Sunday, 23 October 2016


I was mildly freaked out this morning at Forestside. We had a youth group meeting to go off-road in Belvoir and Barnetts; four Liter Lites heading for Balloo and 16 - count em!, 16 heading out in the main group. I'm not sure if it was the bright weather, the time of year when you start planning for next year, or my suggestion of a 3 hour no-stopper that got everyone out, but who cares.
We offered a longer option, but with no takers we headed east in to a strong headwind giving the Liter Lites a bit of a tow. I think it was people with buffs pulled up, but I immediately had a Mexican theme in my head, added to by the welcome appearance of El Presidente with El Capitano, El Pistolero, El Diggero, El Bastardo, El Poco Bandito, El Grande Bandito, Retro-o and loads more.
Out the carriageway, then along the Newtownards Road and up Bradshaws. Left on to the Ballybarnes Road, with the worst of the day's climbing done. That just left us with the wind. On to Crawfordsburn and in to Bangor, where Chris joined El Presidente in turning early.
The rest of us headed on to Groomsport and Donaghadee with a short stop after El Bastardo realised he had a screw loose - I could've told him years ago.... thankfully El Retro-o had a spare - we knew we brought him for a reason!
Roadworks forced us inland and off course, but we found our way down to Carrowdore before turning for home. The inner coast road is road-rage central, so we avoided it and stuck to the lanes. We had a bit of a split, but we'd have all split anyway to head home, so it didn't matter. El Diggero and me ended up looping round Strabo and down Greengraves on to the greenway to make our way to the Ice Bowl and an al fresco coffee watching the cross.
Despite extra layers, the cold eventually got to us and we headed home. Credit to the Kinning Cross League for putting on another great event. I think everyone enjoyed the slightly shorter route and hopefully still got a decent workout.