Our 3rd Saturday cycle proved to be the toughest of the lot so far as the windy conditions made it hell for many. After last night’s poor weather I think we were all just glad to be able to get on our bikes for this morning’s spin. There was another fine turn out. It was great to see so many of our female riders that will be targeting next year’s Rás na mBan out with us. We would hope that in the future a few more of our older juniors could join us too!
At this stage, people should have a good idea of what bunch is the most suitable to cycle in. There are 4 options – 1st group rolling or sitting at the back or the second group rolling or sitting on the back. Choose the option that is right for you and don’t overdo it. For those that found the pace of the bunch a little too hard at the start, don’t be too hard on yourself. Get out training during the week and the next time we do that route you will hang on a little further.
This week we started our new puncture rule, but thankfully the rule wasn’t put to the test. That made for a nice cruising pace out to Roscrea. 4 or 5 turned for home on the way out to Roscrea and this is the smart choice when you are just building your fitness. The rest of the large bunch split in two in Roscrea for the start of the first interval session over to Birr.
The pace of this interval session was a little faster (probably too fast) than the week before and that meant the 2 bunches lost some cyclists and had to regroup in Birr. There were plenty of tired bodies in Birr but we were only half way around and with the head wind to come, it was the tough half left. The two groups regrouped in Birr and pushed on for Borrisokane. The head wind made it very tough for those at the front but it made it easier for those who were being sucked along behind.
The combined group stayed together over to Borrisokane. Last year, we would have seen cyclists falling off the back regularly but this year you can see that the fitness and experience levels are so much higher. People know how to look after themselves now. This allows for a much smoother cycle and keeps the average pace up a little higher.
At Borrisokane, the bunch split in two again. After a 4 minute head start the racing group set about chasing after the first bunch. There was a full force gale of a headwind all the way back to Nenagh. This made the 5 seconds of rolling over the top of the group pretty hard. It wasn’t long before people opted to stay at the back, leaving 6 to tow the bunch at the front.
The racing group caught the first group early as the first group had to stop briefly on the road. As usual when the 2nd group passes the first, a lot of people jump on the back of the faster moving bunch. With the strong headwind I don’t think anyone wanted to battle into that wind alone. From Ardcroney back to Nenagh, the group gradually got smaller and smaller as one by one people lost contact with the racing lads. The final bunch reaching Nenagh was quite small, with a string of riders behind coming into town in twos and threes.
The wind was main talking point of the cycle today. No matter what pace we went it was always going to be a tough one. Well done to everyone for getting through it. Things will get easier once this hurricane passes! If your fitness isn’t quite where you want it then try to make it out cycling with us on Sunday or Tuesday. Cycling once a week isn’t enough to improve. Get the miles in and soon you will be at ease on these cycles.
TOMORROW – Sunday cycle: 70 miles or so with a coffee break, meeting at Tescos at 8:00am. If you are targeting the Rás (mens or womens) or you plan on racing next year then try your best to make this cycle. This cycle is also open to anyone in the club that wants to tag along. The more the merrier.
Tuesday Turbo: 7:30pm in the running complex.