Aug 26

The End of Days

Bike Smart, Bike Safe, Bike Awesome!Fear not – we don’t have any inside information on a forthcoming apocalypse. You don’t need to stock up on canned goods just yet.

As those of you with eyesight may have noticed, it is starting to get darker earlier in the evening. Once it reaches about half-eight, it simply isn’t suitable for ‘unlit’ cycling. This means, alas, our evening runs are due to end their 2014 run. Both the Wednesday Sevens and Thursday Evening club runs will have their last hurrah this week. Please go along, have lots of fun this week and then wave them goodbye until next Spring/Summer.

This, of course, will not affect our Saturday and Sunday club runs; our weekend cycles take place all year round.

We invite all the people who enjoyed our Wednesday Sevens evenings to join us now on Saturdays. Don’t be strangers! Likewise, if you wanted to take part in our Wednesday Sevens runs but missed them, don’t despair, please get in touch and come along on a Saturday. We will be very pleased to make your acquaintance.

There’s also a good chance we’ll have a few ‘pop-up pedals’ over the winter. These are evening cycles where some club members will contact one another about going out cycling with powerful lighting. These are only open to full club members for obvious safety reasons. Assuming you are a full Old Bleach member, check your e-mail inbox for further updates on these.

Thanks to everyone who came along to our evening runs in 2014 and made them such fun. We hope to see you all at the weekends.

Aug 14

Bann Valley Road Club Sportive on Sunday the 17th

BVRC - Marie Curie flyerOur friends (we always write this in the hope they’ll reciprocate our love) in Bann Valley Road Club are hosting a charity sportive this Sunday – August the 17th.

It costs *£10 each, is of the ‘pay on the day’ variety and *100% of the money taken goes directly to Marie Curie Cancer Care. As you can see from the flyer (pictured to the left – click to enlarge) the sign on – in Portglenone Community Centre - begins at 9am with a view to departing at 10am.

The route should be something like this. If it isn’t identical, it’ll be pretty close. As you can see, it is a very flat route of around 63 miles (around 100 kilometres if you’re continental) taking in the delights of Rasharkin, Ballymoney, Dervock, Bushmills, Portrush, Portstewart (where the short food/drink/pee stop normally takes place), Coleraine and Kilrea before returning to Portglenone once more for fun and buns.

Should you require any further information, please phone the following gentlemen and bug them with your inane questions:

  • Gerry – 07850 512 777
  • Lawrence – 07743 155 889

It’s worth pointing out that all participants are expected to wear cycle helmets and not use headphones/earbuds. Please pay heed to this and have fun safely.

* For those who aren’t Cycling Ireland members, the fee is £12 with the extra £2 going toward a day licence. This £2 is the only money which doesn’t go directly to charity.

Jun 21

Wednesday Sevens – Change of address

As Randalstown Arches Festival is on this Wednesday coming (the 25th of June) this means Randalstown Main Street is closed. Therefore  we shall have to change our Wednesday Sevens meeting place for one night only.

With its own car park, Neillsbrook Community Centre seems as good a temporary change of address for us as any.

We shall still be meeting at 7pm and doing the usual length and speed of route; only the location has changed.

No other club runs (including future Wednesday Sevens) are affected by this. As stated earlier, it is a ‘one night only’ relocation.

Although the Main Street is closed to traffic, we would like to think a polite cyclist may be allowed through. If you want to drive to somewhere else and cycle to the Community Centre, that is another possibility.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact us.

Jun 08


Some FROG 2013 participantsDon’t be fooled into thinking this is a news item about amphibious cycling. We’re not even sure how that could work.

Rather ‘The FROG‘ is ‘The Fun Run of the Glens’ (let’s just ignore that pesky ‘the’ for the sake of acronyms) – a charity cycle taking place in the glorious Glens of Antrim.

The FROG sportive has been going for eight years (the 2014 edition will be number nine) and has helped raise close to £100 000 for charity. In fact that’s a ‘landmark’ which, hopefully, will be broken this year. Funds go to Cancer Focus Northern Ireland (among others).

Rather than demand a specific participation fee in advance, Paul McToal (the organiser) simply requests people donate however much they feel like on the day itself. That means he’s taking a bit of a risk with the weather and fundraising but it is very good from the perspective of the cyclists taking part.

‘The day itself’ is this coming Saturday (June the 14th) with registration opening at 8am. There should be a publicity photoshoot at 8-45am (we hope to see plenty of Old Bleach members, in club kit, there) and the bikes will start rolling out around 9am. The location for the start is Glenravel Sports & Community Complex, 143 Glenravel Road, Cargan, BT43 6RA [map].

We have four courses to choose from:  25 miles, 50 miles, 75 miles and 100 miles. With the 75 and 100 miles courses, they comprise of the same loop as the 50 miles course with an extra loop added on at the end. That should mean most of the club can stick together for the first 50 miles, at least, no matter which course they choose (other than the 25 miles route obviously).

As we are taking part in The FROG we will not be having a standard club run on Saturday the 14th. Normal Old Bleach Saturday service should resume on the 21st. This will not affect any other club runs. Keep checking the calendar for information about all our cycles and contact us if you have any queries.

Jun 01

Which club runs suit me best?

Something people (including the person writing this) can find daunting, when considering joining a cycle club, is knowing which of the array of club runs is the most suitable for him/her.

It can be quite a nerve-racking experience for some of us, heading out for a cycle among a group of strangers. Part of this is the unknown element of ‘Will I be okay going on that club run?‘ and ‘What does the club run actually comprise of?‘.

In an effort to help alleviate any such concerns and assist in making the choice of which club runs are best tailored to one’s desires, we have put together a little table outlining the salient points of each.

Please click on the title of the listed club runs (Wednesday Sevens, Thursday Evenings, Saturdays and Sundays) for more in depth information about the individual cycles.


Do I need to be on a road specific bike? NoYesYesYes
Is it suitable for people who haven't cycled with a club/group before?YesNoYesNo
How much mileage is it likely to cover?15 to 20 miles25 to 40 miles35 to 50 miles50 to 60 miles
What average speed is it likely to be run at?10 to 13 mph18 mph or more14 to 16 mph16½ to 18½ mph
What time does it leave?7pm6-30pm9-30am9-30am
Where does it leave from?The Old Forge, John Street car parkThe Old Forge, John Street car parkThe Old Forge, John Street car parkThe Old Forge, John Street car park
How long does it normally last?2 hours2½ hours3½ hours4 hours
Is there a 'coffee' stop during the club run?YesNoYesYes
Do I need to wear a cycle helmet to take part?YesYesYesYes


If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help out.

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