and they’re off!
It was great to have the gang back together again today for the start of club pre-season training. It just shows you how far the club have progressed when we have 33 cyclists turning up on a cold October morning for a cycle, and over half our racing cyclists didn’t even turn up! Thanks to everyone that made the effort to be there on Day 1 of our new adventure.
Pre-season training is always enjoyable. Perhaps it’s the fact that there is no pressure at this time of year to do well as there is no racing. Perhaps we have all been away from the bike for too long and are eager to get going again. Each new start brings new goals and renewed enthusiasm for the sport. Everything is at a nice controlled pace and thankfully, in our team, there is nobody looking to lay down a marker – if there was, they wouldn’t be cycling with us for very long. Everyone seems to know the story now and the complaints about the way we train are very few.
There was a great mix of cyclists in the pack with plenty of juniors turning up to mix it with the senior men and women. 9 cyclists got up early for the 8:00am start and so were well warmed up on this chilly morning by the time they returned to Nenagh for the 9:00am official start. Shorts and t-shirts seemed to be the gear of choice for our juniors today – tip – sunny outside doesn’t mean it’s warm!!! lesson learned. After a brief speech and the obligatory team starting photo and fixing of Geraldine’s puncture, the group pulled out onto the road. Three of our group had to call it a day early due to mechanical failures, but it still made for a large bunch rolling out of Nenagh towards Toomevara.
You can see great improvements in the bunch over the last year. Everyone is way more organised and comfortable in the bunch and the fitness levels have improved greatly. This meant that the average speed could be kept a little faster without dumping half the group out the back. As expected though, cyclists turned for home when they felt they had done enough. By the time we had made it to Birdhill we were down to 20 riders or so who would persevere on for the whole trip.
At Birdhill, the bunch split into 2 groups as is the norm. This was a very smooth transition and that helps greatly with the quality of the cycle. The back group went up the ramp and back down, thereby putting some daylight between the two groups as we practiced some of the technicalities of bunch cycling. This also allows the racing lads to up their average speed a little as they pursue the front group.
With so many of the racing group ‘missing in action’ the two groups never actually saw each other again. The front group were very organised and made great progress all the way to Killaloe. Again, the improvements made in just one year are clear to see. There are going to be some that would wish to go faster during these ‘interval’ sessions, but now is not the time. We will practice rolling over at a slow pace now so that when we need to go fast we can.
The two groups made their own way home from Killaloe. The first group went straight home via Portroe – Newtown, while the back group swung right at Portroe to head up over Coum. There were some tired bodies at the end as the 56 or 70 mile distances proved a bit long for some that were just getting back on the bikes. The average pace was just over the 18mph mark. As the weeks and months pass by, things will get faster, so for now, just enjoy the more leisurely pace. With each week that passes you will get stronger and be able to cycle faster and further. The worst thing you could do is to give up now after taking the all important first step. See ye again next week!
Next cycle: turbo training starts back this Tuesday at 7:30pm in the running complex. It is one hour long and is free to club members.
This session is ideal for beginner cyclists as there is no way you can get dropped. The club have limited spare turbos so if you want one then turn up early. If anyone is looking to sell one at a decent price then the club will buy it off you. This session is also open to any juniors that want to take part.