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Racers' Training Spin

posted 8 Dec 2014, 07:45 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Steven Franzoni)   
A group of the  Wheelers racing crew headed to Kilbeggan today (Sunday) to meet up with riders from Port Loaise and Athlone to start a monthly training spin in preparation for next season.

This was a big move for the midlands clubs who historically train independently of each other and rarely meet up except for the well established Midlands League races in the summer, where we generally do anything possible to beat them for the overall Midlands League prizes. Not sure though, if this will change in any hurry.

On the agenda for discussion during and after the spin, was the up and coming 2015 season, and how we can work together to form teams for some of the countries bigger races, including a team for the mystical eight day stage race the Ras in May. Lakeside Wheelers Stuart Cox and myself have had to join other clubs for this event in the past, because there has not been enough Mullingar riders to form the five man team required to do the event.

Over the years all the Midlands clubs have traveled and raced separately, but in 2014 several stage races we undertaken as a collective and proved very successful. Pooling resources and man-power for support worked very well and made the weekends more enjoyable and easy to manage.

Today's spin proved successful. We did learn some important lessons though. Foreign (not Mullingar) riders do not hold mudguards in such high regard. We are not certain why, maybe our yellow jackets show up mud splatters much better than their club gear. This hopefully will not turn into a big inter-club issue but moving forward there may need to be some serious negotiations to rectify this anomaly in protocol. It was also clear how different it can be riding with people your not used to, a positive reasons for the training spin as well. Half wheeling, where a rider annoyingly keeps half a wheel in front of you, when cycling alongside and thus ups the general pass, takes a little getting used to. Our resident half-wheeler and club man of the year Billy Cunnane seems to have cured himself of this bad habit of late, but it appears other clubs have not eradicated the problem yet.

A great coffee stop in Kilbegan Distillery after our three hour ride, gave us a chance to talk and form a few plans. I can report all looks positive. There is a great wealth of knowledge among the Midlands clubs and this union can only help the racing community in the long run, and even open up opportunities for the younger generation coming through. As long as they get some mudguards that is!