3 Febuary 2009

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Cycling Season Beckons

It’s hard to believe that the 2009 road racing season is only three weeks away. Excitement in the North Down camp is certainly high and gauging by the preparation put in over the winter this optimism should not go unrewarded. What adds to the anticipation this year is the continental styled squad set-up with directeur sportif, soigneur, mechanic and sports scientist, designed to structure the racing team.

Darren McWilliams will be in the clubrooms this Friday, (6th) at 7.30 to advise on individual training plans in the run-in to the season. He reminds everyone that if they hope to participate effectively in endurance events, whether they are road races or recreational cycles proper preparation is essential.

With regards to preparation the ubiquitous Noel Boyce has volunteered to co-ordinate race entries this season. With many races entry lists being filled very quickly this is an important role. Already riders have been disappointed for events such as the Tour of the North and with restricted numbers in all road races in 2009 this is a situation which could be replicated throughout the season. For example, the Armagh to Downpatrick event is now open for entry and if last year is anything to go by the list will fill very quickly. Noel will outline his plans at the racing team meeting on Friday night.

Full Club Meeting

All members of North Down Cycling Club are reminded that there will be a full club meeting in the clubrooms this Thursday night (5th). The main business of the night will be the opportunity to purchase equipment which will be of value to all club members. However, the meeting will also be an opportunity to hear about the plans for the recreational and racing aspects of the club this year. Everyone should make an effort to attend.


The Bangor Coastal Challenge moves to a new date and a new day this year, Sunday 21st June. Incredibly with a capacity of 700 riders it would seem that this is one event which is unlikely to be over-subscribed – but this could not be further from the truth.

It’s only February and the online entry for the Coastal Challenge has now opened. Traditionally North Down members act as marshals for this event, but the challenge has been the spring board for many residents of the borough to try their hand at the sport of cycling. Online registration can be accessed from a link at the top of the North Down Cycling Club website at www.northdowncc.com or go directly to the Entry Central website at https://www.entrycentral.com/index.php?raceID=100180


Rachel in Holland

Last week we reported on the progress of under-sixteen cyclist Nathan McLeer and his experiences at the velodrome in Alkmaar, Holland. This week it is Rachael Mitchell who, along with a group of young Ulster girls was gaining experience on the track, as they attended Women's Commission training camp at Alkmaar. This was their second trip to the track this winter and this time the women were able to build on their skills and put what they learnt into practise in races against the local Dutch riders. As with Nathan we hope that this experience will kick-start Rachael’s season and she will be able to carry the ‘pink and black’ to many victories.

Ards CC’S ‘Night of Nostalgia’

Ards Cycling Club are organising a ‘Night of Nostalgia’ in the Marine Court Hotel Bangor on Wednesday 25th February 7.30pm. The main theme of the evening is a silent cine movie of Cyprus Cycling Clubs 21st Anniversary season (1953).
Marshall McAdam was the original film maker and he will be at the event. The film depicts leisure tours, racing and general club life during the 1953 season. The late Billy Hudson who was later an Ards CC member, is featured while others include Irish and Northern Irish multi Champion Billy Dowds, Rob Collin, Gordon Reid, Ronny Millar, Tommy Talbot, Billy Caldwell, Bill Campbell and Alex Dickson who was time keeper and treasurer for Ards in the 1980s. Tommy Burns who won the junior and senior NI road Championships in 1953 is seen as is Isobel Clements the long distance record holder and Ena McKeown.

Millar Wright was responsible for converting the film to DVD and when Billy Kirk and Bronagh Kirk watched it they decided that an evening should be organised to give everyone the opportunity to either reminisce or just to see and compare cycling ‘then and now’. Ards CC committee supported the idea and thought it was a great opportunity for all ages to get together.

A slide show of photographs from the 50s until recent years will also be shown.
Admission will be five pounds which covers the cost of room hire/equipment and includes tea or coffee and biscuits. The evening is open to everyone so if you are not a member of a club or if you require any further information just get in touch with Bronagh 02891468990 or bronaghkirk@gmail.com

Recreational Cycles

Recreational and training cycles leave from the club room Park Drive every Saturday mornin
g at 9am, 9.05am and 9.10am. The routes vary in distance and intensity, with the 9.10am cycle being the slowest. Further cycles leave the Fire Station on Mondays and Thursday mornings at 9.45 am. Full details can be found on the North Down website.

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