November 13, 2016
The supermoon has been bigger and brighter this week. Donald Trump won the US Presidential Election, and Dungarvan Cycling Club created a further Super Sunday by adding two new spins to the range.
Most of this is not important, really. The supermoon will be back to normal within a few more evenings, I think that Mr. T. will be reined in by his advisors and Angela M, but hopefully DCC will go from strength to strength.
The recent Sunday Spin reports are below, but first I want to focus this week on one of the important parts of cycling in a group.
The method of rotating the cyclists at the front of the group is called “Up & Over”. It is difficult to describe, and yet when you see it in action it is so simple… How is it done? Cyclists move along two-abreast, two behind two. The cyclist on the OUTSIDE front moves (gently) ahead and moves carefully to the INSIDE. The cyclist needs to be completely ahead of the other cyclist before moving in. A good way to check is to glance over your left shoulder to be sure.
- What happens then? Every cyclist on the OUTSIDE moves up. Why is this done? It is done to make sure no-one is left for too long at the front
- How often is it done? No hard-and-fast rule, but five minutes might be a reasonable time
- Is it ever called by any other name? Yes. Sometimes a group leader or a cyclist behind might call “CHANGE”.
Most experienced cyclists perform this manoeuvre with fluency. The rhythm of the group is not disturbed. They have learned (mostly) that the following errors contribute to loss of fluency within the group:
- Moving ahead too fast
- Moving ahead too far
- Slowing down while waiting for the next person to come up beside
- Worse still, braking
These errors are fundamental and should be eliminated. Even if just one cyclist among the group is guilty of any of the above, the likelihood is there will be a problem towards the back of the group.
A very good place to find out more is at Global Cycling Network. These guys make interesting videos about all sorts of bike situations, and these videos can be very informative. Here’s a taster about group riding:
Our November weather has been really good. The weather has been mild and dry, with very calm wind conditions. It has been ideal for cycling, and because of this, our club numbers have been quite large for the time of the year.
Last Sunday there were 6 separate groups out. I cycled with Group 4, the new (reformed) group that had slipped to nothing in recent months. Well, it’s back with a bang, as we had 13 very capable cyclists, all working well together. Keith is our group PRO and his report arrived just as efficiently as the group itself!
On the first official spin for the newly reformed group 4 the weather was very kind to us. Spirits were high and the group was full of positive energy waiting for the off. The call was made and the 13 strong group started on their planned route towards Cappoquin and onto Lismore at a good controlled pace where we stopped for refreshments (an excuse for a chat and a bit of banter and some exclusive pics from Anne). Back on the road again we headed for Tourin through Cappoquin and onto the back roads to Kilmolash. From here the group then took a new route to Villerstown which to the group’s delight involved a long drag uphill and the group became more thrilled when the captain made a call to attack the oncoming drag at own pace, which all the group obliged. This was followed by a tricky descent due to road conditions. From here the group cruised through Villerstown towards Aglish where the captain gave another option to the group to attack the upcoming climb again at own pace and regroup in Aglish. Need to mention, while we were regrouping the chat turned to Conor’s socks which seemed to fascinate Karen. Karen then suggested that as a group we should all have fancy socks?… Christmas is coming, I am a size 8 Karen. With a smile on everybody’s face we were back on the bikes and ready to tackle the final section home. The call was made for quick rotations at a controlled pace back into Dungarvan. 65k covered at an avg of 25kmph with a total ascent of 481 m with a great group of people. (Keith M)
I have taken on the task of leading this fine group of people. My thoughts after our debut spin include the following :
- Cyclists new to a group are very keen to learn quickly
- They are very eager to not let the side down
- They want to be given good solid advice
This particular gang are a pleasure to cycle with. They like coffee, hills and a bit of craic! Not much else matters.
I have also taken the GoPro from its’ box once again, and I will be hoping to make good use of it during winter spins. I had used it a few times during the summer. Having set it to take a photograph every 60 seconds is not really a good idea. Why? Well, because most shots are of my cycling buddies bums! Perhaps manual handling (of the camera, that is) will result in a more varied gallery.
Meanwhile, my favourite Group 3 visited Dunford’s Medical Centre, and learned all about how to mend a broken cyclist.
G3 stuck to their home county on Sunday with the planned spin taking in the Cappoquin Lismore perimeter. A large group to start as the group regulars were interspersed with G2’s out for a shorter spin and some members from the local Tri Club. Off out the Burgery and across the humpy military road. On the climb up Colligan an unfortunate incident led to Paul taking a tumble. Luckily Dunford’s medical centre was open and the patient was patched up and back in action in no time. The less travelled roads are not just for the back street boys as G3 frequently seek out alternative routes. Sunday was no exception as the groups criss-crossed from Millstreet, up Boherwillin and Glenshelane eventually linked back up with the main Cappoquin road. A steady climb up the Vee to the Lismore turnoff was followed by a bumpy ride back down to main road. A flat fast spin back to base in lovely calm conditions with a good bunch of friends. 90k covered at 27.5kph.(Carol B)
Away from the bike, the evenings have been cloudy here in Dungarvan, and the supermoon was elusive, so my daughter and I improvised using a pancake.
And finally, news is filtering through that Mr. DT may want to join Group 4. Perhaps we will need to review our safety policy.
Until next week,
Safe cycling out there.