How to bounce back after a crash


Let There Be Lights

Spider: Ya know, he’s a bleedin ejjit!

Coco: Wha? Who?

S: Yer man. Would ya look at him! Thinks he’s god almighty. Thinks all dem drivers can see him.

C: But shur, you can see him and I can see him. Wha’s de problem, like?

S: You wouldn’t see a problem if it chased you up a bleedin hill! I’m tellin ya now… He’s gonna be a dead problem right soon.

C: Sounds bad, Spider.

S: I mean like, how bleedin much does it cost to put a light on that bleedin bike?

C: My fella had a light on a bike once, but it got nicked. Never again, he sez.

S: I mean like, isn’t there all dem Road Safety Authority tele videos? You’d think he’d take heed?

C: Who? My fella? He wouldnt’ listen to himself!

S: No, ya dope. Yer man on da bike. Look, he’s gone now. Invisible as a bleedin dodo. I mean like, what is he, maybe 100 yards up the bleedin road, and we can’t even see his arse! Can you? He’s gonna get himself bleedin killed.

C: They gave it a new name. Did ya know that?

S:  Wha? Who?

C: The powers that be figured out tha de Road Safety Authority wann’t workin, so they called it…

S: Too right tinn’t workin!. Tinn’t workin for yer invisible dodo up de road. What are they callin it now?

C: Ammm… TII. It’s something something Ireland. Stop the bikes. I’ll google it. I need a break. This cough is gettin to me.

S: I just can’t believe yer man woundn’t hang a few lights on the bleedin bike. Is he savin electricity or wha? I betcha he’s one of dem bleedin naturists.

C: No, your thinkin of somethin else there, Spider. Naturists is dem fellas what wears nothin. Ya couldn’t be a Irish naturist biker! Not with a wind like tha.

S: He’d be grand in da fog, shur, wouldn’t he? Nobody’d see him.

C: Got it. Google sez Transport Inftastructure Ireland. It’s very specific. Would he listen to that, I wonder.

S: Nah, tha way yer man is headin, the only thing he’ll listen to is a fuckin chapel bell. And he’ll be dead so he won’t even hear that.

C: Will we push on again? I want to be home for de spuds.

S: We will, girl. Maybe if we push on harder, we’ll catch that invisible dodo, and we’ll give him a little earful.

C: Ya know, I think he won’t listen to two oul wans. He’s feckin bionic.

S: We’ll sneak up, all quiet like, and scream like bejaysus. That might shake him up a bit.

C: Right, push on. I’m on yer wheel.







Dungarvan Lion’s Club Charity Morning

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Traditionally, Dungarvan Cycling Club has supported the Lion’s Club at Christmas, and so it came to pass that Ray McAndrew and his club members arrived to bid us safe journey this morning. We had emptied our pockets in order to be as light as possible for our spins, knowing that our donations to this very worthy cause would be put with so many other donations from the people of Dungarvan and West Waterford for disbursement over Christmas. As arranged, some arrived at the Civic Offices bedecked for the Santa Ride. Noticeable it was too, that the lower the group number, the greater the effort! I suppose it’s understandable really because faster-flying cyclists cannot be hindered by unnecessary attachments, whereas the slower-paced among us actually benefit from baggage because it helps to keep the pace slow.

Plenty Baggage

Here, I quote the acccount of the club PRO, Pat.

A great turnout of over 70 cyclists turned up across all the groups with many cyclists and bikes decked out in festive attire. Special mention must be given to our secretary Rose on her effort complete with working fairy lights, to Padraig who put great effort into his Santa outfit and Gearoid for his tie!

I took some time (2.4 seconds approx.) to get a suitable link outlining the effect of loose clothing, and include a short video. This is the bike tip for the week:

Then, for the sake of balance, and understanding that some cyclists have other priorities, I was impressed by a feedback comment to the above:

I’d rather be comfortable and look less ridiculous and get to the cake shop a minute later. If such tiny issues bother a rider then they have no business eating cake anyway. (Joeinpoole)

Group 4 Trip to Tallow
Bikers don’t sit on Santa’s knee, but they get the message across

The Group 4 spin was a long one this week. Following the master’s plan (see below), a fine group of 11 pushed gently on the N72 to Lismore and Tallow via the very picturesque Dromana Drive, weighed down by tinsel, tossels and ties. Several items of interest along the way were noted:

  • as agreed, the spin proceed very slowly from the departure point as far as Powersfield House (2k) in order to assist with gentle warming of cold hamstrings
  • as agreed also, the group regrouped at Kereen Bar to admire the gorgeous greenery and at Dromana Bridge to make a wish at the Finnisk
  • the pace downhill to Tallow was at a controlled pace, but two cyclists (no names please!) were reindeered in for being unaware of our downhill policy (see below)
  • Santa met with a surprised child in Tallow, while others spent time petting four dogs on their pre-Christmas morning dog-trot
Under the tree at Daybreak

Following the mandatory coffee (at the coffee-stop), and photograph this week at the tree, on they sped rapidly towards Camphire Bridge. A teacher of mine once insisted that this phrase should be included in every essay. In fact the full version was: “On they sped rapidly, up hill and down dale”.  We did indeed have some hills and dales, yet they were not as much of a hindrance as the mucky road surface back to the banks of the Blackwater.

On the mucky road: Judit, Rose, Criostóir and David

From Cappoquin to Dungarvan the pace was kept very steady because we knew our cyclists would have a really busy week ahead. There was a brief agreed skirmish from Richmond House to Affane,  with no prizes on offer. Had there been even a small prize, it might have been contested more vigorously.

Quote of the day:

Would ya look at then two Yorkshire terriers half-wheeling!

Wise advice from the Mucky Road:

A bad attitude is like a flat tyre. You can’t get anywhere unless you change it.

Distance: 82k. Pace: 24.4kph. Enjoyment by common consensus: top class. Entertainment & costumes: A+

Room for improvement: The group might consider attending an online foundation writing course, as our reliably talented group reporter was unavailable on the day, and the short straw finally fell to Burkie, aka Burkes Biking.

Group 4 Constitution

Group 4 downhill policy: riding ahead of the group by breaking ranks in order to race downhill is not advised, simply because it may tempt less capable bike-handlers. We do advise cycling at a faster pace (obviously on downhill) while widening the gap between bikes.

Group 4 monthly plan:

  • week 1 is hilly
  • week 3 is long
  • everything in-between is normal easier. (There is no normal within Group 4)
Mince Pies For Group 3
Kevin Forde (Daybreak) fed all the G3 elves

G3’s pre Christmas spin had a festive flavour on Sunday with some strands of tinsel and Santa hats in evidence. After the annual Lions club collection it was back to the job in hand and 16 jolly elves and Mrs Claus set off up Colligan and across the Mill st stretch. Before Cappoquin a left turn towards Villierstown. A quick word from the oncoming G5 warned the group about a gathering of the local coursing club further along the road and the necessary speed reduction was enforced. Safely bypassed it was onwards towards Aglish and a detour at Geosh across the mountain to Kiely’s cross. The party season took its toll on some here but the group soldiered on across Old Parish and homewards. Brilliant to have Patrick who crossed oceans to join us on Sunday and Walter along for the spin. Thanks to Captain Claus who further enhanced the festive feeling by arranging a rare coffee stop for the group. Huge appreciation to G3 member Kevin Forde for looking after us so well with complimentary coffee and pies! G3 would like to wish all our riders a very happy Christmas and we look forward to seeing you all further up the road in the New Year! (Carol B.)

Group 23k

G23 : 2 cyclists flew the flag for group 23 on their Sunday spin. The group followed G4 until Master McGrath where the group turned right and headed on the Clonmel road towards Colligan and past Beary’s cross and towards the turn for Millstreet. After turning left the group headed through millstreet  and onto the Welcome inn were the group turned right and headed through Cappoquin and onto Lismore were a coffee stop was needed. The group met with G5 and joined them for coffee and a chat. After refuelling we prepared to head home. The group joined G5 for a short distance and then picked up pace and headed for home Distance 65.8km an avg 22.4km (Anthony M)

Group 5


The last Group 5 spin before Christmas saw 8 seasonally decorated riders out on a lovely calm December Sunday. An uneventful start brought them to the Welcome Inn and then onto Villierstown. Care was needed coming down onto Dromana Bridge as a large number of cars, people and dogs were gathering for coursing. The timing was good as it meant Group 5 were able to warn speedy Group 3 of the gathering as they were flying down the hill. A brief stop before Cappoquin for an emergency banana led the group to decide to head straight for Lismore. A promise of rhubarb and strawberry pie led them up the hill, but no Farmer’s Market was to be seen. The group headed back to Houlihan’s where happily hot drinks and fine food were consumed with the welcome company of G23k. Back to Cappoquin the group encountered another big group of pedestrians and parked cars, a salutary reminder that care must always be taken as people are leaving Mass. Tight rollups brought the group home to Dungarvan with a chorus of Jingle Bells astonishing passers by! A lovely 58km at 19.3kph, Merry Christmas to all from Group 5. (Rachel N.)

Caption this please. The mind boggles

Happy Christmas to all,



December 2016.

Guest post by Elia Tutty (Dungarvan Cycling Club)


We made it!

It was an early start on Friday the 18th of November, for me excited was an understatement that day. If you didn’t know, Aoibhe Power and I both from Dungarvan Cycling Club (DCC) went to Alkmaar, Holland for a training camp with Women’s Commission of Cycling Ireland in a velodrome. The days leading up to the trip were the most exciting yet nervous ones for me. I would be meeting girls from all over Ireland, the organisers of the trip and travelling with them to Holland by myself and let me tell you, what an amazing adventure it was!

Day 1:  Friday, 18th November

It began in Dublin airport where all I could see were people rushing and racing frantically to catch their flights. We met up with the organisers and all of the girls and within 5 minutes of being with them in the queue to check-in, I knew this would be a great weekend! I would get to experience track cycling and a new country – Holland!

My first view of The Netherlands was from the air, where I spotted a massive wind-farm in the sea. I had learned in geography that the Dutch use their waterways for everything and they sure do!

Windmills, windmills everywhere

My second impression was in Schipol airport, where I managed to buy a refreshing smoothie and a brown roll for €1.80!! While I thought this was great, it still didn’t stop the group from trying to find the nearest ‘Burger King’ of which there are many, just like at home! The bus drive from the airport to the hotel was a pretty weird sensation. Firstly, I couldn’t get over how flat the land was, and secondly how many wind-farms we passed, I lost count there were so many! Once we had arrived in the local town Alkmaar, I began to notice all the bicycles, literally, bikes, bikes and more bikes! It’s incredible how it’s the ‘norm’ over there.

Bikes, bikes and more bikes!

After checking in to our hotel we hopped on the local bus to the velodrome for a training session with the great Herman. I was about to experience my first ever time on this sort of (what I thought) Death Wall! I looked up at the curved walls that were towering over me and thought to myself how will I ever get up on that? I was so nervous on the track bike too, (no gears, no brakes!) I’ll never forget it! Lots of the girls on the trip had been on a track before, so some even considered themselves track cyclists. For some others and I, Herman warned us of the basic rules us ‘roadies’ would have to follow whilst cycling on the track. At this point I still couldn’t get the thought of falling off the bike out of my head! I soon learned from the others that had been on previous trips, that Herman never took ‘no’ as an answer. Even when I told him I was nervous, especially going up on the high wall he never took ‘no’ for an answer. I soon got over my fear. Before I knew it I was flying around the track! I was comfortable on the bike now; I just had to keep peddling!

 Day 2: Saturday, 18th November

The 7am breakfast in our hotel was very healthy, not quite your average Irish fry-up! We got the bus straight to the velodrome, for another incredible training session.

Colours of the rainbow

That afternoon we were all lucky enough to go back to the velodrome to see the Holland Nationals. I thought all the racers were semi-professionals until I realised that these were the juniors (U18’s) and I thought to myself how fast they were! It was unbelievable. Having been at the velodrome twice that day, by the evening, all of us were absolutely wrecked!

Day 3: Sunday, 19th November

Before we knew it, it was our last day. It was sad having to leave Alkmaar, but on the other hand, I couldn’t wait to see and tell my family about the amazing experience I had. We left the hotel and headed for another very early track session. This day was my favourite as we did lots of different races including team pursuits and individual ‘flying 200’s. At this stage of the weekend, I was really comfortable on the bike and wasn’t a bit nervous!


I found Sunday great for learning more about racing on the track because as you can imagine, it’s extremely technical! Once the training and racing came to an end it was time for the presentation and prizes on the podium. Aoibhe was delighted when she got a prize for winning the Omnium which was a fantastic achievement for her.

As a relative newbie, I was super excited to receive a jersey for the most improved rider of the weekend camp, who would have thought? All in all not a bad outing for the juvenile DCC girls! As well as having a great time cycling I made lifelong friends who share the same interest as myself and I hope to meet up with them soon for the 2017 race season.

Who would have thought?

I would especially like to thank the Women’s Commission of Cycling Ireland, and especially Orla Hendron and her team who organised the weekend for us and of course Herman our coach.

I really hope that the Government will build a velodrome in Ireland in the near future so that all riders can experience what I experienced! I couldn’t believe how fast the weekend had gone! It was definitely one of the best weekends EVER!  It has been almost three weeks now though and I am still craving track!

An amazing experience

Elia Tutty (right) is a junior cyclist with Dungarvan Cycling Club, Barracuda’s Swim Club in Dungarvan and West Waterford Athletics Club. Elia participates in a wide range of events locally and nationally. 

Aoibhe Power (left) is a junior cyclist with Dungarvan Cycling Club and similarly, participates in local and national events.

And Never Stops At All

To be able to race in the rain, ride a sportive in the rain or even train in a group in the rain you must ride your bike in the rain. A little hardship is a good thing. The place where all the magic in life happens is just beyond your comfort zone so go out there when it’s uncomfortable. (Barry Meehan)

December 4, 2016

I saw a good photograph last week. It showed Irish sprinter Sam Bennett, together with his friends from several other professional teams, out for a winter ride together. A few days later, I got a further update from Monaco.

Bennett leads the pack on a winter spin. Guy behind is saying hi to Group 4

“Guess what pace they were doing?”, my friend asked.

I wanted to get the answer right, so I took a while to reply, and was generally vague.

“I suppose somewhere between 35 and 40?”, I replied, but it was more of a question than an answer.

“They averaged 25”, he said, and we quickly agreed that was a sensible winter training pace, even for professionals. Kilometres per hour, by the way, not miles.  Also, by the way (once again), that’s our Group 4 target pace. These professional boys are in good company.

Group 4: The Hills Are Alive
Ya gotta pick a pocket or two. No wait. That was Fagan

Last week there was mention of Christmas lists, and now that it’s approaching the official start of the season, Group 4 cycled several hills just to meet the man of the moment. The woman of the moment was by his side, keeping him on task, and by the looks of things, well fed too.
It has been a full month since the newest Dungarvan Cycling Club group was kickstarted. Mind you, things are happening thick and fast in this club, and now the group is no longer the newest group, as there has been a further addition. I’ll be on to this like a fly on butter as soon as there is news to report, but in the meantime will concentrate on the stylish Group 4 once again.

A large Group of 15 riders  assembled for their first monthly hill spin on an overcast and windy morning. You could sense the excitement from the group as they chatted about tactics for the upcoming ascents which would culminate with a meet and greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus and maybe a pic of two. The group headed towards their first climb of the day up to Ring. Even the strong cross winds couldn’t deter the good steady pace that was set from the start. With the group nice and warm and the fist climb over,  the group headed through Old Parish into Ardmore and onto Piltown. With the coffee stop in sight at the Blackwater Garden Centre the steep 1 km climb was attacked at various speeds with Tony at the front with thoughts of being the first to meet Santa. Unfortunately, Tony was eclipsed once again by Rose and Karen who got to sit on Satan’s knee… ( while Tony looked on thinking that’s not fair I got here first). The group refuelled with coffee and mince pies and Paraig had a quiet word with Santa regarding a new bike for Christmas, and we headed for Piltown. A good controlled pace was set into Clashmore where the group took the high road into Aglish then onto Ballinameela and back to Dungarvan. A total spin of 67 km with an Avg of 23 km.

The group would like to welcome David, Siobhan, Criostoir, Majella, John and Micheal on their first outing, and a massive thank you to the Blackwater Garden Centre for a very warm welcome once again.Very well done to all in G4. (Keith M):

While I was having a coffee and mince-pie at Blackwater Garden Centre, I saw this on the table, among the sugar sachets.

Hope is the thing with feathers
Emily Dickinson’s  advice: Don’t quit. Keep going. You can do it. Persevere. 

There was mention of hills last week, and this week there will be no such mention of them (hills), save to congratulate everyone who passed the test with flying colours.
My ears picked up some Gaeilge behind me just as the group approached high ground between Clashmore and Aglish. Ba álainn liom an ghaeilge a chloisteáil. I am aware that there are four within the group who can converse and curse in Irish (mostly approaching top of a hill), so perhaps we will build on this!

The bike tip this week has nothing to do with hills or Irish, or indeed cursing.

Bike Tip Of The Week: The Small Ring

Try to stay cycling using your SMALL front ring for most of the spin. This will become more important from March onwards or whenever the spins exceed 100k.

  • Aim for small ring MOST of the time. The late great Bobby Power once said: “Spinning is winning”
  • Use your big ring when cycling downhill, or if we have a fast pace with a tailwind
  • If in big ring approaching a stop, change to small ring in good time before you stop
  • If you are not used to small ring most of the time, it may take 4-6 weeks to do so. In that case, cycle the first hour in the small ring, and extend the time from spin to spin
  • We see cyclists who ARE able to use the big ring. However, sometimes they “cycle with their shoulders”. Cycling like that uses up valuable energy, and it would be better to save that wasted energy until the last 20-30k of a LONG spin.

There is one specific exception to this:

From about March onwards, select a small short hill (for example Ballyvoile if you are in the Dungarvan area)*, and practice using the big ring just to develop leg strength. Maybe start for the first few weeks with just the second half of the hill in the big ring, if you prefer. This might be best done during the week or on your own, once a week. Pick any hill you like that’s not too hard or too long (about 5 – 10 minutes).  You do NOT need to do a hill in the big ring more than once a week. 

Others may offer you conflicting advice. For what it’s worth, this is my take on it. If others suggest otherwise, see what works best for you.

Group 3: Mice At A CrossRoads
Mice at unknown crossroads

Relief manager John had a tough task on Sunday with 24 cyclists in his care. In his own words “it was akin to minding mice at a crossroads” as the large group headed off out the coast road. The cold wintry snap of late was replaced by a dreary enough morning with a very blustery headwind hampering the group’s progress along the coast road to Bunmahon. The wind relented as the Kill hill loomed large, a bit of huffing n puffing could be heard as the lack of training takes it’s toll on those not able to get out on midweek spins. All up and over it was on to Carroll’s cross and over to Curraghmore. Time here for a quick photoshoot and headcount and then back in the saddle towards Clonea Power. Once on the Carrick road the wind swung in our favour and while over in G4 they are giving it socks, from this point on G3 gave it welly! A very fast pace up the Carrick road with the Captain calling for fast rollovers. Happy to oblige we rolled in unison over to Durrow and up the coast road at a rate of knots. A brief nod at G5 who were also heading home. The boss sighed with relief to have all his charges safely delivered home in what was most definitely a spin of two halves. 24 in group, 700m climbing, 26kph. (Carol B)

Off-the-bike Tip This Week

While enjoying the upcoming Christmas party night, please remember that several will want to cycle the following morning. So,  just ask politely before buying someone a drink, as it is not a good idea to lead serious winter athletes astray. I was led astray once, so I know how to react when someone tells me they intend cycling next Saturday. Be cyclist aware.

A Link Worth Following

Barry Meehan in Clonmel Writes an entertaining and informative cycling blog for all levels of cycling enthusiasts. It’s got an interesting name, too: The Cycling Blog. In a similar manner this blog is simply called Burkes Biking. It isn’t that we think cyclists need it nice and simple, just that the obvious name is best. (There’s a guy in California who writes a bike blog called “Life Behind Bars”. It’s a catchy title, but I’ll just say this… You won’t ever find me behind a bar!)

Anyway, back to Barry and The Cycling Blog. Barry has written a very motivational piece about improving your cycling, whether you be a newcomer or indeed another Sam Bennett. It’s called Rockys Rules for Cycling. If you only read one more blog today, read this.

To be able to race in the rain, ride a sportive in the rain or even train in a group in the rain you must ride your bike in the rain. A little hardship is a good thing. The place where all the magic in life happens is just beyond your comfort zone so go out there when it’s uncomfortable. (Barry Meehan)


* if you live near Sligo or even Cork, there’s a hill very similar; in fact, no matter where you live, there is likely to be something similar.

Stay safe out there, whether on the small ring or big,


This article is dedicated to the families of those who died and were injured near Dungarvan last Sunday, 4th December, 2016.