13th September 2005

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As the 2005 competitive season draws to a close, North Down Cycling Club can look back on one of its most successful seasons for many years. Membership increased among all age groups and the club has largely achieved its aim of providing cycling opportunities for a wide range of abilities and ages.

Road and track racing , time trialling, touring and long distance cyclosportive events have been regularly supported by members for many seasons but this year the club decided to be proactive in attracting the casual, recreational cyclist to take part in weekly leisure runs. These runs ,which began in May and have finished this week, have regularly attracted around 20 riders, many of whom had never participated in bunch riding before.

A more thorough annual report for 2005 will appear later in the year and it will detail the medal winning achievements of the club’s youth and veteran riders at Northern Ireland, Ulster and All Ireland level.

The final club race of a varied programme took place last Monday night with the deciding leg of a three race series in one of cycling’s most demanding events, the kilometre sprint. Going into the run-off Paul Swenarton and Paul Ferguson had both recorded 1min. 14secs.and the club had been debating the contrasting strengths of Swenarton the tester and Ferguson the road sprinter. Leading up to the race, Swenarton had been in regular competition in the local time trial leagues, while Ferguson had been trying to maintain form, the racing season having finished in late August.

On the night it was Swenarton who prevailed with a new club record of 1min. 10secs. Ferguson’s time of 1.15 was a second outside his best for the distance but it was enough to take second place ahead of Stephen Bingham who recorded a respectable 1.19 on a cool breezy night. As usual, the riders had to ride the kilometre in the opposite direction and their times averaged. The final times, averaged over the two legs, were as follows ;
1. P. Swenarton 1.16
2. P. Ferguson 1.22
3. S. Bingham 1.24
4. G. Swenarton 1.25
5. C. Swenarton 1.37
6. G. Boyle 1.39
7. F. Millar 1.52

The touring events for 2005 are also coming to an end. Last weekend, the annual Marie Curie Cancer fund raising cycle took place and North Down was represented by fifteen regulars. Special congratulations to Myles Geddis for completing his first long distance challenge, with 95 miles showing on the clock at the end of the run.

Club members are reminded to contact Tom Henry for bookings for the end of year social evening on October 21st at the Lock and Quay.

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