Our 7th Saturday cycle since we started our winter training was pretty tough for most today. Once again we had a huge turnout for today’s cycle. The 35 that showed up were greeted by perfect weather for cycling. The sun was out and the winds were low; that certainly made for a welcome change after the torture endured last week. This was our first time repeating one of our routes, so it was a good chance to see how much you have progressed over the last while.
As usual the racing group met up at 8:00am for a little extra. There were 8 out at this and the going was pretty easy. On returning to Nenagh we could see that Nenagh CC were out in force. There was a good turnout from our juniors; we hope ye all got home ok! The large bunch headed out towards Toomevara. The first split occurred here as the racing lads gave the rest a good headstart before setting off in pursuit. Eoin Woolley was our first victim on the road today as he suffered an early mechanical problem. The racing bunch pressed ahead but there was no sign of the main bunch. They were clearly moving along at a decent pace.
After 3o mins of rolling, the two bunches came together in unfortunate circumstances. A sheep dog ran out on the road between the Silvermines and Shallee and brought down the first bunch. Young Seán O’Neill was the worst affected. Luckily he was still in one piece after flying out over the handle bars but the same couldn’t be said about his bike which was badly smashed up. We all know cycling can be a dangerous sport at times but when dogs are let loose like this (and this dog is well known by most cyclists at this stage), it can have serious consequences. Hopefully something can be done about this particular situation as it has been an ongoing problem.
We lost a few cyclists at this stage but the rest composed themselves and battled on towards Birdhill. At Birdhill, the groups split again. This time the front groups numbers had been cut almost in half. Some communication issues also meant that the front group didn’t actually start rolling over on time. This all resulted in the back bunch catching the front group pretty early into the cycle. There was some commotion as we came into O’Brien’s Bridge with the front bunch breaking ranks and trying to jump into the fast group. Hopefully the lesson is learned at this stage that that is not what should be done.
There were a number of tired bodies as we entered Killaloe. People are clearly not heeding the advice not to overdo it. It is possible to turn up at our Saturday cycle and breeze through it feeling like you have done little. It is also very easy to overdo it and have yourself wrecked. Most people are falling into the 2nd category! You are bringing all this pain on yourself. There is plenty of time after Christmas to bury yourself. Proof that people over did it today was seen in the low numbers that finished the pre-planned route, with most people opting for a short cut option home via Portroe.
Those who did the full route had over 80 miles in the legs by the end. There were plenty of strong cyclists out there today. Keep it up!
It was a such a good day, we will all just have to get back on our bikes tomorrow for our Sunday cycle.
Next up: tomorrow – Sunday at 8:00am from Tescos – cycle around the lake – 70 miles with a coffee stop. This is open to all club members but it is not a beginner friendly cycle.
A few issues from today’s cycle
- 35 is proving to be too big a number on the roads. It also means that the first bunch is filled with quality riders and ye are making it a little too tough for our beginner cyclists. They don’t really have a chance of staying with us at the moment and it is proving very daunting. We will be looking to split the group into 3 for certain routes (when there are 30+ on the road) with an even number in each group. Too many people are too scared to try the back bunch so having three similar ability bunches might work better.
- If the back bunch catch the front bunch you have to just let them off. There is to be no jumping from one group to the other as it just wrecks the interval for both groups. If you choose to put yourself in the easier group then stand by your decision. It doesn’t matter whether you are feeling good or not. Both groups will re-group after the interval anyway.