report from Majella Moyles
It felt like an age since there was a Nenagh Summer League, and passing through Birdhill with only a handful of cars parked up, I expected few cyclists. We arrived out at Gooig with little time to spare, but at least 37 cyclists turned up…happy days. It was a quick catch up with club members who were interested to hear about our Mizen to Malin adventure. However the main topic was the cool, intelligent interaction between Derek Bowen and the thieves who robbed his bike from his car, parked in front of his house earlier in the week. Derek not only managed to get his bike back, but also had the guards informed, who were waiting nearby to apprehend the thieves. Good on ya Derek.
The first group, which consisted of juniors and one of their trainers were first to head off. I believe they were given a lead time of 7 minutes. Then the usual questions start….’which group you going in??’ With about 30 of us left, it was suggested to divide the group into two…easy decision, second or scratch group…second of course!! That quickly changed when Gary, Andy & Keith were making moves into the second group. I don’t hold back letting these lads know, they can’t come with us, they will only slaughter us. Result, remaining cyclists divided into three groups. Second group consisted of about 8 of us….with the remaining groups divided evenly.
After completing Mizen to Malin on Sunday, I had made up my mind on Tuesday, that if I manage to stay with group as far as Birdhill, I’d be doing well. I have learnt late into these leagues, that I should start off (first 10 – 15 mins) at a pace that I can manage, if I want to complete the course with the group. So with a few roll throughs, it was back to the back until I felt able to go again. I surprised myself moving up front going up Kilmastualla, with others taking their turn. Then up Roundhill, same move. However onto the flats, different story, it is fast spinning to stay with group. Somewhere around Ballywilliam, my left knee started to niggle and quads started burning. Time to focus….block out the pain, focus on spinning legs. It works!! We picked up the first group just before Five Alley roundabout. Then turning here, we saw the second group were approaching. Scratchers a little further back.
Heading into a head wind towards Birdhill, the group slowed down. Not a move I have made too often, but with legs feeling good, I moved up front, staying there until eventually another took their turn. The group behind caught us on pull just past the nursing home. Now it was time to dig to stay with them. They were working hard and fast, determined to keep scratchers way behind. This they achieved. With these guys working well and consistent, the rest of us managed to stay on at the back. At all times, I was keeping an eye on whoever was in front of me. If for one second I thought they might lose contact with front group, I was moving up, I was determined to stay with them. And so I did. At Birdhill roundabout I was still with them, and continued up ramp the same, even passing out Gary Scully on way up.
At the top, after we all had caught our breaths, we reflected on how the race went for us. Delighted with my training/race, I said to Gary, with a slight chuckle ‘I passed you out on way up ramp’…putting both hands on his belly, and rubbing it, he said…’that wouldn’t be too difficult’. Great to have you back Gary.
I don’t know who the overall winner was…I do know however, to go out and complete a tough training session that the Nenagh Summer League guarantees….we are all winners.
Thanks to our marshals, Bertie Sherlock, Gillian Mounsey-Kennedy and Anita Egan.
See you all again next Thursday.