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

Beginners Take to The Open Roads on a Sunny Saturday

posted by Kevin Monaghan

(By Bob O'Ceallaigh - Sunday 18th February 2018)   
Last Saturday the Beginners group was greeted with sunshine and mild weather, just rewards for all the hard work over the previous four weeks. 

The progress achieved during the last few weeks encouraged all concerned to attempt Tyrrellspass and back and aim for an increase in both speed and distance. Some of the club’s D Group turned up to lend an encouraging ear and to partake in the tea and scone later.

All the beginners accompanied by the D Group soon felt a little pain as we climbed up the first drag on the old Tullamore Road to Belvedere. With all novices safely over this “climb” it wasn’t long before the brave band of beginners was sitting down enjoying the tea, coffee and scones in Tyrrellspass Castle. The coffee-break chat focused on how to cope with traffic on the road when starting out in cycling and valuable lessons were learned. The value of such briefings along with the demonstration of cycling skills since the Beginners programme commenced has allowed this group to improve whilst learning the key skills associated with safe cycling on Irish roads. 

A leisurely pace on the way home via the Old Rail Trail was enjoyed by everybody under the bright spring sunshine and before lunchtime the group completed the day with a total of 34 kms clocked up.  Saturday next, the 24th of February is the last day of the Beginners Programme. It is planned to cycle 40 - 45kms on this occasion. The progress of the participants has been remarkable upping the distances cycled from 15kms up to 34km last Saturday with more to follow. Hopefully all will move on to the D Group which starts its spins form the clubhouse at Columb Barracke every Saturday morning at 9 am.

Thanks again to Steve, Gerry, Paul and Tom for their help so far and also to the D Group members who gave great encouragement to the new cyclists.

B Group Out in Force Despite Damp Conditions

posted by Kevin Monaghan

(By Bob O'Ceallaigh - Sunday 18th February 2018)
A wet and drizzly morning greeted the thirty or so Wheelers who braved the elements for the Sunday spin last weekend. Two groups of A’s departed before the thirteen B’s who, despite the falling mist left the clubhouse in good spirits. The large turnout on such a miserable morning was, according to the club experts in this field, down to the determination, or desperation, of some to get out after a long period of inclement weather. 

A reasonably short route promised a quick pace and a chance to get warm. The pace increased even more as the drizzle turned into rain. Thankfully, no incidents marred our speedy passage to Horseleap where the group took a brief but welcome pause to clean glasses before setting off to Clara and Tullamore with the promise of hot tea or coffee.

The coffee stop in Tulllamore was all that it promised; hot tea and coffee and a healthy snack! A group decision quickly determined that the shortest and quickest way home was the most appropriate given the rain outside. A profound discussion on the effectiveness of mudguards helped ease the uncomfortable conditions on the way home. This scribe was embarrassed to be informed that he was the only member of the group without one of these essential tools of the trade. Mea Culpa colleagues!

Anyway, to make a long story a little shorter we flew home, motivated by the welcoming thought of a hot shower.  And, on completion of this very wet 75km we all fully understood the importance of mudguards, some more than others!

Mark Horohoe, Cristoir Sleator and Claire Malone in good spirits despite the rain last Sunday.
Mark Horohoe, Cristoir Sleator and Claire Malone in good spirits despite the rain last Sunday.

Beginners Sessions Proving to be Very Popular

posted 12 Feb 2018, 02:15 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 13 Feb 2018, 04:37 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - 11th February 2018)
In just a few short weeks the new beginners cycling sessions have proven to be very popular among the novice riders who have braved the elements in recent weeks.

The induction training is a new initiative driven by regular members Bob O’Ceallaigh, Gerry Wallace, Tom Carolan and Steve Franzoni. The following is a report which details some of the work undertaken by this new group.
Lakeside Wheelers cycling club Beginner’s Course has reached its fourth week. Around 12 beginners have attended each of the weekly sessions to date. The weather has not been totally kind with the first and third Saturday’s being particularly cold. However, we were rewarded with a beautiful mild and sunny Saturday on February 10th.

Each session begins with a briefing and a practical demonstration of various cycling skills after which, the participants are given the opportunity to perfect these skills. Following this demo the cyclists are taken out on the Old Rail Trail for a spin. Over the last month the distance has been gradually extended to about 35km with all participants coming through with flying colours. Of course, there is always a coffee stop along the way to give any aching legs a welcome break.
 
To date, the course participants have learned about road safety, cycling etiquette, bike maintenance, clothing, safety equipment and fitness.

Next week the group leaders hope to extend the distance even further to about 40km which will be a big step up for the newbies. The main aim is for all participants to be able to progress to the D Group which meets at our clubhouse in the Army Barracks at 9.00am on Saturday mornings. 

Any member who thinks they may be able to help out with the beginners training is most welcome and should contact Bob O’Ceallaigh or Gerry Wallace.

Beginner's Group assembled at Outdoor Escape on one of their Saturday spins.
Beginner's Group assembled at Outdoor Escape on one of their Saturday spins.

Group Leaders:

posted 12 Feb 2018, 01:59 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 11th February 2018)   
Over the last few weeks the committee have been busy getting the 2018 group leaders in place. Most of the groups are now restructured thanks to the many volunteers who came forward to assist. 
The new A group leaders are Mark Horohoe, David Lally, Mark Monaghan and Moss Keane. 

The B group will be led by Karl Moran, Bob O’Ceallaigh, Carmel Buckley and Louise McCarra. 

The C group leaders will be announced in the next couple of weeks and as the season gets going all members are asked to work with and assist these new leaders. 

A memo regarding group leaders will be issued to all paid up members by Chairman, Henry Whitson in the coming days.

A small group of Wheelers who braved the snow last Sunday
A small group of Wheelers who braved the snow last Sunday

Puncture Gremlins out in Force

posted 15 Jan 2018, 15:03 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 15 Jan 2018, 15:05 ]

(By Bob O’Ceallaigh - Sun. 14th January 2018)   
Thankfully there was some respite from the very unfavourable weather of recent weeks and as is always the case after a long layoff the clubhouse was a hive of activity on Sunday.

Sixteen brave souls left the clubhouse on Sunday morning to venture out into a cold and foggy morning. Some were on their bikes for their first real spin of the year. The cobwebs were quickly scattered as the group “spinned” down the Greenway to Moate as the fog was brushed aside by some welcome sunshine. 

Cycling Repair KitA tea stop in Tullamore was planned, however the arrival was delayed by the intervention of the puncture gremlins. Just shy of Clara one of our number was stopped, a couple of attempts to rectify the situation later the group was about to recommence on its way towards the welcome coffee fumes when it was delayed by another puncture. Thankfully this was cleared up quickly and the arrival of the last of the group in Tullamore was not delayed further. Hot tea, coffee and buns made up for the cold outside as the chat increased in intensity. 

No sooner that we were comfortable than we were off again towards Tyrrellspass via Rahugh. This time we had the wind on our backs and the speed rose perceptively. Quickly through Tyrrellspass we sped on home. Most got home without any further hitches but once more another cyclist was infected by the stubborn puncture gremlins. 

Thankfully home was nearby and we all got back into the comfort and warmth of home without any more adventures.

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.

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