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, 17 May 2015

Captain Sensible

I had things to see and people to do this afternoon, and needed back early. As I wouldn't be there for the full run, I didn't want to call the route, but after Retro suggested Ballymena I overruled him on the basis of a strong SW wind and earned a new nickname - Captain Sensible. I think we had 14 riders including Jonny on his second club ride and Mike on his first.
We set off up the Saintfield Rd and then into the lanes up Mill Rd and across to Boardmills, then Bailies Mills. A puncture on route gave everyone a chance for a chat and for Retro to try out some modern bikes - a whole new world. The pace was nice and steady to keep everyone together, but we split briefly after Annahilt for those feeling frisky to get a taste of the Cornmill. Everyone survived and after a few rapid miles we met the rest at the Kinallen junction.
There a few riders swapped groups, and while Retro ledBones, Digger, Bullet and Comrade Darragh towards Kinallen, Loughbrickland and Scarva (fingers crossed they found their way), I led the others through Dromara to Ballynahinch. With a tailwind and no one looking to hammer it, the Lite group was able to practice a bit of group riding taking turns on the front.
After coffee in Maud's, we took the Ballylone Rd up the berg and across to Saintfield, then a few twists along Ravara Rd to Moneyreagh. From there we split a bit, with Philip and David heading towards Comber, Snake Hips and Mike taking the Ballygowan Rd, while Lanterne (aka El Pistolero) and Mark went over the hills with me.
For a bit of an ad hoc plan, it seemed to work well and the Lite group stuck together well. Thanks to Martin for the photos and well done everyone.

8 Eejits

My first club run after returning from sunnier climes. I don't know which was more of a shock, going from 40oC to 12oC or being tasked to do the write up for today's adventures.
We had 8 riders out this morning proving just how popular our Saturday rides have become. Roll call as follows Big G, Terminator, Bergmeister, Resurrection man, Digger, Bones and a guest appearance by Snake hips himself.
As per the normal MO on windy days the route was straight out into the south westerly headwind. The hope of picking up some of the racing at the Tommy Givan Memorial near Hillsborough before a coffee stop in Dromore.
With Big G as our navigator the pace was always going to be on the quick side. Snake hips set a new strava PR up the Saintfield road, he held on well until peeling off just after Carryduff.
That left the 7 of us to battle on through the wind, we hung a left at Carr primary school and a right onto the Knockany Road. Crossing over the Saintfield Road we passed through Boardmills, Cargacreevy and into Annahilt.
Big G's timing was spot on with us passing the racers on our way into Hillsborough. At this point Resurrection Man and Bergmeister swung off and headed for home.
The fantastic 5 then took the lumpy route into Dromore via the Old coach Road, Edentrillick Road and Ballynahinch Road.
After our well deserved refreshments at cafe thyme we headed home in the same direction along the Ballynahinch Road before turning onto the Magheraconluce Road and into Annahilt again. Heading into Legacurry we were caught by the racers and pulled over to see them pass.
Being so close to home Terminator made a bee line in that direction, while big G stayed on to watch the rest of the race. I called the route home from Legacurry. My plan being out to Drumbo and home via Purdysburn direction. Digger and bones however had other ideas. Remind me NEVER EVER to leave these two eejits at the front on a downhill section where you hope to make a turn halfway along. They will just ride and ride until the end of the road grrrrrr.
With my route plans in tatters it was just straight home through Drumbeg and out to the house of sport where we went our separate ways. After a week away in a peloton built for one it's nice to be back riding with a group of friends(even if they are a competitive bunch)!!

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Echelons and American Flyers

Today was educational. Nitemare gave a lesson on echelon riding in fierce crosswinds, while I was shocked and saddened by the lack of knowledge about the cinematic cycling great which is American Flyers and did my best to explain why it's a such a classic - pure cheese, but classic cheese. Doesn't Darragh look like the Russian?
In planning the route I took into account a strong southerly wind and tried to think of a few bail-out options for anyone who fancied a short cut to coffee. What I can't predict is who is going to turn up and what legs they are going to bring. We went straight to Ballynahinch battling into the wind, then flicked left up Valverde Hill to Drumaness. Lanterne was on an off day and sat up early on - probably a wise choice.
Straight on, all the way to Tyrella (pausing only to take a quick pic for Sean's folks) and then left along the coast. For a lot of riders forming a diagonal echelon was a new experience, but with a strong cross tailwind they learnt quick. Through Killough and Ardglass where I turned with Brian for a direct hit on Downpatrick.
Nitemare took the rest on to Ballyhornan, then back to Downpatrick with a pure crosswind. 1000 yard stares over coffee told a story of dark dark times.... educational! Downpatrick isn't a common stop for us, but Norma J's served up bacon baps and fries that hit the spot.
Home was via Annacloy, Kilmore, Listooder and Saintfield catching a lot of tired riders doing the Dromara Coastal. I'm sure almost everyone will have tired legs tonight, it's amazing how the weather has every bit as much influence as the route. Well done to everyone for digging in and in the words of the Velonomati Rules "enjoying their work".

Chris 6th at Groucho's GP

Castlereagh CC rider Chris Richardson took 6th place in the 2015 Groucho's GP. This is another result in an already strong season from Chris! We look forward to more! You can read the full report from Marian Lamb of Cycling Ulster here: http://cyclingulster.com/?p=20743

the value of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes!

Never underestimate the value of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes! This morning a 3 hour training ride in a "fasted state" sounded like a great idea (the theory is your body will burn more fat). 4 miles from home when the lights went out and I went out the back it didn't feel so smart..... Live and learn.
Hannibal and Retro are off sunning themselves, and with Nitemare missing in action there was a rumour today might have been an easy one - no chance. Eight of us rocked up at Forster Green including Snake Hips who made it clear he wouldn't last the distance. The wind was North West so it gave an opportunity to do something a little different. The only downside was that the major climbing would come early.
The route below explains it better than I will, but basically from the top of the Glen Road we pressed the turbo button and with assistance from Sgt Major Resurrection the seven remaining riders hit it hard across to Stoneyford and Glenavey. Bones was on home turf and introduced us to Pigeontown Rd, which took us across to Ballinderry Lower and Aghalee. A new left on me, took us towards Moira station and then into the bottom of the town.
Between a few 30's and whipping up the pace everyone was getting a good workout and was ready for coffee at The Fat Gherkin (thank you to whoever told me about it recently?). Noel and Bones were enjoying the speed work, so I reckoned Route 9 would keep it going across the race course and all the way to Sprucefield.
Axl doesn't know any Abba songs, but it didn't slow him and Sean up Waterloo Rd - the only mercy was I was too far behind to hear him singing. As a special bonus we took Gardners Rd to totally drain the legs, before pointing for Carryduff at which point my tank hit empty.
Ride of the day goes to Mark W who is head and shoulders above where he was a couple of months ago. Apologies for the sparse photos, but by the end I wasn't fit. Thanks to everyone for a great morning out.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Bank Holiday bonus ride

 Bank Holiday bonus ride.... As its a holiday, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

We had an incident with a chain today so take note from this video tutorial: http://velonews.competitor.com/2015/05/mtb/video-how-to-fix-a-broken-chain_368960

Here's the strava link: https://www.strava.com/activities/298163766

Tour of Ulster and a quick spin

On Saturday morning we marshalled our local section at the Tour of Ulster. Thanks to everyone for representing the club on Tour of Ulster marshal duty. It sounds like there was a touch of wheels before Jameson's garage putting at least one rider out of the race - shame, but part of racing. Good luck to all the remaining riders in that brutal weather.
Seven of us went for a quick spin after the race passed through. We might not have had a team car, but Snake Hips did have a helpful police outrider.... With the weather getting worse we only did a 90 min loop then home to get warm.
Thanks again for the support. Finally, good luck to Digger and Hannibal racing in Clogher Valley on Sunday!

Here's the strava link for our ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/296499052

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Future Stars

A quick report from Lee on our stars of the future.
As we rode down to our meeting point at Forestside it seemed like a good day for cycling. Forster Green was already filling up with Castlereaghers and the Dave Kane squad was out in big numbers.
Our group consisted of Danny (the coach - we'll forgive him for wearing his new Phoenix kit as his Forestside strip has only just been ordered) my self and Ben, Michael & Mathew, David ( who is well on his way to Princes trust award) Mark & Cameron and finally a guest appearance from Fred (fresh from a few winter rides with the Castlereagh hardcore!)
Danny took the boys out onto the Ravenhill road and headed for the Titanic quarter. Once there we did a lap of the docks area allowing the boys to do few few drills and build up some speed. We then headed out towards the coast road and hugged the Lough all the way to Loughshore. Whilst the older boys enjoyed a cup of tea to warm up the Youth squad had ice cream! Back on the bikes we headed back the same way finishing at Forestside some 33 miles later - I think these boys are good for at least 40-50miles within a couple of weeks.
Next trip out is the NDCC Kirkistown races this Weds - wish them luck! Lee

Shoe Envy

Had a bit of a scare today, when I suffered shoe envy and for a split second wondered if I was a girl (sorry!), but fairly soon normal red blooded service resumed. Other than that, things couldn't have worked out better, despite the complications of trying to balance 3 routes and a few riders needing home early.
We all rolled up the Saintfield Rd, less Chef who suffered an early mechanical. After Temple, 4 riders (Quintana, Philip, David and Martin) took a direct route for Castlewellan, while the rest of us turned right on to Creevytenant Rd and in to the hills. Everyone heard the health warning and knew what they'd signed up for....kinda.
Top Gear and his friend (sorry, my memory is terrible for names) turned for Ballynahinch and home, while the rest of us climbed Bawn Hill Rd and then turned right on to Begny Hill Rd. I'd guess the clue is in the road names - they aren't easy roads. From Dromara, we headed out the Rathfriland Rd. Anyone that knows it, knows the hills are relentless - nothing major, but the repetition pulls your legs out even without turning on to Dree Hill, Legananey or Windy Gap (we'll introduce them some other time). Big G turned at the top, leaving the rest of us to descend into Moneyslane.
There we split again, with Lanterne guiding first timers Jeremy and James left for Castlewellan. That left 6..... Retro was a bit concerned, that we were planning to gothrough Kilkeel without stopping (Kilcoo, not Kilkeel), but we told him just to pedal - they don't pick us for our brains or looks.... With no risk of collateral damage and about 13 miles to coffee, the changes were called thick and fast, lining things out for the 30's in Rathfriland. After a quick regrouping, the hammer went down again all the way to Castlewellan. Digger took both 30's, with Bones getting in the mix (we reckon he'll be pinning on a number by August).
When we arrived at Urban, everyone was there which reinforced its all one club. Rather than hang about, the Lite and Semi-Skimmed options saddled up together. If it wasn't for Lanterne having a slight mechanical I don't think we'd have seen them again, and even then it was only in Carryduff! The 6 full fats worked well together, with standout performances from Digger, Bones and Hannibal, making sure everyone got home with the needle on or close to empty.
Not exactly warm, but sunny, dry and fingers crossed 16 riders all got what they needed with good few laughs along the way. I did

Axl was just rocking

After a night of rain, we could only hope for better and we got it. Digger rocked up in racing form, Sean was rocking his new bike and calf muscles (check out the photos) and the newly christened Axl was just rocking.
My job was just to sort out a route and given that there was only a small group and no innocents, I thought we'd take in some same but different roads. After crossing the carriageway we flicked left through Milltown and Ballylesson to the foot of Fort Rd. I thought I was climbing okay until our resident minstrel came past singing Val Doonican hits (is that an oxymoron?). From there we went through Drumbo then past Duneight to Ravarnet and Culcavey.
On a notion I cut off the Moira Rd on to Artifinny Rd, then Kilwarlin Rd and St Johns Rd, all helping Axl's climbing tally. Mazeview Rd probably wasn't the smartest call and dumped us on to the A1 hard shoulder for a mile or so, before we ducked back in to Grove Rd and round to Dromore. In Scooby Doo style I would've got away with the 30's if it wasn't for a pesky dog - next time. Once Axl had his tea (everyone has an addiction), we headed straight to Ballynahinch with digs flying in from everyone all the way (some were more successful than others).
I didn't think any one would moan if we took a lumpy road home and introduced the troops to Ballylone Rd leading on to Drumconnell Rd and in to Saintfield. Just to make sure the tanks were empty we took the Killynure Rd back to Carryduff and after an incident with a clothes basket, the others disturbed my usually gentle tootle home along the Cadger and Beechmount Roads.
Good craic, good training and a new nickname, what more could you want on a Saturday morning. Shout out to Brian and Nitemare enjoying the Mallorcan sun. Hope Nitemare is well creamed up (saddle and sun) for the 312 today