7 June 2007

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Busy Time for Local Cyclists

This week sees the start of an exceptionally busy period for local cyclists.  Tonight (Thursday) sees the ever popular cycling skills event for local school children.  North Down Cycling Club prides itself on being a community based club serving the local community and nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the Schools Cycle Skills event. 

With so few schools now providing cycling proficiency training for school children the North Down club linked up with the Sports Development officer in 2002 to attempt to fill the vacuum.  The result has been an event which has grown annually, with dozens of school children converging on the Valentine Playing fields for a variety of fun / skill exercises.  Once again, thanks to the support of the Sports Development office, GP Marshall and the club itself, an extensive array of prizes will also be up for grabs.  However, the main aim will be to introduce children to a superb sport and learn a little about riding safely at the same time.

Northern Ireland Youth Championships
On Saturday the emphasis will be slightly different with the Northern Ireland Youth Championships, which the North Down club is also promoting.  A few weeks back Craig Swenerton lifted the silver in the Ulster championships and no doubt he’ll be out to go one better on Saturday.  However, Craig won’t have it all his own way as young Gareth Boyle has now fully recovered from injury and will want to make an impact on his local roads.  So too will Stuart Henry, who must be a real medal prospect.

In the Under 14 race Rachael Mitchell from Newtownards will also be putting local knowledge to good use.  The racing starts from Donaghadee Rugby club at 11 am and uses the tough Orlock, Springwell, Donaghadee circuit – a fitting test for a Northern Ireland championship.

Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championships
The racing on Tuesday night moves to the Craigantlet hills out of Holywood for the Northern Ireland Hillclimb Championships.  The Croft Road in Holywood was used for this event in 2006 and such was the success of the event that it is being used again this year.  Not being exceptionally steep, the course really appeals to roadmen, some of whom rode it in the ‘big ring’ last year.  Sign on for the race will be on the Holywood side of the Rudolf Steiner school at 6.30pm.

100k Bangor Coastal Challenge
The final big event in this week of big events will be the 100k Bangor Coastal Challenge on Saturday 16th.  This has become one of the major recreational cycles in the country with entries having to be limited this year to 700!  All club members are asked to make themselves available on the day for marshalling duties and to help ensure the safety of so many visiting cyclists from all parts of the British Isles.

Club Road Race
The second road race of the series was held on Wednesday night last on the Dam Road, Cottown, Donaghadee circuit  whch was covered four times.  
1st Noel Boyce      10 points
2nd William Barkley     8 points
3rd Brian Marshall     6 points
4th Gareth Boyle     5 points
5th Craig Swenarton     4 points
6th Owen Parkes     3 points

Philip Downie
We are all pleased to know that Philip Downie is making good progress after his recent fall.  Once again the cracks in his helmet underline their importance to all our safety.  Get well soon, Philip.

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