Hunting for PB’s
North Down Cycling Club’s John Hunter made yet another foray into the realms of unchartered territory when he recorded another personal best, in the Northern Ireland 25 mile time trial championships. John’s time of 57 minutes and 59 seconds, in difficult, windy conditions, took over 3 minutes of his previous personal best time of 1hour 1 minute and 3 seconds. Amazingly this is the tenth occasion this season when the amiable Englishman has achieved a personal best time – quite a feat!
However, John does not accept all the credit himself. He is conscious of the support he has received from North Down Cycling Club members. For example, at the 25 mile championship he had the services of club masseur and expert coaching from former International rider and top time trialist, Alistair Irvine. Such was their imput that his performance was in no small measure due to their efforts, according to John. ‘I felt like a professional’, he said ‘Alistair organised the sign-on and warm-up whilst Harry gave me that all important last minute rub’.
John is already planning to lower the personal bests he achieved this year in the 2009 season. He has an extensive campaign planned under the direction of former champion time trialist Declan McMackin.
Last Friday night Declan McMackin was exhibiting another aspect of his considerable expertise in the world of cycling when he led the first of his bicycle maintenance workshops in the clubroom. The need for such workshops was evident from the large attendance and the interaction and camaraderie amongst the group was heart-warming.
Declan’s focus on Friday night last was the roadside problems – what to do when one punctures and the tyre just won’t come off; what to do if a chain breaks etc. To cap it all everyone there was given a free inner tube, courtesy of Bike It Cycle, 74 Grand Parade, Belfast! Could you beat that for value? Declan continues his workshops this Friday night when he’ll focus on gears. Unfortunately, I don’t think he’ll be giving too many sets of gears as ‘freebie’, but who knows. Once again everyone is very welcome, with the session starting in the clubrooms at 7pm.
Cycling is intended to be a healthy and enjoyable leisure and sporting activity and in pursuit of our chosen sport it is necessary to share the roads with other road users. You have the right to safe and enjoyable cycling on the roads and the recommendations, given by North Down Cycling Club, encourage motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to establish a climate of mutual courtesy.
Firstly, it must be remembered that all road users (including cyclists) must abide by the law and adhere to the recommendations contained in the Highway Code. It is important that cyclists do not ride on the footpath and do not cross the line at traffic lights, when the lights are red.
cycle lanes exist it is recommended that they are used. However, in Northern Ireland there is not a satisfactory network of cycle lanes and those that are in existence are often criss-crossed by roads and entrances.
Cyclists should always be aware of what is happening around them. It is wise to establish eye-contact with motorists who are waiting to pull out at road junctions.
Avoid ‘under-passing’ motorists and give clear hand signals where appropriate. It is also imperative to make yourself visible at all times. This is particularly important with the on-set of long, dark nights.
With the North Down Cycling Club’s Annual General Meeting only a few weeks away it is imperative that anyone wishing to make a rule change or make a proposal should get in touch with the club secretary, Flo. Millar, immediately. This is the most important meeting of the year and it is important that everyone plans to attend.
Stuart Henry has been notified today that he has been selected as the winner of the Northern Ireland Region of the the Young Sports Person Award 2008. Stuart was in competition with young athletes from a number of different sports. The final will be in London at the end of November.