Sunday, 11 January 2015

Let there be Lite

And he said, Let there be Lite and there was Lite. He separated the Lite from the Darkness and it was good.... This morning saw a total of 16 riders at Forster Green including 4 new faces amongst the haggard old faces. As promised we split, with 9 taking the Lite option. My feeling is we shouldn't avoid hills, as they are the best way to improve fitness and learning to master them is a big part of cycling. The important thing is to allow everyone to ride up them at a pace they can manage.
It took us a while to figure out the right pace, but after climbing the Saintfield Rd to Purdysburn we turned right and took Mill Rd. At the top we turned right again and continued to Drumbo. That's a lot of climbing, but after that the group got tighter and we were able to continue across Front Rd on to Ballycarngannon Rd and Gannon Rd to Boardmills. We turned right along Drennan Rd, then into River Road and across to Bailies Mills.
By now the group had settled and we headed through Annahilt, then straight over on to the Magheraconluce Rd. After a couple of miles we swung right along Drumlough Rd. That was the last climb before coffee and dropped us down just outside Hillsborough. I'm not used to looking for coffee stops quite so early and the first two we tried were closed, however we persevered and on Philip's recommendation ended up in Bar Retro (a first for me, sober). They made us feel very welcome and after various scones (no jokes) and coffees we saddled up again.
From Hillsborough we could've simply taken the Comber Rd home, but we took a slight detour into Ravarnet, then along Legacurry Rd just to show off a few more roads less travelled. That brought us back to the Comber Rd, where not far short of Drumbo two riders punctured. Given we were so close to home, The Chairman kindly took Mark, Lanterne, Derek, Philip and Fred on home, while De Niro, Bones, David and me had an innuendo laden race to swop two tubes.
All sorted, we lifted the pace a bit, before nipping down the Upper Mealough Rd and Mill Rd home. I reckon back to Forster Greens would've been around 55k or 35 miles plus whatever people did to get there. As the newcomers noticed neither the Chairman or me are big on technology, but we know our way round the back roads. Given the fierce wind, cold temperatures and hilly route everyone did brilliant. Thanks to the old hands for keeping things steady and providing a bit of shelter. Next week's challenge is to see if we can persuade some ladies to join us. Hopefully everyone enjoyed it. As promised, I did my extra solo loop to push up the miles, but all I proved was why it's so good to have company on such a windy day....
Here's a link to our route on strava:


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