The delayed start today meant that numbers were slightly down on pre-Christmas turnouts. However, with the rain stopping and roads drying up, it proved to be a good decision, especially when you take into account the amount of coughing and spluttering going on in the group already. I don’t think the bunch could have handled a cold and wet morning. There were still 20 eager cyclists in attendance wishing to banish the post Christmas blues and get back into the rhythm of training.
Today’s route brought us from Nenagh to Birdhill, Daly’s Cross, O’Briens Bridge, Broadford, Tuamgraney, Killaloe, Portroe and back to Nenagh. The cycle out to Birdhill went quickly as we had a nice tail wind blowing us out there. The first bunch split occurred here with 8 cyclists heading up the ramp so as to give the front bunch a 3km head start. The first roll over was from Birdhill to Broadford, with our juniors turning for home a little earlier.
Things didn’t start great for the back bunch with a puncture bringing things to a sudden stop before even leaving Birdhill. After the puncture was fixed there were now 2 groups of 4 chasing the main bunch. This made it a lot tougher than it should have been for those chasing. After 55 minutes, the 3 bunches came together a few miles before Tuamgraney. However, with the next roll over set to begin in Tuamgraney there wasn’t much recovery time to be had.
The final roll over was from Tuamgraney back to Portroe. This is most certainly a tough rollover route with plenty of hills to navigate. It is important to keep things steady and conserve your energy as much as possible. The two bunches split in Tuamgraney with the chase bunch going on a detour down to Scarriff. The first bunch kept things together up the hills to Oganolloe and decided to push on hard down the hill and over to Killaloe. One or two of this bunch were feeling the pace at this stage and were distanced.
With just 5 opting for the chase bunch, it was always going to be a tough test of endurance. The aim is not to put people out the back on the first roll through, instead you want to be the person still pushing through at the end. You might feel great in the fist 5 minutes but think how you are going to feel after 55 minutes and plan accordingly! The back bunch showed good climbing ability on the way over to Killaloe and it wasn’t long before they had caught the first bunch just entering Killaloe. The rolling over wasn’t quite over yet, we were only just over half way.
The little climb out of Ballina proved damaging with only 4 getting to the top together. The 4 lads pushed on well to the roll over finish in Portroe – this turned out to be another 55 min effort. A few minutes later came the rest of the bunch and we all cycled home slowly together. This cycle was a little tougher than our pre-Christmas cycles but with the racing season coming up soon we will need to push on a little when possible.
It was great to meet up with everyone again today. I don’t know about ye, but I really do miss the Saturday and Sunday spins when they are not on. For those of you that couldn’t make it out today due to the late time or due to suffering the post-Christmas blues, try your best to get out training during the week and join us again next Saturday.
On a positive note, it is great to see the huge improvements shown by our women’s cycling team over the last few months. They are putting a lot of the men in the club to shame. It just shows you what week in week out dedication and hard work can do for you. They rarely complain and just get on with the job of cycling and are starting to reap the benefits. There is a huge amount of hard work still left to do and things will certainly get tougher as we close in on the racing season but ye can be proud of what ye have done so far. It isn’t always easy and there are times when you will want to throw away your bike but stick with it and you will succeed. The same words can be said for many of our juniors too. Great stuff out of ye all!!!
Next up: Sunday cycle – starts at 9:00am tomorrow from Tescos. We plan on cycling the lake but if it is very frosty we we will stick to the main roads instead.
After that: Turbo resumes on Tuesday at 7:30pm in the running complex. If you are a beginner cyclist, then this could be a more suitable way of starting cycling with our club. There is no way you can left behind and you will get to know the rest of the club. We have spare turbos for you so just bring your bike. This set is as hard as you want to make it yourself.