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

Saturday Morning Cycling

posted 9 Apr 2019, 13:28 by Site Admin

(By Shay O'Toole)
Most cycling clubs treat the Sunday spin as the big spin of the week but Lakeside Wheelers now has a very dedicated and determined group of cyclists who leave the clubhouse every Saturday morning. Regardless of weather, these hardy lads and lassies head off at 9am for the “Saturday” spin and since this group got up and running a few years ago, it has gone from strength to strength. The Saturday crew emerged from a beginners course similar to the one referred to in the previous paragraphs and now there are several different abilities enjoying group cycling over various distances. The main focus of the Saturday crew is social cycling and friendship so, the coffee stop and having banter are vital. Another very positive feature of the Saturday crew is the fact that the members are always up for a good sportive which they showed last weekend by travelling to Kerry for the SRAC Atlantic Challenge. This event is a 135km sportive which runs from Tralee to the Dingle Peninsula via the famous and very steep, Conor Pass. It was also a great opportunity to cycle with some famous Irish sporting personalities such as Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and Sonia O’Sullivan as well as members of the Team Novo Nordisk professional cycling team who amazingly, are all diabetics.

Joe Duncan

Tough 100km Longford Outing

posted 15 Nov 2018, 04:23 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun 11th November 2018)   
Last Sunday was another beautiful sunny morning which resulted in a great turnout for the weekly spin. The route for the day was certainly a testing one with the hilly north Longford village of Ballinalee selected for the coffee stop. 

The groups departed the clubhouse via the N4 turning for the hills at Rathowen and then took what could definitely be described as roads less traveled. Thankfully the Garmin was fully charged because most lads hadn’t a clue where we were for most of the spin as we traversed laneways and narrow roads around Edgeworthstown, Granard, Ballinalee and Aughnacliffe. 

The aim of this trek into the wilds of Longford was to climb Corn Hill which is a nice 7km drag well  known to most Wheelers. After the effort on the hill everybody was glad to return to Ballinalee for coffee and a snack before hitting the road again for the homeward journey via Edgeworthstown, Legan and Ballinacarrigy. 

Back at base just before the heavy rain with a tough 100km in the legs is not bad going for November. Well done to all who completed this hilly circuit.

Corn Hil - aka Cairn Hill in Co. Longford

Sunday Spins

posted 6 Nov 2018, 15:04 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sunday 4th November 2018)   
With the exception of one Sunday, the weather has been practically perfect for Sunday morning cycling in recent weeks. Last weekend there were five groups out including one which contained several of the youths who are enjoying their spins with the “elder” lemons of the club. 

The winter training plan is now well underway and proving to be very popular with all groups. Last Sunday the route and plan was for a rolling circuit totalling 95kms. The riders left the clubhouse and headed north to Castlepollard where they did a loop of Lough Lene via Collinstown and Fore before heading to Coole, Lismacaffery and Lisryan en route to Edgeworthstown for refreshments. Once refueled, all groups traveled back to base via the N4. 

As is usual when the younger members join the Sunday morning cycle there was vehicle support and spare wheels on hand to ensure the group is kept rolling. Thanks to John Farrell and Eamon Hogan for helping out in this regard.

Sunday's Route Map
Sunday's Route Map - Click image for details.

Sunday Spin for the Ducks

posted 22 Oct 2018, 13:19 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sunday 21st October 2018)   
For the first time in several weeks, last Sunday morning’s ride felt the full force of Mother Nature as the rain and wind battered those who turned up for the spin.

Group leaders had planned a rolling route via Crookedwood , Collinstown, Castlepollard, Coole, Edgeworthstown and returning via Carrickboy and Ballynacarrigy. In total a good 90kms with lots of hills to keep everybody honest. On arriving to the clubhouse it seemed that the worst of the overnight rain had passed and the promised clearance from the west had begun. However, the three groups had hardly reached the Gartlandstown turn for Collinstown when the rain started again and the wind lifted.

Driving on through the thick mist, dodging the falling leaves and trying to stay warm the group arrived in Castlepollard where it was decided for “health and safety” reasons to cut the spin short. Nobody put up too much resistance as the diversion to Multyfarnham after Coole was agreed upon. Riding acros the bog road towards Multy the skies began to clear and the rain eased so the diversion was reviewed with Ballinea via Slanemore and “Col de Coolnahay” being the latest destination.

In the heel of the hunt the group completed a mostly wet and cold 80kms which wasn’t too bad for a Sunday in late October considering the conditions.

If Carlsberg did scenic puncture sites! Group leader Mark Horohoe in the pits overlooking Lough Owel near Bunbrosna.
If Carlsberg did scenic puncture sites! Group leader Mark Horohoe in the pits overlooking Lough Owel near Bunbrosna.

Large Turnout for Week Two of Winter Training Programme

posted 15 Oct 2018, 05:26 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 15 Oct 2018, 05:27 ]

(By Mark Monaghan - Sun. 14th October 2018)   
With the rain from yesterday clearing over night we were greeted by clear skies and cool conditions for our weekly spin. A large number of Wheelers gathered at the clubhouse for week two of the club winter training plan.
After a quick discussion of the plan and the route we had 5 groups on the road, three A group's, one B and one C group respectively.

As per "The Plan" the route was to be relatively flat and not longer than 90km. Off we set to Moate via Ballymore and Mount Temple for one group ;-)! From there we took the scenic route to Kilbeggan through Clara where we had our tax and insurance check by the local Gardaí.

Hitting Kilbeggan sustenance was required and was aplenty in the M6 service station on the Tullamore road in glorious Autumnal sunshine. Before long we were back on the road for home via Tyrellspass and Rochfortbridge covering just under 90km.

With the winter plan now in place it is the ideal time for any of the members that have taken a break off the bike to get back out on the club Sunday spins. All spins are controlled and nobody will be left behind and you are more than welcome to join us.

Sunday's route can be viewed on the link below.

A Group Coffe Break Sun 14 October 2018
Lakeside Wheelers A group pictured during a break from the road in Kilbeggan.

D Group Beginner Turbo Sessions Launched

posted 8 Oct 2018, 13:06 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 8 Oct 2018, 13:07 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 7th October 2018)   
Last Thursday the D group and beginners commenced a series of turbo sessions in the clubhouse under the guidance of Mossy Keane and Gerry Wallace. 

Hopefully some of these novice Wheelers will progress to the Sunday morning spins but for now, enjoy the turbo training. For more information regarding these sessions contact Gerry Wallace.

Winter Training Programme Gets Under Way

posted 8 Oct 2018, 12:43 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 8 Oct 2018, 12:56 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 7th October 2018)   
Last Sunday saw the start of the winter training plan for the A and B groups. This plan will be in place throughout the off-season and is aimed at all riders who wish to improve their fitness and endurance for racing and sportive riding next year.

The plan has been prepared by Mark Horohoe with input from fellow group leaders Mark Monaghan, Bob O’Ceallaigh, Eugene Duffy and David Lally. From now until next April the group spins will be structured and focus on long slow rides, hilly terrain and after Christmas the intensity will increase and rides will include harder efforts.
With a cool but dry morning there were several members in attendance last Sunday for the 85km spin to Edenderry via Kinnegad and home vie Rhode and Tyrrellspass. 

It was great to see a few of the club’s Youths and Junior riders out on the spin and if the truth be known, they were putting it up to the “elder lemons”! Thanks to Damien O’Brien for providing back-up to the younger brigade. 

AB Group Cycle Sun 8 Oct 2018
Route Map of SUnday's A/B Group Cycle.

Great Weather & Great Leaders Contribute to Great Club Spins

posted 7 Aug 2018, 14:29 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 7 Aug 2018, 14:31 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 5th August 2018)   
The Wednesday evening spins have been a great success so far this summer with the lovely warm weather adding a continental feel to this mid-week session. On occasion it was too warm to complete the spin without an extra “hydration” stop which brought a great social aspect to the ride and resulted in many new members getting to know the more established crew. These spins will continue for as long as daylight hours permit safe cycling so keep an eye on notes and emails for notification of changes in the coming weeks.

The Sunday morning spins continue to be very well attended as always and as with the midweek sessions, the great weather has made them so much more enjoyable. Last weekend the route took the majority of riders westwards to Athlone via Ballymore and home via Moate, Kilbeggan and Tyrellspass. 

Thanks to all group leaders who are doing an excellent job marshalling the troops all summer. Best wishes to David Lally who was unlucky recently and came out the wrong end of a bad fall so hopefully it won’t be too long before he is back on his bike.

The SatThe Saturday Morning crew enjoying a coffee break in Kinnegad last weekendThe Saturday Morning crew enjoying a coffee break in Kinnegad last weekend

Sunday and Wednesday Spins

posted 10 Jul 2018, 01:35 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 10 Jul 2018, 01:35 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun 8th July 2018)   
The weekly spins continue to be blessed with this amazing weather which is just perfect for cycling. Who needs Mallorca?!

Among the many groups to take to the roads on Sunday were two A groups, one led led by Mark Monaghan. It was a really good spin  on a lovely route incorporating Horseleap, Moate, Clara Tullamore and home via Daingean, Croghan Hill and Tyrrellspass. 

Group Leaders have asked that members turn up on time for these spins with Sunday’s departure time scheduled for 9am and Wednesday’s for 6.30pm. Please continue to assist Group Leaders on the road and obey all requests regarding routes, riding positions and “coffee-stop” locations. Most of all, enjoy the sunshine while it lasts and get plenty of miles in.

A Group Coffee Stop in Tullamore on Sunday's Spin
A Group Coffee Stop in Tullamore on Sunday's Spin.

A Club For All Ages

posted 25 Jun 2018, 08:01 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 28 Jun 2018, 04:22 ]

"By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 24th June 2018)   
Over the last few years the weekly notes section has reported on a variety of activities and events promoted by Lakeside Wheelers. Examples of this include racing, leisure cycling, mountain biking, cyclocross, youths, juniors and the Sprocket Rocket initiative which was a very popular beginners programme organised by club members for several years.

Whilst all of these are vital aspects of the club and are a significant part of what makes Lakeside Wheelers one of the best cycling clubs in Ireland, there is another very unique side to the club. This involves about 15 members who meet at least three times a week for what is mostly a very leisurely cycle.
What makes this group of very experienced cyclists unique is the fact that they are all either retired or semi-retired and range in age from mid 60’s to early 80’s, yes, you read it correctly, early 80’s!!! However, do not underestimate these guys who would probably put most of the younger Wheelers to shame when it comes to kilometres cycled annually.

Last weekend the PRO joined this select group of riders for the Sunday spin, a chat and of course, the obligatory coffee stop. So, on a beautiful sunny morning the lads gathered with all of the other Wheelers and departed the clubhouse for their normal 80km spin. Within the club these lads are affectionately known as the “older guys” or in some cases the “Jimmy” group which is a reference to the man who is synonymous with the annual Mallorca trip which will be discussed later.  However, the lads in question have their own pet name and refer to themselves as the “Mobile Men’s Shed”.

Thankfully Lakeside Wheelers is not ageist and this is reflected in the fact that this very senior cohort of members are often the first to respond when the club calls out for volunteers for any of the events which it organises. This was the case only last week when the lads turned out in force to help marshal the National Criterium race staged in Mullingar town centre and their assistance is always much appreciated by the event organisers.

Now, back to the Mallorca connection! About 15 years ago one of the pivotal members of the group, Jimmy Marshall, organised a trip to Porto Pollenca in the northern part of this cycling paradise and to this day he has returned each year with a group for a week’s cycling in May. Not only do the lads return to Mallorca, but they return to the same hotel and bike rental shop where they started off all those years ago. As a result of this connection many other members of Lakeside Wheelers have benefited from reduced rates in both of these places thanks to the network established by the original “Jimmy” group.

John and Ollie enjoying a relaxed coffee stop in Santa Margalida, Mallorca recently.
John and Ollie enjoying a relaxed coffee stop in Santa Margalida, Mallorca recently.

However, not all of their cycling is in the Med as this energetic gang can be found attending many of the sportives around Ireland during the summer. They are due to head south in the coming weeks to participate in the 180km Ring of Kerry cycle for which they will be more than ready. This is due to their regular weekly spins up and down the Old Rail Trail and along the roads of Westmeath no matter what the weather conditions. Last Sunday’s spin took the group to Tullamore via Tyrellspass and Rahugh then back home via Kilbeggan, Rahinmore and Dalystown. It was an extremely enjoyable cycle at a pace that was in no way slow as they kept a very respectable average speed of 24KpH. Thanks to you all for the company and here’s wishing the Mullingar Mobile Men’s Shed many more years of safe and happy cycling.

PS: It was fantastic to see every one of the lads kitted out in their Lakeside Wheelers club gear on the day as it looks great in a group and is also very visible for motorists to see them on the road. 

Well done to you all.

Liam Kenny, Frank Darcy, Ollie Gallagher, Mick Donoghue, Jimmy Marshall, John Culligan, Joe Brady and Sean Magee. The Lakeside Wheelers Seniors group.
Liam Kenny, Frank Darcy, Ollie Gallagher, Mick Donoghue, Jimmy Marshall, John Culligan, Joe Brady and Sean Magee. The Lakeside Wheelers Seniors group.

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