Not all roads in Co Antrim lead to Torr Head………..
Organiser: Cormac Regan
Phone (NI): 07855 399 676
Permanent Fee of €5 is payable to Audax Ireland by PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to say what ride/route you’re paying for.
This should be a relatively easy 200km Audax to complete, and has the added benefit of not going near Torr Head.
As it is a permanent, start point can be anywhere along the route but I have shown Mallusk as the start point on the GPS plot as there is ample parking there for anyone who needs it.
From Mallusk we head north through Antrim, Randalstown, and towards Ballymena and Ballymoney. There are plenty of possible points to stop for coffee in the villages along the way to Ballymoney though be aware that the Europsar and tea-room in Cullybackey do not open on a Sunday.
From Ballymoney we continue north on the main road to Portrush. There is a hard shoulder along this section of road which has a good surface but be aware of raised kerbs at junctions.
At 79km we turn east and head towards Bushmills, home of the oldest distillery in Ireland dating back to 1608. After Bushmills we continue east towards Armoy passing through the Dark Hedges of Game of Thrones fame.
We then approach our only climb of the day, Altarichard Rd, which will be familiar to anyone who has completed the Giants Causeway Sportive.
This is 8km @ 3.2% average grade, so is not that challenging, and quite an enjoyable climb. A quick decent and then another short climb takes us to the top of Glenann and then a fast 7km descent to Cushendall.
We then go along the Antrim coast road thorough Carnlough and Glenarm before heading inland towards Ballyclare and Doagh.
There are a number of drags along the road from Glenarm to Kilwaughter which can test tired legs but nothing overly taxing.
After Kilwaughter it’s a nice run along Lower Ballyboley Rd skirting passed Ballyclare, through Burnside and dropping into Doagh.
From there it’s a short run back to Glengormley and Mallusk.
Road surfaces are generally good throughout although the first 5km to Templepatrick and last 5km into Glengormley are prone to pot-holes. The roads are mainly B class and even though main routes between towns and villages, are reasonably quiet. The busiest sections are the start and finish through Mallusk and Glengormley and also the B62 Ballybogey Rd out of Ballymoney which will be particularly busy on weekend of NW200 and over the July fortnight.
There are a number of dangerous junctions towards the end of the route and care should be taken crossing these: –
- 171.5km – crossing A36 Shane’s Hill Rd at Kilwaughter. A36 is a fast road with a bend just before the junction obstructing view.
- 191.2km – crossing roundabout on A57 after Doagh
- 191.7km – crossing right across B59 onto Ballypallady Rd. B59 is also a fast road with heavy traffic at rush hour.
- 202.2km – main junction in centre of Glengormley. Stay right as you approach this junction and turn right in centre of junction.