The Italian Job

posted 4 Jun 2019, 04:46 by Site Admin

( By Shay O'Toole )

The 102nd edition of the Giro d’Italia came to an end last weekend in Verona with an individual Time Trial. The Giro is one of the most famous races in cycling and along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta d’Espana it makes up the trio of Grand Tours in professional World Tour cycling. Having started in Bologna three weeks ago it meandered its way all around Italy through beautiful towns and villages and over some of the toughest mountain passes in Europe before coming to a conclusion last Sunday after 3,550km of racing.

This year four members of Lakeside Wheelers made the trip to the Como region in Lombardy to soak up some of the atmosphere and support the two Irish riders in the race, Conor Dunne and Eddie Dunbar. The Mullingar contingent also used the trip to catch up with some friends from the Velo Club Oggiono with which Lakeside Wheelers has had a very strong bond for many years.

Robbie Kenny, Jack Nugent, Charlie Sheridan and Shay O’Toole were lucky to have been supplied with bikes by their Italian friends and so, enjoyed five great days cycling in the hills around Lake Como. The four lads also rode to watch the Giro on the famous Civiglio climb outside Como city which proved to be a major point of attack on stage 15.

Wheelers go to "Hollywood"

posted 12 Mar 2019, 15:26 by Site Admin   [ updated 12 Mar 2019, 15:35 ]

By Shay O'Toole.
Lakeside Wheelers members were very much front and centre in the recent St. Lomans GAA club fundraiser “A Night at the Oskars”. Dual club member Robbie Kenny once again put the call out for budding actors and this time he was most fortunate to catch the attention of our Leisure Officer, Ulrika Maher. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Ulrika used all her powers of persuasion and before Robbie could say “Koal Kabin” she had several volunteers lined up to go to the casting sessions.
Following this process most of the Wheelers were assigned to participate in the Mullingar take on “Love Hate” with one or two others cast in the block buster, Michael Collins. On the night, the Love Hate crew were adjudged to have put in such a stellar performance that they won the “Oskar” for best film. Well done to all who represented the club in this fun event.

National Youth Championships 2019

posted 8 Mar 2019, 04:20 by Site Admin

Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar have been selected to run the 2019 National Youth Championships. The event will take place on the 17th and 18th of August 2019 in the environs of Mullingar.

There will be racing for Boys and Girls from U11 up to U16 in the three disciplines of Road Race, Criterium and Time trial.

This will be a very busy weekend for the club, and a great opportunity to see the future stars of Irish Cycling performing on the roads of Westmeath.

Updates to follow!

Wheelers Train Hard Over the Winter Months

posted 6 Mar 2019, 14:06 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole)   
Despite the mild weather over the last few months, the members of Lakeside Wheelers have had to contend with some very nasty weather conditions on the Sunday morning spins. Thick mist, heavy rain, frost and strong winds have played havoc with the winter training programme but it has not deterred the hardy lads and ladies who continue to turn up in large numbers every week.

Winter Training:
The training programme has been designed by the group leaders and under their guidance the Sunday morning spins have been very well organised and structured. Essentially the programme is based on a series of four week phases with three hard weeks and one Rest week incorporated into each block. After the summer the spins became shorter, the pace slower and the coffee stops longer. Then, in October the plan kicked off in earnest with an increase in distance and the inclusion of rolling terrain to improve leg strength. The main aim of the early weeks was to develop better pedalling efficiency and bike handling skills. Another huge improvement since last autumn has been compliance with the “lights and mudguards” rule. As a result practically every member has now fitted their bikes out with front and rear safety equipment leaving it much more comfortable for all group rides.
The mudguards proved priceless especially over the last three weeks as the spins moved into north Westmeath, Meath and north Longford in search of hills, more hills and then, even more hills. Not content with inflicting these “rolling” roads on the legs of the members, route planner in chief, Mark Horohoe also included several roads where the white central line was replaced by inches of green grass and mud. On more than one occasion poor Mark’s ears must have burned badly with lads screaming his name in vain as they struggled over the roads of Lough Gowna, Arvagh, Aughnacliffe and even further afield. However, there is no doubt that these spins have gone down very well and with the racing and sportive seasons fast approaching, lots of lads will be thankful for these hard training routes. Thanks to Mark Horohoe, Eugene Duffy, Bob O’Ceallaigh, Adrian Keaveney, Paul Murtagh, Mark Monaghan, Mossie Keane and Gerry Wallace for assisting with group leader duties.

Hill Climb:
The annual club Hill Climb competition was staged on Sunday, November 18th, 2018. Organisers persisted with the same route which was used for the last two years which saw the Sunday spin arriving to Rochfortbridge via Kinnegad and Milltownpass. Following sign-on the thirty participants raced the 4KM drag up to the top of Gneevebawn Hill. On a chilly, but dry morning the spoils went to Andy Richmond who completed the course in 4 minutes 37 seconds. Hot on Andy’s wheel in 2nd place was Tosh Kiernan with Ian Lambden rounding out the top three. Well done to all participants and special mention to organisers Mark Monaghan, Damien O’Brien and Eamon Hogan.

Monika Swietochowska , Breda Heneghan, Cathy Flynn, Carmel Buckley, Cathy O'Toole, Mary Taffe, Claire Malona and Anna Liddy
Monika Swietochowska , Breda Heneghan, Cathy Flynn, Carmel Buckley, Cathy O'Toole, Mary Taffe, Claire Malona & Anna Liddy at the Lakeside Wheelers Christmas Party.

Christmas Party:
The 2018 Christmas party was held on December 7th in the Annebrook House Hotel. Social Officer, Ulrika Maher left no stone unturned to ensure the night went off smoothly. Complete with fancy dress aprons for herself and club Chairman Henry Whitson, the annual awards presentation was like a stand-up comedy session. Great fun was had by all so a big thanks to Ulrika for all her hard work. Congratulations to Camillus Farrell who was nominated as the new club President, Monika Swietochowska who won Most Improved Rider and Mossie Keane who was selected as Club Person of the Year.

Billy Cunnane, Jack Nugent, Richie Lenihan and Clem Bartley at the Lakeside Wheelers Christmas party
Billy Cunnane, Jack Nugent, Richie Lenihan and Clem Bartley at the Lakeside Wheelers Christmas party.

Turkey Trot:  
The annual post-Christmas ride affectionately known as the Turkey Trot was staged on December 27th. Despite a very cold morning there were record numbers at the clubhouse all mad for road, coffee and scones to help cure the seasonally inflicted cabin fever!!!! Without doubt it was an impressive sight to witness the 70 plus riders all kitted out in club gear making their way out the N52. Tyrellspass Castle was the chosen destination for refreshments and a big thank you to all the staff there that catered very professionally for the large crowd of hungry Wheelers. As usual the return journey was a mixed affair as the group splits, with some taking the opportunity to get a few extra miles in while others ride straight back to base.

Henry Whitson Club Chairman Eamon Hogan (Youth Officer) and Joe Duffy at the Lakeside Wheelers Turkey Trot
Henry Whitson (Club Chairman) Eamon Hogan (Youth Officer) and Joe Duffy
 at the Lakeside Wheelers Turkey Trot.

Annual Hill Climb To Complete A Busy Year For Wheelers

posted 15 Nov 2018, 03:54 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 15 Nov 2018, 03:57 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 11th November 2018)   
The annual Lakeside Wheelers Hill Climb will be staged next Sunday morning, November 18th at Gneevebawn Hill outside Rochfortbridge. This will be the final competition on the calendar for 2018 so it is hoped that all members will participate. 

The Sunday morning spin will meet as normal at the clubhouse at 9am and depart for Rochfortbridge where participants will congregate before making their attempt at the hill. Organisers are asking for one or two members to volunteer to assist with timing and starting competitors so if you are available to help please contact Mark Monaghan. 

Last Year’s winner, Aaron Wade posted a very good time and for those partial to a bet it would be hard to look past the juniors for this year’s winner. Who knows? Maybe some of the senior lads have been getting in some secret training and are primed to peak next weekend. 

All will be revealed on Sunday lunchtime so don’t miss your chance to win the final trophy of the season.
Aaron Wade, pictured collecting a KOM prize earlier in the year, proving again that hill climbing is one of this strengths.

Annual Ballinafid Woods Cyclocross

posted 6 Nov 2018, 14:47 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 4th November 2018)   
The annual end of season, fun, cyclocross event at Ballinafid Woods was held on the October Bank Holiday weekend and what a day? It was probably the most beautiful autumn day for many a year. Thanks to lots of preparation by Damien, Jacinta and the rest of the O’Brien family the event went off very smoothly and was a very enjoyable day.

The sunshine was endless which made the very scenic setting on the shores of Lough Owel all the more picturesque with all in attendance enjoying a great day out. This is billed as a celebration for the youths to bring a very difficult road season to a close but adults are always welcome to attend and participate.

Aoife O'Brien fighting the tough Ballinafid Woods circuit.
Aoife O'Brien fighting the tough Ballinafid Woods circuit.

There were races for all age categories including the mums and dads but this is one day that results are considered secondary to having the craic. Nevertheless, I have one important result to hand and that is, Mark Horohoe won the “prestigious” 1st MTB rider home which was all the more prestigious on the day considering he was the ONLY MTB rider in the race!!! Well done to Mark and all competitors and once again, a big thank you to the O’Brien family for hosting this excellent event.
A close up view of the action at Ballinafid Woods Cyclocross
A close up view of the action at Ballinafid Woods Cyclocross.

Committee Gears up for AGM

posted 6 Nov 2018, 14:37 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 4th November 2018)   
Yes, it is that time of year again and the Lakeside Wheelers AGM is almost upon us again. Each year this major event on the club calendar seems to come around quicker than the previous year and once again the committee are in full preparation mode for the 2018 edition.

The last 12 months have once again been a very busy period for the club both on and off the bike. There will be lots of discussion on the night and hopefully all members will make an effort to attend this extremely important event. This year’s AGM will be held on Friday November 16th in the Greville Arms Hotel at 7.30pm. 

Pages from the past... Billy & Jack Cunnane pictured at the 2012 AGM.

Healthy Clubs

posted 16 Oct 2018, 08:37 by Kevin Monaghan

By (Mark Monaghan - Sun. 14th October 2018)   
Healthy Clubs Logo
On Saturday, October 6th local GAA club Mullingar Shamrocks launched its Healthy Clubs initiative. The project aims to help GAA clubs identify what they are already doing well, identify areas where they can or would like to improve, and empower them to ensure that everyone who engages with their club benefits from the experience in a health-enhancing way, be they players, officers, coaches, parents, supporters, or members of their local community. 

Lakeside Wheelers was represented by Shay O’Toole and Paul Gibney at this very interesting and worthwhile event which was attended by most of the other sports clubs in Mullingar. Congratulations and best wishes to Mullingar Shamrocks with the Healthy Clubs programme.

Winter Training

posted 15 Oct 2018, 05:20 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 16 Oct 2018, 08:38 ]

(By Mark Monaghan - Sun. 14th October 2018)   
In the coming weeks the club’s winter training plan will get into full swing on the Sunday morning spins. This plan is for all members with the main aim being to assist and educate riders of all abilities to get the most from their time on the bike during the “off-season”.

Hopefully the weather is not too inclement over the next few months and the groups get to take advantage of the training plan. Basically, it involves a slow build up as many members will have taken a short break from the end of September. The main aim during this phase is to ride long, slow sessions to get the legs back into the swing of things before introducing more difficult sessions over hilly routes. After Christmas the group leaders will increase the speed of the spins and before we know it the racing and sportive season will be up and running again.

The Youths (Under 17) and Juniors (Under 18) are also back in the fold after a well earned break following a long hard summer of racing. The parents and leaders who mentor these fine young cyclists have met with coach, Damien Shaw, and together they have planned another block of training to take the younger Wheelers through the winter. They will be back on the Wattbikes as usual midweek and weather permitting, will get some road miles in on Saturday mornings. Next year sees some of last year’s Youth riders progress to the Junior ranks so the future is looking good for Lakeside Wheelers.

As with previous years, all members are asked to fit good quality front lights, rear lights and mudguards to their bikes during the winter months. It is mandatory to fit the full wrap-around type of mudguard as other versions such as “ass-savers” or “flingers” are not suitable because they do not prevent back-splash on the riders behind you. 

Group leaders have set Sunday October 21st as the date which all bikes must have these mudguards fitted so, you have plenty of time if you have not already attended to this important winter cycling issue. These measures are for safety during group rides so all members are asked to comply with this request. A rear red light may also be used to help make riders as visible as possible.

At a recent committee meeting it was decided not to continue the practice of official club spins on the Old Rail Trail on Wednesday nights during the winter. This decision was also taken for safety reasons however members are encouraged to use the Old Rail Trail for leisure spins.

Cyclocross Season In Full Swing

posted 8 Oct 2018, 12:27 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 8 Oct 2018, 12:27 ]

(Shay O'Toole/Peter Rimmer - Sun. 7th October 2018)   
As the road racing and sportive season draws to a close after a very busy year, the members of Lakeside Wheelers are still extremely active.  While some members may be thinking of hanging up the wheels for a rest over the autumn/winter months, others are making the transition from the road to the fields and forests of the cyclocross arenas. The following reports were sent in by club stalwart Peter Rimmer who is just one of the few members who ride the road, MTB and cyclocross.

Cyclocross Part 1:
Sunday 16th September saw the opening round of Ulster Cycling’s cyclocross series in Lurgan Park, hosted by the Apollo Cycling Team. If you read the last cyclocross race report from 1st September, you at least know what cyclocross is. Cyclocross races last about an hour and, like criterium racing on the road, are time based rather than a set distance. However, unlike criteriums, there isn’t a tight bunch of riders going around the circuit. Riders tend to have different strengths and weaknesses, so folks will be faster on one section of the circuit and slower on another. The differences in rider’s abilities leads to a constant ebb and flow in the race which makes the cross racing great for spectators and enjoyable for competitors.
The long straights in the Lurgan Park circuit, combined with the recent dry weather, made this race ideal for strong riders. Flying the flag for Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar were Joanna Bula, Richie Lenehan, and Peter Rimmer. Once all the kid’s races where done and dusted the girls lined up for the first of the races on the main circuit. Joanna had great race, at the beginning of the second lap she was sitting in second place but a few laps later she crashed on a tricky chicane conceding one position, so she finished on the third step of the podium behind Fran Meehan and Rachel Irvine. 

Next up were the boys in the A race. The start was not gridded as it was the first race of these series so it was a 30-man wide by two-man deep field of riders which shot off across the grass field which funnelled into the main circuit. Notable by his absence at the race start was Richie who it appears was chatting to one of the spectators, so as the wave of riders passed him he joined the back of the race! Peter also took his time to get into the race, guess some start practice and review of the warm up strategy might be required. Anyway, as the race unfolded the guys managed to pick off a few riders and improve their standing in the race. That's one of the joys of cyclocross as there are races going on throughout the whole field. Guys are continuously putting in efforts to overtake the guy ahead or running a little bit wide on a corner to prevent being passed. So, you might not be in contention for a podium position but you’re still well and truly in the race. Up at the front end there was a battle between Darnell Moore and Glenn Kinning for first place, Darnell was coming off the back of a very impressive road season which saw him take 3rd place in the National Criterium Championships hosted in Mullingar by Lakeside Wheelers. He recorded several other notable results during the summer and the power which aided these results paid dividends as he took the top spot with Glenn taking second and Angus Fyffee completing the podium. Richie finished 30th however he pointed out to the officials that he’d missed the start, so his position didn’t count. While Peter finished in 50th a respectable finishing position and more importantly great fun.

Richie Lenihan and Peter Rimmer warming up for Necarne Castle cyclocross.
Richie Lenihan and Peter Rimmer warming up for Necarne Castle cyclocross.

Part 2:
The Autumnal Equinox (23rd Sep) was the day for the second round of the Ulster cyclocross hosted by Lakeland Cycling Club.  The race was held at the beautiful Necarne Estate which lies in the County Fermanagh town of Irvinestown. The abandoned 16th century castle created a stunning back drop for the finish line and the rest of the circuit wound its way round the castles grounds. The weather on the day was fine with blue skies and only passing showers however, there had been overnight rain which made for a very slippery surface. The Lakeland cycling club had created a relatively long circuit which took the fastest guys just over eight minutes to complete. That’s around 60 seconds longer than a typical circuit lap time which meant fewer laps, of course, as the normal race time of around 50 minutes still applied. The circuit included some interesting features including a couple of steep drops to test rider’s nerves, a sand pit to ride through which is a real test of the riders ability to power the bike along while letting the sand push the front wheel around, a long climb up an energy sapping boggy surface followed by a descent over muddy ground which made the bike squirm for grip and finally, an off camber descent to a very steep climb back up to the main path that only the most skilled and powerful riders managed to ride. Others were forced to revert to running with the bike on their shoulders.

The CX Women had five laps to complete in the first race of the day on the senior circuit.  Leading after lap 1 was Rachel Irvine (The Bike House CC) but a heavy crash on lap 2 finished her race.  Francine Meehan (Kinning Cycles) took over the lead which she held to the finish.  Niamh Stephens (TC Racing) finished second with Joanna Bula (Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar CC) third. 

This was followed by the men’s A race which was held over six laps.  As per Round 1 in Lurgan Park, Darnell Moore (Caldwell Cycles Omagh), the current national champion, powered away from his nearest rival, Glenn Kinning (Kinning Cycles) to take the win.  Angus Fyffe (Caldwell Cycles Omagh) took another third place with Barry Kellett (Dromara Cycling Club) fourth and Sean Nolan (Navan Road Club) 5th and first unplaced junior. The two Wheelers in the race were Richie Lenahan and Peter Rimmer who finished 14th and 37th respectively. 

Richie was one of the few who could ride the whole lap which helped him get into, and stay in the top 15. Richie wasn’t gridded on the start as he missed the start last week in Lurgan, so his finishing position didn’t count. No hick-ups for the Wheelers this week though. Although Peter did have a puncture 15 minutes before the start while doing his warm up there was a spare wheel in the van ready to go so it was a quick swap and back on the bike ready to go. On the return home the wheelers visited a café in Enniskillen and had soup and sandwiches, all in all it was a great way to celibate the Equinox.

If folks are interested in trying out cyclocross then Outdoor Escape normally have a spin during the week so just ask Steve in there. Plus, there are races coming up that aren’t too far away. Oldcastle CC are running a series of Sunday races on; 21st Oct, 4th Nov, 18th Nov and 9th Dec at Drewstown House, Kells, Co.Meath, which is just 30 minutes from Mullingar. The races start at 11:30 with practice on the circuit from 10am to 10:45am. Folks can race on CX or MTB bikes, all you need is a Club Competition licence, but a day licence is available. The main emphasis is fun, so it’s a great introduction to cyclocross. Navan CC have their “CX in the Park” race at Blackwater Park, Navan on Sun 14th.Oct. This will include underage races from 10am, followed by the lady’s race at 11am and the men’s A-races at 12:15pm and B-race at 1:45pm. If you fancy watching the professionals strut their stuff on a cyclocross circuit there will be a UCI C2 ranked event held in Belfast on the 7th Oct at Mallusk Playing Fields, racing is from 10:15am with the main event at 2:45pm.

Joanna Bula at the Lurgan Park cyclocross in September..
Joanna Bula at the Lurgan Park cyclocross in September.

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