Sunday, 11 December 2016

Hard Earned Winter Miles

Feeling a bit worse for wear this morning as a result of a work party that went on a bit too long, I was glad to see eleven others at Forestside. Phenomenal turnout for this time of year!
With a south-westerly wind, and a few people keen to keep their outing short, I decided to head for Banbridge (with the option of turning back just after Hillsborough). In my sleepy stupor, little did I realise that I was inadvertently picking a far more arduous route than my fragile state could comfortably handle...
The first stretch into Lisburn was exceptionally quick, with the group digging in hard on the short, sharp hills. The undulations in the road didn't let up through Ravernet and into Hillsborough, and by the time we'd made it onto the Ballygowan Road, everyone was feeling the burn! Berg, Comrade, El Pistolero, David and Flashdance had to get back early, leaving Retro, Hannibal, Digger, James, John, Poster Boy and myself to battle the headwind into Banbridge. The pace relented as we reached Blackskull, but we were all relieved to stop at Blend and Batch. I can now, like many others before me, attest to the remedial properties of pancakes with bacon and maple syrup.
Initially opting for a flatter route home ("downhill with the wind behind us would be ideal!" suggested James) via Donaghcloney and towards Magheralin, I thought I'd recovered enough to throw in another couple of short climbs on the Redhill Road and St. John's Road - I hadn't...
Another short break at Retro's new favourite comfort stop (he's awfully picky) was welcomed by all, before we made it back to Hillsborough via the tunnel, then to Belfast via Lisburn and Lambeg.
A much tougher run than anticipated today...I can only apologise, I wasn't thinking clearly! Everyone rode brilliantly and can be proud of some hard-earned winter miles.
Next Saturday 17th December marks the annual Castlereagh & Friends' Christmas Get Together. Anyone interested in attending should get in touch with our own Minister of Mayhem, Joe Devlin, ASAP. It's sure to be a fantastic evening! If anything can be learned from my experience today, though, it is this: don't stay up all night partying. If you must, think long and hard before coming out for a club run the next day. And don't let a zombie pick the route...


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