance headed for home, while Monsieur Poulet, Bones, Digger, Retro and me called at Castle Espie. 

By the look of strava the Lites - Derek, Lanterne and Martin exercised their democratic right and headed to Ballygowan and Carryduff instead.

After coffee we planned to loop round Scrabo and Craiganlet, but as the mizzle started I came over all sensible (the worst insult you can give a Castlereagh rider) and suggested we just drop down Bradshaws home. Retro asked me which way I was planning to get to my house, which immediately told me he wanted more.... Before you know it, four of us were climbing Gilnahirk and Braniel - idiots....

Only 3.5 hours with a relatively easy start, but a lot better for the body than lying on the sofa. Bones is looking scary strong, but Retro and Digger aren't far behind. Ps in 1963 the Royal Mail didn't have a squirrel on their stamps - there was a badger and a red deer - he checked.....



Saturday, 16 January 2016

Kudos all round today!

Kudos all round today!

Kudos to Stephen who put out some serious wattage and did a great ride, despite being off the bike for a few weeks and suffering with a sore shoulder.

Special kudos to Bonafide Badass Peter, who upheld rule #9 for the second consecutive week by braving weather which made more sensible riders cower behind their turbo trainers. He also set a new personal distance record on the way, on a ride bookended with two ascents of Bradshaw 's Brae no less!

Final kudos to Bergmeister, who takes photos worthy of Alison Webster every week, with apparent ease. As I found out today, it's pretty difficult!

Other special mentions go to Lee, who took a break from work to say hi outside Forestside, and to Jeremy, who was spotted running near Ballyholme.

With the threat of ice and light showers, the three of us decided to play it safe and stick to low lands, coastal and main roads where we could. The result was a jaunt out to Donaghadee via Ards and back again, with a couple of small hills and a mini 3-up TT on the way. No coffee stop today as we wanted to get home quick but fun was had by all and, most importantly, we all stayed safe.

Until next time!


Sunday, 10 January 2016

Let off the Lease

Even with the photographs, with so many riders out and me feeling sleepy I'm struggling to remember who all was out.... Best I can recall we had Retro, Digger, Bones, Flashdance, the Terminator, Ressurrection, Poulet, Lanterne, David, Michael and me.

We left Forestside promptly and set off south west in to the wind. We used the first few miles out to Temple to see how people felt and it wasn't all good news. Ian suggested a Lite run to Dromore, although I couldn't name an open coffee shop there on a Sunday. The group stayed together across to Bailies Mills but splintered a little on the rolly stuff after Ballykeel. Credit to David who stuck to the mothership like a limpet.

That was the signal to split the group and 5 of us got a 10 second head start on to Edenticullo Rd. There's a strange phenomenon when the group splits, but basically the riders who are "let off the lease" go a bit nuts. Sometimes it last 10 mins, sometimes it lasts 2 hours, but I've learnt there is nothing I can do to control it, all I can do is hang on.... Unfortunately Flashdance didn't have a working big ring and a high speed race towards Drumlough did for him.

That left 4 of us hammering towards Kinallen, Gail Bog Rd, Flough Rd and Drone Rd - lumpy stuff and Bones was on fire. Digger picked up injury and was looking pale by the time we stopped in Banbridge, but he's made of strong stuff and was determined to get home under his own steam. Conversation turned to Kelly's Heroes, with our own Oddball telling our Morriarty "enough of the negative waves!" - at least no-one had lost their sense of humour. After a top quality bacon bap, we saddled up and hit for home.

Despite hard roads and a good pace Digger dug in (there's more than one reason for the nickname) and we rapidly reached Dromore. On to Edentrillick Rd and a sweep through Annahilt and back similar roads to the way out.

Hopefully the Lite run was as much fun, we couldn't have asked for much more. Well done Michael on his first ride and to David who is really progressing. Hopefully Digger is feeling better and Comrade who wasn't with us recovers quickly from an encounter with wildlife.

Edit - sorry, sleepy head. I meant to say congrats to Roger, Glenn and all the other friends of the club including Miss T and MTB Girl competing at the Irish National Cycling Championships in Tollymore. Huge congrats.

Lites - https://www.strava.com/activities/467344471

Full Fat - https://www.strava.com/activities/467355683

Saturday, 9 January 2016

We're rolling, rolling, Rolling on the river

I had Tina Turner at the back of my head this morning "I left a good job in the city, Working for the man every night and day, And I never lost one minute of sleeping, Worrying 'bout the way things might have been, Big wheel keep on turning, Proud mary keep on burning, And we're rolling, rolling, Rolling on the river....". A lack of sleep and pouring rain made getting out a struggle, but Piglet, Scotty and a new face Peter were waiting for me.

The rain just got worse, but once you're wet you can't get wetter so we thought we'd give it a go. The route took us out the Kings Road and across to Greengraves Rd. Scotty only had light gloves, so headed before home before we had to play hunt the finger.

The rest of us did a loop around the Ballybarnes Road, across to Clandeboye and back to Bradshaws. Piglet's fixie wasn't slowing him down! By that stage we were properly cold and headed for home and our new warm hoodies (great job Andrew).

Really well done to Peter - it's usually a lot more fun than that. Apologies for the poor photography, but wet screens aren't very responsive. Fingers crossed tomorrow's a bit better and we aren't "rolling on the river" again.


Sunday, 27 December 2015

Home for Christmas

I think rotund was the politest thought I had when I saw 1st Cat this morning, but despite the extra few pounds he still has a bit of power.... The weather as I left my house at altitude was perfect, but as I descended into the mirth the temperature plummeted.

At Forestside Digger, Retro, Hannibal, 1st Cat and Simon who's visiting from Edinburgh were waiting. With ice all around we headed up the Saintfield Road in to the fog, but by Cairnshill we'd emerged into sunshine. The ice hadn't melted, so we stuck to the main road all the way to Saintfield, where we picked up Catherine who hasn't been out with Castlereagh in about 15 years - another "home for Christmas" visitor.

We still weren't confident in the back roads, so onwards to Crossgar and Downpatrick alternating between sunshine and freezing fog. We reckoned salt air on the coast was our best bet, so kept our course due south to Killough. Round the coast soaking up the scenery via Ardglass, Ballyhornan and Kilief where 1st Cat reminded us why he's 1st Cat.

It turns out the Pantry is closing shortly but despite a limited menu we got enough in the tank to get us home. Just for the laugh I called a left up a climb and down into Raholp and then back up to Saul. From the Quoile Bridge over to Annacloy, Kilmore, Listooder and home - those roads never get any easier even when your nickname says they should.

Another lesson in why the route is never set in stone. Brilliant riding by our guest stars from Portovelo and Manchester Wheelers. Our visitor from London needs a bigger wardrobe - he barely fits in the current one.... Really good fun, with a lot of laughs.


Saturday, 26 December 2015

Bones and the Berg go Boxing

Bones and the Berg go Boxing.... Two of us had a morning pass for Boxing Day and fuelled by a weird mix of cabin fever, offset by Christmas Dinner lethargy, we put in a morning of hard efforts interspersed by cruising and talking nonsense (mostly me).

The start took us up the Ballygowan Road and we kept the hammer down all the way. From Ballygowan to Balloo was more leisurely, with the odd hit up the hills. Castle Espie offered up lovely scones and a short respite before we saddled up again and headed through Comber and up to Scrabo. A loop around and over Craigantlet to empty the tank, doing our best gorillas in the mist impersonation, before dropping down Ballyregan Road and home.

Enough to feel like training, but still good fun and home before the passes expired. I think Bones won this round on points although I landed the odd good shot.


Sunday, 20 December 2015

Four Hangovers and Partridge in a Peartree

"Four Hangovers and Partridge in a Peartree". While the youngsters slept off the night before, the men of maturity went for an immature spin to jog the hazy memory of Nu Dehli and The Perch. Lee was at Forestside to catch Mark roll up first, followed by Phillip, then the Ghost of too many Christmas's past. Hannibal and Digger rolled up last, looking so bad it made me feel good!
The wind didn't let us take it as easy as we'd like - it's bad when you're giving it full gas up the Saintfield road and barely hitting double figures - it's worse when those figures are in kph.... We reckoned we wouldn't get coffee til after 11, so the third most popular plan (after go home or sleep under a hedge) was to do a 90 min spin to Hillsborough. Man it was hard.

Bar Retro looked after us as always and we even got a belated text from Retro who'd missed the mothership. With a good feed and a strong tailwind we shot back towards Carryduff and home. Thanks to everyone for the company and the laughs. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

The Night Stage!

These are just of the prologue - fog at altitude (and good judgement) prevented further coverage of the mountain stage.... 

Big thanks to Steve for his organisational skills and to General Chaos for his work on the night. Thanks finally to all the members and friends of the club for a great year.

A report of today's run will follow - after I have a wee sleep.

The Day Stage

I'm not sure if my problem was over doing it on the bike Christmas decorations or over doing it at work and festivities this week - either way, when we took off hard I suffered. But like we've said before, if you aren't prepared to suffer, don't give it out and I've given it out plenty over the years.

Seven of us wiggled into the fierce wind, around the lanes are past Ballynahinch to Spa. We took a bit of a loop along back roads, then back through Spa for coffee at Hollys in Ballynahinch - great scones.
Another wiggle to get home via Saintfield. Day stage done, time for the night stage! https://www.strava.com/activities/452670851

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Iceman Cometh

"The Iceman Cometh" - the 500yd walk from my house to the nearest gritted road told me all I needed to know this morning (I'm nuts) - we were headed to the coast, sticking to main-ish roads especially on the way out. At Forestside we had a mixture of people who live low enough not to have seen the ice, and the idiots who saw it and ignored it.
Four of us rolled across the carriageway and out the main road to Ards. Retro was talking about a coffee stop in Greyabbey and we set that as our target - I should've smelt a rat, when his description didn't fit the ones I knew.... For Martin and David's sake we kept the pace steady, but when a North Down rider came past it was like a red rag to a Retro and before you knew it, three of us were banging through gulping down cold air. I was hugely impressed by Martin and David who hung on brilliantly.

At Greyabbey we pulled in so Retro could figure out he'd mixed up Greyabbey and Kircubbin.... We quickly came up with a plan that Retro and me would recreate the old days round to Kircubbin, while the others had coffee in The Villager.

Off the leash Retro hit it hard round to Katch 27 in Kircubbin, where we grabbed a quick cuppa. Back to Greyabbey where the guys raved about the bacon sarnies. Single file back to Ards, the up Bradshaws and home. About 75k in a bit under 3hrs, not bad considering the conditions.