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A Word with Billy Cunnane

posted 8 Jul 2020, 06:49 by Site Admin   [ updated 8 Jul 2020, 09:25 ]


When did you first get into Cycling?

Like most people I was on a bike at an early age. I started cycling competitively as a schoolboy in the Inter Firms TT in 1987. I was joined that day by Moss Keane and we bagged a prize for best newcomers. I then decided to join the Mullingar Cook Electric Cycling Club and raced under 16 and junior. I have fond memories of these times. The numbers in the 90's had dwindled off so I decided to take a well-deserved Career break. I decided to get back again and joined Lakeside wheelers in 2011 after a 21 year absence. It was an easy decision for me as I knew a lot of members of the club.


What is the best thing about being out on your bike?

Apart from keeping fit it’s a great social outlet. It’s a non-contact sport so its easy on the body. I’ve tried running over the years but I have to say I enjoy  the bike better.


What is your training plan like at the moment?

My training plan like everyone is up in the air at the moment. I am getting out a bit on the bike within the 2km radius of my home. I am using the turbo trainer now and again to keep up the fitness levels. No plans for any event at the moment. Will have to wait and see what happens in the present climate.


What has been your best and worst moments on the bike?


Best:Winning my first open Race in 2012 as an A4 rider in the Traders Cup in Dundalk.

Worst: In 2013 I crashed out of the Emyvale GP and was gutted that my bike was more damaged than I was.


What is your advice to someone just starting out in cycling?

Get out on your bike as much as you can on your own at the start. Build up your mileage and this will help your bike handling skills. When you feel confident and stronger you should contact the club as there is a great beginners group which is leader led and is great craic.

When did you know you were a cyclist?

When I took part in 2011 in the spring spin. It was in aid of the North Westmeath Hospice. It consisted of a cycle to Sligo and back and a total round trip of 240kms. I was chuffed with my achievement.


If you were famous who would you be and why?

I would like to be Aerton Senna. I followed him in my youth. He is regarded as one of the greatest Formula drivers of all time.


A Word With Brendan 'Tosh" Kiernan

posted 26 Jun 2020, 11:12 by Site Admin   [ updated 8 Jul 2020, 09:34 ]

When did you first get into cycling?

I cycled a little Raleigh Chopper to primary school everyday and when that got too small I got a Raleigh Boxer. I was always on my bike when I was a kid. Then as I got older my life consisted of playing football for Milltown, working abroad for a while, pubbing and clubbing, getting married and having two kids.

At the age of 42 a mate at work suggested we buy a couple of bikes on the Bike to Work scheme and do the Sligo Spin to raise money for the Westmeath Hospice. We trained like devils and completed the spin to Sligo and back. I absolutely loved it and loved being back on the bike again. From then I was hooked and joined the Lakeside Wheelers.

What’s the best thing about being out on your bike?

Well it certainly beats cutting the grass and painting, my wife can vouch for that. It’s great for fitness and burning calories. I’ve made a lot of great friends on the group spins and enjoy the slagging and banter with everyone and it is also great for your mental health.

What is your training plan like, are you training for an event at the moment?

I never really work to a plan. I just get out and cycle my bike whenever I can. You can’t beat the Wheelers spin on a Sunday morning for bike fitness. It doesn’t matter how successful you are as a racer, you will always be judged on what you can bring to the table on a Sunday morning with the boys.

The goal for this year is the All Ireland Veterans Championships in September. A race I managed to finish 5th in last year. It would be fantastic to finish on the podium this year. I am also hoping we can put a strong team together and enter the team event too.

What has been you best and worst experience on the bike?

My best experience was winning the Mullingar G.P. in 2013 and to be the first Lakeside Wheeler to do so.
My worst experience was at the All Ireland Veterans Championship which we hosted in Multyfarnham in 2014. A 120 km race on a very hilly course. I was just 2km into the race when someone’s wheel touched mine from behind and broke a few spokes in my back wheel. I couldn’t believe it because I was after training so hard all year for this. But I didn’t give up I basically rode the bike with a buckled wheel out of pure thickness until I ran out of fuel. I was absolutely shattered. But that is bike racing you have good days and bad days and there is plenty of both.

What is your advice to someone just starting out in cycling?

Get properly fitted for your bike. Make sure you have a comfortable saddle and it is also important to learn how to fix a puncture. When you go out for a spin there are four things you should always bring, a drink, a snack, your phone and a rain mac as our weather is so unpredictable.

What’s your favourite food to bring out on the bike?

I’m very easy on diesel when on the bike! I been known to enjoy the odd Turkish Delight and slice of whiskey cake and you can’t beat the banana for instant energy.

What are your top tips for bike maintenance?

I absolutely know nothing about bike maintenance I just ride her until she falls asunder! Baby wipes are handy for wiping your hands when she breaks down and always use a bike rack on the car because sometimes when you put it in the boot it’s not always there when you arrive, speaking from experience.

When did you know you were a cyclist?

When I eventually make it home in front of Mick Reynolds on the Sunday morning spin!

And also when I won the Mullingar Criterium Race in 2012. Two monumental tasks in cycling.

If you were famous who would you be? Why?

I would be Lars Ulrich, drummer in Metallica or Robin Williams the actor.

Apart from cycling, drumming and acting are the other past-times that I love. I’ve been involved in a few plays and Oscar Nights over the last few years during the winter months when the cycling season is quieter.

Thank you for reading, stay safe, be kind to each other and don’t worry too much.

And as my late father would say “ If you don’t have something nice to say you’re better off say nothing at all”

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