November 20, 2016
Dungarvan Cycling Club currently offers SEVEN choices for weekend spins, one on Saturdays and a whopping six the following day. Each group is led by a club volunteer, and a route is selected and announced in advance. Groups are based primarily on speed:
- Group 1 @ 32kph+
- Group 2 @ 30kph
- Group 3 @ 27kph
- Group 4 @ 25 kph
- Group 23 @ 23kph
- Group 5 @ 20kph
Each group has its regulars, and from time to time some decide to move up or down a group.
There has been some interesting discussion during the past week about jerseys, winter kit and very specifically, socks. This has arisen because we have an increasing number of ladies of the female variety among us. Men want to talk about speed, gear ratios, bike specifications and speed. Women are different. I am partially deaf on a bike, yet I hear what I hear.
- My socks? No, I did not buy them in Dunnes for just a tenner! WTF?
- Those two guys ahead of us have really good calf muscles
- Your socks look great too.
- It’s only right that he’s at home minding the kids while I’m out cycling. The shoe is on the other sock now!
- I hope the photographer gets it right.
- Sweet mother of God. It’s the cops! They’re gonna notice the bloody socks.
Bike Tip For The Week
When in a group, stay behind the wheel ahead, approx 10cm either side. Do not cycle “in the middle”. If nervous behind a cyclist, leave a wider gap. Do not cycle too close. If possible cycle behind an experienced reliable cyclist. Where should you be looking? Alternate between 2 places (a) the wheel ahead of you and (b) the rear wheel of the bike that is two ahead of you. Which is better? Both are important, (b) especially for noticing potholes and obstacles in good time. In wet conditions and on uphill leave a wider gap. On a downhill, the gap needs to be wider still.
This group is in its second infancy, having been born again recently, yet we already have roles assigned. There’s a weather forecaster, photographer, nutritionist, journalist, kit coordinator and party planner (of the biking kind). There will be no room for negative complainers or know-it-all egos. Seriously though, we are facilitators and learners. Many who are relatively new to group cycling are like sponges in the way they soak up knowledge. Very soon, these very same students will be the teachers, many of them with light mascara, interesting socks and very moist home-made oatmeal bike cakes.
Our reporter on the spot, (in the saddle) has spent some time after the spin to summarise spin. Thank you, Keith:
Due to the low temperature this morning Group 4 altered the planned route in case of possible ground frost and to keep the spin to the low roads.
A large group 15 riders headed out the Cappoquin road towards Affane Cross. Here the group turned left onto the Kilmolash road, and at this point a front rider was sent ahead of the group to warn oncoming traffic of group approaching. Once on the Kilmolash road, they cycled on to Bewley, Curraghroche, through Dromana and into Villerstown. The group continued on the back roads of West Waterford onto Kereen heading in the direction of Cappoquin. Note to group: Two incidents occurred in this area, involving a vehicle each time. The group stayed calm and reacted accordingly. Credit due to all.
After this, the group were looking forward to their coffee stop in Lismore to have a warm drink and refuel. Group pictures were taken by group photographer Anne, and the group were ready for the final push home. The group proceeded towards Cappoquin at a strong controlled pace. On the far side of Cappoquin the call was made for fast rotations back into Dungarvan.
On route the police were pulled in up ahead with lights flashing. One call from the back of the group suggested that we are all getting a speeding ticket, another call said that it was the FASHION POLICE come to arrest Karen and Rose for their choice of socks.
Summary: A total of 67 km with an Avg of 24.9 kmh. A great spin with fantastic and enthusiastic group of people. (Keith M.)
Group 3 (including plan B)
Meanwhile, my other favourite people went up the mountains into neighbouring Tipperary, where ice abounds. This group left base a few minutes ahead of group 4, and I was disappointed to see one of their number cycling alone back towards Dungarvan after 2km, pointing dejectedly to a broken spoke on a rear wheel. It’s a terrible pity when something like this happens. Many are so looking forward to the Sunday spin that anything that spoils it is viewed very poorly, whether it be wind, rain, ice, beer or a mechanical.
Undaunted, this wily operator secured himself a spare wheel, proceeded to cycle the route in reverse, and met up with his colleagues once again. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” said Mike, offering solid advice. Morals of the story: (a) always know the planned route and (b) have a plan B.
One of these days, I’m going to want to cycle with them once again, if for nothing else than to be absolutely sure that the incoming reports are accurate. Speaking of which, here’s today’s:
Fifteen cyclists set off on the Group 3 spin on a cold but dry morning all well wrapped up against the elements. An early mechanical saw Mike rushing off for a spare wheel and rejoining the group later on near Newcastle. The group stayed together up the climb out of Cappoquin which was uneventful until the Captain punctured near the summit. A faultless change had the group promptly back on the road. After an icy descent, a sensible decision was made to shorten the spin and head for Ballymac and home. An 80km trip and all home safely. (Carol B.)
Until next week, safe cycling