9 June 2009

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Safe Cycling for Kids

With road safety being at the fore front of every parent’s agenda, the Bangor Cycle Skills event organised by North Down Cycling Club, is a must for all young road users. This event focuses on children cycling safely and will take place this year at Bloomfield Shopping Centre on the evening of Thursday 25th June. School children from all the local schools will converge on the parking area beside Marks and Spencers to try their hand at a variety of activities which will test how skilled and safe they are at riding their bicycles. Clearly physical fitness and safety have been given a high profile recently and it is not surprising that the popularity of this event has grown and grown.

The skills that the young people will be expected to will demonstrate how well the competitors can handle their machines in difficult situations. However, there are other aspects to the Cycle Skills Event. Before the activities commence, at 6 pm, everyone will have the opportunity of having their bicycles checked in a MOT type test. This check will be carried out by Bikeworld mechanics who will provide this service at absolutely no cost.

Thanks to generous support by North Down Sports Advisory Council, this event will again attract an extensive prize list. All the competitors will receive certificates and ‘goodie bags’, others will receive medals and vouchers.

All that’s left, therefore, is for all the school children in the borough to make sure they have entered. This can be achieved by contacting Tanya Fisher (Assistant Sports Development officer
North Down Borough Council) at the Leisure Centre (028) 91270271 or by Emailing

Tanya.Fisher@northdown.gov.uk. However, you’d need to hurry as there will be no entries taken on the night and entries close this Friday (12th June).

Coastal Challenge

In this column last week the challenge was thrown down to inhabitants of the borough to have a go at cycling around the Ards Peninsula in the Bangor Coastal Challenge. Clearly the people of North Down are up for such a challenge as this week the ceiling of 700 entrants was reached and the entries are now closed.

The event will take place on Sunday 21 June 2009 and will take place in some of the most striking scenery in the country.  The Charity Cycle commences at the Bangor Sportsplex on the Old Belfast Road, Bangor at 10.00am and the route is:  Old Belfast Road, Rathmore Road, Bransburn Road, Grays Hill, Seacliff Road, Ballyholme Esplanade, Groomsport Road, Donaghadee, Millisle, Ballywalter, Ballyhalbert, Portavogie, Cloughey, Portaferry.  It will return via Shore Road, Abbacy Road, Deerpark Road, Rowreagh Road, Portaferry Road, Newtownards, Bangor Road, Rathgael Road, returning to Bangor Sportsplex from 1.30pm onwards. 

The organisers, North Down Cycling Club, thank their sponsors who include Bike It Cycles Grand Parade Belfast, North Down Borough Council, Ards Borough Council, Vittel Spring Water and Bike Works in Bangor. This is the eighth year of this Charity Cycle in aid of NI Diabetes, Stroke and Cardiology Units at the Ulster Hospital organised This is a very worthwhile cause and these cyclists have given their time to help  and I ask motorists to exercise patience and consideration.


It was like the old days last Wednesday night when almost 50 took part in a North Down club road race! This posed quite a dilemma for race organiser Eric Blayney who ended up handicapping the competitors into three large groups. The response from everyone was thrilling racing on a beautiful night and a massed bunch sprint which was won by Matty Blayney
with Richard McCullough second and a blast from the past Alastair Irvine third. Noel Boyce, who just edged out Phillip Marshall, was fourth, closely followed by Michael Hamilton and Keith Miller.


Stuart Henry has returned to racing after his A Levels and is currently racing in Belgium. Last weekend he had his best placing in Belgium when he took 2nd place in St Baafs Vijver. Apparently he got away in the winning break of seven after about 10k of the 85k race. He attacked 7k from the finish but was caught on the line and had to settle for second place.

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