Pre Xmas Fun.

Thursday, December 13, 2012
The Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles - fun tour theme continued on Saturday morning when the group assembled at Rex Bonar house for their now annual pre-Christmas "soup and sandwiches” tour to the "Waterwall” at Clady. Conditions were again very favourable and the tourists enjoyed their outing which took in Ballymena, Cullybackey, Kilrea, Upperlands, Maghera and Gulladuff before the refueling stop at the Waterwall Inn. The host was fellow cyclist Paddy Mooney, who is a member of Bann Valley, and who also completed eleven of this season’s fun tours.Paddy’s wife Peggy and his daughter were in charge of the catering which included home-made vegetable soup and hot mince pies, all washed down with as much tea and coffee as one could drink! The money which the cyclists donated on Saturday (approximately £250) will be forwarded by Paddy to Marie Curie cancer care. The 2012 fun tours visited many places of local beauty and historic interest such as Portna Locks, near Kilrea, on the river Bann, The Holy well at Cranfield near Toomebridge, Killalane reservoir, Glenarm, Carnlough, Waterfoot and Glenariff and Saturday was no exception as the O’Kane’s Waterwall Inn has a story of its own.The Waterwall was founded in the early 19th century in the pre Victorian era and is one of the few licensed premises left which retains the character of the Dickensian times.The Waterwall was one of the original posting inns where weary travellers changed their horses on the long trek from Londonderry to Ballymena.This stage coach inn still retains the walled coach yard, the stables, the coach house and many trappings of that bygone age.The inn is steeped in history and one macabre story centres on one of the previous owners, one Paddy O’Kane, who was bludgeoned to death with a hatchet. The marks left by the hatchet on the low raftered ceiling were still visible until recent years, the murder was never solved.
There were no such attacks on Saturday, save for a good "bun worry” and each rider in the group trying to get to the top of Tully first on the way home. Many thanks to Tinsel Tom Douds for getting into the spirit of the event by donning a clowns outfit and performing many "magic tricks” Tommy Cooper style.Congratulations.
BRC members offer their congratulations to Jason Burns and Eileen McFarland following their recent wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Burns were also in attendance at the Waterwall on Saturday."Get well soon Maura” BRC’s Maura Bradley, who completed all 13 of the recent fun tours, visited the Waterwall event on Saturday too. Unfortunately Maura’s wrist is in plaster, having sustaining a fracture when she came off her bike in Glenarm last Saturday. Everyone wishes Maura a speedy recovery.