Sunday, 27 December 2015

Home for Christmas

I think rotund was the politest thought I had when I saw 1st Cat this morning, but despite the extra few pounds he still has a bit of power.... The weather as I left my house at altitude was perfect, but as I descended into the mirth the temperature plummeted.

At Forestside Digger, Retro, Hannibal, 1st Cat and Simon who's visiting from Edinburgh were waiting. With ice all around we headed up the Saintfield Road in to the fog, but by Cairnshill we'd emerged into sunshine. The ice hadn't melted, so we stuck to the main road all the way to Saintfield, where we picked up Catherine who hasn't been out with Castlereagh in about 15 years - another "home for Christmas" visitor.

We still weren't confident in the back roads, so onwards to Crossgar and Downpatrick alternating between sunshine and freezing fog. We reckoned salt air on the coast was our best bet, so kept our course due south to Killough. Round the coast soaking up the scenery via Ardglass, Ballyhornan and Kilief where 1st Cat reminded us why he's 1st Cat.

It turns out the Pantry is closing shortly but despite a limited menu we got enough in the tank to get us home. Just for the laugh I called a left up a climb and down into Raholp and then back up to Saul. From the Quoile Bridge over to Annacloy, Kilmore, Listooder and home - those roads never get any easier even when your nickname says they should.

Another lesson in why the route is never set in stone. Brilliant riding by our guest stars from Portovelo and Manchester Wheelers. Our visitor from London needs a bigger wardrobe - he barely fits in the current one.... Really good fun, with a lot of laughs.


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