It has been a very busy week for Dromore Cycling Club.
A 10 mile Time Trial (TT), a very challenging sportive, a Masters race, Sofa to Saddle scheme, and Under 10s Spring League combining to keep the pedals spinning.
Ten club members took part in West Down Wheelers TT on Rathfriland Road, Banbridge on Tuesday evening. Five mile each way at full speed, racing against the clock.
Some great times were recorded, particularly as it is so early in the season.
Of great note were the rides of Ian Walker who recorded 26:24 and Pete Batey 26:47.
All other riders recorded personal bests, or at least close to them - it is early days of 2016 for TT racing.
W.Steele 28.26; I.Walker 26.24; P.Batey 26.47; A.Graham 28.34; P.Dreaning 29.48; J. O’Neill 28.40; R.McCartan 29.35; A.McCandless 29.41; A.Cunningham 31.31 (L); A.Liggett 28.39.
Sunday saw the inaugural Iveagh Spring Classic invitational 50 mile sportive run by Velo Club Iveagh in Banbridge in support of Cancer Fund for Children.
Taking in some of the iconic climbs of the western Dromara Hills, the event was aimed initially at local cycling clubs before opening it to all comers from 2017.
Eight Dromore CC members rode from Banbridge to Rathfriland hill, left up to Moneyslane and through to the Boiling Well climb past Turleys on Moneyslane Road, and right up to Windy Gap - the most challenging way to climb Slieve Croob on a bike.
Everyone made it to the top, despite the extreme exertions.
After a welcome water stop and some refreshments at the top of Dree Hill, it was back on the road home with only a few smaller hills in the way.
Unfortunately one of the club members got two punctures on Dree Hill.
Most of the group stopped to give a hand fixing them to get them going again.
At the finish in Banbridge Rugby Club a good hearty spread was laid on for the weary cyclists which was much appreciated by all.
Dromore CC would like to thank Velo Club Iveagh for their hospitality at the event and look forward to doing it again next year.
At the recent PJ Logan Cup, one of Dromore CC’s leading lights, David Burnside, achieved an impressive fourth place in the Masters category against very strong competition.
The club’s ongoing Sofa to Saddle scheme has now met twice in recent weeks.
The first week taught basic bike checks, did some cone drills aimed at building bike handling skills at low speeds for safety when out on the road, the ability to look behind, signal, handle a bike when pulling off slowly from junctions.
The second session introduced group skills - riding two abreast, how to change the lead etc. - during four laps of the Craigavon lakes (12 miles at 12 mph).
The groups are led by trained Dromore CC instructors who are giving their time for free which is very much appreciated by all members of the club.
Dromore CC’s youngest racer, Zoe Lindsay (Under 10’s), began the 2016 season with the first round of the XMTB McConvey Cycles Spring League Round 1 in Ormeau Park, Belfast in February.
Zoe was using her SPD pedals for the first time in a race and battled hard finishing in a superb 5th place.
Zoe’s next event was was Round 1 of the Ulster XC League at Craigavon in March, promoted by Apollo CT. This course included some of the MTB Trails. Zoe worked hard during this race and secured 7th out of 12 starters.
The next race at the end of March was the second round of the XMTB McConvey Cycles Spring League in Ormeau Park.
Under good conditions Zoe raced hard and finished 4th. This moved her to 4th in the league, but unfortunately she wasn’t able to attend the final round to challenge for a podium finish.
Taking time out from racing, the club’s youngest member Zoe went for a lap round Castlewellan Forest MTB Red Trail with one of our not so young members, club Chairman Dave Fisher. She was most amused to see him fall off.
Dromore CC are commencing a Sprocket Rocket programme in the coming weeks. Hopefully Zoe will have some fellow members racing with her soon.