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Shay Reflects on Two Years In the Hot Seat

posted 21 Nov 2011, 12:17 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Sarah Piner)  
Well for my last notes I decided to go out in style and have been able to line up the one and only Nicolas Roche for a one-on-one interview... Unfortunately he had to cancel at the last minute but I am pleased to report that our hard-working Chairman Shay O’Toole was able to take his spot!

Shay, when did you start cycling and why?
I have been in the wheelers for 8 years, myself and Cathy often saw the club cycling on a Sunday morning as we left mass (sometimes suffering the effects of the night before) and decided it was time to join them and improve our lifestyle ! I already knew the likes of Mick Reynolds from school and a few others.

What is your favourite thing about being part of the wheelers?
Inclusiveness, friendship, as with all clubs you have the ups and downs but when it comes to it I don’t think you could meet a better group of people. The ladies spins (which will hopefully get going again next year!) sums it up for me. You had Wendy and Sarah racing at the top of ladies cycling in Ireland out training with women that had only just found the sport, leisure riders and racers training together and having fun which is what it’s all about.

Have you enjoyed your 2 years as Lakeside Wheelers Chairman?
It has been at honour to be on the committee for 5 years with 2 years as chairman, you learn so much about yourself and others it’s a great experience. There are 2 months of the year that are mad, between the 2 day, the town race and tour of the lakes but it is well worth it!

Any wise words for your replacement!
Embrace the job! – You will be busy and there will be plenty of challenges but it really is worth doing.

What events have you taken part in whilst being part of the wheelers?
Well of course the Sunday spins, it’s great to see that once it’s dry you will get 100 plus cyclists meeting at the ORS. But beyond the regular spins I have always enjoyed the Dysart race league,  I didn’t have the time to train for the races this year (well that’s my excuse!!) but even being out there as a marshal is fun it’s a great atmosphere, tour of the lakes is always a successful club event.  Further afield I have enjoyed travelling to Marmotte and of course this year to Flanders, this was the big one for me. A group of 17 wheelers all different abilities having great craic together, it had everything you would want in a holiday and watching the Pro’s racing after us was a fantastic.

So with a little more time on your hands next year any big plans on the bike?
Actually yes myself and Jack Nugent are thinking of taking part in Race the Ras, basically you ride each stage of the Ras two hours before the Pro peloton set off. It’s going to be hard riding 160km + for 8 consecutive days, but I will be following a plan so hopefully I will be prepared. I really want to take part in the race league in Dysart this year as I said it's great fun.

Who inspires you to ride!
I know it’s been said before but the guys in the club like Arthur Dempsey, John Culligan, Sean Magee, if they don’t motivate you then no one will! Philip Gilbert would be one to pick he just keeps riding if he feels good then he attacks!
Thank you Shay great work and a great interview –anything you would like to add?
Thank you to all the club members that have made our jobs so much easier this year, always prepared to help when they are asked. Particularly those two months in the summer, well done all..
Nicholas gives Shay the go-ahead to do this week's interview!
Nicolas gives Shay the go ahead to do this weeks notes!