Numbers might have been down at today’s cycle but the effort put in by those in attendance certainly wasn’t. 4 cyclists were out early at 8:00 for a little extra and they met up with 11 more cyclists at 9:00 at the hotel. Today’s route was a tough one, with a few hills to negotiate, but at least the weather was lovely.
The first planned split came immediately. The group were given a choice of route out to Dolla – the short way or the long way. To nobody’s surprise only 4 opted for the long way! Starting straight away into rolling can be tough but you soon get into it and it sets the tone for the whole cycle. Once you start, it becomes hard to stop – or maybe I am the only one that feels that way?!
It took around 20 miles of chasing before the first group were caught. It was good to see them still altogether on the road over to Newport. Once the groups merged we changed tactic and started a little continuous rolling over to Newport. Two went out the back and a puncture led to another 4 pulling in. The rest pushed hard to Newport and a quick coffee break, while they waited for everyone else to catch up.
Brian O’Neill had his front wheel puncture fixed in no time, only to realise that the back had gone down too. Bloody potholes!!! To make matters worse the group had no spare long nozzle tubes for his wheels. Luckily for Brian he was able to get a lift into Newport, where he was able to get one from Big Wheel Cycles. Nice one!
We were all back on the road once again and heading towards Daly’s Cross. The group didn’t stay together for long as a group of 6 pushed on ahead, with the plan of cycling into the roundabout in Limerick and back out to Daly’s Cross. This would give the other group a nice long head start for the rest of the cycle.
Through Daly’s Cross, O’Brien’s Bridge and into Killaloe the chase group went but there was still no sign of the front group. They were going well. The chase group lost two members in Ballina as they turned for home. This left 4 to chase. The road from Ballina to Nenagh is a lumpy one so big gaps can be chased down very quickly. So it proved to be here as not too far down the road the front group came into view.
The average speed of the back group had been pretty high all day so 3 decided to keep going all the way back to Nenagh. In the end an average pace of just under 34km/hr was recorded for roughly 120km of cycling. Not bad at all! The rest came into Nenagh a few minutes later. Everyone seemed to get a very good workout and it is really great to see the improvement in the group. That is only part 1 of our weekend training though; tomorrow is another day.
Next up: Sunday cycle at 7:00am at Tescos – again this is a M2M focused training session. We will be starting at 7:00 during M2M so don’t be nagging about the start time. Just get up and do it. We will also be looking to tighten up on the average speed and break time. We will be aiming for 18mph and no more than a 20 minute stop in Mountshannon. It’s a flat route so you will be fine!! Let the stronger cyclists do the work at the front.