That was one tough day on the bike. A difficult route combined with rain, wind and punctures meant it was a hard slog for many. Nevertheless, everyone survived and got a great workout. Another positive from the day was the success of the new group system. While not everyone was happy with it, the groups were better matched and this resulted in a better quality spin all round.
The cycle was looking in doubt on Friday evening with heavy rain forecast for the morning. However, with the temperature remaining high, the conditions were ok for cycling. The Rás group were first out at 8:00am and it wasn’t long before the 1st puncture of the day occurred. This was fixed quickly and the 7 lads got in a nice warm-up before the main event kicked off at 9:00.
There was a strong turnout of well over 30 for this cycle. This was great considering the conditions. The committee would like to thank everyone for being so understanding when it came to group selection. 3 groups were formed with even numbers in each. There were also 3 different starting routes for each group. With group 1 going straight to Dolla and group 2 and 3 taking longer routes.
The long head starts meant that catching the groups ahead was always going to be tough. The last thing the racing lads expected was to meet a small group early on Dolla hill. A puncture had caused an early split in group 2. A tough but manageable pace was set up the hill with the group 2 lads just getting distanced towards the end. Both groups would meet up again before Rearcross as a puncture in the racing group led to another delay. Up ahead group 1 were progressing nicely and were still well out of sight. The front half of group 2 were also moving along at a good pace.
The back two bunches merged and this led to a slowing down of the pace and things got a little messy on the narrow roads. After Newport, a decision was made to split the bunch again with the group 2 lads taking the right turn for Daly’s cross and the racing lads extended their cycle by heading into Limerick. It wasn’t too long before both groups merged again as another puncture slowed the lads in group 2’s progress.
The front two groups had gotten to Killaloe with a strong lead. A mechanical in Ballina led to group 2 getting delayed. Group 1 were still out front by themselves as they came into Portroe. They pulled in here and waited for the groups behind. They joined what was left of group 2 and pushed on for home.
Well back the road, the remaining groups were starting to push the pace. The hilly road from Ballina to Portroe took its toll on many, but they regrouped in Portroe and spun easy back to Nenagh. Some needed a late emergency shop stop and other damzels in distress needed to be rescued but before long we were all back in town, putting our feet up after a job well done.
Great effort out of everyone today. Well done!
Few points about the groups……
- Just because you are selected in a group, this does not mean that you are stuck there. Train hard and perform well in your current group and you will be asked to move up. We will be keeping a close eye on performance levels.
- If you are struggling in the group you are in then it might make sense for you do move down a group for a few weeks till you get back up to speed.
- We don’t plan on selecting groups every Saturday as this delays our start time. You know the group you are in so unless you are informed previously about a change, you should stay in that group.
- Feel free to talk to anyone on the committee if you feel you are in the wrong group. We get lots of things wrong so let us know of any issues you have.
- Punctures – the racing group are operating a policy where we stop for punctures when it involves someone from our own group (others in our group, cycle down the road and back). We would like each group to adopt this policy in the future but feel free to make a different call on the road if ye want.
Next up: Sunday cycle at 8:00am from Tescos. Once again, this is subject to a weather inspection! The planned route is down to Tipperary town but the forecast is for a very wet morning so things might be changed – we will update Facebook early if things are changing.