Around The Black Mountain, Belfast

September 2001
35 km

I moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland in July 2001 to start in a new job. I brought the bike over and I hoped to do some cycling. Unfortunate; I got a sore foot and I was only able to do one tour in 2001. It was this short tour around The Black Mountain. This mountain is dominating the landscape north of Belfast. Most of Belfast is actually on The Black Mountain itself.

I started the tour with a climb up Lisburn Road towards Lisburn. The road was not too steep. Just before Lisburn, I took the steep road straight up the hill to the shoulder coming down on the west-side of the mountain. The climb was substantial. The view from this shoulder was breathtaking towards Belfast, the south and west.

At the top, looking down the valley towards Belfast.

The road went down again before it started to wind up and down along the north-side of the mountain until the road reached Dundrod. The views over Lough Neagh was breathtaking. The cycling and the climbing very hard. I eventually reached Crumlin Road and the climb over to the east shoulder of Black Mountain. The climb was vertical up this road. I reached the top of the hill and got some fantastic views over Lough Neagh and Belfast.

At the top, looking back towards Lough Neagh.

At the top, looking towards Belfast.

The ride down the hill to Belfast again was pretty scenic and unnerving in the aftermath of a small riot in the road. I passed one burnt out car and I was glad to be back again in my area.

This is a pretty boring tour which goes vertically up and down throughout. With the exception of the fantastic views throughout the whole tour, the cycling was boring. I do not recommend this tour at all. But I am glad I did it and it vetted my appetite for more cycling the year after.