Monday, 1 June 2015

A Lite-ish run

So, this picks up at the top of the Hightown Road - the full fats have just set off leaving Mark, Neil, me and the never to be forgotten Joe. The group had split on the ascent and Mike is back down the hill aways, so we wait for our fifth man to rejoin the group - five minutes later and unfortunately Mike isn't to be seen. We head off, one man down assuming Mike has had enough of the headwinds and climbing combo which is a pity as that was worst part of the ride done.
As we get going Joe has mistakenly deployed his parachute dragster style - his rain jacket making a bid for escape from his jersey pocket, tangling in his rear brake in the process. Once sorted we head for Mallusk keeping our changes short and sweet - with only four of us it's no time before you're doing duty back at the front again....
Nevertheless we make good progress into the headwind and reach Templepatrick in good time, so good that no-one wants to stop for coffee just yet and Antrim's Junction One sounds like a plan. As we pass Dunadry we're averaging 19mph into the wind, setting a good tempo and everyone is taking their turn at the front to maintain the pace. And so to our coffee stop - I know, I know unwritten coffee stop rules dictate an independent coffee house, but with Hobson's choice we left with the infamous tax dodger for our java hit. We're all in need of refuelling (some more than others) and the break is well earned, getting us out of the wind and giving us a chance for a bit of banter as conversation was reduced to "next" wile out on the road.
We've forgotten to capture the moment on film (or should that be card?) so Mark has the group pose by a floral display with a selfie to really camp it up (my 1D onsie is on order LOL). So, where do we go now? again Mark comes up with a plan - Crumlin, Glenavy and then homeward bound via Lisburn. With that ever-present westerly we're still working into the elements as we take a scenic route (read: circuituous!) towards Crumlin. On the way down to Glenavy to wind is coming in from the right - which is nice, and the roads are quiet. It's still dry too, so hey - it couldn't be better could it? Me and my big mouth, just as we enter Glenavy the clouds darken, a light skif of rain turns into something more settled as we head for Knockmore and it's time to don rain jackets (well those of us that brought one, me? my LS club jersey will do just fine as it is thanks) By Lisburn the skies have cleared and rain jackets are ditched. We circumnavigate the north of the city to reach Black's Road and Finaghy. Neil breaks off from the group at the House of Sport as Mark, Joe and me head for Stranmillis to leave Joe at Ormeau Road. Two down and two to go, Mark providing company until Ladas Drive while i head for Dundonald.
Once again it's the camaraderie of the group that makes the day, not the battle against the elements - they were there for resistance training. We're all agreed that we've done more than our "lite" tag would suggest, here's hoping we add a few more to our group next time - then we'll have more time for a rest between turns at the front.....


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