Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Day 1 Belfast to Coleraine 96km

Monday 27th April 2015
Day one over. Belfast to Coleraine 96km
I was put up in Belfast last night by my sister Eileen. Its always great to stay with my sisters cause they look after me like my mother used to. I was treated royaly with a few beers and dinner and a good breakfast after a good nights sleep

Cycled to the start at the bottom of the Ormeau for sign on.
Great to see some of the guys from last year and renew old friendships. Met up with Richie and Liam from the club who are on the trip too.
There was a great buzz around the place with the anticipation of what was ahead. Got signed on, got my number , 1123. Bought a long sleeve CAS jersey and a rain jacket and ready to go. Said goodbyes to Mary and Eileen and headed out from Belfast city, in lovely sunshine, albeit quite cold this morning. Out the Shore Road and climbed up to Glengormly and headed out towards Ballymena. Pace was quite leisurely as we headed out from the city. Even though Im from here, the city has changed so much that im unfamiliar with some of the areas.
Hit a hail shower in Antrim and skirted some heavy rain showers without actually getting rained on. No sos beag cause I gathered the lead car took some wrong turns and left us having to do some unnecessary kilometers.
Lunch was at the rugby club in Ballymena and consisted of tea coffee and sandwiches. Was good to get it. I was hungry. The presentation was unusual from a rugby ground cause we were mostly used to schools. However it was abit of fun.
Heading out from Ballymena the sky was darkening again and starting to look angry. Just as we were pulling in for another break, an hour later, the rain and hail came on.   Nothing for it but to ride it out cause we were going to get wet whatever happens.
Arriving into Coleraine we were, by then, soaked through and chilled to the bone.
We were given a very generous evening meal in the Clyde Inn in Coleraine before boarding a bus to take us to our first homestay.
Our home stay was a hostel way up the Antrim coast at Carrick a Rede and it was a late arrival to the bed.
The hostel gave us a good welcome and offered us tea on our arrival and shown to our dormitaries.
I grabbed a bottom bunk and set about settling down for the night
Tomorrow is an early start, bus leaving at 7 am for start back in Coleraine.
Woke early in the hostel and they were providing a great spread of cereal,tea, coffee and some hot food too. Plenty of it.
Before the bus came to collect us to take us to the start, it started to snow. WHAT HAVE WE LET OURSELVES IN FOR!!

Happy for Day 2

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