Sunday, 5 July 2015

A Sean Kelly Quote

The famous Sean Kelly quote was about winter training, but it's just as applicable to the sort of weather forecast today. The quote was something along the lines of "You can't tell it's cold looking out the kitchen window. You go out do 4 1/2 hours trading, clean the bike, then say it's cold out there...". Anyone relying on the forecast this morning would've stayed in bed, but other than one lightish shower we got our training done and added a few more freckles to my collection.
Bearing in mind heavy rain might come in, we took a route that allowed a short bail out option back to Belfast from every point. Very few Lites were out and no-one seemed keen to split it from the start, so we kept a lid on the pace over to Balmoral Avenue and up Glen Road. The climb is long, but not steep and a good bit of training. At the top we swung left on to the sheepwalk and out towards Ballinderry.
From there we wiggled to Moira with Bones helping out with a little local knowledge. Philip kindly agreed to go with Derek and Mike from there across to Hillsborough, while six of us turned up the pace on a longer route. Major credit to Mike who is progressing by the week and dug in really well to stay in the shelter of the bunch - smart riding.
We took a different route than normal across to Hillsborough with 90 sec turns tugging on the legs. The plan was to take Windmill Rd, but the Annahilt Road was closed, so we tried out a new one - Magheradartin Rd across to link up with Windmill Rd. Sean was amazed there was a lane in Co Down I didn't know. There was more shock when we turned left rather than straight over to River Rd, but everyone was still strong, so we had the opportunity to take a twistier route via Middle Rd, Creevy Rd, Gannon Rd and Knockany Rd.
Now just under 3 hours in, we were relieved to see a sign outside Woodlawn Garden Centre promising coffee. Unfortunately we were half an hour too early, but the coffee gods looked down kindly and while we debated alternative venues we were invited in - thank you! Sean seems to reckon my coffee stops this weekend have a bit of a pensioner vibe, but no one complained about the apple pie.
Although we'd avoided a shower, the lure of home and Le Tour was too much for everyone, so we decided against heading to Comber and just dropped in to Carryduff and on to the Castlereagh hills via Clontnacally Rd. I suspect the big ring climbing will have earned a few Strava trophies....
Something a bit different and a lot more beneficial than sitting on the sofa. Till the next time.


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