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The Present and Future of the Lakeside Wheelers

posted 23 Aug 2011, 03:38 by Kevin Monaghan
By (Shay O’Toole)  

Last Friday evening I received a text from our youth Officer, Robbie Kenny who was looking for assistance with the junior spin on Saturday morning as some of the regular team were unavailable due to holidays etc. I answered and said I would be free to assist and would meet at the usual place at the usual time.

 As it happens, in recent weeks I had travelled to the Ballinrobe Two Day with the Wheelers Racing team as part of the back-up crew so I thought that my spin with the juniors was well timed as it would complete a nice double allowing me to experience the best of the present racers and also see what we hope will be the future of the club, whether they be racers or leisure riders.

On Saturday there was an equal mix of senior and junior riders with Robbie also managing to draw in Pairic Devine and Mossie Keane. The juniors were made up of three regulars, Thomas Kilmurray, Robert Shaw and Andrew McDunphy. We were also joined by Andrew’s cousin, Conn McDunphy (Kilcock) who was on his holidays in good old Mullingar. Small numbers in total but with this being peak holiday season many of the usual suspects were missing. Our cycle to Kinnegad and back via Cloughan and Killucan totalled 30 miles and was completed at a very nice pace which allowed Robbie go through some very important bike handling and group riding skills and  with the four lads. On the return leg of the journey we split the group in two with the latter half having to chase down the breakaway and then finished off with some short sprinting sessions along the old N4 into Coralstown. With the sunshine on our backs for the duration of the spin we all arrived back to base feeling fresh. The lads were a pleasure to cycle with and it is great to see them out enjoying their bikes and learning how to do the simple things correctly. Great credit is due to Robbie and the other youth leaders who give up their free time every Saturday to bring the young Wheelers out on the road.

On the other hand, my weekend in Ballinrobe was another good experience as I was joined in the Grange Motors supplied team car by Conor Eighan. The racers on this occasion were of Dave Fagan, Pete Rimmer, Stuart Cox, Paul Crowley and our Tasmanian import, Matt McDonagh. We were also joined for the weekend by Steve Franzoni of Murphy Surveyors and I have to say the crack was definitely mighty. There is always a good atmosphere on these stage races and the view from the cavalcade with the race radio crackling out the up to the minute details is fascinating. We had a lovely B+B by a lakeside just outside Ballinrobe and the scenery on stage one was fabulous as we tore along tiny roads between Lough Mask and Lough Corrib. I can see now why visitors to our Two Day compliment the surfaces here in Mullingar as the Ballinrobe circuit was more to the “Grass in the middle” type of an affair.

In the end, the lads did very well with Pete Rimmer finishing 6th overall while the other lads put in some great work throughout the two days. Dave Fagan performed very well in the Sunday morning TT and was virtual 2nd on the road at one point in the final stage. Well done to all concerned and thanks to Conor for all his help and his patience with my driving!!!

(L) to (R) Robbie Kenny, Thomas Kilmurray, Andrew McDunphy, Conn McDunphy, Mossie Keane, Robert Shaw and Pairic Devine
Junior Spin on Saturday - (L) to (R) Robbie Kenny, Thomas Kilmurray, Andrew McDunphy, Conn McDunphy, Mossie Keane, Robert Shaw and Pairic Devine