Newry to Belfast promises much. 98.45km
What an evening I had with Ester.
Great Ulster food. She is a wonderful woman. Has come through a lot in her life and is as positive about the future as anyone can possibly be. A true inspiration of success over adversary.
Struggle makes us better people.
She takes me over to the start line and I promise to keep in touch.
The sun is shining now and the day looks promising.
Im still struggling with getting my day and night bags sorted. What I need is locked away in the night bag. And the day bag only has part of what I need.
Anyway! suncream on and I’m good to go. Cup of coffee, refill bottles and it off out through Newry town heading for Pointzpass and the rolling hills of the County Down.
Its cold in the sun still but promises to get better. Im layered up anyway. You can always disrobe if necessary.
Lots of new faces today and some old faces coming on the road today. The young lads from Belfast who have been travelling with us and who have never ridden bikes before, are sticking it well. One lads bike completely collapsed today. But he got a spare from the van and is off again. Such determination from these guys.
Catch up is great!
Such beautiful scenery in this part of the country. Places you never hear about.
Im thinking of our club weekend away. So many possibilities around here.
Looking out over the Mournes in the distance, thankful we are not there this trip. They look majestic from this distance.
Soon Banbridge looms and and our first Sus beag. Lots of students and youth groups from various parts of Belfast. Cyclists from all denominations. Might not seem important from were I live. But up here its inspiring.
Dromore is lunch and they find a 500 meter 8% drag to send us up before we eat!
Amazingly the inexperienced youth sail up the hill while most of us MAMILS struggle to keep afloat.
Lunch is Triangles and soup. And we are inspired with talks from people on the trip. Breffni, who last year cycled around the world and won a round the world cycle race. What a man!
Monica who still struggles with the death of her brother. And struggles to tell the story.
Off again toward Scarva, Ballinahinch and Carryduff. Over interminable drumlin hills. Wondering when they will cease. They eventually do, to our great relief and its speed on into Belfast. Looking at the Black Mountain and Napoleons Nose in the distance.
Hitting Belfast in the rush hour we take our priority and sail through with our PSNI escorts and our own wonderful motorbike outriders.
soon we are through the city centre and heading out the shore road to our final stop in the college in Newtownabbey.
My sisters Eileen and Mary are waiting to look after me for the evening. What a welcome sight.
Home and showered, lovely dinner, some nice wine and more catch up. Life is so good sometimes.
Source: Cycle Against Suicide Blog