Banbridge one-two at Lurgan Park

BANBRIDGE riders Roger Aiken and Matt Adair rode brilliantly during Round One of the Ulster Cyclo Cross Championship held at the Lurgan Park course to take first and second place respectively in the A race.

This success was followed up by David Montgomery taking first place in the B race. Once again top drawer performances by the club’s off road aces which augurs well for the remainder of the championships.

Bailieborough Meets Banbridge CC on Tour - In recent years it has become custom for some of the more adventurous club members who are not curtailed by work or domestic considerations to set off on short excursions to destinations which do not naturally spring to mind.

Virginia in Cavan, Oldcastle in Meath, Castlederg in Tyrone or Portnoo in Donegal are some examples of such places recently visited by club colleagues on their bikes.

Last week seven Banbridge Cycling Club members, lead by Ian Orr, enjoyed a two day October excursion to the historic Plantation town of Bailieborough, Co. Cavan, (the county with a lake for every day of the year).

Setting off from Scarva and travelling at a relaxed pace into a stiff south-westerly, the group had café stops in Markethill, Castleblayney and Shercock before a late afternoon arrival in Bailieborough,

This pretty town is laid out in conventional 17th Century mode, with Church at one end of a broad main street and Market House at the other.

It is the site of the home farm of the James family from which the American author Henry James was descended and the birthplace of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, the famous Dublin socialist, pacifist, journalist and women's rights campaigner.

The bike tourists found time to make a belated celebration of 'Arthur's Day' (of Guinness fame) during their evening meal while philosophising about the relative merits of a Japanese sized hand towel over a "bodyflick" to reduce luggage weight when cycle touring and the impossible task of devising a perfect handicapping system in an amateur club - amongst some other unmentionable topics.

The return trip was blessed with more sunshine, a beneficial south-westerly tailwind and stops at Castleblayney and Poyntzpass.

The trip organiser, Ian Orr. was amused to find an "L-plate" attached to his saddlebag after the return teabreak in Castleblayney, and despite some lurid suggestions as to what this might stand for, he was reassured that in fact it was appropriate for his role as tour leader.

On emerging from the tearooms Shirley Lee was delighted to be accosted by a local gentleman who , seeing the distinctive club jersey, entertained her to a verse of " In Banbridge town, in the County Down.....".

Having spoken with a number of the party on their return it seems that the trip was hugely enjoyable , not too taxing on the legs or lungs and is certain to be followed by other adventures in the not too distant future.

Such is the variety of cycling activities available in Banbridge cycling club.