(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.
(By Shane Corcoran)
It's that time of year again, when the number of spins get less and less due to things like weather, Christmas, and visiting relatives. Some people turn to the garage, a turbo class, a spin class, or just a simple walk or run. All the time, we like to over indulge in food and drink with the promise that come Jan 1st, we change into these incredible focused athletes.
We start planning what events we hope to do, what training do I need to do for it, how can we improve from where we were last year. If you look at the calender of events for next year, sure you could be going some where different every week. What a fabulous way to see this amazing country, on two wheels, in the company of people that you come to depend on. Depend on to keep the two wheels going in the right direction, not to do anything stupid that will cause time in the back of a speeding ambulance. People that will build character with you on the tough days, the strong wind days, the fun in the sun days.
So, as you sit down to that big Christmas dinner, or the one last pint at the Christmas party, remember, 1st of Jan, focused, complete athlete, in the best way possible. On your bike of course.
(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.