2 June 2009

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Up for the Challenge?

Bangor’s Coastal Challenge is only three weeks away and local cyclists are putting the finishing touches to their training for this charity leisure cycle. This 100Km event, which is regarded as one of the premier charity cycles in the province, is as usual attracting visitors from not only the local area, but across the British Isles.

Event organiser, Terry Nicoletti is always encouraged by the comments made about the event. Clearly participants enjoy the scenery on the Ards Peninsula and the camaraderie which is now synonymous with the Bangor Coastal Challenge.

However, whilst Terry, on behalf of North Down Cycling Club, is always happy to receive positive comments regarding the event, he is even more pleased by the amount of revenue which the occasion generates for local charities. This year the total will be even more enhanced by the support of local cycling dealership, Bike It Cycles of Grand Parade in Belfast. Joining Bike It in supporting the cycle are North Down Borough Council, Ards Borough Council and Vittel Spring Water. In addition, Bike Works in Bangor are supplying mechanical back up during the event. Terry went on to say that the assistance provided by the event supporters will go along way in ensuring that this will be another bumper year for Diabetes Northern Ireland and the Stroke and Cardiology Units at the Ulster Hospital who last year received over £7,500 from this event.

Terry advises, however, in the interests of safety there will be a ceiling on the entry this year and that ceiling has almost been met. Anyone considering taking up the challenge should access the North Down Cycling Club’s website immediately to avoid disappointment, entries close on 19 June.

Recreational Cycles

If you’re interested in cycling and would like to prepare for the Bangor Coastal Challenge, you’ll be made very welcome on any of the North Down Cycling Club touring cycles. There are several throughout the week and information can again be accessed by visiting the North Down Cycling Club website.

One cycle which has been very popular with newcomers to the sport has been the Tuesday night cycle, which meets at the Groomsport Roundabout at 7pm. This cycle normally lasts around an hour and takes in the high ways and bye ways of North Down. Another, slightly more strenuous cycle leaves the clubrooms on Sunday morning. Those who have enjoyed this cycle in the past should note that from this Sunday it will leave the club rooms at 9.30 am. Not 10 am, as was the case during the winter months.

Community Minded

North Down Cycling Club prides itself on being a community minded club serving the community in a host of different ways. This Friday night the club competition rollers will be at Ballyholme Primary School’s annual barbecue. If you’ve never ridden a set of competition rollers, this is your chance and at the same time you’ll be helping raise a little finance for the local school.

Many of the children who will be competing on the rollers at the barbecue will also be competing in the annual cycle skills event which is being held at the Bloomfield Shopping Centre on Thursday 25th June. The driving force behind this year’s event is the ubiquitous Noel Boyce, who is the all-round clubman personified. Noel has devised a new set of skills which will challenge the young people involved and at the same time help them hopefully to ride their bikes more safely.

As Noel explained, ‘We want the young people of Bangor to enjoy this healthy sport, but we also want them to cycle safely and with caution on the increasingly dangerous roads.’

The event this year is being supported by Bikeworks in Balloo who will not only provide prizes but will be on hand to offer a safety check. Autobar (Vending Machines) have also come in to support the cycle skills event. As in the past, every child will receive a ‘goodie bag’ and their contribution will no doubt be well received by all the young people.

The event is being promoted by North Down Cycling Club in conjunction with North Down Sports Development officer Tanya Fisher. If anyone would like more information about the event they should contact Tanya at the Leisure Centre or email her at Tanya.Fisher@Northdown.gov.uk


It’s hard to remember just how dark and dank the conditions were last Wednesday for the North Down CC hillclimb up Bradshaw’s Brae. Nevertheless, despite the conditions some excellent time were recorded. It’s good to see the Northern Ireland Hillclimb medallist William Barclay getting back into form and to see the other up-and-coming climber Nathan McLeer doing so well in the midst of his GCSE’s. It was also fortuitous for Noel Boyce that Harry Adams wasn’t available for judging on Wednesday night, as it gave Boycey the chance to sneak into third place.


William Barclay 8:59

Nathan McLeer 9:11

Noel Boyce 9:17

Ross Blayney 9:55

Philip Dornan 10:03

Robert Watt 10:06

John Hunter 10:18

Gary Swenarton 10:24

Paul Kirk 10:36

Roger Doherty 10:57

Mark Collier 11:21

Open Time Trials

One name which was absent from the start sheet on Wednesday night was Paul Swenarton. The reason for the absence of the club’s time trialist may well have been the conditions or the type of event. More likely was the fact that he was competing the following night in the O
pen Time Trial League. This 10 mile time trial was won by Dubliner Colm Cassidy (Usher IRC) in a time of 20.46. However, Paul turned in yet another fast time recording 22.31.

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