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

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Zen Philosophy

We're a funny bunch, one minute swopping zen philosophy - "we must taste the bitter to appreciate the sweet", was a personal highlight, the next questioning if my route was an attempt to sketch a strava-art cock & balls (I did throw in two dubious circular loops to rack up a few extra k before coffee). That's kinda us, no big plan, no big agenda, tranquilo one minute, full gas the next.

Five of us rolled out deciding Picnic in Killyleagh would be a destination for most of us. Derry John and Stephen were aiming for 2hrs while Fanclub, Cautious Jeff (it won't last) and me were after 3hrs - hence the loops.

It was cold so we tried not to suck in too much frigid air, but on our third approach to Killyleagh we ignored the seaviews and lit the afterburners. It turns out mine must've got damp during a big weeks training, but LJ and Conor were on fire. Coffee and a chat brought heart rates back down below 190, but it wasn't too long before we were back up to full speed 💓 with some scary numbers.

Home as planned with 3hrs in our legs with plenty of smiles along the way. It wasn't easy, but that's how you know you're moving forward.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Enough chamois cream to sink a battleship

14 out today, which prompted is to split early and evenly. The heavies headed out to Dromore, while the "lites" clocked up ~ 60 miles, two punctures, "enough chamois cream to sink a battleship" and a healthy smattering of scones at Oxford Island.
Last club run of 2018, and it was a nice way to round off the year - see you in 2019!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Castlereagh Lites - breaking tradition.....

Four turned out for the lites this week and it was great to see Melissa back to provide some elegance to today’s group. After a wet and cold start for everybody the rain thankfully stopped as we headed south from Forestside towards Daft Eddies. As a change of routine from our normal route up the Saintfield Road drag, we took the Greenway from the Kings Road. I have to say we enjoyed the new wide path, which was very quiet and allowed us to charge on to Comber.
With the sun breaking through we headed down the coast enjoying great views, no wind and sunshine dappling through the trees - perfect.
All was great until a wonderfully considerate driver soaked us with a puddle as we turned into the coffee stop. We’d only just dried off from the earlier rain aaahhh!
We all know Damien likes his coffee stop and he indulged himself with an extra tray bake, the rest of us sticking to just the scones, which were fantastic as ever. After good coffee and conversation, including a discussion on the benefits of using scented poo bags to keep your phone dry, (dog owners will understand).
We rolled out after coffee and headed for the lovely hill out of Whiterocks. Melissa dug deep and put in a great effort with Jim charging ahead going for a PB. As we passed Kilmood a familiar voice and blue flash, in the shape of Retro out on a solo run, overtook us and then kept us company until we headed to Moneyreagh. Yes, the pace increased, he’s a force of nature.
As a further change from our traditional route we took the Knockbracken Road instead of Crossnacreevy and all put in a final blast up the hills to the top of Clontonacally Road.
A great morning out with what turned out to be a lovely day, it doesn’t get much better at this time of year. Thanks everybody 👍🏻.
Also I have to put a special mention in about Sean, Allen and Darragh’s amazing effort today in the 1.5 Loughs Winter 200km Audax, well done superb ride guys.

Jazzy Jeff and the Prince of Fresh Air

Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute just sit right there
I'll tell you how I became the Prince of Fresh Air
In the Four Winds massif I was born and raised
On the playground where I spent most of my days,
Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool
And all pulling some wheelies outside of the school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little crash and my mom got scared
And said you're going to join Castlereagh and train with Nitemare
I begged and pleaded with her the other day
But she packed my bike bag and sent me on my way
She gave me a kissin' and she gave me my ticket
I put my lycra on and said I might as well kick it
First class, yo this is bad,
Drinking orange, pineapple & lemon out of a bidon
Is this what the people of Castlereagh livin' like
Hm this might be alright!
I whistled for a Speedvagen and when it came near the
paint job was smokin and the saddle fit my rear
If anything I could say that this club was rare
But I thought now forget it, yo get some more Fresh Air
I pulled up to a house after about 3 hours good training
And I yelled to the posse, yo kudos on Strava sometime later
Looked at my kingdom I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the prince of Fresh Air

Sunday, 22 July 2018

John Moore Memorial 2018 - Results

photo by Toby Watson
A1/2/3 Race
1. Padraig Rogan, Phoenix CC
2. Gareth O’Neill, Newry Wheelers
3. Jody Wright, Phoenix CC
4. Kevin McKinney, Armagh City Cyclists
5. Aaron Wiley, Omagh Wheelers
6. Keith Phillips, North Down CC
7. Edward Kearney, Phoenix CC
8. Dean Lockhart, Carn Wheelers
9. Gary McCullough, Team Madigan
10. Lindsay Watson, Powerhouse Sport
Top unplaced A3s:
1. Barry Greer, Kinning Cycles
2. David Dickson, Dromara CC
A4 Race
1. Ian McClure, Northern CC
2. Luke Roberts, Shimna Wheelers
3. Liam Crichton, Velo Cafe Magasin
4. Peter McBride, Banbridge CC
5. Jonathan Coen, Dromore CC
6. James MacMahon, Banbridge CC
7. Philip Graham, Unaffiliated
8. Garret Greene, Velo Cafe Magasin
9. Brian Hannon, Bainbridge CC
10. Leslie Balmer, Ballymena Road Club

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Good Sunny Miles

Only eight at forestside today, but we did have members representing at the air ambulance sportive, and recovering from hangovers!
We set off up the Saintfield Road, wove our way through the back lanes and followed some seldom-explored fondo roads. Martin and Davy turned early for Annahilt while the rest of us kept on through Dromara, Kinallen, Corbet (with Rich turning early for Dromore) and into Banbridge.
Five miles out from the coffee stop, I starting to feel the dreaded knock creeping in but was saved by El Pistolero's emergency tracker bar. He was testing out his new aero wheels. "They're supposed to make you go faster. To that I say....balls. My old ones are going on the winter bike, they're basically square".
Optimism over the warm climes got the better of us, and we had to switch seats from outdoors to indoors (James found out that an HP sauce bottle fits snugly in a Castlereagh jersey). We also found out:
- I can eat a lot
- Bones doesn't like queues, and left early
- Retro has bother opening his jam
- We were all universally underwhelmed by eurovision. Nil points.
The lumpy route home caused a sting in the legs, especially when my gear cable failed. I made it home with just 39x11 and 53x11 (but did phone my SO to ask for a lift first).
Good sunny miles, and everyone looking strong. See you next time!

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Oxford Island

When I mentioned life's constants yesterday, I forgot a few that are specific to Castlereagh CC and one of our legends. Retro will go off like the hammers with seemingly no concept that the ride will be over 30 mins - fact. He will also put himself in to the ground rocking and rolling over the bike, rather than tell the rider beside him to ease off (and because people know this they play to it and push the pace) - fact. Are these bad things? No, not at all, just idiosyncrasies of the bunch, that once you understand you embrace.
Today despite a touch of light rain at the start, we had nine riders - no "Lites" (I hope everyone isn't starting to hibernate - this is the ideal time of year to start riding with a cycling club and build fitness, as the group backs off a fraction). When I asked about distance and route, I got two words back which is an improvement on the usual - FLAT and WEST. I put those in to the Routemeister 2000 calculator, turned the handle and came up with an idea....
We went down and around the embankment for a change and then out our regular Sandy Lane route to Lisburn. We turned on to Route 9 past the Maze, but bypassed Down Royal and across the flatlands. Orange Lane took us parallel to the main road and eventually south of Lurgan. Poster Boy II turned off along the way - it took a while for some to notice and if I'm honest one or two may never have even recognised your presence, such is their "focus".
Through Lurgan, it wasn't long til we were queuing in Oxford Island. While it might not have the hipster cool of some of our other watering holes, you can't knock the value.... the route home was to be our regular route out - Aghalee, Aghagallon, Ballinderry, Lisburn. It would have been uneventful if it wasn't for a driver 150m up ahead of us deciding to pull out of a junction straight in to another car. Two write-offs but thankfully no serious injuries. Arriving on the scene, we checked the occupants, directed a bit of traffic and waited for the police and ambulance - we also somehow lost Retro, another of those Castlereagh constants. Civil duties done, on to Lisburn and home.
I had been hoping to call at the cyclocross in Lady Dixon Park on the way home, but stopping for the accident had us running late. A great day out. Hard enough for people to tell me sob stories in the hope of getting out of turns, but not so hard we couldn't keep the group tightly together and get everyone home. Ride of the day goes to El Pistolero - not for his athletic ability, more for hogging just about every photo I took. Great riding.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Brainchild of a Malicious Mind

When you're talking to non-cyclists or newcomers you often find they are obsessed with the distance we ride or the average speed. Old hands know those stats really don't mean a lot, certainly not in isolation.
Today's route was clearly the brainchild of a malicious mind (I gave you a flat one last week!) and although only 60m/100k, if I still kept a training diary my summary of the ride would be "4 hours - brutal hills. Steady pace with a couple of efforts. Nice coffee." I think we started with 9, reducing to 6 after 90 mins or so when Noel, Mike and Davy turned off needing to get home. We hit the hills from the start and that's how it continued, with a tough route to Bailies Mills then a traditional route to Annahilt. A left took us to Dromara and over the Boiling Wells.
Digger and Bones were sent up the road mainly as a tactic to rest my legs and keep the rest of the group together - by the state of them in Moneyslane they enjoyed it.... We turned left after Ballyward and up Dollys Brae which was a first for most of us - savage! Digger even took a detour up a lane to take a break halfway up - either that or one of his fan club lives in the area?!
Urban in Castlewellan looked after us as always (we arrived just as Dromore left and shared with Lanterne Rouge). Having surprisingly had no complaints about the outward route, I decided to continue the theme and take a hilly route home - fair play to El Pistolero who was as always giving his all and still providing the laughs. You probably had to be there to understand why "was that a STEADY?!" was so funny at the time. It was only rivalled for laughs by a comment about someone's own mum and Stuart Burns (you're getting a very weird reputation)....
We took tough roads skirting the top of Slieve Croob then started the twisting descent towards Spa. Digger and me went to the front and put it on lockdown - that doesn't mean we weren't still pushing, just that a strong steady pace keeps everyone together in a way stop start never will. We stayed there until just before Temple where El Pistolero finally turned his gun on himself and waved us on. Given a free reign we lit it up and drove all the way to Carryduff.
Another really enjoyable day and credit to the strongest and least-strongest riders in the bunch. The former for using their strength at the right times in the right ways and the later for showing true 'grinta' and digging in without a word of complaint. Cycling is suffering, if you don't like it take up golf....https://www.strava.com/activities/1154750788
Ps hope the Lough Lappers had a good safe day and I'm available for hand modelling at reasonable rates (bike matches car....).

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Let the Pictures do the Talking

On the rare occasion I do bedtime stories they don't involve Castlereagh Cycling Club, so i'll let the pictures speak for themselves - apologies to anyone expecting a tale of daring do.

The Liter Lites did a 30 mile loop in preparation for the Forestside Action Cancer Fundo on 6th August, while about 15 of us headed west.
We pulled in near Gilford to split up, reduce my stress levels and ditch the dreaded whistle. From there the majority went home via Banbridge for about 110k total https://www.strava.com/activities/1086263060. Six of us decided to make the most of the sunshine and go to the Moy. That we instead ended up in Armagh somehow wasn't surprising.... The way home was a game of poker, with each rider raising the ante and pulling the odd bluff at one stage or another. Conor got to know Digger, Nitemare, Berg, Bones and Retro up close and personal, and put in a super strong ride - it was a day for big legs.... https://www.strava.com/activities/1086383120.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

John Moore Memorial 2017 - Results

photo by Toby Watson

A2-A3 Race

Angus Fyffe Omagh Wheelers
David Watson The Bike House CC
Richard Maybin Madigan CC
Dominic McCartan Apollo CC
Christopher McGlinchey Chainreaction Cycles
Jody Wright Phoenix CC
Stuart Henry North Down CC
Gavin McGowan Dromara CC
David Hamilton North Down CC
Keith Philips North Down CC

A3 Prizes
Stuart Henry North Down CC
David Dickson Dromara CC

A4 Race
Jonathan Kyle SMCC
Luke Joyce Kinning CC
Scott Maitland Killinchy CC
Philip Doyle Killinchy CC
Michael Boyd 0745 Rouleurs
Rory Loughran Newry Wheelers
Keith Freel North Down CC
Matthew Sinton Portadown CC

Women’s Result
Laura Blair Ballymena RC
Christen O’Neill Velo Cafe Magasin