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.

Family Cyclocross Day Announced for 28th October

posted 24 Sep 2018, 04:03 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 24 Sep 2018, 04:29 ]

(By Damien O'Brien - Sunday 23rd September 2018)   
The club is holding its third annual cyclocross event for Under 10, Under 12, Under 14, Under 16 and Juniors on Sunday 28th October 2018.  This popular annual event will take place in Woodlands, Ballinafid, Mullingar.  Sign-on will be at 11 a.m with racing starting at 12 noon.

There will be prizes for top 3 boys and girls in all categories.
There will be fun Mum & Dad's race also included.  This is a fun family day out and end of year celebration for all our friends from road cycling clubs.

For further details contact Damien at or  086 6060383

Rian Hogan, Conor Farrell, Aaron Wade, Aoife O'Brien and Caoimhe O'Brien ready for the National Cyclocross Championships last Sunday.

New Initiatives for Winter

posted 10 Sep 2018, 05:28 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 10 Sep 2018, 05:32 ]

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 9th September 2018)  
With the winter fast approaching us, the club Chairman, Henry Whitson issued a letter to all members in recent days outlining some new initiatives for the coming months.

Among these are plans to host First-Aid and Bike Maintenance nights for all members depending on levels of interest voiced. Please check your emails and read the Chairman’s letter for more information. 

As announced in recent weeks there is another Beginners Course now underway which will continue for six weeks in total. The aim of these sessions is to bring totally new members up to D Group standard and for these individuals to then find their own level within the club Group structure. 

As all members will be aware, the club spins are based on Leader Led sessions which to date, has been a very successful method of keeping the spins organised. If you think you would like to help out with leading the Sunday group rides please contact any committee member. Welcome aboard to Eugene Duffy who has recently joined the ranks of the B Group Leaders roster. All members are requested to assist Group Leaders on club spins and to adhere to routes, refreshment stops, club kit rules and all other group cycling protocols which are issued prior to departing the clubhouse.

The Chairman would also like to advise members to check out the new rosters regarding the use of the clubhouse for training during the coming months. All Lakeside Wheelers members are encouraged to avail of the great facility in the Columb Barracks and to use the roster for booking purposes.

Wednesday Evening Spins Give Way to Beginners Course

posted 27 Aug 2018, 06:46 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun 26th August 2018)   
Unfortunately, with the lovely Autumn evenings comes less and less daylight which means the weekly Wednesday evening spin will soon be coming to an end. These spins were very well attended this summer and often turned into a chase to a local watering hole for a cool beer in the warm evening sunshine. This brought a very nice social aspect to the weekly cycle and led to many new members getting acquainted with the more established members of the club. Please be aware the next Wednesday, August 29th will be the final Wednesday evening spin for 2018. Thanks to all who turned up for these spins and to the group leaders who led them.

Beginners Course
No sooner does one door close at Lakeside Wheelers but another one opens. That will be the motto for the winter because as the midweek spin comes to an end, the new Beginners Course begins.

The first evening will be Wednesday, August 29th  at 6.30pm and the place to be is the Old Rail Trail carpark in the Industrial Estate which is located directly opposite the entrance to Trail. To register or to simply ask for some more details please contact Gerry Wallace at 087 2557733 and enjoy the experience.

Old Rail Trail Car park
Old Rail Trail Carpark - click on map for interactive version.

New Beginner's Programme Announced

posted 20 Aug 2018, 09:14 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 19th August 2018)   
The club committee is delighted to announce that there will be another adult beginner’s course held in the coming weeks. Club members Tom Carolan, Steve Franzoni and Gerry Wallace have kindly agreed to be the facilitators for this, the third of its kind in 2018.

The format will be the same as the previous two events which included some induction to cycling to make “newbies” aware of the finer details of cycling in a group. This is most important for the safety and comfort of the new or novice cyclist. The course will be held over six weeks and includes sessions on bike maintenance, clothing, nutrition and of course, the basic skills of cycling.

A lot of the early sessions will be staged on the Old Rail Trail and this is where the first session will start from. So, if you are interested in or know of somebody interested in taking up cycling, then this is the course for you. The first evening will be Wednesday, August 29th  at 6.30pm and the place to be is the Old Rail Trail carpark in the Industrial Estate which is located directly opposite the entrance to Trail. 

To register or to simply ask for some more details please contact Gerry Wallace at 087 2557733 and enjoy the experience.

Mountain Biking News

posted 20 Aug 2018, 09:08 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 19th August 2018)   
Da Cooley Thriller peddled off on Saturday 11th of August, with two Lakeside Wheelers in the field; Paul Crowley and Peter Rimmer. Da Thriller is set in the Cooley Mountains just outside Carlingford, Co. Louth.

The 52km route took riders on a complete traverse of the Cooley Mountains taking in some of the famous Táin Trail. The majority of the route was on forest tracks on to some roller coaster natural single trails once navigated by the bould Cuchulainn himself, the name sake of the Dundalk based cycling club running the event. 

The start of the race was a loop of Carlingford village and then we were let loose onto trails known to local riders as, The Devil’s Elbow, Aidens Canyon, Skull Alley, and Goylin Pass. The first half of the race was bathed in golden late summer sun. However that was replaced at about the half way point by mist and rain which obscured the spectacular views of Carlingford Lough which had been a feature of the early part of the race. 

Towards the end of the circuit as Pete descended from Slieve Foyle on one of the trickier sections his front tyre slipped resulting in him being thrown over the handlebars. No one saw poor Pete’s spectacular crash so all he could do was dust himself off, refill his tyre and get back on the bike to complete the last 2km. This saw Pete returning to the finish line about five minutes behind Paul but he had a great story to tell!

Well done to both of the lads for completing this challenging event in just under four hours.

Pete Rimmer (L) and Paul Crowley (R) at the start of Da Cooley Thriller last weekend.
Pete Rimmer (L) and Paul Crowley (R) at the start of Da Cooley Thriller last weekend.

Sudety Mountain Bike Challenge

posted 30 Jul 2018, 03:00 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 29th July 2018)   
Paul Crowley and Richie Lenihan are no strangers to hardship and were once again putting themselves through the wringer at the Sudety Mountain Bike Challenge in Poland last week. This is a six-day “race” through some very challenging terrain which sees the riders climb close to 2,000m on each stage. Well done lads, another box ticked, yet again.

Paul Crowley on extreme left and Richie Lenihan, extreme right at the Sudety Challenge in Poland.
Paul Crowley on extreme left and Richie Lenihan, extreme right at the Sudety Challenge in Poland.

Five Countries Cycle

posted 30 Jul 2018, 02:57 by Kevin Monaghan

(By Pearse Murphy - Sun. 29th July 2018)   
Over the last few months a group of local cycling friends have been busy training for a novel trip which they organised themselves to celebrate the good summer weather of 2018. The following is a short blog by Lakeside Wheelers member, Pearse Murphy who was one of the pivotal organisers of the trip. It sounds like a fabulous few days on the bike and congratulations to all who participated. 

Day 1 
Seven enthusiastic cyclists set off for Belfast Port from a murky Delvin at 6am along the N52. Unfortunately the murk lasted all the way to Belfast. All went well until we hit the A1 between Newry and Lisburn where road conditions in the hard shoulder were atrocious throwing up five punctures. However, the group worked well together and we made our target of 2pm for the ferry to Scotland with 170kms cycled and 600 metres climbing under our belts. In Stranraer, after a bite to eat and a freshen up, we met the lovely Catherine Meehan (from Mullingar) her husband Ian and their family for tea and cakes in their home.

Day 2 
The group set out at 9am for Carlisle. We cycled through the beautiful Galloway Hills with a tea stop at Clatteringshaws Visitors Centre and lunch in the scenic town of Dumfries. From there we travelled lovely quiet country roads to Carlisle arriving at 6pm and our second overnight after a day where we clocked up 178kms with 1400 metres climbing.

Day 3
The group set out at 9am for Wigan via the scenic Lake District. Here we met the infamous Kirkstone Pass well known locally to cyclists as “The Struggle”. In the 2016 Tour of Britain the great Bradley Wiggins dismounted his bike and ran a short section of it. Some parts near the top have over 20% gradients.  The reward, from the top, is a beautiful vista over Lake Windermere with an 8 km decent to the idyllic town of Windermere. From there we skirted towns like Lancaster and Preston to bring us to our overnight in Wigan at 7pm. 182kms cycled with 2100 metres climbing.

Day 4 
The group set out at 9am for Holyhead via Chester. We enjoyed a tea shop outside Chester and lunched in the scenic village of Rhuddlan in North Wales. The next part of the cycle took us through the picturesque Conwy Marina village and onto the eccentric cycle path to Bangor. This cycle path involved seashore, skyways over motorway, standard roads and greenway over hills. The group arrived in the Valley at 10pm with a welcome bite to eat and a few “cups of tea”. 198kms cycled with 2300 metres climbing.

Day 5
This was a relaxing day on the bike starting from the Phoenix Park at 2pm with a coffee break in Kilcock after travelling some nice back roads which skirted Lucan, Leixlip and Maynooth with the trip ending in Kinnegad after  63kms with 300 metres climbing. So, overall this was a great experience which saw the group cycle 791kms over the five days. Well done to all and maybe 2019 will see us travelling together again.

Pearse Murphy, Gerry Heery, Declan Smith, Pairic Moore, Tom Judge, Eugene Coyle and Dominick Brannock after completing their Five Countries Challenge.
Pearse Murphy, Gerry Heery, Declan Smith, Pairic Moore, Tom Judge, Eugene Coyle and Dominick Brannock after completing their Five Countries Challenge.

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