Members of a local sports club have set themselves two big goals for Easter - to raise money for charity and encourage more women to take up cycling.
Castlecomer’s Deenside Wheelers have set their sights on this double target and will take aim when they hold their latest Ladies Sportive on Easter Monday.
Now in its fourth year, the Sportive is a day of fun as women from all over take to the roads around North Kilkenny and beyond - and all for a good cause.
One of the club’s large charity cycles this year’s event, as always, hopes to raise funds for local causes. The beneficiary of the 2015 Ladies Sportive is as close to home for the Wheelers, with all monies raised going to The Thomas Hayes Trust.
The Trust, set up by club member Angela Hayes and her family, helps to support individuals and families affected by suicide, or contemplating suicide. Angela has cycled alongside the Wheelers at many events, including the Cycle Against Suicide Cycle.
The popularity of the Sportive has grown each year, resulting in the addition of a new event to this year’s calendar. The addition of a 20km route means the Sportive will offer four routes this year, catering for all levels of fitness.
A women’s only event, the Sportive aims to inspire more women to take up cycling.
The 20km route will see cyclists leave Castlecomer and travel on to Crettyard and Clogh before returning to the original start point. The 50km route travels into Abbeyleix and Durrow, coming back to Castlecomer via Ballyragget. The 70km Sportive will bring cyclists into Abbeyleix via Ballyroan before travelling on to Durrow and Ballyragget.
The biggest of the four events, the 100km Sportive, will bring cyclists from Ballyroan and Durrow down to Johnstown before the return leg comes back to Castlecomer through Ballyragget. The 50km, 70km and 100km cycles will meet at The Castle Arms Hotel, Durrow, for a food stop.
Registration for the Sportive begins at Wandesforde National School, Castlecomer, from 9am on Easter Monday. The 50km, 70km and 100km cycles will start at 10am, while the 20km event leaves at 11am. The entry fee is €10 for the 20km cycle, €20 for the remaining three events.
Entrants who do not have a Cycling Ireland licence must pay an additional €2 to purchase a one-day licence for the event. All cyclists are reminded that cycling helmets are compulsory. Roads are open to the public and rules of the road apply.
Top facilities will be on offer before, during and after the cycles. This includes mechanical support on the road, lead car and full stewarding and marshalling with well-signed routes. There will be plenty of parking available on the day.
More information on the Ladies Sportive, as well as maps of the four routes, is available from www.deensidewheelers.com