Sunday, 25 January 2015

A Kevin Costner Moment

Today was a Kevin Costner moment - "if you build it, they will come". James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster couldn't make it, but thanks to a few defectors from the full-fat group it still felt like we had a cast of thousands. In total I think it was 18 Lites - if I remember them all I deserve a medal.... In no particular order, Chairman, Bullet/Mike-ro, Terminator, Hannibal, Terminator, Resurrection, De Niro, David, Phillip, Jeremy, Neil, Alan, Derek, Fred, Mark, Sean and Dara plus me.
After a few weeks of dodging ice it was nice to have a free choice of routes and we settled on a kind of reverse of what we did 2 weeks ago. The idea was to re-use a few roads to get people familiar with them, while introducing a few new ones to mix it up. From the feedback I got, I think it was a success.
 We rode steady up the Saintfield Rd to Purdysburn, then up Mill Rd arriving at the top grupo compacto, which showed everyone was on good behaviour and thinking of the group. Across Mealough Rd and then along the Hillsborough Rd until we hit the Upper Ballynahinch Rd. After a little confusion (I shouted RIGHT), we turned right and then down Green Rd past Duneight and into Ravarnet. Straight across into Carnbane Rd and same again to Harry's Rd and Culcavey.
 It may have looked like I was making it up as I went along, but for once I had it figured out. Nightmare calls that area the flatlands and I knew it was good terrain to get a few miles in before coffee while keeping the group intact.

 Halftown Rd, Bog Rd, Gravehill Rd, then across the racecourse on Dunygarton Rd. Right along Derrynahone Rd and left following Route 9 along Halfpenny Gate Rd to Thornbrook Rd. Finally we deviated again from the "traditional route" and turned left along Lany Rd. With only a minor mechanical that took us all the way to Hillborough with a short cyclo-cross shortcut to get us to coffee.
 Kaner's had beaten us to Barretro, but we just about all squeezed in and got refuelled. The Terminator went for the luxury option - smoked salmon, while the rest of enjoyed the scones. Back on the road, we headed for Annahilt, then left along Glebe Rd, before a right into Ballykeel Rd and then Bailliesmills Rd.
Taking the opposite route to 2 weeks ago we used River Rd, Drennan Rd, Creevy Rd, Gannon Rd and Ballynagannon Rd, to get to Drumbo. One last climb then back down Mill Rd to Purdyburn Rd and home. Everyone rode great and by keeping it together we made good time. Some day I'll get a Garmin and won't have to list the roads, I'll also be able to give a distance, but best guess was about 65 enjoyable kilometres. Well done to the new and pretty new riders - everyone did great!


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