How do we judge a “good” cycling club? There are many ways of doing just that, and many answers to the question. It depends on what “good” cycling means, and that’s so different for everyone.
One important aspect of good cycling is that there needs to be a structure in place, providing enjoyable activity for as wide as possible a cross-section of club members. In this regard, Dungarvan Cycling Club is tops.
Currently, there are five well-supported group spins every Sunday morning, as follows:
- Group 1: racing members. Pace is anywhere from 32k upwards
- Group 2: pace 30-32k
- group 3: pace 27-28k
- Group 23: pace is 23k (that’s why it’s called G23)
- Group 5: pace approx 19-20k
Isn’t that very clever? What’s also clever is that anyone may hop up or down a group, depending on these factors:
- current fitness level
- targeting a big goal ahead
- wine the previous evening
- coughs, colds, splutters or gammy knee problems
- not enough on a given day to form a viable group
- mixing concrete (anyone in the construction sector can substitute some gardening for this)
- wanting to cycle with your bike-loving partner, or maybe wanting to not cycle with your bike-loving partner
- add your own reasons here. All Facebook comments accompanying this post will be edited in, provided they conform to Burkes Biking Profanity Policy.
To this list, I want to add one further item. I rarely upgrade (definitely no wine previous 48 hours) but like to downgrade, simply to cycle with different people. In addition to my comment about the great structure within our club, most will agree that all our cyclists are just nice people, out to enjoy the bike and all that brings with it.
Last Sunday I downgraded myself. I joined Group 23 for a great 66k spin around West Waterford, with coffee and one sausage roll to assist with the headwind home. The official DCC group captain’s log states:
11 cyclists took to the road for Sunday mornings Group23K/4 spin. They headed up the N72 on a breezy chilly morning turning left at the Welcome Inn and headed for Kereen were they turned right and headed to Villierstown and onto Lismore via Dromana and Cappoquin. They stopped for coffee at Lismore. After re-energising themselves they headed out of Lismore town in the direction of Deerpark and then onto Cappoquin were they headed home against a strong breeze. The group captain would like to commend all 10 cyclists that made the spin an enjoyable and safe one and especially made his job as captain an easy one. The distance was 64km at an average speed of 22.6kph. (Tony M)
To be sure, I’ll be joining them again. They all enjoy their cycling, and “have the craic” along the way.
I sometimes use a nifty add-on to my cycling technology called RELIVE. It gives a birds eye view of the route, collected by the DCC drone in the sky. If you zoom in very closely, you will see the helmets on the table!
While G23 headed west, my Group 3 went t’other way, and despite my absence, the rolling reporter reported back to me, just to let me know what I was missing.
On a very blustery but bright Sunday morning Group 3 were off on a field trip to the botanical gardens of Mount Congreve (well the general area anyway) on what one rider described as a very circuitous route!! What the group didn’t anticipate was in order to smell the roses there were a lot of nasty climbs to overcome. Climbing from the outset it was up the N25 to Lemybrien, over to Mahon Bridge and off across the peaks and troughs of Fews, Kilmac, up the five cross roads and up the “Mountcongreve Hill sprint” all 8% of it. A quick pit stop at the garden gates which happened to be closed so no botany lessons followed. Back in the saddle it was onwards and more ups to Kill, Bunmahon and the coast road home. An unexpectedly tough spin not at all helped by the relentless head wind for most of the spin but most enjoyable just the same. Kudos to our captain who never fails to turn up interesting and untraveled roads. 14 in the group, 900m climbing and 95k at 26.5kph. (Carol B)
Reading back through some of the recent Sunday Spin reports, it’s very clear to me that several important things are being done correctly in order to ensure that things run smoothly. First and foremost is that each group has a leader on the road. These captains did not get where they are today by being eejits. They’ve climbed the ladder of respect, and they pull fellow cyclists up, step by step. Equally, each group has a card-carrying journalist in their midst, watching and listening for worthwhile gaffes along the way! If you prefer not be mentioned in these insightful summaries, please cycle at the back at all times, and keep your mouth firmly dúnta.
Finally, unrelated to cycling, this gave me a great laugh during the week. What to you call a sheep with no legs? Answer: A cloud!
All LIKERS will be entered for a grand draw. First prize is a week in Aglish. Second, is two weeks in Aglish.
And now finally, finally, anyone wishing to join us please be aware that biking is really good fun. You’ve got to be up for it. Take a peek at the upcoming Hallowe’en spins, courtesy of the DCC website & FB page:
“Plenty of chills and thrills on offer from DCC this Halloween weekend. Join us on our spooky spins…
- Sat Club Spin: Ride with the ‘Friends of Frankenstein’ departing Kilrush at 9am. Lismore , Knockanore, Youghal Bridge, Geosh , Mountstuart, Kielys X, Old Parish. A spin for all!. 90 km avg 26 /28.
- Sunday Club Spins Civic Office Plaza 9.00am
- G2: ‘Bats out of Hell’ are flying to Colligan, Halfway House, Mill street, Cappoquin, Villierstown, Clashmore, Ardmore, Old Parish 95k
- G3: ‘A haunting we will go’ taking in Durrow, Lemybrien, Crehana, Curraghmore, Carrolls cross, Kill, Ballylaneen, Kilmac, Griffins garage, 5 crossroads, Home. 90k
- G23/4: ‘The Boo Crew’ will spin to Durrow, 5 Cross Road, Seafield, Kilmac, Mahon Bridge, Leamybrien, Knockeylan, Durrow, Home. 68k
- G5: ‘Trick or Treat’ with group 5 to the Welcome Inn, Villierstown, Cappoquin, Lismore (coffee), Cappoquin home main road 50km. New people Welcome Inn, Kilmolash, Capppoquin, Lismore. Spin is at a very steady pace nobody left behind. All welcome.
- Best wishes to club members taking part in Nire Valley Drop and Dublin City Marathon. Have a terror-ific weekend folks.”
Until next week, safe cycling out there.