Most of our crowd gathered at Dobbies, Ayr & then travelled at a “leisurely” pace to the ferry- this on the Thursday. Our routine, nowadays, (thanks to Aly & Fiona Baird) is to get over on the Thurs & enjoy an evening etc. at the Dunsilly Hotel. As usual, really good with excellent food.
This mostly by George Shilliday-
On Friday – Chris Holmes and Alan Houston (Ulster 30) met John and Heather Sykes and Jim and Catriona McGugan at 10am from the Ferry.
Jim and Catriona headed direct for Magherabuoy Hotel, and the others joined the group at Dunsilly Hotel for the official start.
Our secretary Tony Ross had organised two great runs, morning and afternoon. Philip Smith from Strabane joined us for the day on his very nice 500 Vincent.
The morning run used only a couple of hundred yards of main road before we turned off on to minor roads going northwards through Randalstown, Ahoghill, Clough, a stop at Cloughmills, then on by Corkey, Loughguile, Armoy (racing) and into Ballycastle for lunch at the Marine Hotel. Nice lunch.
Afternoon run was anti clockwise from Ballycastle, back to near Armoy, across the Antrim plateau to Cushendun, back round the coast to Ballycastle and onwards round the coast to the hotel.
Ian Cunningham and Rubekka arrived later at 6pm in Belfast (I shot down and escorted them to the hotel) and we got to Portrush for 7.05pm, 5 minutes later than I had estimated, not bad though.
Dinner was 4 course carvery followed by much conversation and merriment.
Saturday – great breakfast, light rain overnight and early morning but it had stopped before we left.
Jack Moore had planned the route but was unable to ride due to an injury and his son Brian filled in expertly.
We headed to Coleraine, round the ring road and then off on to a B road through rural farming and forestry country, bypassed Limavady, had a very nice stop at Roe Valley Country Park where we were able to use the facilities, get coffee and scones (only a few did this) and view some vintage and classic cars who were doing a similar type of thing to us. Then on to Feeney, Moneyneany to the Oak Leaf Restaurant for soup and sandwiches. Some of the Mad Dog boys were with us for the day as well as others from our club.
Also there was a friend Terry Hamill, an ex-bike and kart racer- he had borrowed an original kart medal from Gordon Crossett 8 years ago to get replicas made and not returned it. So after lunch, after kidding him that he had lost it, he made an official presentation of the medal to Gordon amid much laughter.
Afternoon run was up the Glenshane Pass to Dungiven then back to Coleraine via minor roads and on to the hotel – another great days run.
Some wine taken before dinner which was a 4 course served meal again very good.
Time for the speeches, Johnny asked to speak first and said he had a surprise, I introduced him, he had a surprise! – he told us of his parents in Germany and getting to Scotland and the hard times they had – very moving, you could have heard a pin drop. He also did the usual vote of thanks etc. I followed Johnny’s revelations and found it tough going getting started.
Again much merriment afterwards.
Sunday – great breakfast again, there had been some rain overnight but again we had a dry start.
I led and was taking mostly B class roads to the Dunsilly hotel where we were having a buffet lunch. The route was through Cloughmills, Clough, Broughshane, Kells to lunch, but I did a detour to Armoy not long after the start to give the boys a chance to do a couple of laps of the course. Quite a few did this, Ian Hamilton was behind me on his VFR and had a good run but I showed him the way! Your friend enjoyed it too and commented that I must have done a few hundred laps previously! Johnny reminded me before the flag dropped that his boys had to get to the boat!! . I hear a certain 80 year old moaner also excelled himself.
Buffet at Dunsilly was excellent, we were in good time and then escorted our visitors to the boat arriving at the terminal at 2.30
Roy and Margaret Fenton did back up trailer, great job, thankfully it was not needed.
Great weekend, should be recovered by Friday.
Thanks for helping out with our web page , George. Absence makes the heart go fonder!