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We were tickled pink by the Giro d'Italia spectacle

By Pamela Ballantine

Published 19/05/2014

Blogger Ruth Maguire along with Carolyn Henderson
Blogger Ruth Maguire along with Carolyn Henderson
I’m joined by Vincent Ward and Ciaran Gribben
Janet Gray and Health Minister Edwin Poots
Blogger Ruth Maguire along with Carolyn Henderson
I'm joined by the Henderson Group's Alistair Kelly, Ian McIlrath and Ian Dickson along with Gladys Greer of Greer Publications
Belfast Telegraph's Claire Cromie with Paula Daly of Henderson Group
Austin Guy and Gemma Bell of Diageo with Hatfield’s Kieran Cassidy
Peter McVerry of U105, Joanne O’Hagan and Anne McMullan from Visit Belfast, and the Belfast Telegraph’s John Laverty at the unveiling of the special piece of artwork

What a fabulous spectacle the Giro d'Italia was and didn't Northern Ireland look in the pink? I joined 30 blind and partially sighted people, along with their sighted guides, to cycle from Lisburn to the Waterfront Hall to join the Giro celebrations.

Some fitter souls in the Tour de Towpath continued on to Jordanstown before we all returned to Lisburn. I never knew there were so many cycle clubs here that had tandems, so thanks to the RNIB and Belfast Activity Centre for organising it all.

Most cyclists are probably not aware of the role that Ulster has played in the speed and aerodynamics of the modern sport but 125 years ago local lad Willie Hume won the first race with the world's first pneumatic tyre, which was invented here.

That race went past Hatfield House on the Ormeau Road and to celebrate this bit of history, the bar has commissioned a special piece of artwork by Ian Knox, which was unveiled at a Harp Lager reception.

Okay, so the rain did its best to dampen the cyclists' spirits, but it is officially BBQ time and to kick off the season the annual SPAR-B-Q was held at the Hamptons themed Roof Terrace at the Merchant Hotel.

Lots of lovely delights were on offer, showing how you do not have to spend all day in the kitchen before he lights the fire and takes all the glory.

Bring on the barbie!

Belfast Telegraph

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