Last week we published the updated club development plan. One area where we’d like some volunteers is a “Sportive sub-committee”. And this got us thinking – designing a new sportive course sounds like a great activity to try in a lock down….
An inspiring theme is a good place to start. The Tour of Strangford is obviously based around The Lough and it’s iconic ferry. Last year’s Journey to the Source of the Lagan was inspired by Nick Sanders’ epic adventure “Journey to the Source of the Nile”, only on a slightly smaller scale. We then took that basic idea and tried to connect it to the club’s 75th anniversary. Seventy five bridges didn’t quite work out, but in the end we found a route that was 75km from Belfast to the source.
So – here’s an example of what can happen when you’ve been stuck in the house too long… The inspiration is the film “The Bridges of Madison County”. Ignore the love drama story line – the bit we’re interested in is that the National Geographic magazine sent a photojournalist (played by Clint Eastwood) to Madison County in Iowa to photograph their covered bridges. How could we adapt that idea to County Down…?
My wife comes from Ardglass, located in the ancient Irish kingdon of Lecale. When we were planning our wedding, the local chapel was due to close for renovations. We looked around for an alternative venue, and discovered there were lots of quaint old churches in this area. Adapting the theme from bridges, the idea for the “Rural Churches of Lecale” was born.
A quick review of the map revealed over three dozen churches in this small area. A possible route round them is shown above – starting in the Quoile carpark, and following an anticlockwise loop. Some highlights are marked with green circles.
There are rumours of a private chapel in someone’s back garden in Strangford. We’re still trying to get more details on that one, so there’s no photo yet.
The next step is to actually get out and start riding the roads, refining the route, picking a lunch stop, etc. Maybe some day soon….
Hopefully that’s inspired you to design your own fantasy sportive. If you’ve any ideas, or you’d like to help out on the sportive subcommittee (or any other area of the development plan), let us know – email firstname.lastname@example.org.