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.


    Our Sunday Cycle ride starts at 9:30am at the bus shelter near the main entrance of Forster Green Hospital on the Saintfield Road. Depending on numbers and weather we ride 55-70 miles at a "steady" pace. On Saturday we meet at the same time and usually do a slightly shorter run at a faster pace. Approx 40-50 miles.


    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 Forster Greens

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Turn on the Lites

"Turn on the Lites!" 
Cold and dry was the forecast...with the exception of a very brief shower, it held true. Five riders, wrapped up tightly in bioracer's finest, huddled together at forestside looking for some lite action; myself, Derek, Joe, Sam and Mark. With heavyweights Digger and Berg also in the mix, it was decided to stick together, but keep the pace comfortable for all. Cruising over the rolling hills along the Killynure road, we arrived in Saintfield in record time. Straight through and on towards Balloo, the hills got a little meaner, but it was a chance for Digger and Bullet to stretch the legs out, punishing themselves on the hills but waiting to regroup at the top every time. 

The heavyweights opted for an extra loop and Bullet headed home early while the rest of us fought for bike parking space at Daft Eddies. There, it was with glee that we realised Castlereagh 's long term goal of world domination is well underway; a Kaners rider was sporting a castlereagh/tour of the glens cap!

Refreshed, we RV'd with the heavyweights and headed back towards Comber, encountering Neil "el pistolero" Smith on the way. Derek and I took a brief detour to test our legs on Bradshaw 's Brae, but met up with the others again at Ormeau park to cheer on Hannibal as he tackled the extremely technical CX race route and finished high up in the pack. Congrats!

All in all, a great day out. There will be another lites run next Sunday, and we hope to have a few more along.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

A Seaside Adventure

Arrrggghhhhhh it was a fine day for a seaside adventure, but shiver me timbers it was cold. Four salty sea dogs hoisted the main sail and headed out this morning, but sleet in Ards brought out Stephens sensible head and he walked the plank, leaving First Mate Digger, Captain Ice-Berg and Cabin Boy Skull & Cross-Bones to head on.

We were soon soaking and cold and any thought of setting anchor at a coffee stop went out the porthole. My ad hoc route was probably a bit far for Bones given the weather, but he suffered like a good pirate and once his fingers grow back I'm sure he'll raise one or two to me to show his appreciation.

One of those rides you enjoy more looking back on, than at the time, but sure if you don't wanna suffer, you can always take up golf.



Sunday, 15 November 2015

The Smiles In The Photos Say It All

 The smiles in the photos, say it all. The forecast last week for Sunday was shocking, but the view from my kitchen morning was damp roads but no rain. It did catch up with us at one o'clock but we were well warmed up by then and it didn't last long. The temperature was high anyway, with most of us stopping after 5 miles to strip - not quite the full monty....

Martin was the only rider for a Lite run, but was happy to head out together and turn off. We reciprocated and kept the route reasonably level and the pace calm into a west wind. We seem to have a habit of heading towards the cross races without actually getting to the event - we're generally too early. This time we dropped Martin off in Moira and headed on to Lurgan. Out past Oxford Island and a loop up to Derrytrasna. The point was just to explore some new roads and get a few more miles in before coffee. A few of those miles were done at pace to make sure everyone deserved their grub back at Oxford Island.

We decided on a pretty straight hit home, but me being me we used back roads and threw in a few variations which as planned got us back in good time.

68 miles without getting cold is a cracking result for a day other people might have spent in bed. Mark surpassed himself and got really stuck in. A couple of short sessions (which I spent mostly on Jeff's wheel) also made sure everyone got a bit of quality as well as quantity. It really doesn't take much to make us smile....


Saturday, 14 November 2015

Rule #80


After some Rule #80 "casually deliberate" lounging, the first official ride from our new meeting spot at Forestside set out under dark skies, but that didn't dampen the spirits. Whether you subscribe to Rule #9 or not, winter riding is good for the soul. Fair play to Derek for offering to take a Lite option, but unfortunately there were no takers this time - build it and they will come.

Saturday's are perfect for mixing it up and taking the road less travelled. On that vein we wiggled over to Drumbo and out towards Hillsborough. The hills were tough, but meant we had our work in the bank. Pretty early on, we agreed to forgo a coffee stop and just aim for 3 hours non-stop. With a mixture of regular and new roads we ended up on the Dromore-Ballynahinch road just as the weather worsened.

A puncture for Scotty took a while to sort meaning the Wookie was shivering despite his hairy ass. We tried to get warm and set a direct course for Ballynahinch and home. Apologies for the poor photography, but given the conditions. Anyway we made it home with about 65k on the clock which isn't as much as usual, but is a lot more than you'd get on the sofa. Fingers crossed for more fun tomorrow.


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Surprise Surprise, Ballymena

Amazing weather with barely a breeze (unless you're on top of the Antrim Plateau). Surprise surprise when I asked Retro where he wanted to go, he called Ballymena. Paul suggested a return trip through Doagh and Tildarg to The Battery. Derek chipped in that the Antrim Rd had road works both ways. So as we rolled in to town I put all those in the cement mixer that is my mind, and out popped a trip up the Doagh Rd, out towards Ballynure, through Ballyclare, Ballyeaston and up to Shane's Hill.
From there we split, with four riders going over the top of Shane's Hill for coffee at the battery and over Big Collin home (I was impressed with the right turn down through Burnside and then the right off the Longshot - back roads = cool).

The remaining three musketeers descended Shane's Hill towards Larne, then sharp left on to Starbog Road, a hidden gem if you've brought your climbing legs. The views were stunning and from the top we explored a few more unnamed lumps before a five mile session into Broughshane. Our eyes hadn't deceived us a few weeks ago, there is a coffee shop in Broughshane, open on a Sunday, serving great value pancakes and flat whites - we will be back!
After a discussion of the Flower Pot Men and the Soup Dragon, we saddled up again and tried out Woodside Road - on a beautiful autumn day it was a classic. That took us back to the Battery and we pointed for home over Big Collin and through Ballyrobert. We don't know what it is about Retro and the Antrim Road (maybe memories of convent girls), but each red light became an excuse to practice our team pursuit start -and we got plenty of practice.

Good fun, brilliant weather and some bonus climbing - it's the only way to get better at it!


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Gettin Dirty

Cracking day for getting dirty. Seven of us took a random tour of the muddiest lanes County Down has to offer and slip slided our way home again. Andrew and Jonny aren't the only ones who enjoy the slippy stuff.

Begny Hill Road probably wasn't the kindest route, but everyone looked out for each other and together with the autumnal colours and debris, gave the ride a great late season feel. It was also a great advert for mudguards - ideally two (you can see why from my shins), but even one saves the furniture at the coffee stop and your teammates.


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Looking Smart

Two ways out and three ways home - this gig is complicated. Then you come home, clean the bike, eat, clean yourself, transfer the photos, edit the photos, copy the strava links and think what you're going to write....or get to number six on that list and have a doze.

Thanks to Sam's hard work on the kit order everyone was looking smart at the start. The consensus was to head out together and split somewhere down the road, so I got to work on a cunning plan. The weather was dry and crisp as we meandered south towards the Quoile Bridge. There I offered high road and low road options. Five choose low, heading straight to Strangford while five choose high, going up through Saul to Raholp and right eventually on to the coast at Kilief - the perfect road for 30 second turns averaging 37kph into Strangford with Scotty out kicking Digger for the 30's.

The early arrivals were well rested by the time we all went to leave and given the good weather decided to head on round the coast with us as far as Ardglass where they turned right for Downpatrick and home. The pace kicked up again as the five of us drove on through Killough including a cheeky 30's across the bridge. Comrade was feeling ropey and wisely decided to take a direct hit home with Sean.
 That left three of us and we dialled the pace up to 11 as we headed for a climb Scotty knew above Minerstown - Scolligs Hill - it was a good one. Toffypops were being consumed at a horrific rate, as each of us took turns to blow their biscuits on some amazing lanes across to Drumaness. After a quick drink stop we powered on to Ballynahinch and finally lined out to Ballynahinch with two min turns wringing out the last drops. Digger proved why you never discount a sprinter no matter how busted he looks!

A really good day out, where hopefully everybody got what they needed. Overall the distances don't look that different, although the profiles tell another story and I can vouch that the hardcore group was giving it plenty....


Saturday, 24 October 2015

The Gimp Squad

The Gimp Squad were all out today and had a great morning, as the weather just got better and better. Bert and Ernie were rocking the kinkiest overshoes ever. I had my new gimp jacket and Hannibal was rocking his man in black look before getting down and dirty at tomorrow's cross race.

We'd braved rain to get down to Forester Green, but once there the rain stopped and things brightened up. With a slight west wind we settled on Dromore, but as usual wiggled a bit to get there. We were all on relaxed form and did long turns as we chatted away, just enjoying being out on quiet roads. We swung out beyond Dromore, then back in for coffee using some roads we learnt on the Dromore CC sportive.

Refreshed we headed for Ballynahinch and halfway dropped the hammer - it was a training ride after all.... The route home took in a few lesser used roads and a few frequently used roads, bringing four smiling cyclists back to Belfast. Turns out I run better on Heinekenpower than Peronipower, but maybe it's a quantity thing..... ‪#‎rubberbandits‬


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Great Turnout

Cracking weather and a great turnout (even with a couple of riders missing the mothership). The Big Lad called the route giving me a morning off and set a course that would get us all home in time for the rugby.
Everyone stuck together and did great. Anyone feeling strong did long turns, while anyone who was feeling it stayed in the wheels. 30's came thick and fast with plenty having a kick. All good safe fun.

Jeff's Birthday Bacon Bap

The fact that the newest bike out today was 10 years old tells you winter is coming and we're cheap, but the weather was more than kind. I could've done with a few more wheels to sit on coming home and a few less lemonades the night before, but hey....

We bought Jeff a birthday bacon bap in Downpatrick - but I forgot the candles - not sure we'd have fitted them all on.

Unofficial Ladies Day

I need to tread carefully here, today had two themes - unofficial ladies day and getting dirty - please don't mix them up.... Zoe, Selena and Jacqui were joining us for the spin, and Jonny, Andrew and other friends of the club were getting dirty at the cyclocross in Lady Dixon park.
As ever, the plan was based on the riders who turned up and the weather. A few of us wanted to get back early enough to watch the racing, which gave us a window of just under 3 hours plus a quick coffee. The route was pretty simple, via Sandy Lane to Hilden and on through Lisburn to Ballinderry, Aghalee and Moira. We hit the coffee stop at a busy time, so it took a while, but with everyone refuelled we headed home via Route 9. Everyone was in good shape as we came through Drumbeg.
Most of us pulled in to Lady Dixons in time to watch some of the thrills and spills. Andrew and Jonny were flying. It was great to catch up with good friends, but we all started to cool and headed home.

Thanks to the girls for your company. Hopefully you enjoyed and felt welcome.