Successful Trial for cyclists

25 January 2015
Ballymena Road Club – Chain Reaction Cycles – can consider themselves very fortunate with the weather conditions which greeted the 128 entrants for Sunday’s "Reliability Trials”
24 hours earlier the route was covered in ice and it didn’t look as though Sunday’s event would survive. However the thaw came just in time and everyone enjoyed near perfect conditions for the time of year, as it was dry, frost free and reasonably mild, although windy.
Cyclists assembled from all over Ulster with some even making the long trip to Ballymena from the Foyle club in Londonderry.
The road club’s event was the first of this year’s "reliability trial” season.

There were three runs to choose from, with the organisers offering a 50 miles leisure group, a 62miles intermediate group and 75miles "A” Group.
All three runs departed from the Rex Bonar Club House, Railway Street, Ballymena.

Race secretary David Dougan was the organiser and he had everything in order for the event.
David offers his thanks to everyone who assisted on the day; from the car park stewards, signing on team, group leaders and marshalls and back up vehicle drivers as well as first aiders and especially the ladies committee who looked after the post event catering.  
David also thanks the riders for coming along and supporting the event.
If anyone arrived late on Sunday morning and didn’t register then please do so this week – the entry fee was £10.
The "A” group finished with a 21.6mph average speed. Hall Booth tells me that they had averaged 22.6mph by the pit stop at Ballygally with 55 miles covered.
The route for the "A” group was Ballymena, Lisnevenagh road to Springfarm at Antrim left on to Styles way to Greystone and Ballycraigy.
Then it was on to Muckamore, Dunadry, Templepatrick, outskirts of Doagh then right on to the Longshot and continuing to Ballyrobert.
Next it was Mossley, Greenisland, Woodburn, Marshallstown road to Beltoy road and right for Kilroot.
The coastal route was then followed to Whitehead, Glynn, Larne, Ballygally (stop at toilets and shop) Glenarm and Carnlough.
The next challenge was the climb from the coast up Glencloy before the fast sweep in through the Braid and Broughshane and on to the finish back at the BRC clubrooms. The target speed for this "A” group had been 21mph.

There was an intermediate group this year for the first time.
The route for this group was the same as the "A” group until the outskirts of Doagh. At this point the route went straight through the mini roundabout and continued past Ballyclare and on to Ballynure.
Then it was on to the main Belfast to Larne road to join the coastal route at Larne, before continuing on to Ballygally (toilet and shop stop) Glenarm, Carnlough and Glencloy as the "A” group. 
Derek Dougan tells me that the final average speed for the "B” group was 19mph for 62 miles. They had averaged 19.6mph at the Ballygally pit stop with 36 miles covered.

The touring section were aiming for a 16mph average speed for their 50 miles group, they didn’t quite achieve it, although their 15mph average certainly seemed hard enough in the wind, with the coast road and Glencloy particularly exposed.  Their route took in Larne road to Moorfields and on towards Glenwherry. Next it was a right turn on to the Ballynashee road and on to Ballyeaston.
They then continued on the Lower Ballyboley road to Kilwaughter cross roads where it was straight over on to Deerpark road heading towards Carncastle before turning right on to Croft road and descending to Ballygally for the pit stop.
The final miles were the same as for groups "A” and "B” with the tourists also climbing Glencloy from Carnlough.