Sunday, 22 January 2017


Thanks to roadworks I arrived late this morning, just as the mothership was leaving Forestside. Tagging on the Lites or heading back to bed would've been a pleasure, but I suspect the mothership wouldn't have given me that option and may well have come to my house to ask if I was coming out to play....
Nine of us headed up the Saintfield Road. I discovered the destination was Newcastle, but they were relying on me to be the brains of the operation and to get us there - that isn't a compliment for any of us. We were joined by Alan or Tantastic as he might be known for a while, who graduated from riding with the Lites. Sam also joined us which was a bold move as he hasn't ridden that sort of distance in a fair while.
We'd headed that direction two weeks ago, so I tried to call some different roads. I'd been warned of more road closures ahead and wanted to keep us away from any diversions that would be busy. The roads had a common theme, they were narrow, lumpy and tough making everyone work hard. We dropped down from Drumaroad towards Maghera, where four riders turned off - based on current fitness I should've gone with them, but I like to suffer.
Suffering is what cyclists do more than anything. People ask why and what enjoyment we get from it, which isn't always easy to answer. I guess a lot of it is the knowledge that it gets us to where we want to be. If we want to be fitter and stronger we have to hurt ourselves, dig deep and trust our bodies will adapt. Those that have done it as long as Nitemare and me, also know it's a rite of passage - don't give it, unless you can take it and with that long experience we're fairly confident that at some point in the not too distant future we'll be giving it....
Anyway, we made it to Newcastle and dug in to refreshments in Nikki's Kitchen. Out to Bryansford and over to Castlewellan wasn't too bad. Then the pressure went on and my legs feel off. We kept the route simple and the rotations rapid. A big congrats to Alan on a great ride and thank you to everyone for pacing me home - the attack in to Carryduff was just the final throws of a dying man. A special thanks to Nitemare for a couple of shoves near home which I was very grateful for (two weeks ago I was giving them out).
I think it was Nietzsche that said "if a suffering cyclist cries and his team mates weren't there to see it, did he really suffer" - thanks for being there to see it!


  1. Thank you for sharing your cycling experience with us. As I think here suffering means mental toughness & physical capability required to push the cycle.
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