The Mayor of Ballymena Mrs. Audrey Wales plays host to the cyclists who took part in the autumn and winter series of Ballymena Road Club fun cycle tours at a special reception in the Town Hall next Monday evening, December 8, at 7pm.
This year’s series attracted a record total participation of 943 over the 13 weeks (average 73 per week) during which 163 different cyclists completed at least one tour. The previous record was 779 in 2012.
This year eight riders achieved full attendance, they are John Elliott, Sean Elliott, Iris Grant, Sammy Kerr, Jackie Knowles, Pius McKernan, Martin Ruddy and, of course, Rex Bonar who was in attendance every week to open up the car park and clubrooms.
There were 32 gold medallists who completed at least 11 tours: 23 silver medallists, who had at least 8 tours and 35 bronze for 5 tours.
Eleanor Duffin of the Chernobyl Children’s appeal NI, the chosen charity of this year’s fun tour series, will be present on Monday night to accept a cheque for £1069, which was the total donated by the fun tour entrants and by those who had taken part in the Nine Glens Challenge in July. Several non-cyclists also donated to the fund. This was a record total this year, beating last year’s best collection, which had been £1050.
Ballymena Road Club first became involved with the “CCA” through their touring committee member Martin McKernan who, along with his wife Jennie, acted as a host family for the children.
FUN TOUR THIRTEEN
The thirteenth and final ride in this year’s fun tour series took place on Saturday morning. The weather was once again very favourable with a turnout of 64 riders.
The 26 riders in the touring section group, who have been going a bit further this season, completed a 45 miles ride to Rathkenny, Martinstown, Glenariff and around the coast road to Carnlough before tackling the final climb up Glencloy and returning to Ballymena in through the Braid and Broughshane.
The “A” group also had a coastal ride taking in Moorfields, Glenwherry and on to Larne. Then it was around the coast road to Glenarm and the ascent of Glencloy up Ballyvaddy road. They completed 50 miles at 18.3mph.
The “B” group headed to Randalstown, Antrim, Crumlin, Glenavy and Dundrod. Their return leg was via the Sevenmile straight and Antrim. They did a total of 55 miles at 18mph average.
Thursday 4th December. Circuit training (with Geoff Bell) in the Rex Bonar house club rooms from 8pm.
This Saturday sees the Ballymena Road Club tourists take part in their annual charity ride to The Water Wall at Clady. Fellow cyclist Paddy Mooney of Bann Valley is the host and will serve up soup and sandwiches for participants. A minimum donation of £5 is expected with all proceeds going to Marie Curie Cancer Care. The group leaves Rex Bonar house at 9.30am.