Cyclers are out in force

THE Marble City Cyclers (MCC) were out in force at the Copper Coast 100km, one of the first Spring sportives, on Saturday.

THE Marble City Cyclers (MCC) were out in force at the Copper Coast 100km, one of the first Spring sportives, on Saturday.

Paul Cullen, Joe Griffin, Joe Ryan, Mick Barron, Mike Shields, Fiona Cooke, Denis Keogh and Mick Burke were all on the start line in Waterford for the event, which run by the Comeragh club. The scenery along Waterford’s landmark coast was only occasionally glanced at by the 150 riders as the strong headwinds and unending hills made for some tough riding and lots of time out of the saddle.

After a welcome food stop in Dungarvan the group headed for home, the MCC contingent keeping pace with riders from the two Waterford-based clubs, Comeragh and Waterford Racing. While this was not a race, it was obvious that all three clubs were keen to check out who could get home first - when two-time race winner Ciaran Power accelerated away coming out of Dungarvan he was joined by the MCC crew, who maintained a very fast tempo all the way back to Waterford.

The club also had a number of representatives at the Mountain Bike Challenge in Lough Derg on Saturday. Patrick Tobin, Pat Murray and Martin Morrissey took part in the only stage race mountain biking event in Ireland, an event which attracted mountain bikers from all over Ireland in a test of fitness and skill levels on what was a very challenging course.

On Sunday, John Britton and Liam Egan represented MCC at the Rathdowney-based Ossory Cycling Club sportif.  This was a challenging day with wind, cold and rain battering the cyclists. The highlight of the visit to the Slieve Blooms was the 7km climb up The Cut.

The first of the weekly beginner spins was held on Monday. These will continue weekly, with new cyclists and non members invited to meet at the Castle Gates every Monday at 7pm. Despite the weather, the group of 12 did a steady cycle out the Carlow Road as far as the Gowran turn off, where they made a u-turn and returned to Kilkenny. The emphasis of the cycle was how to perform a chain gang, where each rider takes a short turn cycling in the lead position. The tactic allows the group to move at a higher average speed.

The main club spin on Sunday saw cyclists complete a 108km route which took in Ballyragget, Abbeyleix, Stradbally, Castlecomer and back to Kilkenny. Average speed was 29kph.

Tip of the Week: When fixing a rear wheel puncture, take your rear wheel off with your chain shifted into the bottom most cog. The wheel will remove and install much easier.