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40th Anniversary Interviews - Claire Malone

posted 9 May 2016, 05:19 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 8th May 2016)   
Part three of the 40th celebrations interviews sees Claire Malone, one of the club’s most popular lady members giving her views on cycling with the Wheelers and how she was first bitten by the bug.

PRO…How long are you a member of Lakeside Wheelers?

Claire:
I’m cycling with the club 12 years now. I’ll never forget my first Sunday morning going down to the dog track where the club used to meet – to say I was nervous was an understatement..!!! I survived that first club spin thanks to Joe Duffy and a few other lads who towed me along and as they say the rest is history.

PRO…What attracted you to cycling?

Claire:
In 1992 I persuaded a few friends to do the Maracycle with me – we survived it even though we had virtually no training done..!! I suppose it was either youth or stubbornness or a bit of both…!! But we enjoyed every bit of it, and then, after a bit of a hiatus, I wanted to get involved in a club. I had moved back to Mullingar and I fancied joining a club so it was either the sub-aqua or cycling club, but cycling won over and here I am, still cycling and loving it.

PRO…What aspect of the club do you enjoy most?

Claire:
I suppose the fact that I’ve made so many good friends through it, cycling with the Lakeside Wheelers is very sociable. I’ve had brilliant weekends away at sportives with people from the club and then a few years ago a group of nine women from the Wheelers went to Majorca on a cycling holiday – that was cycling heaven!

PRO…Over the years the ladies membership has become very prominent… why do you think this is?

Claire:
When I first started cycling with the club there was only a few of us ladies, we were well outnumbered by the men. Cycling has always been a male dominated sport but over the last few years the female membership has grown significantly. I guess that cycling as a sport has become more popular overall, especially with sportives on every weekend. We now have ladies of all levels cycling in the club, from leisure cycling to racing and some fantastic girls flying the club colours in the youths racing!

PRO…What is your favourite route and why?

Claire:
I have to say, any of the routes in Majorca..!! Why – sunshine, super road surfaces, beautiful scenery and good food. What more can you ask for?

PRO…What bike do you ride?
Claire…
I have 3 bikes – 2 road and one mountain. The Specialized Roubaix Expert is my favourite because it is light & comfortable. I use my giant SCR during the winter and for turbo sessions. Then, I have a Specialized Jinx mountain bike which I use on the trail along the canal and hope to try it out on the club cyclocross events in the future.

PRO…Have you any goals in cycling? 

Claire:
I think basically to stay fit and healthy which, hopefully, cycling is helping me to do. I hope to keep it up as long as I am enjoying it and making more friends through it, for as long as I can. Hopefully I have a few more years left in me..!!!

PRO…Thanks Claire for being a good sport and doing this interview. It is great to see so many ladies joining the club and as you pointed out, the future is secure with the younger girls improving by the day.

The fourth and final instalment of the 40th Anniversary interviews to be published in next week’s notes will feature one of the clubs most colourful characters. Whilst he has definitely been red, blue and yellow all his life he also has strong allegiances to the blue and white and as if that wasn’t enough, he is steeped in black gold all week. Absolutely no prizes for guessing who he is!

Claire Malone This week's 40th Anniversary Interviewee
Claire Malone This week's 40th Anniversary Interviewee
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