Saturday heralded the start of this year’s autumn and Winter 13 week series of the Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles - ‘Fun Tours’.
Saturday’s event saw 69 riders assemble at Rex Bonar House.
This was just seven short of the best ever turnout but the most encouraging aspect was that there were 19 non Ballymena Road Club members who were either visiting from other clubs or who were non club members and availed of the Cycling Ireland “one day membership” facility.
The, 36 miles, fun tour route took in Slaght, Kellswater, Oldwood road, Lenagh Road and then Barnish road Cookstown junction, Milltown, Maghereagh road, Ballylurgan and Magheralane road into Randalstown. Next it was up the Church road and right on to Tannaghmore road and on to Groggan road to Taylorstown and the Grange.
The final miles took in Loughbeg road Carnearney road and into Ahoghill before returning to Ballymena via Gracehill and Galgorm.
John Maxwell took the 13 rider “B” group, who rode to Garvagh via Cullybackey, Rasharkin and Kilrea. Then it was on through Swatragh to Maghera and home by Gulladuff, Clady and Portglenone. This was a total of 50 miles at 18.5 mph average speed.
The “A” group completed a 62 miles ride at an average of 20mph.Their route took in Dunminning, Glarryford, Dunloy, Ballymoney, Balnamore, Loughan, Mountsandel, Coleraine, Macosquin, Ringsend, Garvagh, Kilrea, Clady, Portglenone and then up Finlaystown road to Tully and back in through Ahoghill.
There is a minimum “entry fee” donation of £5 and this year’s charity fund will benefit the Chernobyl Children’s appeal NI and already the total stands at £395.
The Road Club hopes to receive support from the new Mid and East Antrim Council whom they hope will host a presentation at the end of the series.
The minimum age of the participants is set at 13 years and all those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Certificates and medals will be awarded to the successful participants with five tours earning bronze, eight for silver while 11 wins gold.