Day 7: Belfast to Larne, 51 miles

Posted on: Tuesday, 14 June 2011 by Toby Carroll in category Cycle ride

Presentation with Mayor of BelfastIt was a superb event in Belfast with the local FTA region really getting behind the event. Many thanks to Tom Wilson and Laura from Dennisons for their fantastic organisation and for assembling an impressive group of riders.

Breathtaking scenery

However pride of place must go to the beautiful Northern Ireland scenery as we rode around the attractive Antrim coastal scenery. The route from Ballyclare to Glenarme with rolling hills and attractive country hamlets was breathtaking.

Meeting the Mayor of Belfast

The ride started at the Ozone Centre where 25 starters set off… after Ken Davis had repaired a puncture before the start of the event. We then headed through the streets of Belfast to City Hall for a photo opportunity organised by Gerry Fleming with the newly installed Mayor of Belfast - a plaque was presented to commemorate the event.

Setting the pace

Group with transaid banner - day 7After photos taken at the City Hall we set off on the ride north to Newton Abbey, Ballyclare and on to Glenarme before returning along the coast to Larne where we managed to get up an impressive pace.

Laura punctured twice early in the ride as we left the cycle path to join the road which meant the fast boys had left Dennisons - our first appointed stop - before the slow group arrived. No socialising for those serious boys.

Once we left Ballyclare we made good speed through the undulating hills. At this point Ken disappeared off the map having dropped in to Boots and was not seen again. Chris Thornton rode back with Laura who was determined to complete the course and they arrived back at Wincanton Larne just after 3pm.

Excellent support

Great support and camaraderie from all, but special thanks go to the Dennison Commercial team for their support and to the Dougan family for their enthusiastic engagement. We rushed off early from Wincanton Larne to ensure we caught the ferry to Stranraer so thanks to Glenn for the hospitality.

Tom made a gallant effort and cut a few corners but never the less was there at the end to welcome us all back.

There were a few concerned riders who saw their cherished bikes being dropped onto the bed of a 16 tonne Volvo. Fortunately the Ceva support guys produced a roll of D S Smiths corrugated cardboard to ensure the bikes were wrapped and protected for the 20 mile road transfer back to our start point at Ozone, Belfast.

A great day, with mixed weather and once again bright blue skies at the end of the ride.

See more pictures from day 7

Find out about FTA's Transaid Cycle Challenge

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