(By Kevin Marshall)
With the B group split into its various pelotons we were off. Having arrived late and missing the pre-spin meeting I hadn’t a clue where we were heading. Those at the back of the group were none the wiser. It was a case of follow the leader. All was put to ease after we turned left at Flynn’s of the Downs. With a sharp headwind the peloton battled its way through Killucan, Raharney and Ballivor before swinging a sharp right and belting it for Longwood.
With copious amounts of tea, coffee and treats in the bellies it was hats on heads and bums on bikes for the dash home. Everything was pretty civilised for the first few miles until we hit the N4. I can’t seem to put my finger on it. Maybe it was the prospect of devouring large quantities of chocolate that a certain Mr. Bunny Rabbit had magically delivered on returning home. All I know for a fact is that a certain individual was in a hurry to get home. With the group now split in two it was hell for leather.
Little Miss Puncture Fairy was not shy on making her presence felt. Not wanting to be outdone by the Easter bunny, with about 5K to go she pounced. With home in sight it was decided to abandon group protocol and leave the stricken rider to his own devices. We needn’t have worried for this same cyclist had seemingly some kind of roadside assist
cover. I wouldn’t like to mention any names “Eric” but it wasn’t long before assistance arrived in the form of a large white paneled van. Glad to see you made it home before most of the group.
All in all we had about 80K in the legs on what I can safely say was a most enjoyable spin. Sure what else would you be doing on a Sunday morning.
The B Group in Longwood on Easter Sunday morning
(By Shane Corcoran Sun. 6th April)
Flanders comes to Mullingar. And no its not Ned Flanders, its the lakeside wheelers annual novena to the real thing Irish style. Yes there are no cobbles, but there is lots of pain.
With the weather horrific, wind and rain torrential at times, a brave group of riders headed out. The route was posted, so all knew what lay ahead. At the decent at Whitehall, it became nervy with a strong crosswind, which resulted in an incident at the bottom of the hill. There were a couple of punctures to deal with, and when group got to Multyfarnham, they were delighted to accept the kind hospitality of Pat Weir, who kindly provided warm coffee and delicious snack bars. Once the group got to Walshestown, a vote was taken to end the spin and head home. A creditable 76 k completed.
(By Jerry Waugh)
Despite the clocks moving forward a size-able B Group had assembled at ORS. In line with club protocol two groups were formed and set out on lap one of a 50km circuit. The route took us out the Ballymahon Road turning towards Castletown-Geoghegan (brief pause for a mechanical repair) and then back along the N52 with a scheduled coffee stop at O'Brien's Garage on the Lynn Road.
Over croissants and coffee it was decided to vary the route. The consensus was to abandon lap 2 and direct the peleton to Tyrellspass then over the Col du Gneevebawn (led by a new Parlee!) and finally home to Mullingar. The group maintained a steady pace throughout, stayed together and clocked up 89km with a very respectable 29kph average for the spin.
B Group enjoys a well earned tea break during yesterday's spin
(By Shane Corcoran)
I like the way Eamonn selected a pain-filled spin, then did not join us himself. Any way, whine over let's get back to the pain, I mean spin.
A large group of B riders assembled in ORS. Don't know if it was the little bit of sun or the love of pain. A man with a van called the route. And then he left, in his van, with his sunglasses on. We left on our bikes, towards Lough Crew, via Multyfarnham, Coole, and Castlepollard. There was any early punctures and a photo shoot, but we all reached our destination in one piece. In the words of a fellow wheeler "Anyone who tells you they did not feel that spin is liar". Unless you had a big van of course.
There was rumours of foul play, with some claiming that they climbed Lough Crew, and others not believing. I have seen the evidence, and I can confirm that said group did climb Lough Crew, saw it on Facebook.
Well done all, great spin, and the miles are being built. Here is to next week, and let's hope Eamonn brings his bike next time.
"B" Group report
A very large attendance at ORS this Sunday resulted in the "B's" being divided into three groups. Eamon Hogan set us off on our journey into a strong headwind on to Moate via Ballymore with some hills along the way. The wind made the going tough and thus the coffee break at Moate was a most welcome respite.
All 3 groups arrived within a few minutes of each other in Moate with a lot of pressure coming on that coffee machine. I could mention those who skipped the queue at said coffee machine but you know who you are ! Often you hear cyclists talk about a headwind on the way out and not a breeze on the way home but today that strong wind was on our tails from Moate which led to a very pleasant journey home. This weeks spin was about 90K and Eamonn told us that from next week, the distances will be ramped up and thus he wants us to arrive early and leave by 9am to ensure a reasonable finish time.
James Ledwith, Suzanne Waldron and Kevin Staunton enjoy a coffee in Moate
(By Pearse Murphy Sun 9th March)
The B Group gathered at ORS at 9:00 am and the divide was made between fast about 15 riders and the rest about 16. We headed out the N4 where we soon picked up a couple of more B's. Soon after it was decided to split the second group in 2 for health and safety reasons.
Onwards towards Rathowen were we left the N4 for Streete and Lismacaffrey before the short climb to Granard. Thereafter we took the undulating main road (better than any turbo training) to Edgeworthstown for the customary tea stop.
After a train-the-trainers course in how to use the coffee machine where much pedagogic discourse ensued we mounted up for home reunited as one big happy family. The traverse of the Bunbrosa bump was very orderly and we soon arrived back safe and sound at ORS.
The Birthday Bike - Guess Who's
(Sunday 2nd March)
There was a particularly large crowd of cyclists at ORS this Sunday and thus the B's were divided into three groups. Eamonn Hogan had a route chosen and had emailed it to leaders on Saturday night.
Nobody argues with Eamonn so off we set for Edenderry via the "lovely" Croghan hill. There was a very strong headwind for most of the journey to Edenderry but this ensured that the group worked to best effect with regular change-overs at the front.
The rain descended upon us somewhere around Daingean and didn't let up until we were nearly home. Such was our "wetness" that the lady in the shop at the tea stop had to get out a machine to dry the floor after our appearance. We met another large group from Maynooth in Kinnegad who were out on a training spin and so we decided to give them some space on the road and opted for the road to Killucan. We all arrived back safely with 90 kilometers on the clock.
(By James Ledwith)
After what was a very cold night it was decided to put forward the start to 10am, which turned out to be great judging by the turn out. We decided to stay on the main roads for safety and the "Route Master ", Seamie Clarke, decided on going to Tullamore via Tyrellspass and Kilbeggan. We had a great group assembled and it was great to see so many people back on the bikes after the winter breaks, yours truly included. It was also great to see so many women out and all were flying along. The banter was great as usual and sorely missed , thanks Padraig M.
After our stop in Tullamore we came home via Tyrellspass and Kilbeggan respectively, with a total of 77km on the clock and a good wind in our faces en-route. Shane get well soon. Thanks guys for a great spin and its great to be back out again.
(By Suzanne Waldron)
The rain Gods gave up after a torrential night and so at 09.00hrs there was none left to pour down. A mixed group of 15 were gathered and after a discussion of routes, weather and AA road watch the route was decided on. Moate via Ballymore and back sticking to the main roads due to debris and possible flooding !
So with the addition of wind resistance training the whole way to Moate the group worked well. On arrival at the designated stop there was the usual tea/coffee with croissant/bagel/chocolate for the mere mortals. A training food of an Audax athlete was exposed by Mr 'Tin of Peaches' himself ...so that's what keeps them going on and on and on....He was on a taper spin before next Saturday!!
With that Sunday morning info on board it was time to head back . Homeward bound via Tyrellspass with the wind now thankfully on our backs the dreaded puncture fairy hit 3 times to disrupt the group. However all got back safely with for me 93kms on the clock. So until next week...
Some of the B Group enjoying a break in Motae on Sunday 9th Feb.
(By Shane Corcoran)
Not Everyman can say that they cycled with all three groups in one morning, but due to reasons for which I am still trying to understand, that is what I done today.
It was a good day for a challenging cycle. It will prepare you for the hard days during the next couple of months. If you lay on in bed this morning listening to the wind outside, you missed a real character building morning.
With a strong gale blowing from the south, it was decided to head south into the wind. The group worked well until Tyrellspass were at that point I waved farewell. I worked well solo, heading towards Killbeggan doing my up and overs and efforts, singing the Eric Carmen Classic "all by my self" until I reached Killbeggan were I met up with a mix of B/ and c group members enjoying a nice coffee and scone.
I joined in of course and after a nice break, headed for Mullingar direct. With the gale on our tails we were home in no time, character built, and spirits high. Great spin had by all.