Upperchurch Drombane CC hosted the Tipperary TT in July. Some pics of Award Winners below.
This video definitely deserves its own Post. In it, Rob, our King of the Mountain (not!) somewhat breathlessly goes top of a steep climb, and then provides a witty critique of the individual members’ fashion sense as they pass by, while levying heavy fines for the more serious fashion violations.
With both the Tour de Lough Derg and the National TT Championship successfully in the bag, I’m putting up some of the Club spins again. Or at least until the Munster TT kicks in. There are separate posts of Rob’s fashion commentary and the Magical Mystery Tour to Victoria Lock, somewhere in Ireland.
Well, we’re successfully back on the Tour map again. There’s a lot of thanks to go around on a great Tour effort.
Just within the Club, we would like to thank our own members who rode on the day, those who volunteered for marshalling and stewarding, driving the lead cars and broom-wagon, catering, photography, and organizing a lot of moving pieces. Not forgetting those who supplied Jan with food, and those members who gave of their time, experience and expertise in enabling us to pick up the pieces again after a 2 year absence.
Externally, we would like to thank other Cycling Clubs whom supported us, the Gardai, the Motorbike Marshals, the Red Cross, Larkins of Garrykennedy, Whitegate GAA club, staff in Cycling Ireland, and also the ‘Nenagh Guardian’, who have always been good to the Club.
And last but not least, thank God for the perfect weather.
We did say there were a lot of moving pieces.
You’ll find Mike Molamphy’s pics via the link below.
Sunday, 10 April. The group did Nenagh, Dolla, up Bolliningbrook, to the Thurles Newport Road, Reiska, Borrisleigh, Templemore Road turn off and up to Gortagarry, Moneygall, Tomevara, Tea stop in Caseys.
Ballinamona, back in the Thurles road home. Very windy hard going not very warm.
Liam had a puncture on the back tyre. Distance was 80km.
Sunday, 24th April. Group of 11 (Liam’s taking the photo) on the Thurles-Templemore Road. 88Kms @ 30kph.
Roger had the good idea to pull together a spin on St. Patrick’s Day morning, so we met up in Moynan’s carpark at 9.30. We were a small group but well matched. Our route was c.54kms, Newtown>Portroe>Ballina>O’Brien’s Bridge, Daly’s Cross>Birdhill>Nenagh.
We passed a large group of Lower Ormond cyclists on our way, very friendly as always. The fun started at the bridge in Ballina, when we noticed Paul was no longer with us. Being good chaps, we rode (or climbed all the way back) through Ballina to find Paul at the top of the climb giving on to the Portroe Road. Paul had punctured.
Like a well-drilled team of mechanics at Formula 1, we immediately set to work. Gerry knew all the rules, so he supervised the operation. Roger guffed, Mike used his strong thumbs and hands on the tyre, while Paul dealt with the inner tube and pumped.
I really don’t know what went wrong. We were very careful in checking both the tyre and the fitting of the inner tube, avoiding pinches and kinks. Paul diligently used the hand-pump. Pump, pump, pump – nothing. More pump, pump and pump – more nothing. Damn it!
It was at this point that a fair Damsel came to the aid of 4 men in distress. Ann (who owned the house back of us) came over to check out our progress, and we got talking. It turned out Ann was a leisure cyclist, and, blessed luck, had a Floor Pump. We were in business. Mike was pumping away when there was a sharp, loud report. Yikes! Sniper! Mike jumped back suddenly as if he’d been hit. Then cautiously approached the wheel again. A few more little pumps and then another shot. That was the replacement tube done for.
We carefully checked the inner tube on removing it, found a tear, and put is aside. We carefully put in another tube, and pumped again. More gunfire. This was getting like JFK and the Grassy Knoll. Found another tear, but further along the tube this time. Now, it’s just vaguely possible that we were surrounded by so much torn rubber that we might have replaced one inner tube with one we previously tore, but it’s highly unlikely. I mean, how stupid could we be?
And finally, on the third (and last spare tube) attempt, we successfully completed the wheel repair. But we’d lost a LOT of time. I think Roger was on the point of inviting us back to Ann’s house for tea and scones, but we were pressed for time. And I think Ann was very impressed by our puncture skills as we bid adieu.
We stopped in O’Brien’s Bridge for coffee, and the first try out of our new (and hilariously received) Coffee-Stop Rule. Pay for yourself? Went by the wayside. I didn’t object too much as I wasn’t paying – I think that was Mike and Paul. And the 20 minute rule? A qualified success. 20 minutes for the first round of coffee, and then another 20 minutes for the second round of coffee. That was either a double success or a total failure, depending how you look at it. Suffice to say, I think we’ll have difficulty making that rule stick.
So, having left Nenagh at 9.30am, and cycled 65kms, we got back to Nenagh about 2.00pm. Go figure!
Our latest Sunday spin on 6th March saw us do a 98km spin at an average of 28kph. Route was Limerick Road>Ballina>Tuamgraney>Bodyke>Broadford>O’Briensbridge>Daly’s Cross>Nenagh. We’d a welcome coffee-stop at Broadford, with Gerry stumping up (for 10 years’ credit). Hats off to the Country Store in Broadford, and their very friendly staff. Scones and coffees were of the usual high standard, and they’ve significantly improved the outdoor dining area. Some good came of the pandemic.
The morning was cold, but dry and bright. Unfortunately, we ran into an easterly breeze on our run-in from Daly’s Cross to Nenagh, rather than the usual westerly. The length of the spin (98kms), together with that breeze and the rolling nature of the whole route, ensured that some tired bodies were glad to see the end line.
A very cold, wet, windy, and generally crappy day, and still our Members turn out (10 and 3 from the Leisure Touring Group in photo). We were delighted to welcome Stephen, a new Club Member, who had a ride to remember (or maybe forget!)
The spin was c.76km, and was geared deliberately towards climbing. It took in Moneygall, Army Hill, Gortgarry, Borrisoleigh, Upperchurch, Bolingbroke, Dolla and back to Nenagh. Coffee stop was in Dolla, where a shivering and wet group were relieved to get down some hot beverages, paid for by Peter Moynan. That’s one very popular man.
Needless to say, there had to be a puncture. This time it was Sean, who was directly assisted by Peter in sorting the problem, with Peter and Liam giving instructions. Other members were sitting on the ditch, enjoying seeing frozen hands hard at work.
We’d a fine turnout on a cold but dry morning, which saw the return of one of our long-absent cyclists. Turns out he wasn’t half as unfit as he was pretending. The route took us to Roscrea, and thence to Cloughjordan, via the Black Bull turnoff. The road into Cloughjordan was a proper drag, and very rough, whereas the road from Cloughjordan to Borrisokane was paved with gold (for one of our more sharp-eyed members anyway). The group split in Cloughjordan, with 7 riders returning home via Borrisokane, and the remainder going directly to Nenagh, or onwards to Birdhill.
The photo shows us in Cloughjordan, where our Auctioneer Treasurer got us a discount on our cakes, after a tough round of negotiations with the owner.
Another gritty but very enjoyable spin this morning, with the group stopping at Borrisoleigh for coffee. The tab this morning was on Liam Callaghan. 73kms covered at a good pace, considering the climbing involved from Dolla to Bolingbroke, and incident-free.
As Liam, our Group Leader, said “Great spin, had it all, cold, muck, railway crossings, hills.” Add to that, some right good slagging, and a good coffee shop. Talking of which, the coffee was sponsored, in a partnership of sorts, by Sean and Paul. Sean agreed to cover the first €50, with Paul volunteering for the balance. When the bill for €58.50 was presented, Paul collapsed to the floor, clutching his wallet tighter than his heart. The lads reckoned that a tip would have rightly done for him.
The spin took in the Limerick Road to beyond the Railway Crossing>Castleconnell>O’Brien’s Bridge>Killaloe>Bothar Road, and back to Nenagh. All in all 71kms. Cold and wet at times, always gritty, but not at all bad for an early January morning.
The photo above includes Michael óg (green shorts) with his new bike. It excludes Liam Callaghan, Club Chairman, who took the photo while standing in the middle of a busy road. Good one, Liam!
Here we have Roger with pastry and coffee. Roger is on a ‘Marie Antionette’ diet, whereby he swaps out bread for pastries. Roger found the diet on the internet. He has found that the diet largely offsets the loss of calories on Club spins, a loss which, to directly quote Roger, is “wrecking my figure”.
Here we have Mike on his third puncture (no, really, THIRD). Fortunately, Peter (our resident and much prized mechanic) was on hand to help out, as always. Peter had a busy day of it, doing at least the price of a Washing Machine service with his puncture repairs.
Another Sunday morning, another Coffee Stop down. A breezy day didn’t stop these coffee aficionados in their tracks. Brew up was sponsored by Sean O’Neill.
NTW members take a break during their 60km spin; Nenagh>Borrisokane>Cloughjordan>Obama Plaza>Nenagh. Weather was intermittently wet and cold. The road back was very gritty – we eat more grit than Christmas Cake over the couple of days. Average speed was 28kph – we’d have gone faster but for Roger’s wobbly wheel (as if he’s not wobbly enough!) Thanks to Gerry for the coffees.
Sunday morning spin, 19th December. Some 91kms or thereabouts; Nenagh>Toomevara>Moneygall>Army Hill>Borrisoleigh>Templederry>Dolla (Coffee Stop)>Silvermines>N7>Birdhill>Nenagh.
Thanks to Mike Gleeson for the tea and biscuits.
Missing from the pic is John O’Carroll.
Thanks to Peter Hynes for the puncture practice on the way back.
The Lads enjoy a Coffee Stop in Borrisokane (generously sponsored by Peter Hynes) on Sunday morning. The weather was both very bright and cold, with the odd icy spot to be seen. The 90km + route took the lads from Nenagh to Roscrea, on to Birr and Borrisokane, and back home to Nenagh.
NTW riders rest up at O’Brien’s Bridge coffee-stop on their 75km Sunday Spin. They proved they were neither ‘fair-weather’ cyclists or just pretty faces on a very cold and drizzly Sunday morning.
Many thanks to Roger Spain and Spain Constructions, who generously paid the coffee-shop bill.
There was a large turnout for the Club spin, on a bright and cold Sunday.
We held our AGM earlier this week at the Rugby Club. It was well attended, ran smoothly, and was marked by constructive discussions on a number of issues.
The meeting stated with Liam Callaghan presenting Jan White with a bouquet of flowers and a restaurant voucher to mark her stepping down as Club Secretary after 27 years of service. Jan’s length of sterling service to the Club is remarkable, serving both as a tribute to Jan’s personal qualities, and also perhaps as a hint as to why members are reluctant to volunteer for the Committee!
Liam presented Awards to the Winners of the NTW 2021 Club Races
Committee Members were elected for the following year
The Tri-Club had a very successful and enjoyable End-of-Season spin on Saturday, 25th September. The route, from Nenagh to Broadford and Scariff, and back via Killaloe, was 95kms long, taking in a welcome coffee-stop in Broadford. The spin, by Tri-Club and Nenagh CC members, was joined this year by up to 12 members of NTW.
Very pleasant spin this evening, with 8 out, a mixture of fast and not so fast riders. 63kms covered at just under 30.0kph. New ‘rule’ of reasonably paced start was applied, and again worked well.
And the evening’s soccer score was:
Mechanicals 4 – 0 NTW (Brandon o.g, 39m, Brandon o.g. 62m, Brandon o.g. 80m, Eoin o.g. 92m.)
NTW’s manager has transfer listed our young centre-half, saying he’d let him go on the cheap.
Man of the Match was Eoin, who had a lot of gas (Roger had some too).
We’d a very enjoyable spin this evening, with some of the coaching lessons being successfully applied for the first time. There were 10 riders out, covering 59km @ an average of 29.5kph.
The most important lesson applied was a reduced pace for the opening few kilometers. Instead of the usual ‘greyhounds out of the traps’ approach (and heart beating like a jackhammer), there was a more sedate 27-28kph start to the spin. It enabled muscles to rev up naturally, and avoided shoving riders nearly into the red early in the spin. As the spin progressed the pace picked up naturally, and we achieved a respectable average of 29.5kph almost at our ease. That reasonably paced start, which had been emphasized by the coach, helped ensure a very comfortable spin, without significantly impacting on the average speed.
Another aspect of the spin was a greater ‘smoothness’, without any impact on pace. The rolling over was more regular and frequent, ensuring nobody was up front for too long. Also there was less overall injection of pace during the rollover, making for a less ‘raggedy’ technique.
Lastly, and this is a first this year, but the group departed town as the one group, rather than separate little groups. This was partly achieved by one brave rider playing traffic cop on the departure from the car park!
What’s striking is that there was no rocket science in any of these techniques. They were all known and practised by the club over the years. Unfortunately, it seems the club lost a lot of good habits, replacing them with bad habits, but we seem to be on the way to relearning them (personal opinion there.)
Results and photos of this morning’s Road Race can be found under the ‘Races’ Page
Some of the lads participated in today’s Lough Derg SOS Tour, opting for the longer 145km route. Just a bit late for the pic was Brandon, who had his own SOS moment in Coolbawn!
We had a very good spin this evening, 49km @ 32.2kph. It was notable in that it included Jamie Blanchfield of Premier Endurance, who was along to observe cycling technique and the dynamics of our group spin. We had eight out, excluding Jamie, fairly evenly balanced between the faster and the less fast cyclists. The general consensus was that it was one of the best and smoothest spins we’ve had in a long time, despite the mixed abilities within the group. Some of the faster riders would have been comfortable at a faster pace, and different riders had different subjective experiences of the spin, but nobody was overstretched, and overall there was a lot of satisfaction with the spin. Mind you, and this is a personal opinion only, but I suspect that the spin might have been less smooth and the average speed higher if the A pupils hadn’t felt that the Inspector was closely observing them!
Jamie, despite his tender years, is an experienced and calm coach, and outlined some areas for improvement in respect of individual technique, e.g. cross-chaining and speed on climbs, but more pertinently had some constructive observations of the group dynamic e.g. half-wheeling, first 10 minutes being too fast, etc. It led into a constructive group discussion of the core issue of mixing fast and less fast cyclists in the one group. Jamie outlined a number of possible solutions, all of which have been implemented (with varying degrees of success) across other cycling clubs. The concept of a Group Captain for the the cycling group(s) was one of the recommendations.
To those members who couldn’t make it this evening, you missed out. The good news is that Jamie will be attending next Thursday’s spin, on basically the same route (not too long). Hope you can make it.
NTW have booked a cycling coach called Jamie Blanchfield (Premier Endurance) recommended by Aidan Hammond. Jamie will join us on our club spin on Thursday the 19th and 26th of August. He will give us general tips on route and advice on how best to manage groups and work the group so that everyone gets what they are looking for out of the group spin. Following the 2 spins he will give us feedback and if necessary meet with us again.
The club are paying the coach’s fee but numbers are limited. If it works we can try it again with other sub groups.
If you have any questions or points you would like us to put to Jamie in advance then please message Eoin Dillon or Liam Callaghan.
Congratulations to Eoin on his Silver Medal win at the National TT (M40) this weekend. That makes it a hat-trick of wins this season, as he adds to his Munster TT Gold medal (M40) and his Gold Medal in the National Track Pursuit (M40).
A mixed group of NTW cyclists took to the road on Sunday morning. The calendar said it was the start of Summer, but the weather on the morning said otherwise. It was a bit of a yo-yo spin, with a return to base necessitated after 5kms, due to Roger having battery problems. Peter supplied a spare bike from his shop, allowing the spin to re-start. It’s great having someone like Peter on the spin, a professional bike mechanic and bike-shop owner, and very obliging to boot. Roger is dead sound as well, especially when he’s fully charged (like the Duracell bunny), which is most of the time.
Route was Nenagh>Roscrea>Cloughjordan>Borrisokane>Nenagh, c.90kms.
Saturday saw Roger, Mike and Gerry head to Ennistymon for the Cliffs of Moher Challenge, with Gerry giving the lads a (free) lift. Things didn’t exactly go to plan. While parked in a B&B, the back windshield of Gerry’s car had a teeny weeny bit of pressure applied to it (we’ll ignore how). That resulted in a tiny little crack at the base of the windshield. Really tiny. “Nothing to see here, folks. Move on, move on”.
Then the real cracks started. Open the car door – Crack. Close the car door – another Crack. Breath – Crack. Mike, ever the practical farmer, saw what was happening from the off, was knowledgeable and sympathetic, but was of no practical help whatsoever. As there wasn’t a rule to cover this situation, Gerry was helpless. Roger was Roger. The lads looked round to watch a couple of passing birds – more Cracking. Gerry started to sing the ‘Roll Over’ song, and the lads joined in on the chorus, “Roll, Roll, Roll Over, Roll Over, Roll On, Roll On”. Then the windscreen totally caved in.
Roger went to get some plastic bin bags from the B&B. Fortunately the bin bags were black, not white. We were able to cover the rear window with flapping bin bags. That way, Gerry’s BMW 520D, preserved its good looks and colour coordination (Rob will appreciate that). The lads were insistent that Gerry join them on the Ride, but Gerry was adamant that he was staying with the car. The lads went off.
Gerry went back to the B&B, and got the loan of a brush and pan, and a large bucket. Notwithstanding the bin bags, there were glass shards all over the back of the car. An hour and a bit later, Gerry returned the bucket to the owner, heavy with bits of sharp glass and blood.
The lads returned from their 80km Ride, with their own tales. We drove back with no rear windshield or bin bags, pretending to be posh, and driving a BMW Convertible. Mike sat in the back and got a pain in his neck. Roger was a pain in the neck. And Gerry had a pain in his head from the both of them.
There a saying “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story”. So, in that vein, I’m going to let Mike Gleeson’s very funny version supersede the truth. Here goes, and this is all Mike’s.
‘…but the vague reports I’m getting back from Clare are that Gerry drove all 3 down. When they arrived in Ennistymon Gerry demanded diesel money, a row broke out and the two boys broke all the windows in Gerry’s car -Gerry sulked and went straight home; the two boys were arrested. When they eventually got bail all the stewards were gone home, the two boys got lost in the Burren; Paul Madden, doing a tour with a bus load of American tourists came to the rescue, getting the boys home in the early hours of Sunday morning. Might just be fake news..’.
And those are the alternative facts (brilliant).
Sunday, the 2nd April, saw us out on a cold but bright day, doing 87kms at an average of 30kph. The route was Nenagh>Roscrea>Birr>Borrisokane>Nenagh, with a wind seemingly forever against us after we turned in Roscrea for Birr.
We had a demonstration of some superb balancing skills at a stop in Roscrea, as Andy seemed to balance on a sixpence for a full minute. Very impressive. Now if Andy could just simultaneously juggle half a dozen dinner plates as well, he’d be a definite shoo in for a job in the Circus! (Just joking! No, it was very skillful).
Liam had one of those rifle-shot punctures mid-way to Birr. Always a bloody nuisance, but if they occur at the right time they can have their upsides. A chance for a breather, a visit behind the hedge, and to strip off some layers. The latter chance was particularly useful, as it was one of those morning that started off very cold and then warmed up. Layers are essential, but you don’t always get the chance to peel them off.
We had coffee about 6kms outside Birr (Carrig, I think – good seating, pleasant stop, low-key), and pushed on home. Travelling through Nenagh, Rob (the ‘man in black’) had two near ones in near succession, thanks to some appalling driving. No damage done, but it was a reminder of the danger of travelling through built-up areas, and the fact that there are always idiot drivers out there.