New groups get off to great start

While there was a bite in the weather, the crisp dry morning made for a lovely Sunday morning spin.

While there was a bite in the weather, the crisp dry morning made for a lovely Sunday morning spin.

The day also marked the first Sunday that the Marble City Cyclers (MCC) tried the new format of splitting the spin into two groups; the ‘steadier’ group and the ‘faster’ group. The increase in participation of the Sunday morning spins allowed the club to do this. Hopes are that this new format will allow the MCC to address the needs of most people attending.

The fast group went to Thomastown, Inistioge, over the ferry bridge and then on to the Borris Road. The group turned off for Graignamanagh, then to Gowran before heading back to Kilkenny. The group covered 90km in 28.8kph. Present on this spin were Ronan Meally, Gerry McGovern, Joe Ryan, Mick Burke, Eugene Mullally, Patrick Tobin, Ashley, Packy Fitzgerald, Neil Butler, Colin Feely, Denis Keogh, Martin Coughlan, Frank O’Dwyer, Ger McLoughlin, James O’Leary and Mick Barron.

The steady group, led by John Britton, cycled 50km and covered the Festive Fifty route - Kilkenny to Bagenalstown, Gowran and Thomastown before returning to Kilkenny.

It was great to see the numbers back up to where they were before Christmas. As when trying out new ideas and formats, a few things need to be tweaked as they are being put into practice. The steadier group is just that - a group going at a steady pace. It is not a slow pace, or even one for those starting out in cycling, as the beginners’ Monday evening spin in April will cater for that group. It’s more a continuation of the Sunday spins as they were, particularly before Christmas.

The faster group will be changing the pace and will be upping it in the near future. The new format is to help more people get the most out of the weekly club spin.

To make it easier on cyclists who are unsure as to which group they belong to on future spins, the MCC has decided that the two groups will stay together until a certain point on the spin. After that point, the faster group will be upping the pace while the steadier group will continue with that pace and may also divert to a different route - hopefully each cyclist will know by that point which group is more suitable for them. The steadier group will also be covering a distance longer than 50km, perhaps 60km to 75km.

The Saturday spin featured a group of nine cyclists - Denis Keogh, Eoin Hogan, Fiona Cooke, Mick Burke, Clive Dunne, Mick Barron, Dave Williams, Niall Butler and Joe Ryan. This group did the Kilkenny to Waterford, New Ross, Thomastown and Kilkenny route. This was a total of 112kms in four hours.

The club spins leave the Castle Gates at 10am on weekends. Non-members are always welcome.

Tip of the Week: Set your goals for the year. As we’re already in the third Sunday of 2012, at this stage cyclists should have an idea of what they would like to achieve in 2012. Whatever the goal is - tackle the Tour de Kilkenny, lose weight, improve times in the club Time Trial series - it really helps if you have a focus and something to aim for.