NDCC Weekly Update 13/6/16

      No Comments on NDCC Weekly Update 13/6/16



In just a few days, over seven hundred cyclists from all walks of life, all abilities and ages will take to the roads as participants in the 2016 Bangor Coastal Challenge, sponsored by Chain Reaction Cycles.  The route for the event follows the coast road from Bangor Sportsplex to Portaferry, via Millisle, Ballywalter and Ballyhalbert.  Refreshments will be available at Portaferry and there will be water stops along the way.  The way home is via Kircubbin, Greyabbey and Ards, then along the dual carriageway to Bangor Sportsplex, where you can finally rest your weary legs and think of what you have achieved today. Sixty miles on a bike is long but doable by anyone’s standards, so don’t be deterred if you have not already signed up for this charity event, as you can enter on the day!  Disruption to the general public will be kept to a minimum but there will be delays on Sunday along the route, which leaves the Sportsplex at approximately 10 o’clock.  So if you are needing out and about along the peninsula on Sunday, please be considerate to other road users, cyclist and motorist alike, and think about an alternative route that will avoid the Coastal Challenge.


Not forgetting our youngest members of society, this year sees the first Ride to Pickie for the kids in the borough.  A great way to introduce kids to cycling and riding on the road, this mini event will be held on closed roads, thanks to the assistance from PSNI.  Leaving the Sportsplex, the route will go through Bangor to Pickie Funpark where each kid will receive a goodie bag and have wear themselves out even more on the swans and playpark.  The only stipulations are that helmets must be worn and each kid must be accompanied by an adult. If you fancy having tired kids on Fathers Day so you can enjoy the footie and a beer later on, bring them along to Ride to Pickie as there are places still available.

All we need now is a glorious summers day with a gentle breeze to keep us cool.


North Down Cycling Club is one of the biggest in the country and will soon be celebrating its 40th anniversary.  Steeped in racing history and distinctive in its pink and black colours, the dynamics of the club have changed considerably to include a thriving membership of people who love cycling without being competitive.  NDCC are always happy to welcome new members and strive to provide quality events, whether you want a social ride, a tough race or just to make new friends.  In conjunction with the Festival of Cycling NI and Bangor Bike Week, NDCC is offering free membership to every tenth new membership.

On Friday 17th June, the club will have its gazebo up at the Sunken Gardens, close to the McKee Clock, and as long as the weather permits, will host a fun static bike race, the fastest time winning a prize.  Club members will be there to chat with and give a first hand account of the club.  So if you see us down there, come over and say hello, give the static bike challenge a go, you never know your luck.


A new addition to the hill climb season, the finish close to Scrabo Tower was a great alternative to the hills used in previous years.  This was definitely a climb for the lightweights, probably the only people lighter are jockeys, with its 12% gradient on the final section.  The 1.5mile course started at the old Knightsbridge Hotel site and turned right to go up the road to the Tower.  Hill climbs are not for everyone, but a good turn out included a couple of our youth members.  Although David Spalding was the fastest NDCC rider on the night with 5mins 19secs, he had the very talented Nathan Keown breathing down his neck, finishing in 5mins 32 secs.  Tom Charlick was not far behind either with a fast 5mins 38 secs.  With two more rounds left, it is all to play for and it would be great to see a young rider win it for a change, as it has been won for the last number of years by riders of more senior years!

Results (NDCC Riders Only)

  1. David Spalding  5mins 19secs
  2. Nathan Keown  5mins 32secs
  3.  Willy Larmour 5 mins 36secs
  1. Special mention for Tom Charlick 5mins 38secs


  1. Alison McMullan 7mins 20secs


Insane finishes at towers seemed to be flavour of the week, with Saturday’s Bobby Crilly Classic taking place in the hills around Dundrod.  This tough race takes in laps around Antrim, Muckamore and Nutt’s Corner before turning onto the Ulster GP motorcycle course and heading towards Divis Mountain.  The grueling ascent from Nutt’s Corner is nothing to what awaits the riders who have managed to stay out in front, as they turn into Divis Mountain Park, past the coffee shop before making a 90degree turn to face the wall they must climb to the summit.  This is always a finish for the pure climber, light in stature and with less to drag up the incline, they can make the most of this advantage when the road tops out at a grinding-to-a-halt 20%!!  Lucky for NDCC, that we have a plethora of such riders, with Adam Leach winning the A3 race, Philip Bell coming 2nd in the A4 race and Lewis Ferguson, fresh from the Ras, taking 4th in the A1/A2 race.

Although not strictly cycling, U16 club member Jake Rushby came first at the Firmus Energy Kids Triathlon.