Somme Heritage Centre Ride

dupsommerideout-250 On Saturday 6th September 2014 Right To Ride’s Trevor Baird went on a round about trip from our “home base” on the Ards Peninsula, to  the East Antrim DUP Annual Ride Out.

This year’s ride out started from Larne Town Hall for a tour around the Ards Peninsula to the Somme Heritage Centre between Newtownards and Bangor and back again to Larne.

Over fifty bikes and riders took part, sent off from Larne Town Hall by the Mayor of Larne Martin Wilson, in the company of the DUP’s motorcycle riding politician Sammy Wilson MP/MLA.

Sammy has through the  year, been on the ball for motorcycling, by passing on information and asking questions to the necessary departments and ministers here and in the UK Parliament. Sammy plays an active part in the All-Party Parliamentary Motorcycling Group in Westminster.  But enough of that as the day was about riding bikes.

From Larne to Belfast, across the Holywood Hills and down the Ards Pennisula, with a bit of deja vu from the morning, it was across the Ferry at Portaferry and Strangford, across County Down to Lisburn’s Civic Centre for lunch hosted by DUP Mayor Andrew Ewing.

It took me a while to twig on that the mayor was on the ride out last year, even with his mayoral regalia and suit on it should have been hard to miss him, as he is built tall and wide – like a rugby player –  and he completed the run last year on a 125cc bike.

dup2014-250After soup and sandwiches, it was off to the Somme Heritage Centre, tracking across another section of County Down just outside Newtownards and it took around 173 miles to get there.

The Somme Heritage Centre opened in 1994 as an educational facility and tourist attraction. The centre examines Ireland’s role in the Great War with special reference to local cross-community involvement in the three volunteer Divisions raised in Ireland: the 10th and 16th (Irish) Divisions, and the 36th (Ulster) Division.

Our enthustiastic tour guide explained the exhibits –  from the recruiting office., through to the trenches and finally on the hour long tour to no man’s land and the interactive video.

All very pertinent and giving thought to those than fought, died and survived a war that was to end all wars, as we have marked the Centenary this year – 100th anniversary – on the 4th of August of the start of World War 1.

The final stage of the ride out was back to Larne for the usual excellent feed at the Curran Court Hotel and words of thanks to the organisors and route planners for an excellent days ride.

Then again it was forty five miles back to home base and another jaunt through Newtownards to bring the total to around two hundred and fifty miles, not a bad wee day’s jaunt.

Somme Heritage Centre –

Meanwhile the – N.I. Bikers & Trikers Riding For Charity (Right To Ride Supportes) – rideout for the LVH Cardiac Unit on Sunday raised £500 for the charity – well done folks!

Project Velocity

projetvelocity-250During the ride out we heard from Sam Marsden about Project Velocity.

The project is a student team based in Northern Ireland who aim to break a Land Speed Record in the Summer of 2015,the  record is currently held by Burt Munro as told in the movie, The World’s Fastest Indian and has stood for 47 years.

Project Velocity is an independent project, with currently five students studying mechanical engineering at Queens University in Northern Ireland.

The project is part of their degree over the final two years.

Using their engineering knowledge and passion for racing they are designing and building a 1000cc full fairing, naturally aspirated streamliner motorcycle.

They aim to have the bike completed and race it at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the summer of 2015.

We will have more specifc information to follow on the project, in the meantime chack the project out on the website , Facebook and Twitter pages.

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East Antrim DUP Ride Out – Somme Heritage Centre – September 2014

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