Sunday, 29 January 2017

Shiver Me Timbers

Full Fat Run - Shiver me timbers it was cold this morning. Coming down the northern passage dodging icebergs set the tone for the route - salty sea dog roads.
There was a great turnout for the Lite run and seven shipmates for a longer voyage. As we set sail, my only advice to the Beast was to watch for ice - we would later learn it wasn't the only slippy substance on the roads. The wind wasn't strong, but roughly south easterly. We stuck to main roads through Saintfield and Crossgar to the Quoile Bridge. With the frost easing and a mostly uphill trajectory we decided to get off the main road and climb through Raholp and on to Strangford that way.
When we arrived hoping to drop anchor, we found the cafe temporarily closed. Flashdance and Bullet decided to head home while the rest of us debated the options. Retro fancied Portaferry, but with the boat on the other side a 15 min wait made Ardglass a better option. Down to five and with a really high tide, we took in the views out through Kilief and Ballyhornan to coffee in Doyle's Bistro.
There may be a prize for the best caption for the photo below - "Retro on the pull again" and "We're gonna need a bigger boat" were the best we could do while scoffing sodas.
A direct hit back to Downpatrick and Crossgar lifted the pace, before we finally had the confidence to head back in to the lanes to Derryboye. The ice was fine, but oil or diesel on a right turn brought down Retro. Thankfully we had slowed for the junction and he's made of strong stuff. It definitely didn't slow him on route to Ballygowan where he came off the wheels and took a well deserved 30's - way to leave your worries behind.
A final trip round the lanes and home. Great riding by Chris today, who is really getting stronger. More main roads than usual, but still some beautiful scenery and a couple of short efforts. Thanks to Chris and Martin for the extra photos.


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