Saturday, 19 September 2015

O'Jays Love Train

After a stressful couple of weeks and despite a total lack of form, I was delighted to be out this morning and meeting a good group of riders. No one wanted to split from the off, so we set a NW course up the Glen Rd. The pace to there had been very controlled, so
I suggested everyone ride to the top at their own pace while I sat at the back guiding David on his first ride with us. It worked well, with the fast guys getting to empty the tank and me getting to save my toffeepops for later.
Riding into the wind meant the strong guys could sit on the front without wrecking anyone at the back on a meandering route towards Glenavey which has more downhill than up. There we split with Mark W leading a group towards Moira containing Martin, a hungover Snakehips (is there any other type), a fit and well looking Lanterne, Big Mike and David.
That left me leading Bones, Retro, Sean and a very lean looking Flashdance towards Crumlin and along the Lough side to Antrim, where Flashdance turned for home. Technically I'm not sure if leading is the right term as it took all I had not to disappear out the back. From Antrim we headed towards Ballymena and then into some lanes that Retro had recced through Milltown and eventually Randalstown. Retro was absolutely flying and Bones continued his great form taking every 30 I can remember.
Truffles did us proud as always, including a great job of lodging the O'Jays Love Train in my head for the way home "People all over the world (you don't need no money), Join hands (come on), Start a love train, love train (don't need no ticket, come on)", I think partly I enjoyed it because I knew how much Nitemare would disapprove!
We set a fast pace back to Antrim then along the Seven Mile Straight taking 2 min turns. Retro put my lights out up a rise and it was a relief to turn left and engage the wee ring for some real climbing. We headed across to the top of Hannahstown Hill and finally descended home. Sean's highlight of the day was a Retro attack on the descent - not his natural habitat when surrounded by relative heavyweights.
Hard work for me, but really good fun, which made the best of the NW wind and seemed to suit everyone. Well done to David who didn't quibble once about heading up the Glen Rd and who did a great job over to Glenavey - respect.


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