(By Eamonn Hogan Sun. 1st December)
Just realising that we are into December gives one a moment to pause and wonder where did that year go to. Looking back on the year brings back great memories of a warm summer and dry roads for us cyclists.
Considering we are in December the weather gods were again favourable to us and after a little reminder about the up and coming Christmas party on Friday Night, it was out the gate as quick as you can and get a few more miles in before the festive season kicks in.
Picking a route at this time of year is straightforward, keep it simple is my new mantra, and that is exactly what we did. Nice rolling roads brought us out to Ballymore, turning left for Moate, and a tea stop in Super Mac’s of all places, where I have to say the coffee and tea were perfect.
It was no nonsense, straight forward cycle home to Tyrrellspass, and back to the ORS in good time.
Hope to see you at the Christmas Party on Friday.
(By Barry Keogh)
It looked a bit frosty at first glance but conditions were perfect when we hit the road from ORS at 9am. A group of about 18 of us set off for Enfield along the dual carriageway and we enjoyed the fantastic surface until we had to go to the old road at Coralstown. As this is winter, all the summer sportive participants were back for the Sunday spin, enjoying the catching up after all the fantastic summer weather we had enjoyed. Nobody was in a hurry and we cruised to Enfield where we enjoyed some Apple Green hospitality.
After considering the options for the return journey, we decided that the direct route would do us fine and we maintained our nice easy pace all the way to Mullingar. We were back early, just after midday, with plenty of daylight and energy for other things.
This is the relaxed cycling that we are looking forward to over the winter, so it is an ideal time for anyone who has got out of the habit to make a comeback.
(By Eamon Hogan)
Autumn mornings, when they are crisp and dry, as this morning was, are by far and away my favourite time of the year. Though the trees are reluctant to give up their green foliage even at this late stage of the year, just being on the bike and taking in the changing landscape is such a privilege that in our busy lives, we tend to take too much for granted.
Cycling for me has many benefits, the obvious one being able to keep a certain level of fitness. Group cycling with the club on a Sunday has a great social feel to it, where you rub shoulders with people from all walks of life, people you wouldn’t otherwise bump into. Then there is the competitive side that the summer league gives me, which is about as close to road racing as I would like to get…a bit too much of a chicken really! Last but by no means least, it gives my head peace, affords me the time to take in the wonderful scenery around this beautiful island of ours, and it’s all on our doorstep. I cannot think of a better place to be, a place to be proud of, proud to raise my kids up in, so that on a Sunday morning they too will cycle pass Lough Owel and take in its beauty.
This time of the year is about coming off the gas and knocking back the mileage slightly, which we adhered to without too much opposition. Today’s route would be 80km with the emphasis on keeping a steady pace, and good group formation. Pairic Moore stepped in as group leader for the faster B’s, and yours truly took the second group.
Simple routes are always the best, and this was no exception, Edgeworthstown and Carrickboy for the tea stop, where we sipped tea in the sunshine. Then it was back through Ballynacargy, up Slanemore, which although we kept it steady is never easy. Apart from the little burst of adrenaline in the last 2km the group stay together. We’ll have more of the same for the next few weeks. Pairic Moore will kindly step in for me as group leader for next week, thanks a million.
(By Eamon Hogan - Sunday September 1st)
If there is one thing that today’s spin taught me, and that is don’t pick a route just over 100km with plenty of hills, on a day where the wind seemed to be in your face, and you haven’t put tour butt on a bike weeks.
Today didn’t start off great, finding one spoke broken and two loose, so a quick phone call or two and got it sorted. I swear there are times when I need the support team of Sky pro cycling just to get out for a cycle, God be with the days when I just grabbed the bike, through my leg over it, and I was gone. I can get showered, shaved and dressed for a wedding in five minutes flat, yet it takes the best part of an hour (slight exaggeration) to get all geared up for a spin.
The numbers were down this week in the B group, and so eight of us headed out the road in the direction of Ballymahon, and a head wind to accompany us. At this point I was thinking I should have used the ‘broken spokes’ excuse and climbed back into the scratcher. We turned for Glasson, the group were going at a nice tempo and the legs were ok. A sharp turn left, would bring us over the hills of Mount Temple, and onto Moate for the tea stop. 60km done and not feeling too bad, a nice cuppa and a Fig roll and I should be sorted.
Heading home on the old N4 with the wind partly assisting us, and the group rolling along above 40km/h, the legs started telling the brain we haven’t done much training lately. By the time we turned at Tyrrellspass, and yes, back into a headwind, it was a matter of keeping the head down and get back to base.
It was a tough day in the saddle, but with the assistance of my cycling buddies, it was worth it. Note to self, don’t leave it so long away from the bike again.
(By Eamon Hogan, Sunday 28th July)
Well, the weather gods were with us today, and what a cracking spin we had too. After last week’s heroics, beating our way back into a head wind, I took a quick look at the wind direction for today. Southerly direction means only one thing, Tullamore. When the testosterone level eventually subsided and the pace settled back from what was starting to look like a an Omega Pharma Quickstep time trial, order was resumed, and though the pace never dropped below 30km/h everyone in the group were more than comfortable.
We headed out over the Bog of Allen, passing through Rhode, Daingean, turning at Ballinagar and onto Tullamore for the tea stop at Scally’s Centra on the Arden road, who always welcome us, have no problem allowing us to use their welfare facilities, which on a warm day like today was a great help.
Part two of today’s route would see us swiftly pass through Kilbeggan, head out past the racecourse and turn for Castletown Geoghan. The wind helped us most of the way home, and after turning at Loughnavalley, the speed of the group notched up to between 45km/h and 50km/h. Indeed I had to tell a certain Ciaran O’Brian to slow down for fear he might get two penalty points, that and the fact that I couldn’t hold onto his wheel.
A supper morning of cycling, missing heavy showers, back home at 12.20pm, and 100 km in the bag.
(By Eamon Hogan - Sunday 21st July)
It can be a bit of a conundrum at times to pick out a route for a Sunday morning spin, ’what way is the wind blowing’, ‘have the local council gritted the road’, ’is that route too hilly’, or ‘not hilly enough’. Like most things in life, trying to get the balance is the key, but not as easy as it seems. If I figure it out I’ll write a book on it, and make a bucket load of money!
The route I chose was a bit of everything, though I could have done without the head wind on the way home, as I said, balance is everything. So it was going to be 105km of craic, banter, pain and suffering, the usual stuff you go through on a Sunday morning before you return home to your loved ones and let on that everything is fine, and your limping because your shoes are too tight, and not because your legs are hanging off.
The B group split as usual into two groups, keeping the groups to a maximum of 16 in each group for safety reasons. We headed out the road for Ballymahon, and made it in what felt like record time, we then turned for Glasson. This would usually be the tea stop, but to mix it up we turned and headed over the hills of Mount Temple and onto Moate.
With a quick cuppa and a bar, it was head down, do your bit at the head of the group and hide in out of the wind until it was your turn again. We made to Tyrrellspass, but I have to admit my legs were feeling the effort. Turning for home the pace stayed steady, until after Belvedere, when I saw a pair of 404 zipp wheels heading off into the distance (you know who you are!) All in all it was a super spin, and with great company.
(By Shane Corcoran Sunday 7th July)
Hi Guys, I am back with more of he famous notes that ye have all been asking for over the last year but up until now have resisted. Anyhow, our merry band of group cyclists, 20 in all from varying experience and skills, decided to head towards Enfield via Ballivor. There has been some strange happenings with the weather over the last couple of weeks with some strange blue skies and some thing called heat, which no one seems to know much about but makes for excellent cycling conditions.
The common love of cycling was evident, when one of the Wheelers was hit by not only the puncture fairy, but also the wheel buckling devil. The resident of the house where this happened appeared to offer assistance, and was kind enough to give Martin the wheel of his own bike. We were soon on our way to the tea stop in Enfield, where fine fare was had, and beautiful mouths were admired (you had to be there to understand, could not even start to explain).
We headed home via Kinnegad at a fair kick, fun in the sun had by all, and the heat meant there were a few extra pounds lost also. Good spin had by all.
One last thing, on 20th of July, we will be assisting Cullion Hurling Club with a small fun cycle over 79 km through a hilly sort of a route. As Part of the Cullion Gathering, they will be showcasing all sports and events. This Tour of some of the Hurling Strong Holds will take place on July 20th and start at 9.00 sign on from 8.30 with a fee of 10 euro. Please support if you can. http://www.mapmyride.com/profile/9438964
. Cullion have allowed us to use their grounds for the Sprocket Rockets for this year and it would be nice to return the favour.
(By Eamon Hogan)
It is hard to believe that we are into the month of June already. It seemed for far too long we were only going to get one season. Although the arm warmers were required this morning, I knew I wouldn’t be too far down the road before I would be discarding of their services, and when we were joined by the A group because of lack of numbers in that group, it was far from arm warmers I was worried about !
As usual at this time of the year the numbers were down at the O.R.S., as members are pulled in different directions, all over this great country of ours. There was racing in Meath, sportive in Kerry and a fundraising cycle to Dublin and back. It would be interesting to know collectively, how many miles were put into the legs this weekend. I raise a glass to each and every one of you, whether it was your first time on a bike, chasing down a group in a race, or climbing a tough mountain route, if we can keep our minds and bodies fit and healthy, then we will have some chance of getting through the economic mess we still find ourselves in.
So our two groups hit the tarmac just after 9.00am. Destination for today’s spin would be Edenderry. Personally I think this is a great route, with a bit of everything in it. Firstly we start off with the best stretch of road in Westmeath, then turning up Croghan Hill outside Tyrrellspass. Not surprisingly we had a puncture, (well we had to do something to slow down Dermot Reynolds!) We made our way to Daingean, and turned towards Edenderry. The group worked really well, and it was great to have the lads from the A group to keep up the pace, though to be fair the faster B group were well up to the task, averaging over 40km/h on this stretch of road. It was not long before we stopped for the tea stop, indeed it wasn’t long before Bob’s group landed, which just shows how the B group are going over all.
After being fueled up we headed for Kinnegad, and as anybody who has cycled this stretch of road, it’s far from flat. The pace was high but everyone again worked well with no one missing a turn up front. Before long we passed the Village of Killucan, heading for the Down’s interchange, onto the N4 and were back to the O.R.S. in good time.
My poor little legs were screaming at me to stop, but it was a great workout, thanks chaps.
(By Eamon Hogan)
Contrary to popular belief, I generally like to organise myself for the Sunday morning spin the night before. When my better half reads that statement I guess she might have a different view, as I am still under the illusion that the fairy godmother washes all the cycling gear, folds it and puts it away into a drawer. Ok I don’t believe in the fairy bit, but I’m damned if I know how they get into the drawer.
So this morning I was far from organised, the kitchen resembling a scene out of the mad hatter’s tea party. By the time I got onto the bike I had to then construct some form of a route as I made my way to the O.R.S. So, to hell with the wind direction, and when in doubt, head for the hills. We had two good groups of about fourteen in each. The first part of the spin would take us out to Multyfarnham, Coole, Abbeylara, Granard and onto Edgeworthstown where we stopped for tea.
The next part of this hill route would see us head for Carrickboy, Ballynacargy up through Sonna and home. We had the luxury of the sun and very little wind. What a great way to start any day. Oh I do like this cycling craic.
(By Eamon Hogan)
My word there was a lot going on for the members of the LSW this week. There was a group headed north to Co. Monaghan and the Emyvale GP. Then there was a group of ten wheelers taking part in a little 200 km jaunt that would take in four counties, oh yes, and about 2000m of climbing. They call it an Audax event, personally I think it’s a cry for help, but you’ve got to take your hat off to these guys, as it would test both your mental and physical strength. I planned a fairly pan flat route today as I was anxious to get back in time to travel up to Oldcastle, to catch the first leg of the An Post Ràs. Also the fact that I haven’t been on the rothar in two weeks was a factor that had to be taken into account. Well there has to be some perks to being a group leader.
So there was to be as usual a fast B group with some of the A group joining us, and a steadier second group (how pc was that). The forecast was for little or no wind or rain, and it turned out to be perfect weather for a Sunday morning spin. We set a good pace from the off, heading out for Dysart, Streamstown, Rosemount and onto Moate. At the tea stop the second group rolled in, telling me that Martin O’Donnell had a tyre blow-out and had to cut his spin short.
We had another really steady spin today, and it was one of those days where the road just seemed to roll along, and before long we were flying passed Belvedere Gardens. I was back home by 12.20 with 90km done and a healthy average speed of 32km/h.