06 October 2009

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The Worlds – At The Bokhara

To the untrained eye it may have looked like a rabble of cyclists had descended upon the Bokhara early one morning in September but to others it was like the Oscars of cycling. Not so much black tie as black and pink lycra and whilst there were no movie stars in evidence, we had the stars of Irish Cycling. It was the breakfast of champions to set everyone up for the day – full Ulster fry with coffee while the talk was of the biggest professional road race of the year. Our roving reporter, William Barclay takes up the story:

worlds at bokhara

Worlds at Bokhara


“On Sunday our own very generous sponsor – The Bokhara – offered us a private room to watch the professional world championships plus breakfast, lunch and dinner all for £25. This ambitious occasion had been the brainchild of two of North Down’s most popular members, Sam Craig and Glenn Armstrong. The offer was open to all club cyclists in the North Down area and was well attended by a variety of clubs.

Post breakfast we all headed off for a bike ride over Scrabo then out past Comber. The pace was leisurely as the hearty breakfast was not conducive to high speed riding. We all knew that it was to be a long day ahead of us so we were pacing ourselves accordingly. Punctures played their usual role too though we were lucky to have “Disaster” McMaster on hand to help out.

After the cycle, the Bokhara regaled us with a fine lunch and we settled down for the day to watch the racing. Its seems that although the bike ride had been brief many of the riders had worked up quite a thirst as the waiter was kept busy for the duration of the day.

The race itself was a momentous occasion. We witnessed live the very first attack of Cadel Evan’s professional career which rewarded him with a gold medal. Surely this historic event gave some of our own riders cause for thought……?

After a huge dinner there was a brief raffle with some exceptional prizes. Talented local man Adam Armstrong was to be spotted during the course of the evening in full North Down colours. Even the Curran Racing Team got into the spirit of the occasion with one of their more senior members offering the use of their white van during next year’s season.

Altogether it was a fine day’s entertainment. It capped an excellent season for North Down and we are all indebted to Sam, Glenn and the Bokhara team for looking after us in such an admirable fashion. It’s hoped that this will be an annual event and to my mind it can only go from strength to strength.”

Winter Club Nights

One of the riders who featured in the World Championships, David McCann, has agreed to come down to a question and answer session in the clubrooms. David, who is a multi- Irish champion in all disciplines, is one of the success stories of Irish and world cycling. Before heading off to Worlds, David broke the long standing British 25 mile time trial record held by none other than Chris Boardman. At the Worlds in Switzerland McCann was up against the world’s top professional riders and finished an amazing 11th – beating Tour de France riders! Watch this space for further details.

Turbos in the Clubroom

The first of the winter’s turbo sessions takes place in the clubrooms this Thursday night. Organiser, Noel Boyce will have the super new club turbos in action for anyone who wants to ‘have a go’. The first night will take the form of a demonstration session, with the real training starting the following week. So this is an excellent opportunity for everyone to try their had at this very popular form of winter training.

Pilates course

If you’d like to book a place on the North Down pilates course, organised by Noel Boyce, then I’m afraid you’re too late, it’s fully booked! Those who have been fortunate enough to have a place on the course are asked to forward full payment of £36 to Noel this week.

First Aid

Who would argue that North Down is not a multi-faceted cycling club. For any members who would like to be a little better versed in the role of First Aid I am informed that there are a few places available for the British Red Cross First Aid Course on 30 October and 6th November. These will take place in the evenings, beginning at 6.30 pm, so no-one will have long distances to travel. This two evening course is fully certified and is well worth having for both sporting or general use.



The most important meeting of the year, the Annual General meeting, takes place next Friday 16th October. It is really important that everyone attempts to attend as it is principally the only meeting of the year when changes can be made to the club’s constitution.

It is envisaged that several of the key stakeholders in the club will be up for re-election, which is important for the homeostasis of any organisation, but it is also equally important that others are willing to allow their names to go forward to serve in any small way for the benefit of everyone. As was reported last week, there is a wealth of talent in the ranks of the club and the more who are prepared to volunteer their services the less there is for others to do and the better the all round product. One position which will be open this year is that of open race secretary. Perhaps one of our more experienced racing men could bring their experience to an office which has kept North down at the vanguard of big race promotions over the years.

Youth Hostelling

Anyone wanting to reserve a place on the Youth Hostelling weekend, from Friday 20th November until Sunday 22nd November should contact Julie Stevenson immediately.

This event will be taking place in Enniskillen and will follow a similar format to the September event. The minibus will leave Bangor on Friday evening around 6pm with Friday night being given over to leisurely pursuits in Enniskillen. On Saturday morning there will be a leisurely ride around Lough Erne, approx 60 miles on relatively flat roads. Then back to the Bridges Hotel, Enniskillen for lunch.

On Sunday morning there will be another leisurely cycle before lunch and then returning back to Bangor for early evening. The price for the weekend will be £55 for 2 nights’ accommodation, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 1 dinner. A £20 deposit will be necessary required to secure a place.

It is envisaged that the limited number of places will be booked up quickly, so if you want to take part contact Julie Stevenson immediately by Email at julielstevenson@yahoo.co.uk or by telephone 07980884683.

Prize Presentation and Social Night

Tickets are selling fast for the prize presentation and social night, which will be on Saturday 7th November at Pickie Bowling Club. Like the Youth Hostelling weekend, event organiser Eric Blayney reminds everyone that places will be limited and anyone wishing to go should contact him promptly. The cost of the night has been kept low at £10 per person to suit everyone’s pocket and payment may be made to before any of the Saturday or Sunday morning club runs or at any Friday club nights. He warns though, he won’t accept bookings without cash. Members who won perpetual trophies are reminded that they should now also be cleaned and forwarded to Eric.

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