Town Hall date for fun tour cyclists.

30 November 2014
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 this Monday evening 8th December 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.

Record collection for Chernobyl Children.

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. 
"After Martin died the club’s touring section decided that it would be a fitting memorial to him if the club carried on his fund raising efforts and here we are, fourteen years later, still keeping his name and memory alive.”
"The CCA is a totally voluntary organisation with no paid personnel. All the money is used to bring children from Belarus to NI for a "holiday” in our healthy environment. The host families are also volunteers and they too receive no remuneration.”
"These visits greatly extend the life expectancy of the children whose homeland is still contaminated following the destruction of the nuclear power plant in 1986.” explained one of the fun tour organisers, Richard Wilson
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.

The full list of the 2014 series medallists reads: 

Gold for thirteen tours; John Elliott, Sean Elliott, Iris Grant, Sammy Kerr, Jackie Knowles, Pius McKernan, Martin Ruddy and Rex Bonar.

Gold for twelve tours; Bert Kernohan, Patsy McGurk, John Maxwell, Bernie Monaghan, Kay Rainey, Maxine Surgenor and Richard Wilson.

Gold for eleven tours; Jim Burns, Sammy Connor, Bobby Currie, Hazel Hughes, Trevor Magee, Owen McLaughlin, Paul McWilliams, Beresford Millar, Paddy Mooney, Lori Phillips, Colin Scullion, Jonathan Scullion, Maria Shannon, Andy Wills, Wilnor Worthington, Alastair Wylie and Sean Wright.

Silver for ten tours; Adrian Archibald, Alan Blair, Ronnie Grant, Paul McQuillan, Alastair Petticrew, David Rankin and Peter Simpson.

Silver for nine tours; Geoff Bell, Maura Bradley, Jim Doherty, Gerry McCullagh, Francis O’Kane, Derwood Ritchie, Peter Smyth and Stefan Wills.

Silver for eight tours; Laura Blair, Hall Booth, Fergus Byrne, Jackson Currie, Peter Kearney, Nigel Kernohan, Adrian Kirkpatrick and Harold McKinney

Bronze for seven tours; Seamus Butler, Maurice Carruthers, Christina Clarke, Darren Crawford, Sarah Elliott, Siobhan Fisher, Deirdre McAuley, Lewis McKee, Millar Montgomery, Paul Patterson and Stephen Smyth.

Bronze for six tours; Geoff Allen, Declan Butler, Michael Carroll, Ricky Cromie, Ryan Currie, Derek Dougan, William Jackson, Nigel Logan, Judy Mahon, Breandan McCavana, Gary Simms, Emma Smyth and Simon Taggart.

Bronze for five tours; Ray Burbage, Eileen Burns, Tom Caulfield, Keith Elliott, Ryan Hadley, Quinton McFall, Daryl Sempey, John Shaw, Ryan Shaw, Chris Warwick and Gary Worthington. 

All cyclists who have been taking part in the fun tour series and availing of Cycling Ireland’s "one day membership” facility should note that they must now go online and join CI if they wish to continue taking part on the weekend group touring and training rides. The leisure licence is just £48 for the year and this also includes the Ballymena Road Club and Cycling Ulster membership fees.