That cycle probably came as a shock to some today but as the winter months tick by you can expect the intensity to keep on increasing. We have had two months of steady-ish cycling so now it’s time to push it on a little. You will find out what you are really made of over the next 6 weeks. If today didn’t quite go your way don’t get disillusioned. Use it as motivation to improve for next week.
The first cycle in December saw the largest G3 yet. There were plenty of lads looking to try their luck in the fastest group. With Mike Browne joining us for the cycle and most of our other strong cyclists out you start to get an idea of the real speed and quality needed to ride in the fastest bunch. It sure ain’t easy and it was no surprise when splits started occurring in G3 on the first interval. With the aid of a tailwind, a new KOM from Roscrea to Birr was set and G3 put 3 minutes into G2 over 10 miles – this represents a 5km per hour difference in speed. That difference is a bit too much so there are issues pacing and group formation.
There was a bit of a mix-up in Roscrea with Kenneth getting the call wrong as usual. That Roscrea bypass seems to always confuse him. After some initial confusion, and some turn arounds, all 3 groups eventually got going. Todays cycle was a little bit shorter than usual so the instructions were to take the two short intervals hard. Group 2 worked well and stayed together for the whole cycle. The speed could perhaps have been a little higher though.
It was great to see a few stronger cyclists opting to help out those in G1 this morning. Even with this help it didn’t stop a few newcomers to the group finishing in a body bag at the end. A good time was certainly not had by all but this isn’t a relaxing sun holiday. The only tan lines you are going to get in winter is from mud. The sense of achievement will be great when you finally get yourself to a standard of cycling fitness that allows you to complete the cycles with us comfortably. The harder you have to work for it the bigger the joy when you make it. Remember, not many people in Nenagh would be able to handle what we do.
One point I just want to make is the issue of braking in the bunch especially when rolling over on intervals. The aim should always be to not have to go near your brakes. If you find yourself hitting the brakes hard all the time there is a problem and it’s not just a problem for you but that problem will amplify as you go back down the group. Judge your distance a little better and stop the surge/stall cycling style. This is only nitpicking really. Compared to 3 years ago, the bunch has improved a huge amount. Now it’s time to focus on the small things.
Next up: Sunday cycle – Tescos at 8:00. Bring a rear light because it can be a little dark at the start. Coffee stop in Scariff. Getting out twice on the weekend is important so don’t miss it.
Next Saturday: Winter Warrior League – Round 1 – Nenagh CC vs Nenagh Tri Club. Out and back course to Roscrea with no hills (they will be added after Christmas). The pace won’t be much different to our normal training spins until near the end. Pints later that night to celebrate.