Today felt like the first proper day of winter training as we headed out far from Nenagh on one of our old routes from last year. There was a lot of fear and trepidation in the bunch, with many not having the foggiest idea of what bunch they should go in. We seem to have a huge number of cyclists ‘in between’ bunches so hopefully after today you will have a better idea of where you belong.
The cycle got underway shortly after 9:00am. It is great to see everyone making the effort to be there on time, although we did leave one person behind unintentionally. She had a long 10 mile chase to get back on. Plenty of time to think about time keeping!! It was a very large bunch on the road, but because the road to Roscrea is wide with a hard shoulder we decided to keep it altogether.
In Roscrea, the splits occured and the intervals began. The racing group were first off as they had an extra 15km to cover. They got into their stride quickly and worked well, with nobody pushing the pace on too hard at this early stage.
The groups behind didn’t seem to know what was happening – warning after warning to know what group you are going in and know where you are going are not being heeded. Everything is too haphazard and this is affecting the quality of the cycle. We don’t want to head down the road of assigning people to groups at the start but if you can’t make up your mind then we will do it for you. It is getting a little annoying at this stage dealing with the same issues each and every week.
As per usual, the split left a small and broken up first bunch and a large middle bunch on the road. Everyone thinks they are a middle group cyclist. The fact is that half of those currently opting for the middle group have no business being there. At the moment, the middle group is going far too slow on the road compared to last year. That is the only reason why people are able to hang on. The standard is dropping too low. It also has the effect of making the first group a disaster too, as there are so few there and it is very fragmented.
This also has the knock on effect of forcing the top middle group cyclists from last year to want a better quality cycle and jump in with the racing bunch. You can’t blame them, but the racing group have no interest in having a situation where you have 6 lads rolling through and 10 out the back hanging on. This is not how it is supposed to be.
- everyone be a little bit more humble about their abilities and select the correct group.
- form 4 groups on the road (same group selection problems will probably still exist)
- assign cyclists into groups at the start (feelings will probably be hurt)
- racing team head off doing their own thing and leave the rest of ye to sort things out. Maybe having two smaller groups on the road from the start is the best way to manage things. This is how it used to be a few years ago.
Back to the cycling (what we should be talking about)……the weather was great today but the head wind from Roscrea made things tough. The race group had the added bonus of a headwind all the way to Thurles to deal with. They rolled continuously for half the trip and went one up for the rest. A good pace was being set but they were never able to catch the other bunches on the road.
In the groups behind – the first group were gobbled up quite early by the middle group. Unable to jump on, most of the first group were left to fend for themselves for the rest of the cycle. In Borrisoleigh a few of the lads turned back in search of a punctured comrade but there was no sign so they left him – presumed dead. The rest pressed on for the hills arpound Templederry. Although tired, they made decent progresss and stayed well ahead of the race bunch behind.
Three punctures on the road led to things getting a bit disjointed at times but thats not a big deal. It is unlucky on the lads involved but we hope you got something out of the cycle anyway! It was great to see most people opting to head up to Templederry to take on the final climb. The race bunch passed a few back markers on the hill but as the racing lads were given permission to push it on on the hill there was no waiting for anyone.
The groups rolling back to Nenagh from Dolla were small but the mood was good. Things might not have been organised perfectly out on the road but most people got a good workout. For those thirsty for more – tomorrow is another day
Next up: Sunday cycle – lake route – meet at 8:00am at Tescos.