Cyclists Eye Up 2013 Season

10 January 2013
Although 2013 has only just begun Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles - members are already preparing for the new season.
Registration has commenced and will continue each Monday night in January and many, who intend to compete this year, have already signed on and have commenced their pre- season training.
Training conditions have been much better than those experienced at this time in some recent years with the Christmas and New year holiday period particularly mild.
Last Saturday saw both the touring section and "A” groups enjoy dry and mild conditions. The tourists completed a 48 miles ride to Randalstowm, Cranfield, Toomebridge, Knockloughrim, Gulladuff, Culnady, Portglenone and up the Hiltonstown road (horseshoe climb) to Killyless and back to base.
The "A” group had a 53 miles ride to Kells, Ballyclare, Ballynure, Carncastle and then the tough climb to Carnalbanagh and on to Broughshane. Despite 3000 feet of climbing this group still averaged 17mph.                                                                                                          They were back out again on Sunday and completed a near 95 miles trek around lough Neagh. Sunday’s ride saw the road club join forces with riders from Ballymoney, Carn Wheelers, Bann Valley, Spires CC and Bann Wheelers to form a 50 rider group. They completed the ride at average speed of 19.4mph. Many thanks to Maurice McAllister (Ballymoney) for providing the backup service.
The touring group also celebrated the New Year by completing a 43 miles ride to Ballymoney and back on New Year’s Day.
Ballymena RT on 27th January.
Each year a series of pre-season "reliability trials” takes place in the weeks leading up to the start of the open race programme of events. The first Ballymena Road Club event of the 2013 season will be their annual reliability trial on 27th January.
Last year the weather was wet and windy and the entry was just half of what is normally expected.
Nevertheless 68 cyclists from all over NI and also from Donegal, traveled to Rex Bonar House for the start. This popular event usually attracts more participants than all the other road club "open events” put together.
The club is hoping that the current spell of reasonably favourable, weather conditions will continue until the end of the month as the RT is, not only a very enjoyable and challenging event, but also a valuable source of funding the annual expenses incurred in running the club house premises.
BRC race secretary Hugh McCullough is already thinking of the racing season and he is currently drawing up the programme of club time trials and road races which is likely to commence on 10th April with the Australian pursuit event on the Shedding’s course at Broughshane.