Lough Key Cyclocross Race

Post date: Dec 15, 2014 1:17:50 PM

(By Steven Franzoni)

This cyclocross racing lark isn't always what its made out to be. It may seem like a glamours sport, sarcasm, riding for an hour across muddy, wet, slippy and slow ground. Heart pounding at a million beats a minute (especially me but that is a different story), desperately trying to get a breath instead of a mouth full of splashed up grass and mud. All while trying to hang on to your competitors wheel and avoid the inevitable slip off the bike into the muck.

However today was quite good fun. A group of us Michelle O'Halloran and her children, Paul Crowley, Stuart Cox, Master Franzoni and I all headed to Lough Key Forest Park. Not to play on the zip line obviously, but to take part in one of the rounds of the Wests cyclocross series. One other rider did join us, Richard Lenehan was on hand to sign on, ride a lap and get back into his van to drive straight home. After careful consideration it appeared, that the consistency of today's mud was not to his liking, packed up and went home. Clubman of the year Mr Billly Cunnane made the trip across, all part of his nationwide thank you tour, he dropped by to baby sit and keep an eye on Stuey and I. Or else he thought Peter Rimmer might be there to follow round for a bit.

The day started a little on the damp side but by the time the children's racing got underway the sky had cleared up. Dylan and Killian raced the under tens category and seemed to enjoy themselves in the slippy conditions. Next up Michelle took on the men in the B race, being the only girl racing today didn't phase her, she came in less than a minute down on a group of four guys and took a very credible fifth spot.

Stuart, Paul and I took to the A race next. After a lively start I headed into third place for the first few hundred yards, a carefully planned team strategy between Stuey and I to watch the local favorite soon turned into the inevitable disaster it was always going to be, as I faded rapidly back to 6th spot, where I spent the remainder of the race. Having not realized that the under 23 national champion was riding with us, was a technical error I can only blame of Stuart of course. Stuart did however battled on moving up to third place and holding onto that till the end. Paul had a good race and never seemed to be too far back. He did miss his casual shoes though, they along with Richie had decided to head back to Mullingar early because of the mud consistency issue.

The real crowning moment to the day was the chance to enjoy some the Lough Key activities post race. The Bora Borg adventure game center has always kept Dylan and I entertained so we roped in Michelle and her gang, and Stuart to give it a try. Clubman of the year felt his duties were done at this point and headed back to Mullingar to investigate the shoe theft. The games in Bora Borg are great fun and the trepidation on everyone elses faces soon turned to smiles as we pretty much failed every challenge we tried. Billy was definitely the missing link.

A great day and we now look forward to the Lakeside Wheelers next Kids and Adults race on 30th December in St. Loman's again.

Daragh Caffrey in Cyclocross Action