Group Cycles

Below you'll find reports and updates from the various organised group cycles that take place weekly.  Thanks to all group leaders and other contributors for your ongoing input and commitment.

Follow the links below to older group cycle reports...

 Group A    Group B    Group C    Group D

Record Numbers for Sunday's Spin

posted 5 Jun 2017, 10:13 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 5 Jun 2017, 10:15 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 4th June 2017)   
Last Sunday saw almost record numbers gathering at the clubhouse in lovely sunshine for the weekly spin. There were at least 5 groups and at a “guesstimate” roughly a hundred riders rolled out just after 9am. 

Practically all groups chose Ballynmahon for the refreshments stop and headed there via Ballynacarrigy, Carrickboy and Ardagh with the ascent of “Ardagh Mountain” the highlight of the spin. 

Once refueled, the gallop for home commenced with the B Group selecting Ballymore, Streamstown and Dysart as the preferred option. Unfortunately the sunshine took a sabbatical as everybody got totally drenched en route to the town which, according to local wit has, two ends and no middle! 

In true Irish summer style the sun did reappear and by the time the group was back at base everybody was dry again with another 100kms clocked up.

One of the routes taken on Sunday's spin.
One of the routes taken on Sunday's spin.

Double As Power into the Morning Breeze

posted 22 May 2017, 16:04 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 22 May 2017, 16:09 ]

(By Mark Monaghan - Sun. 21st May 2017)   
Double A Batteries
According to the weather gurus in Met Eireann, it was looking like the best direction for Sunday’s spin was to head in a southerly direction. With two "A”  groups leaving within a few minutes of each other we set off for Rochfortbridge with a strong headwind for company and on to Tyrellspass via Gneevebawn. 

From there it was over to Croghan Hill and then on to another berg that was unknown to many in the group! From there the group headed for Daingean and with the wind whipping up everybody worked tirelessly to share the workload. The kilometres ticked by and before long we were on the road to Tullamore via the lumpy pave-esque road to Killeigh. Tea, Coffee and all kinds of pastries were consumed in abundance to re-charge the double A batteries in our favourite watering hole in Tullamore! 

With a few substitutes between the group's and the now tailwind for company we made our way home via Kilbeggan and Tyrellspass where we were greeted by the puncture fairy and the rain. All home a little soggy but with 110km in the legs. 

The Perfect Day for Cycling

posted 8 May 2017, 02:48 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 8 May 2017, 02:49 ]

(By Joe Duffy - Sun. 7th May 2017)   
What a wonderful day it was last Sunday to be out on our bikes! Blue skies, warm sunshine and excellent company, what more can you ask for? Approximately sixty members gathered in Columb Barracks at 9am so we decided to break into five groups catering for all standards of rider. With only a gentle breeze to contend with and no fear of wind in our faces on the way home our groups were able to head off in multiple several directions.

The two "C" groups headed out to Killucan via Curraghmore before parting company in Raharney. Our elder statesmen heading for Ballivor while the second group set sail for Drumcree and Collinstown. It was only as we sat outside the filling station in Castlepollard having the obligatory coffee break that we realised just how warm it was. Wow, if only this type of weather could be guaranteed for a couple of months each year then this little island would attract huge numbers on cycling holidays.

On the homeward journey we experienced our second puncture of the day as we passed through the beautiful hamlet of Multyfarnham. Normally on our Sunday spins punctures seem to strike when we are in no man’s land however, today lady luck was kind to us.. While Gerry Wallace and John Farrell attended to the repair job, the remainder of the team deserted ship and decamped for some cool refreshments outside Murtagh's hostelry. We often talk about how important it is to have a social element to our spins and we weren't going to pass up an opportunity like this. What a glorious way to get exercise, enjoy the company of friends and get a tan at the same time!

The C Group resting in the sunshine in Multy last Sunday.
The C Group resting in the sunshine in Multyfarnham last Sunday.

Full Advantage Taken of the Weekend Sunshine

posted 26 Mar 2017, 13:47 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 26 Mar 2017, 13:49 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sat. 25th March 2017)   
The beautiful spring sunshine of last weekend definitely caused several Wheelers to awake from winter hibernation and saw numbers on the Saturday and Sunday morning spins swell considerably.

On Saturday morning there were over 28 in attendance for the D group spin which forced leaders to split the group into two bunches. Regular leaders, Ollie Bright and Gerry Wallace were ably assisted by James and Billy who took the first group as the riders departed for Tyrellspass via Kinnegad and Milltownpass. Whilst most of the group were seasoned D Groupers there were also some novices out and for them, the infamous Gneevebawn Hill was the major challenge before the coffee stop. Once all were safely over the top of this local landmark it was on to the “Castle” for refreshments where the big decision was to sit indoors or, outside in the glorious sunshine.

(L) to (R) PJ Carey, David Lally, Brendan Kiernan, Paul Murtahg and Seamus Killian taking a break on Mother's Day spin.
(L) to (R) PJ Carey, David Lally, Brendan Kiernan, Paul Murtahg and Seamus Killian 
taking a break on Mother's Day spin.

Once the groups were adequately nourished with teas, coffees and scones supplied by the ever efficient staff in Tyrellspass Castle, it was time to return to base via Dalystown and complete a great 70km route. Last November many of these riders would not have contemplated such a distance so well done to all.
 
Next weekend sees the start of the sportive season for the D Group with some heading to a charity cycle in Longford whilst others are participating in the Stephen Roche Atlantic Challenge in Co.Clare. However, fear not, as the ever-Bright Ollie, will be in his usual spot at the Barracks to lead the Saturday spin so wherever you may be, enjoy your cycle.

As with the Saturday session, there were huge numbers out on Sunday morning which led to several groups, of all sizes, heading in all directions. Hopefully the good weather lasts until next weekend when the club will host its annual tribute to the Tour of Flanders Pro race.

Mark Monaghan's  tribute to Mother's Day at the break on last Sunday's spin.
Mark Monaghan's  tribute to Mother's Day at the break on last Sunday's spin.

Tough Outings for Weekend Spins

posted 20 Mar 2017, 03:48 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 20 Mar 2017, 03:54 ]

St. Patrick's weekend proved to be a tough one weather-wise for cycling with strong wind and rain in evidence on all three days of the extended festival weekend.  There were, however, plenty of riders prepared to brave the elements as the reports below show...

Tough Conditions for Saturday Group 
(By Gerry Wallace - Sat. 18th March 2017)   
Early Saturday morning looked ideal for a spin. By 9.00a.m., however, it had turned to rain and a strong wind was blowing. Needless to say nineteen hardy souls still turned up for the regular cycle. The word is spreading - Eddie "the rocket" Tyrrell had decided to join us and Billy was back for more punishment. 

The group headed out of the barracks and before long it was onto the Old Rail Trail. We were making steady progress when the dreaded puncture fairy struck again. This week the unlucky Anto was at the receiving end. After a quick tube change and check over it was back on the road. This week with the strong wind the group worked well on "up and over" and everyone did their bit at the front. Before long we were pulling into the castle at Tyrrellspass for the regular pit stop. We had pre-booked the group in for the break and as usual the service was excellent and fast - just what you need on a cold day. Many thanks to our ever-efficient waitresses at the Castle.

After the break we kept the group together until we reached Belvedere. At this point several the group headed on the main road to home. The remainder headed down the Golf Club road and back to base at the Barracks.

We will be organising a bike maintenance class in the coming weeks so everyone will be able to know how to repair a puncture and do basic maintenance on their bikes. Once a date is finalised we will let all of the D group know.
Once again well done to one and all. I can definitely see vast improvement in everyone and it won't be long before I will need a tow.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next week.

Familiar Route for Sunday Morning Spin
(By Mark Monaghan - Sun. 20th March 2017)   
For the second time in the past number of weeks the wind & the rain affect the attendance of the Sunday club run. With high winds and constant rain only a few brave and dedicated souls braved the elements and hit the roads. With a mixed group in tow the route planned was a route well-travelled of Horesleap, Clara, Tullamore for tea and home via Kilbeggan and Tyrrellspass with over 80km in the legs for this hardy bunch. For those of us less brave souls we stuck to the confines and dryness of the club house and availed of the wattbikes and turbo trainers to get our cycling fix for the weekend. 

Wheelers take a well earned break from the wind and rain
Wheelers take a well earned break from the wind and rain on Sunday morning.

Rolling On a Sunday morning with the B Group

posted 13 Mar 2017, 16:39 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 13 Mar 2017, 16:42 ]

(By Mark Monaghan)   
What better way to spend a sunny spring morning than cruising around the local roads on your bike. Arriving a little late to the clubhouse this morning, I was determined to join the B group for a spin, often I arrive with this plan in my head and end up going out the gate in the A group but not this morning. 

I just managed to catch the first group heading for the off. The plan this morning was for a rolling route and rolling is what we got with plenty of wind too, thrown in for good measure. Heading for Ballymore we quickly set into our rhythm and taking all the hills in our stride and with a killer of a headwind for company we made great progress and before long Ballymore was in our rear-view mirrors and we were on the road to Glasson. 

In Glasson, we turned left to take on another climb and head for Ballymahon for some well-deserved refreshments. Upon arrival, we met up with the various other groups and the petrol station resembled a bike shop more than fueling station.  After some confusion with groups and route planning we were back on the road with one group opting to return for home via Carrickboy and Ballynacaragy and the other via Abbeyshrule and Ballynacaragy. 

Both groups once again merged outside of Ballynacaragy before the dreaded puncture fairy struck and split us again. All home safe and sound and with over 90km in the legs in glorious Spring sunshine.

Lakeside Wheelers members enjoying a well earned break in Ballymahon.
Lakeside Wheelers members enjoying a well earned break in Ballymahon

Good Turnout for Saturday Spin

posted 13 Mar 2017, 16:35 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Gerry Wallace - Sat. 11th March 2017)   
Well, the word is spreading. On arrival at the barracks this morning, it looked like there would only be a small group turning out for the weekly spin. As nine-o-clock approached, however, the group numbers had swelled to 18. 

Pink Buns
The group headed for the Old Rail Trail and before long Castletown station beckoned. At this point, some of the hardy cyclists decided that they needed extra hills and headed direct to Horseleap. The remaining group decided that The Distillery was the location for the tea and scones. As we arrived the splinter group were hot on our heels. With such a large group descending on the distillery there was a shortage of scones. Needless to say, some of the group were very happy with the pink muffins.

The friendly and very helpful staff at the distillery have informed us that a new bicycle rack will be available for all cyclists in the coming weeks. It will be situated in the rear yard and will be protected by CCTV.

After the refreshments, the groups split and James led his group onto Tyrrellspass and home. Our group took the scenic route by Raheenmore and arrived home safe and sound.

There are a couple of local sportives in the coming weeks and some members have expressed an interest in taking part. Details will be discussed at next week’s spin.

D Group end 2016 on a High

posted 2 Jan 2017, 03:13 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 2 Jan 2017, 03:13 ]

(By Gerry Wallace - Mon. 2nd January 2017)   
Well, 2016 finishes on a high note. 18 of the regular Saturday group were anxious to dust off the cobwebs and the excess of Christmas and met up for a leisurely spin on Saturday morning 31st December. At this time of the year the distance is carefully monitored and speed is very manageable. We headed out the Old Rail Trail and on to Castletown from where we progressed on to Tyrrellspass for the customary tea/coffee stop. Over the last few weeks we have called to "Brownes" and everyone would agree the new owner - Pat Browne and his staff have made the club members very welcome. We would recommend any member looking for a friendly cup of coffee to drop into Brownes.  After a well earned break the group headed back to the Barracks. A lovely finish to the 2016 season.

Looking back over the year it was marvelous to see so many of the D group supporting many of the charity cycles the length and breath of Ireland. Many of the D group are already planning for 2017. It was great to see so many of the new members in early January barely able to cycle 25km and towards the end of the year were well capable of doing in excess of 100km spins.

Would you like to join Lakeside Wheelers? Not feeling confident in your ability ?. If you are an adult that wants to get back in the groove why not join us on Saturday mornings - 10 o' clock from the Barracks. We have a group for all categories.

On behalf of Ollie, Maurice and myself we would like to wish Wheelers and in particular the D group a Very Happy New Year. Looking forward to meeting the regular Saturday brigade and of course new faces next Saturday.

D Group Sat 31 December 2016 relaxing in Browns's in Tyrrellspass
D Group Sat 31 December 2016 relaxing in Browne's in Tyrrellspass

Another Sunday Another 90k Added to the Winter Base

posted 28 Nov 2016, 13:14 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 28 Nov 2016, 13:32 ]

(By Mark Monaghan - Sun. 27th November 2016)   
Another Sunday another 90km added to the winter base miles. A large crowd departed the clubhouse in the form of two A Groups and two B groups. With the route pre-planned from Saturday night and tweaked a little prior to leaving, fifty plus Wheelers hit the road heading for Ballinea and on towards Athlone via Horseleap and Moate. The pace was kept sensible as everybody shared the workload. 

Before long the riders were sampling various teas, coffees and other unmentionable goodies in Kilmartin’s Service Station, Athlone. The homeward leg saw the groups take on on tough rolling roads via Drumraney and Ballymore. 

Although this route has many climbs to traverse the Wheelers took them with ease by varying the climbing techniques. Some were tackled staying out of the saddle, others using a big gear low and cadence whilst others were conquered in the saddle and spinning a low gear. Before long, the dreaded Uisneach was in our rear view mirrors and the road home to Mullingar was well shortened. On arrival back to base both man and steed required a hot shower due to the salt gritted roads. 

Thanks to all for another very enjoyable spin with great company. 

A large contingent of Wheelers take a break in Athlone last Sunday
A large contingent of Wheelers take a break in Athlone last Sunday

Winter Training Continues with Combined Hilly Endurance Spin

posted 6 Nov 2016, 13:16 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 6 Nov 2016, 13:17 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 6th November 2016)   
Today was, despite some early morning frost, another gloriously sunny autumn day. As the numbers swelled at the clubhouse for the weekly 9am spin it was great to see so many members fit and ready to continue the winter activity programme.

This new approach open to all members got underway last Wednesday evening with almost 20 riders turning up for the 6.30pm return spin to Moate. The enthusiasm was showing no signs of waning on Sunday with the announcement of a hilly 80km spin at a steady pace. The A and B groups combined and then divided into four different sections before rolling out of Columb Barracks for some endurance training.

The route chosen for this week’s spin focused mostly on the narrow, hilly roads around Multy, Crookedwood and Castlepollard. The reason behind this decision is because it is hoped that these roads will form the back-end of the club sportive planned for April 2nd 2017 to coincide with the Tour of Flanders. On leaving the clubhouse the groups headed towards Ballynacarrigy before turning right for Bunbrosna. Crossing the road at Tormey’s pub the groups cycled to Crookedwood via Mornington. The next series of hills came as the riders headed for Castlepollard via Gartlandstown where they turned right and rode along a nice back-road just north of Whitehall. The well deserved coffee and bars were had in ‘Pollard before departing for base retracing the route before going over Whitehall Hill and on to Crookedwood, Turin and home along the N52.

All said and done this was an extremely testing route and great credit is due to everyone for taking part in this early season training run. The feedback from the B Group riders was that they are delighted to be part of the structure which the activity programme is providing so hopefully the numbers willing to participate will even increase as the Christmas period draws nearer. 

Well done to all leaders who managed to keep their groups together across 900m of climbing. It is hoped that the leader role will be shared out over the coming weeks with the A Group lads taking it in turns to escort the B Group riders.

Lakeside Wheelers members enjoying a mid-spin break today.
Lakeside Wheelers members enjoying a mid-spin break during today's hilly North-Westmeath cycle.

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