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Weekly Notes 14th June

posted 14 Jun 2010, 01:46 by Kevin Monaghan

Just in case you’ve been languishing in an alcohol induced coma over the past few days and have managed to miss it, it is National Bike Week! There will be a whole host of events taking place in Mullingar to mark the event, the two most visible of which will be the turbo-trainer sessions to be held at various locations throughout the town and, the centre-piece of the week, the Criterium Race on Wednesday evening. I think it’s fair to say that everyone who witnessed the criterium last year will remember what a cracking race it was and what wonderful entertainment it provided for the large crowds who witnessed it. For the uninitiated, a criterium is a cycle race held in a town centre, with a fairly tight short lap (in Mullingar’s case, just over 2Km) over an allotted time span, all of which makes for fast and furious racing. The start/finish line will be in Mount Street and spectators are advised to get there early to secure the best vantage points. The first race starts at 19.10, and if you would like to take part, details of the events and entry forms can be downloaded from the club website, www.lakesidewheelers.ie.
 
My abiding memory of last year’s criterium, apart from the thrilling racing, was seeing Wheeler Dr. Mick O’Donovan who was acting as chief medical officer for the event, white-faced with terror, sitting in the medical back-up car as it hurtled around the course trying to keep up with the peloton. I was doing some marshalling down at the dog track at a fairly sharp bend and the leading cyclists were taking it flat out. The medical car came around the corner after them on two wheels, with Mick in the passenger’s seat holding what appeared to be a large piece of the dashboard that had come away in his hand. I rang today to remind him of all this but Mick, a Corkman, was too upset to talk in the wake of Kerry’s victory in the Munster championship. I consoled him by pointing out that it could have been a lot worse – try being a Mayoman like me, then you will know what heartache and disappointment really are.
 
The other prominent event this week comprises a series of turbo training sessions taking place at various locations in the town. Anyone or any team is welcome to have a go and I have it on good authority that the Mullingar Shamrocks’ ladies team put in a stint on Sunday and acquitted themselves very well – well done, girls! Sessions will be held this week at Tesco, Market Square, Fair Green, Harbour Street Shopping Centre and also at the Town Park. If you come across a session, don’t be shy – give it a go and you never know; you might even like it!
 
This Sunday a group of cyclists from Cycling Ireland set off from Dublin with the intention of cycling around the country through the week to mark National Bike Week. The good news is that they are scheduled to cycle into Mullingar next Sunday from three different directions, sometime in the afternoon and the plan is for the Wheelers to despatch a group of cyclists in each of those three directions to meet up with the Cycling Ireland contingents and escort them into town. Now, quite what effect the sudden appearance of a bunch of Wheelers will have on the morale of each of these three groups is open to question, but all three groups will then head for Dominick Street for an afternoon of ceoil agus craic with an open air street jamboree being held. Now Wheelers – here’s THE IMPORTANT BIT – Shay O’Toole will be contacting every club member next week to let you know what time to meet up before setting off to rendezvous with the representatives of Cycling Ireland. That means that there will be no Sunday morning cycles on Sunday 20th June. Just watch your emails for instructions on when and where to meet. Do not, on pain of death, or at least on pain of a dirty look from Shay, turn up at ORS at 09.00 on Sunday!
 
I hear that the summer league is steaming along nicely and I must make an effort to attend at least one stage before it all comes to an end, but an interesting little footnote to the whole thing was the idea of having a race for the over sixty year olds in the club to be held some evening before one of the summer league rounds. It didn’t come to pass, sadly, but I have it on very good authority that it has merely been postponed, not cancelled, and plans are afoot to stage the race very soon. Watch this space and don’t be fooled for one second into thinking that this is going to be a genteel little workout for the elder statesmen of the club. I can promise you that there is more than enough competitive spirit still lurking behind the avuncular facades of our senior members and I anticipate no shortage of skulduggery and perhaps even outright knavery as they do battle.
 
This Sunday Dave Byrne, Barry Carr and Seán Magee (there may have been others but I have only heard of these three) went to Wicklow for the annual Wicklow 200 race. What became of them I do not know, but I do know that Tom Shaw and a few of his troops had planned to join them. Whisper it, but they abandoned the idea “because of the possibility of rain”! Give me strength! – the poor dears were obviously so petrified in case a stray drop of moisture should land on any one of their delicate little heads that the mere possibility of rain caused them to abandon the trip! Here are Tom’s notes on the (non) event;
 
“Plans for four of us, to do a 150K cycle in Wicklow, including 80K of Wicklow 200 route were aborted early this morning, because of the possibility of rain. We had planned to meet Sean Magee, Barry Carr, Dave Byrne and other Wheelers doing the full W200. An alternative plan was quickly drawn up....a double spin over the Blooms, starting in Cadamstown!!!

This gave us the choice of abandoning at short notice if weather deteriorated....which it did, just as we enjoyed tea & scones after getting over both climbs once in bright sunshine!! It was perfect timing because the refreshments tasted even better, looking out at the rain!! To make up for it, a few of us have an EARLY 150K spin, planned for Tuesday morning, then its off to Kerry for hopefully two days enjoyable cycling!! 
 
Well, let’s just hope there isn’t any possibility of rain on Tuesday then, shall we? And yes, a large contingent of us will be heading in the general direction of West Cork this weekend for a crack at the Ring of Kerry and the Beara Peninsula. There is still room for anyone who would like to tag along, so if you are interested, just get in touch with myself or Tom Shaw for details.
 
Michelle Culligan asked me to mention that the underage fun cycles start at Belvedere this Monday (14th June) at 6.30pm and continue every Monday for the next couple of months. As always, the only rule is that helmets must be worn, but Michelle asked that any parents turning up should, if they can, bring along a mountain bike so that they can join in and help to supervise. Last year’s underage cycling fun series was a huge success and everyone is welcome to come along this year and give it a bash.
 
Adrian Murphy asked me to say thanks to all of the club members who sent messages of sympathy and condolences to him on the recent death of his father, and to thank especially those club members who travelled to the funeral in Dungannon.
 
Finally, I’d like to give a very quick mention to Wheeler David Corroon who won a silver medal in the Irish Special Olympics in Limerick on Sunday – congratulations David!
 
Picture of the Week
The spoke has come out of retirement for a specially commissioned picture to mark the turbo training sessions being held in the town this week...
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