North Down CC’s Bokhara Night

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The most recent Bokhara Night was a huge success.  Not only was it great to see so many different aspects of the club represented, it was also good to see their partners there as well.  

It is so encouraging for the racing guys, especially our champion juniors, to see the support they have in North Down CC.  For most of us, cycling is not an expensive sport – with the coffee and scones being perhaps the most expensive part of our week!  However, for these young riders, with limited finances, the weekly expenditure can be high.

When one considers that North Down CC has three of the top junior riders in the country (including the Ulster Champion and the Ulster silver medallist), it underlines our responsibility to support and encourage them.  This support was very evident on Saturday night.

However, as well as supporting the racers, with several hundred pounds being raised that will supplement the racing budget, everyone had a great social night.  The food was abundant and it was up to the very highstandard we all expect from the Bokhara.  The fact that in helping the racers we were also able to have a great night and support one of our most loyal sponsors is also noteworthy.  Certainly the Bokhara is very willing to organise a similar night in the not too distant future.

NDCC’s Famous Bokhara Night

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Fed up with the mid-winter blues? Need a night out?  Look no further!!

On the first Saturday (2nd) in February the racing guys are organising a fund-raising Bokhara Night.  Now before you start thinking this is a night for racers, this is simply the racing guys organising a night that ALL the club can enjoy!!  It’s a way for them to say thank you for all the support they receive throughout the season and at the same time help raise some extra funds for this aspect of the club.  We promise that this will be a night which all can enjoy – even those who have no interest in cycling, so bring your partners, spouses and friends!  There’ll be no speeches, there’ll be excellent food and there’ll be live music!  Who knows, we might even be able to talk Shaun into singing again.

We’ve spoken with the Bokhara about the speed of service (which, because of the numbers has, in the past, sometimes been slow).  Joy has noted the most common dishes ordered on past Bokhara Nights and he’s going to prepare an assortment of Kormas, Tikkas  etc so that he’ll serve buffet style and so reduce any possible ‘wait’ time.  The cost of the evening will be £17.50 and for every cover ordered, the Bokhara is going to put £5 into the racing fund.  The whole night will kick off at 7.30 pm with a FREE ballot, so it’s a night not to be missed.

Show your interest via the facebook event now!

2018 NDCC Awards

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On Saturday night, we held our annual awards nights at the Bokhara.
We had a good turn out and I’m sure everyone enjoyed themselves.
Belowis the list of the recipients this year.

Clubman of the Year – Gareth Boyle
Lifetime Achievement – Ruth McNally
Outstanding Achievement of the Year – Tom Henry
Volunteer of the Year – Sally Anderson
Sportive Rider of the Year – Damian Grimley
Open Rider of the Year – Johnny Webb
Senior Male Rider – Paul McArthur
Senior Female Rider – Gillian Orr
Junior Male Rider – Nathan Keown
Junior Female Rider – Rachel White
Kirkistown Series Champion – Shaun Carey
Best Newcomer – Jonathan Taylor
Most Improved – Gareth McBride

Champions Jerseys to be produced:
Johnny Webb for his Ulster Championship win
Tom Henry for his Irish Nationals Championship win.

2019 Committee

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Following tonights AGM, please note the newly appointed Committee for 2019

Committee Position Name
Chairperson Micky Forbes
Vice Chairperson Mark Coyle
Treasurer Stephen Green
Club Secretary Phillip Dickenson
Open Race Secretary TBC
Club Race Secretary Stephen Cardy
IT Administrator Sam Carson
Youth Development Officer TBC
Press Release Officer David Totten
Safeguarding Officer Scott Armstrong
Safeguarding Officer TBC
Committee Member Claire Murnin
Committee Member Paul Kennedy
Committee Member Dawn Henly
Committee Member Stephen Roycroft
Committee Member Keith Humphries
Committee Member Sally Anderson
Committee Member Damian Grimley
Committee Member Paul Kirk

A tribute to Eric Dunne

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A tribute to Eric Dunne.

It was with great sadness that members of North Down Cycling Club, past and present, learnt of the death of founder member, Eric Dunne, on 27th August. Eric had been in poor health for some time and he passed away peacefully at home.

Eric was a really enigmatic character who was much loved by all who knew him. Like his father and his two brothers, Ivan and David, he was a stalwart of City of Derry Wheelers where he was industrious in organising and competing in events throughout his youth. Work took him away from the Maiden City in the early 50’s and he joined the Kings Moss club back in 1954. He remained a member of ‘The Moss’ up until he was persuaded to be part of the steering committee which brought North Down Cycling Club into existence in 1977.

Eric was a fine athlete. He was the British Police Champion and he podiumed in countless local races. Indeed, he was 2nd in the Tour of Wicklow where he was beaten by the legendary Shay Elliott.

Perhaps his greatest accomplishment, however, was the input he had in developing cycling in the local community. He was a tireless worker for the fledgling North Down club, always on hand to assist at races, lead club runs or pass on his cycling expertise to a younger generation. He was the first treasurer of North Down Cycling Club and it was under his careful stewardship, that the club was established as one of the most progressive outfits in the country.

Eric particularly enjoyed the pioneering work which the club did with cycling for the visually handicapped. He piloted a tandem for both Michael Beggs and Paddy Gallen, winning many races both at home and abroad. Eric had the perfect temperament for this activity. He was an athlete and enjoyed the physicality of racing but he was also very caring and he appreciated the opportunity of sharing with others the freedom which cycling affords.

On top of that he had a real sense of fun. The stories that are associated with Eric are countless. For example, on a tandem trip to Norway it is reported that, on one occasion, Eric swapped
places with his pillion passenger, the visually handicapped Paddy Gallen! The outcome was obvious – but typical of Eric.

Other stories revolve around Eric’s thrift. His brother, David tells the story of one cycling holiday where Eric repaired 7 punctures in one tube before being convinced by Ivan and David that he
needed to change the tube! In more recent times his family bought him a new bike – which Eric insisted on ‘keeping good’ ie never riding. Eventually he sold the bike insisting it was ‘the legs that were important not the bike’.

On one of his last club runs a few years ago Eric was involved in a ‘racing accident’ when sprinting for the 30’s coming into Bangor. He was duly transported to the Ulster Hospital where the medical staff horrified Eric by cutting off his favourite cycling top. In true Eric fashion he insisted that they returned the lacerated and bloodied Carerra top which he had laundered and
sewn back together again. That top still hangs in his wardrobe today.

Eric was a very active member of North Down Cycling Club up until his late 70’s. However, age was never an obstacle to him. Indeed, on many occasions he asked that his performances in club races wouldn’t be noted as Renée, his wife, thought he was only marshalling at the events not competing.

Eric was a true character. His real passion was cycling, be it recreational, competing, administration or coaching. He gave of his time, talents and expertise selflessly and was always one to offer a word of encouragement and advice and never to ‘put down’ another rider’s efforts. It is pleasing to see that his cycling legacy is continuing through his own children and grandchildren.

Everyone was so delighted that he was able to attend the North Down Cycling Club’s 40th celebration last autumn. Eric will be greatly missed by the whole cycling community and our thoughts are with Renée and the whole extended family.

North Down GP 2018

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Last Sunday, North Down Cycling Club (NDCC) hosted a top class series of open road races with a magnificent combined prize fund of some £2,000. Donaghadee Community Centre became the busy race headquarters for the day, with over 120 riders registering to compete in four separate races. The familiar, but testing, eight-mile race circuit runs in an anti-clockwise loop, beginning on the Warren Road, with a left turn at Groomsport up the Springwell Road and then back towards the Dee along the High Bangor Road.

The hotly contested Masters category race was first off and in-form Paul McArthur (NDCC) reaped the rewards of a dedicated training regime, powering his way to a decisive victory ahead of Ian McClure (Dave Kane) and Fergal Magee (Apollo).

Although the ladies race had relatively few entries, Laura Wylie (Maryland Wheelers) put in an impressive performance, securing a comfortable win over Meta Johnston (Team Madigan) and Caroline Riddell (NDCC).

The 49 mile A4 race attracted a really strong field, but with a freshening headwind along the Warren Road followed by the testing drag up to Orlock, many in the bunch looked to conserve energy for the final lap. The race duly finished in a full bore bunch sprint, with John Rafferty (Ards CC) edging it over Damian O’Hagan (Clougher Valley) and Jonny Taylor (NDCC).

The main race was a high intensity affair, covering 82 miles over 10 gruelling laps. The fast pace soon fractured the peloton with a strong breakaway of six riders holding a 50 second gap over the chasing group for over four laps. In the final lap, the six were reduced to four and Chris McGlinchey (Chain Reaction Cycles) clinched the first prize of £300, just ahead of Lindsay Watson (Powerhouse Sport), Craig Rea Viner (Caremark Pactimo), and Angus Fyffe (Caldwell Cycles). A fantastic effort from all the competitors. The top placed A3 rider, Daniel Graham (Mellow Velo), was the first recipient of NDCC’s Gavin Moore Memorial trophy.

Race Director Ian Blayney was delighted with the event and NDCC would like to thank the Cycling Ireland Commissaries and the various sponsors for their contributions. Many competitors praised the professional organisation, the generous catering, and the safety conscious marshalling from over 50 club volunteers. Thanks also to the motorists and local residents of North Down for their patience throughout the day.

Pictures courtesy of Fotozone Armagh and the Belgian Project