Sunday, 19 April 2015

Infamy, infamy. They all have it in for me

"Infamy, infamy. They all have it in for me!". This morning was cool, but had promise of a sunny afternoon. That brought out 18 riders including a welcome return for Philip, recovering from his injuries. There was a bit of a North East wind, so my suggestion was two groups heading for Donaghadee. Fitting 18 riders into one cafe is a challenge, so my hope was that the Lites would be close to finishing up, as the rest of us arrived. Judging by the amount of dishes left b...y the Lites I'm beginning to wonder should they take over the "full-fat" moniker????

 All of us rode across the carriageway to Knock, then split. The Lites turned right towards Bradshaw's Brae , while 7 of us took the Old Holywood Road. For one reason (make that 6) or another, I knew I was going to struggle on the climbs, but that's no reason to avoid them.... We climbed Creighton's Green Rd, then dropped down towards Helen's Bay (shout out to Hannibal's mum!). Somehow I got myself dropped on the climb and descent, but if you can't take it, don't give it out and I've given it out plenty of times. Through Crawfordsburn and Bangor, we hugged the coast through Ballyholme and Groomsport. As we swung left towards Donaghadee the pace lifted for a final kick, taken cleanly by Digger showing he's benefiting from this racing lark. Our cafe strategy worked perfectly and after a short mechanical, a test ride of my potential new bike and a quick handover chat, we sat down to pick up where the Lites left off. Miss T arrived to join us and then accompanied us down the coast to Millisle. We turned inland along Abbey Rd to Carrowdore, then North to Four Roads end and back in to Ards. The pace wasn't too hard, but smooth and reasonably fast. We climbed the Poggio out of Ards and into the Castlereagh's Hills towards Braniel and home. By this stage the sun was well and truly out and we still had a whole afternoon ahead of us to enjoy it. Frustratingly after dying on every hill all day, I found my legs for the last 3, but maybe that was just the thought of being close to home.

 Thanks to everyone for good company and a safe ride, hopefully the Lites got the same. It was really cool to see everyone heading out the carriageway - looking good!


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