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Wheelers Train Hard Over the Winter Months

posted 6 Mar 2019, 14:06 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Shay O'Toole)   
Despite the mild weather over the last few months, the members of Lakeside Wheelers have had to contend with some very nasty weather conditions on the Sunday morning spins. Thick mist, heavy rain, frost and strong winds have played havoc with the winter training programme but it has not deterred the hardy lads and ladies who continue to turn up in large numbers every week.

Winter Training:
The training programme has been designed by the group leaders and under their guidance the Sunday morning spins have been very well organised and structured. Essentially the programme is based on a series of four week phases with three hard weeks and one Rest week incorporated into each block. After the summer the spins became shorter, the pace slower and the coffee stops longer. Then, in October the plan kicked off in earnest with an increase in distance and the inclusion of rolling terrain to improve leg strength. The main aim of the early weeks was to develop better pedalling efficiency and bike handling skills. Another huge improvement since last autumn has been compliance with the “lights and mudguards” rule. As a result practically every member has now fitted their bikes out with front and rear safety equipment leaving it much more comfortable for all group rides.
The mudguards proved priceless especially over the last three weeks as the spins moved into north Westmeath, Meath and north Longford in search of hills, more hills and then, even more hills. Not content with inflicting these “rolling” roads on the legs of the members, route planner in chief, Mark Horohoe also included several roads where the white central line was replaced by inches of green grass and mud. On more than one occasion poor Mark’s ears must have burned badly with lads screaming his name in vain as they struggled over the roads of Lough Gowna, Arvagh, Aughnacliffe and even further afield. However, there is no doubt that these spins have gone down very well and with the racing and sportive seasons fast approaching, lots of lads will be thankful for these hard training routes. Thanks to Mark Horohoe, Eugene Duffy, Bob O’Ceallaigh, Adrian Keaveney, Paul Murtagh, Mark Monaghan, Mossie Keane and Gerry Wallace for assisting with group leader duties.

Hill Climb:
The annual club Hill Climb competition was staged on Sunday, November 18th, 2018. Organisers persisted with the same route which was used for the last two years which saw the Sunday spin arriving to Rochfortbridge via Kinnegad and Milltownpass. Following sign-on the thirty participants raced the 4KM drag up to the top of Gneevebawn Hill. On a chilly, but dry morning the spoils went to Andy Richmond who completed the course in 4 minutes 37 seconds. Hot on Andy’s wheel in 2nd place was Tosh Kiernan with Ian Lambden rounding out the top three. Well done to all participants and special mention to organisers Mark Monaghan, Damien O’Brien and Eamon Hogan.

Monika Swietochowska , Breda Heneghan, Cathy Flynn, Carmel Buckley, Cathy O'Toole, Mary Taffe, Claire Malona and Anna Liddy
Monika Swietochowska , Breda Heneghan, Cathy Flynn, Carmel Buckley, Cathy O'Toole, Mary Taffe, Claire Malona & Anna Liddy at the Lakeside Wheelers Christmas Party.

Christmas Party:
The 2018 Christmas party was held on December 7th in the Annebrook House Hotel. Social Officer, Ulrika Maher left no stone unturned to ensure the night went off smoothly. Complete with fancy dress aprons for herself and club Chairman Henry Whitson, the annual awards presentation was like a stand-up comedy session. Great fun was had by all so a big thanks to Ulrika for all her hard work. Congratulations to Camillus Farrell who was nominated as the new club President, Monika Swietochowska who won Most Improved Rider and Mossie Keane who was selected as Club Person of the Year.

Billy Cunnane, Jack Nugent, Richie Lenihan and Clem Bartley at the Lakeside Wheelers Christmas party
Billy Cunnane, Jack Nugent, Richie Lenihan and Clem Bartley at the Lakeside Wheelers Christmas party.

Turkey Trot:  
The annual post-Christmas ride affectionately known as the Turkey Trot was staged on December 27th. Despite a very cold morning there were record numbers at the clubhouse all mad for road, coffee and scones to help cure the seasonally inflicted cabin fever!!!! Without doubt it was an impressive sight to witness the 70 plus riders all kitted out in club gear making their way out the N52. Tyrellspass Castle was the chosen destination for refreshments and a big thank you to all the staff there that catered very professionally for the large crowd of hungry Wheelers. As usual the return journey was a mixed affair as the group splits, with some taking the opportunity to get a few extra miles in while others ride straight back to base.

Henry Whitson Club Chairman Eamon Hogan (Youth Officer) and Joe Duffy at the Lakeside Wheelers Turkey Trot
Henry Whitson (Club Chairman) Eamon Hogan (Youth Officer) and Joe Duffy
 at the Lakeside Wheelers Turkey Trot.

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