Our Climber of the week goes to Derry Cadogan with an impressive 2089m of climbing and the award for biggest combined distance goes to Gary Neff with 263.2km. Well done Lads.
Remember if your not on the club group we can't track the leader board so get on there.
This week we had two main spins on Sunday with the 8.30 Coffee Group doing 100km on reasonably flat route with a bit of climbing towards lisgold to finish off. As usual this group was one of the biggest club groups around and is a testiment to the strength of our club.
The Beginners groups is becoming a true success story with 31 people out on the cold and frosty Sunday Morning. An average temperature of 0degrees for the duration didnt dampen spirits.
This group has got so large now and with new people joining even this week it may have to be split into 2 groups next week due to demand.
But instead of me telling you from a PR point of view, this week some stalwarts of the new group Catalina González and Pat Burke (who even joined facebook to join us) give their views on the spins. Thanks Guys and Gals and keep up the good work.
Sunday January 11th 2015, saw the newest Midleton Beginners group taking off at 9:30 from the Courthouse. Numbers were good, some beginners, some returning to cycle after a break, people from all ages and walks of life.
As one of the beginners I have been asked to write a report on the experience so far. I don’t have much cycling experience, but decided that it was time to get out and do some exercise a while ago, and have since started running , swimming and cycling a bit, albeit very slow in the three disciplines. I completed Youghal Sprint Triathlon in September 2014, and was part of a relay team doing the Escape from spike Oympic Triathlon, were I swam from Spike to Cobh. I have done several open water swims, and I hope to complete (not compete!!) several events this year if possible.
Having never ridden in a group, my first time out with the club, I was a bit apprehensive. Well, what I was thinking!! Riding in a group is a fantastic way to get out and put in the mileage with half the effort!! Now, our first day we were very unfortunate with the way the wind turned on us on the way back home, but we all got back to base safe and most returned the next week. Week 1: Midleton to Youghal and back, via the back road from Castlemartyr, around 50km, not back for a beginners group first outing!
The second week, saw a lot of cycling clubs cancelling their spins due to the icy roads. Not Midleton CTC, we brave it again, this time sticking to the main road from Midleton to Silversprings and back, with a well deserve coffee stop at Fitzpatrick’s in Glounthaune. Bigger numbers than the previous weeks, everyone chatting to everyone, and friendships starting to forge. Week 2, I don’t have the stats, but around 45 km, in a very comfortable pace.
On our third week cycling, we took some back roads, from Midleton to Garryvoe via Castlemartyr, Shanagarry for a quick cup in the local garage there. We had our first puncture as a group as we approached Garryvoe. Some of the lads stayed behind to help the lady in distress, but they joined us quickly after for their well deserved coffee (and a lovely butterfly bun that Jonny Finn enjoyed too much!). Here, a pattern started to emerge, with Mags Higgins “supposedly” breaking the coffee machine for the second week in a row…..
As we headed back to Midleton via Cloyne, we encountered an inclined…well, the group did very well, however, I am not fan of hills, and keep dropping back. Thanks to Ollie, I was able to join the group, with him guiding me how to tackle the hills, keep breathing, find a rhythm …and we made it to Midleton. Once there, we realised we were on 30/35 kms, and sure, beginners or not, that’s not enough for a Sunday spin, so decided to go to Carrigtowhill via Ballintubber . We had to make a stop to wait for some riders who were staying behind helping one of the lady beginners who was finding it hard, but it gave us the opportunity to refuel (thanks to those jellies Deirdre was handing, I made it back with some energy left!). Back to Midleton via the dual carriageway, chatting away to whoever was next to me. Week 3, 50 kms, avg speed 20.2 km/h, 23 riders, and I survived my first hill/ incline thanks to Ollie.
Week 4 came, and again icy roads, but beautiful blue sunny skies. Route was meant to be Midleton to Passage, via Cork City and the South Link, ferry across to Rushbrooke and back home to Midleton. According to Road Captain Peter Moloney, it was supposed to be 48 km…well never believe a word they say!! Pace felt a bit slower than before, not sure if it was really slower, or I was feeling stronger and fitter. Big group of 30 cyclists, with plenty new faces!! We made it to the city, and I found myself at the front, riding along Road Captain Peter Moloney for a good while (did he say 10 km I was leading??? It didn’t feel that long at all) We made it to Passage and we stopped for a coffee…people started getting worried when they saw Mags at the front by the coffee machine…only this time, she didn’t break it!!! Hurray!!! Onto the ferry, where it was decided that those who felt like it, could take a right after the ferry, and go to Cobh for “some hills” or take a left and go straight home. Pressure was building up, and only a few went left…..I decided to go right!!! Well, why you might ask, if you hate hills?? Well, I needed reassurance that I indeed hate hills!!! And by god, those are some hills!! I will not lie, I felt like puking, but again, Ollie to the rescue, he stayed behind me, coaching me on how to tackle them, not letting me give up on the middle….and with four lads shouting at me, surprised that I was lost for words (apparently I like to talk when I am not climbing hills!), I did reach the top of East Hill. As I was struggling and it was obvious to the group, it was decided to go back down Carrignafoy Ave to Cuskine and them Fota, Carrigtwohill and Midleton via the dual carriageway. Well, going up hills is hard, going down hill is no easy either!!! That was some descent, ending up with a sharp bent!! But, no reports of any falls, everyone made it back in one piece!! I recall another hill, Ollie again with me, but I did it…It was all flat after that (well,Carrig to Midleton is now officially flat after those hills!! ). Needed some refuel, a few jellies from my back pocket…and we headed home….I ended again at the tail of the group, but Andrew stayed with me…and we rode back together…to meet the group at the Courthouse, where I was awarded cyclist of the week, not sure why!!! Week 4, aprox 60 km, some hills from hell, but great craic!!!
I have heard good things about cycling in a group, and not so good things about the club not catering for beginners. Well, my experience so far has proven that the club is really the way to go for beginners. The club have done nothing other than making me come back every weekend for more, knowing that the road captains and all the more experience members are going to be there for when us beginners find it hard, and that we enjoy the rides despite knowing they are lying when they say “it’ll only be 50 kms” or “flat like a pancake”. When it was said at week 1 that the goal will be to get us up to 100km, I thought to myself “yeah, right”…and now another couple of beginners and myself are seriously consider doing the Tour the Cure 100km….and who knows, 2016 might see us doing the Ring of Kerry! I will definitely be there for the next 4 weeks, chatting to all of you (you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t talk when I am climbing the hills) and looking forward to many more spins together!!
I've thoroughly enjoyed the Beginner's Group and am proud to be a member of such a great bunch of people. There has been great comradery from the start and it showed on Sunday as we tackled the hills of Cobh. Once Peter M made the suggestion Catalina took charge and we all dutifully fell in and away we went, turning right off the ferry instead of left for home - last time she took charge we kept on to Youghal when we could have turned for home at Redbarn - once again she was right! The Road Captains and experienced members have been superb with this group and your enthusiasm, tips and encouragement got us over the hills and back to the Court House smirking and beginning to believe that the Tour de Cure is now do-able - if we stick together. One month in might be described as 'beginners enthusiasm' but I've now got used to the early Sunday morning spin and really enjoy it to the extent that I wouldn't miss it and can't wait for the stretch in the evenings to stretch some more! The Club has a wonderful air of professionalism that is cloaked in modesty based on knowledge gained from hard miles put in. I know that we've certainly gained from the input of the Road Captains and their teams who've given up their Sunday spin to take us on what must feel like being back with stabilisers on for them at this stage. We've been privileged to be given such a great introduction to a great sport by a great bunch of guys and girls. I think the increasing numbers of the Beginner's Group is testament to how the word of mouth spreads. I'm delighted to have joined such a welcoming and professional club and look forward to getting the miles (and coffee!) in over the coming months in my Midleton CTC jersey. I even had to sign up to Facebook so I can keep tabs of when the spins are on!