Saturday’s club ride was well attended with over 25 riders turning up for the various sessions on offer.
In the absence of the designated leader Terry D kindly stepped (or rode)forward to take the women’s group for a trip round by the Inishowen peninsula. The numbers for this session continue to grow which is great to see. It is also excellent that so many of the club’s experienced riders have helped in leading and encouraging the group on various Saturdays.
The main club ride headed south thru Donemana, Artigarvan and the loop round by Clady. With an initial quotient of almost 20 the numbers were somewhat unwieldy but things soon settled out when several including Lawrence, Chris and Eamonn turned off at Strabane, the first two in preparation for Sunday’s Phoenix GP.
Heading on the back road to Clady Peter McP continued to show his early season fitness and was well matched by new man Adrian Mc and ever present Fergal. Reaching the main road to Lifford these three, the king of Carn, and a few others were dispatched Derry-wards at a faster pace whilst Gavin, Billy, Ciaran O’D, and treasurer Peter lead some of the newer members home at what was expected to be a more relaxed pace.
As sometimes happens in cycling things did not materialize as planned as having fixed a late puncture on Diarmuid’s steed we charged up the road eager to make up for lost time. All were making the pace well and Carrigan’s brae proved only a temporary obstacle to our forward pace as Gavin, Geoff, and Dermot took the honors with the rest of the bunch in close proximity.
The final dash for the old dairy honours was hotly contested and Gavin showed a nose for the honours as he dashed past an excellent lead out from your scribe to pip Geoff on the line.
All enjoyed the 50 mile plus circuit. Pat and Ian completed their longest club trip. Ryan continued his preparation for the Duke of Ed award.
A good morning’s work.
Sunday was also a busy day for the club with a regular club ride on offer as well as several riders heading for the open race at Nutt’s Corner, the Phoenix GP.
First here is Lawrence’s report of his team’s adventures in the open race.
“Well the season finally kicked off today. It was a early start myself (larry) Chris Philson Big Al and Simon all got on the road shortly after 8 and headed for Crumlin country Antrim for what was gonna be a fast and tricky start to the season.
After a short stop for coffee on the way we soon found are selves in the community hall in Crumlin signing on. Al and Chris wondered if they should sign on for the cat 4 race but I quickly talked them outta this as its normally a race full of bog men (spacers). What we didn’t know that we had a fellow member of Foyle riding in the race or so we thought.
We made are way to the start line in the new team bus (sponsors required please) as it had decided to hail stone in the area and this would not be the last time we would see this unforgiving weather. After a brief warm up we assembled in our Cat 3 group and got the race underway.
The race was very quick and we soon had a lap of the 6 under our belt and the guys had done well to stay out of trouble. The main groups had caught us with a mile or 2 to go on the second lap. This is where things went a bit wrong. I got a puncture on the way to the line and after waiting a few minutes on neutral service for a new back wheel which they ended up not being able to supply i made my way back to the team bus only to find Al had retired from the race with a very bad cold that had been troubling him for a few days. Here i decided to take advantage of his misfortune and borrowed his back wheel and tried to get back in the race.
After a lap of chasing I soon started to pick up dropped riders and on the way to the end of lap 3 I came across Chris who was riding solo between groups. I offered a wheel but soon found he was no longer there. After another half lap I regrouped with Simon and we soon settled in a group of 12 riders and soon started trying to catch the main bunch the pace was hard and on the last lap we started to split.
A strong finish and well placed 3 Foyle riders. No overall positions as yet but we were told the race had up to 80 riders and we placed well in the top half of the race.
A great days racing by all members and Ed from Foyle/Phoenix who finished well in the cat 4 race. But we are not sure who he was riding for ???
Great recovery drinks on the team bus on the way home.”
Sounds like a hard race and congrats go out to all who competed but especially Simon and Lawrence on a great performance!!
Meanwhile the regular club ride was run off in sunny conditions and featured a run around the Inishowen peninsula taking in the villages of Buncrana, Clonmany, Carn, and Movile with the finish up the Ture straight.
Twelve eager riders turned up for this outing with several members new to the club making their Sunday debut. These included Aaron, Eamonn, John D., and Brian and they showed their fitness and ability by easily lasting the pace in what was a fast run outing.
With Ciaran H back to his best organizational skills the ride was well controlled throughout and all enjoyed an excellent mornings training.
Young Matthew D continued to show his development as a rider as he made the sometimes hairy pace look easy on his gleaming new Dolan machine.
Passing by Gleneely we were fortunate to run in to the Watts peloton as Martin and Olive were discovered on a further secret training mission, Olive looking great on her new carbon Kuota(health to wear!).
On this ascent Brian and ever strong Joe M had an unfortunate wheels disagreement in which Brian came off the worse suffering 3 broken spokes. This put a stop to their gallop as Brian’s wheel took on an oval shape, not conducive to rapid peddling.
The pace on the final run up to Muff was fairly hot and when young Matthew took off for the “30” he was pinned to his collar to hold off fast finishing Ciaran H and ever present Fergal. The Muff contingent of John, Eamonn, and Brian were in their wake showing that the Sunday run is no problem.
Pat McCaffs was not far behind the leading group up showing that it’s not just about the bike. He was followed by Joe and Brian on their somewhat damaged steeds, with a strong late run put in by a youthful Aaron.
An excellent Sunday ride, many new riders introduced to the joys of fast paced adventures.
See you on the road.
P.S. If you have not paid your subs they are VERY OVERDUE. Please submit immediately to Peter Mcl or Gavin.