Foyle Cycling Club

Cycling club based in Derry

Foyle Cycling Club - Cycling club based in Derry
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Inter club race results..round 2 June 29, 2011

Last nites inter club race down in Gweedore was once again a close run affair. FCC had 10 riders competing and a vote of thanks is due to Aaron, Danny X, Matthew,  Ed B, Eamonn, big W., Richie,  Gavin, Larry, and Mark M for competing very well after an epic journey.
The team bus, filled with post Italian winter bikes(sic),  was driven by Gavin and after a good feed of pre-race Ritter bars we certainly fancied our chances. On arrival it was clear that we had a major challenge on our hands given the number of enthusiastic Errigal men getting ready to race.
The 21/2 lap course was flat to rolling on somewhat dead roads but interest was maintained by the strong NW wind which is a feature of this remote area.
More power to all FCC riders  who strived hard throughout the race.  Aaron, Matthew,  and Danny worked diligently in scratch to chase down the early leaders but were not helped by the canny tactics of NPCC whose greater numbers made for a tiring battle.
 At the line Aaron and Danny X had sufficient strength left to contest the uphill finish. This allowed FCC to garner 2 valuable league points which now leaves the league series nicely poised for the next round on July 20th, our home tie.
Thanks again to those who turned out. You did good!! Thanks also to Errigal for a well run, well marshalled race.


Jordan McGinley Errigal CC 15
Dylan McGarrigle Errigal CC 14
Brian McBride Errigal CC 13
Mark Buchannan North Pole CC 12
Pat McLaughlin North Pole CC 11
Rory Devlin North Pole CC 10
Aaron Deane Foyle CC 9
Danny Hunter Errigal CC 8
Danny Logue Foyle CC 7
Kevin Holian Errigal CC 6
Dinny Doherty Four Masters 5
Shaun McFadden Errigal CC 4
Eddie Noone North Pole CC 3
Aaron McBride North Pole CC 2
PT Doherty Four Masters 1







Errigal CC 60 4 5
North Pole CC 38 3 5
Foyle CC 16 2 5
Four Masters CC 6 1 5

 Update: after a protest for not wearing club colours Mark Buchanan’s fininshing position was over-turned. This did not affect overall scores.

Foyle CC stars in Peace Bridge opening June 26, 2011

Saturday’s club run was well supported. On  a good day for cycling Terry elected to take the group over some of his favourite routes. Below is his report.

Hills, Hills and more Hills !

At 9 am on Saturday about 20 of our members were at the complex getting ready for a bit a exercise on what promised to be as decent day. The ladies, lead by Bernie in her “Pirates of the Caribbean” scarf headed for the North Pole, while the men opted for some serious hills, building on last weeks climbs of Kinnego and Tremone Bay. In our group we had chairman Gavin, Pat Mc Caff, Ed, Terry Mc L, Brian McL, Richie, Joe M, John O’D, Peter Mc P, Feargal,  Dermot and myself…hopefully I haven’t forgotten anyone. We headed for Buncrana and stuck by the hilly coast road past Neds Point and Stragill and before long we were at the Dunree where we turned and started climbing towards Mamore. The plan was to do Pinch and gather again at Clonmany where people could decide whether to try the daunting windy side of Mamore or take the easier options via Buncrana or Ballyliffen. We went up Pinch with the wind on our backs and before long we were all at Clonmany…and thats were all the whingeing started. John O’D was getting over a chest infection, Richie had the wrong block, Joe just wasn’t ready for it, a few had too many clothes on, three of four hadn’t done it before and would have liked more time to think about it etc, etc. When we were finally ready to go, all of the bikes were facing Mamore, except Joe and Richie who refused point blank to join the rest. The main bunch tried to encourage them reminding them that they had come so far, that they were now only two miles from the top of one of Ireland’s most famous climbs, that with the help of their friends they could make it…and even if they had to get off their bikes, well at least they would know in their hearts that they gave it a real good try. But it was no use. They had made up their minds. As we were leaving, I didn’t hear it myself but, apparently, a few names were called, which involved words like chicken, yella, mammies boys etc but this changed nothing, they had made their decision and were standing by it. Then someone asked them how they were going to feel when they and all of the other 100+ members read about them in the Saturday report. As we cycled off they stood looking at each other and 30 seconds later they shouting “hey, wait for us !” as they pushed hard trying to get on the main group….so, the pen is definitely mightier than the sword !
As we approached Mamore the wind was fair in our faces and it was obvious it was going to make our struggle that bit harder. There’s no easy start on the windy side and before long we were well strung out, all taking it at our own pace. Having passed three of four hairpin bends we could see the last stretch before us, the steepest bit which passes the grotto. From some distance behind, I was one of at least six people who witnessed what can only be described as a miracle. John O’D, who had previously had a serious chest infection for four weeks,  had made it to the grotto, and while passing the Blessed Virgin herself, she must have given him a complete cure, as he suddenly jumped off his seat, stood on those pedals and rode up the rest of the hill like a man possessed ! The rest of us struggled to the grotto hoping for similar transformations, but we had to rely on mere earthly powers and were very glad to get over the top. We then had a very swift descent, dodging the sheep, and regrouped at the junction at the bottom of the hill. To finish the day off right, we opted to take the left turn which took the hilly route towards Buncrana, where we took another left to climb Grainnes Gap to finish a great day in the hills of Inishowen. The final stats were 49 miles, 1200 metres of climbing, at 15 mph average and 2480 calories used….not a bad mornings work. Its likely we will have more climbing in the few weeks as we approach our Inishowen 100 event. Make sure you get out on a Saturday morning and get that training done.
All the best…Terry

Sunday’s opening of Derry’s soon to be famous peace bridge was the focus for today’s club outing. Over 30 club members showed up at the complex at the usual hour eager to take part in the fun and celebrations.
It was great to have Evelyn back to take some of the photos at the complex. She is looking very well the club hopes that she is now on the road to a full recovery.
Also present were some of the LoG lead by one of  their stalwarts, Tony M whose celebratory slippers reflected the festive mood of the day.
Lead by chairman Gavin, who had planned and executed our involvement with military precision, we traversed the new crossing point three times in total. The first time across was to get the feel of the bridge and to indulge ourselves in the special sense of what was indeed an historic day. Pictures were taken by Brendan Mc and other friends from Foyle camera club. Charlie had stationed himself on the roof of the City hotel to get that special shot and hopefully his picture will be used in future tourist brochures and promotions.
After our third ride across when our senses had been sated and Ilex officials were done with us the majority headed off towards Lifford for a somewhat abbreviated Sunday club run.
Heading up the old L’kenny road I was struck by how well the newer women riders have developed during their short involvement with the club. Our pace was not slack up the hill and not one of them faltered as we summited at Nixon’s corner and headed on to Carrigans. Who would have thunk how well they have progressed!!.
Whilst the majority opted to turn for home at Carrigans, seven of us headed on to Lifford and the Newtown, Galdonagh circuit. Charlie took the left turn at Lifford as he had been on the road since 0700, testing his telephoto lens, whilst the remaining six picked up the pace for the final run back to Derry.
A good day’s fun, a part played in a historic day, some good camaraderie and fun with our friends, miles in the bank!
Congratulations to Danny Logue on finishing in the top 20 in Saturday’s Irish Road race championships held over the tough Emyvale course. A truly magnificent achievement considering the quality of the opposition.
Congratulations also to local rider Ronan McLaughlin on an excellent 6th place finish in the men’s elite Irish road race championships this afternoon.

Best wishes to all those heading off to US, Canada, England, Spain, Italy, China, Tenerife and other parts of the globe on summer holidays. Enjoy your visits. You will be missed…especially at the inter club league races!!
As mentioned last week round two of the inter club league race series will be held near Gweedore on Wednesday evening. Please leave yourself lots of time to get there and also wear your club shirt at the event.
We will need all our available riders as many of the team are on holidays or heading on holiday. So please show up at 6.45 p.m. ready to ride.


From Letterkenny-take the n56 to Termon and take first left after the Lagoon restaurant,stay on this road out over Errigal, pass Dunlewey and continue out to main T junction.Turn left and go Past An Chuirt hotel on the right and take right turn just before the bridge,stay on this road for about 1 mile and McFaddens tiles is on the right.Please park here as this is where we start.We will have it signposted from An Chuirt hotel anyway.

Finally riders and volunteers are needed for the Inishowen 100 event which takes place in mid August. Please let Terry(email above) know whether or not you will help marshall the event. You can register for the event thru our web page so please do so.
See you on the road.

Italy 2011

Our recent club trip to Italy to cycle the Granfondo Sportful was nothing if not eventful. The eleven Foyle members who headed off last week for our base in Hotel Doriguzzi got their share of excitement, entertainment, fine eating and drinking, sickening frustration, beautiful scenery of all types(!!),  and above all great craic and friendship with their fellow FCC travellers.

Far be it from this email to detail all of our adventures. Many stories will never be told. As the old adage goes “what goes on tour stays on tour”! However, here is a summary of the high lights and low lights of the events we experienced from June 16 to June 20.


Leaving Ireland on Thursday nine of us(Nigel and Robin came from East Midlands to meet us) traveled on a slow bus to Dublin where we picked up the Ryanair fast shuttle to Bergamo, east of Milan. To say that the flight was bumpy would be an understatement as the sudden drop in elevation we experienced when coming in to land put us in mind of recent Air France events on the coast of Brazil.

The sumptuous breakfast, no B&E but great croissants, danishes, yoghurt, paninis and great coffee, we enjoyed each day at Hotel Doriguzzi reflected the fine food which is readily available in this part of Italy. We ate out every night and experienced meals of high quality and low cost on each occasion. It made us question why our own country does not deliver to the same standard and cost? We now have a good coffee shop here in Derry but if you want to experience the crema of coffee shops,  Italy is the spot.


The town of Feltre where we stayed is an historic community and dates back to Roman times. Some original areas are still preserved in well kept ruins. The GF Sportful race plays a big part in the local community and the whole town enters in to the spirit of the event. Bikes, wheels, cycling shirts, bidons or some type of cycling memorabilia adorn the majority of shop windows and help to make for a great atmosphere.


Despite all, except Robin G, not being able to cycle the GF we did get to enjoy some of the superb mountain roads nearby with their challenging ascents and eye popping descents. On Friday morning we took a ride up Mount Grappa where Gavin suffered a severe blow-out and then endured double jeopardy when using CO2 canisters to re-inflate his tyre. On that day also the majority ventured up the final climb in the event, the 11.8 km Croce D’Aune whose summit houses the impressive Tullio Campagnolo monument, he who invented quick release wheels.


Central to the superb atmosphere in Feltre is the number of great cyclists taking part in what is touted to be the hardest GF in Italy. We were lucky enough to have the legendary Paolo Bettini (Olympic gold medal, World Champion, etc) staying in our hotel. Check with Ciaran for the pictures. We were also fortunate enough to meet Olympic runner Baldini, the x-c skier Christian Zorzi or Zorro(my favourite!) and several others whose names escape me. Meeting these guys face to face and chatting with them about a sport we all love is a real buzz!


Obviously the low point of our trip was the sickening theft of seven of the group’s bikes on Saturday night. These were stored in garage behind the hotel and with its locked electrically operated door it seemed very secure. However, when we discovered the elaborate lengths the thieves had gone to steal our bikes it was clear that this was a well executed crime. The electric lock had been ripped from the wall, the bikes had been carried thru a carefully cut hole in a chain link fence and over a fast running stream to a  wooded area where they were loaded in to a vehicle. This was a planned exercise by skilled thieves who knew the value of their prey. To say that we were gutted when discovering our loss would be an understatement.


The police took detailed descriptions of all seven bikes which were nicked. We were lucky to have Eamonn’s brother Brian on hand (he had come down from Milan to support our athletic endeavour) and he did sterling work translating and interpreting the bureaucratic detail required by the carabinierei. Without him we would have been in worse shape. The hotel owners were very sympathetic and discounted the last night of our stay in sympathy. They are now discussing the theft with their insurers and we await positive (!!) developments.


On Sunday we did get to enjoy the end of the race something which is not always possible when we are competing!! Finishing up a 400 metre cobbled climb which is surrounded by cafe bars we took advantage of the warm sun and cold beer to watch some superb athletes finish what is a really tough challenge. The winner’s time for the 216km was 7hrs 20 minutes and reflects its difficulty. Our own Robin G finished in just over 12 hours. He can feel rightly proud of his day’s work.


This trip ranks up there with the most eventful trip we ever had as a group(sic 2005). We had a major set-back. We lost valuable, irreplaceable, sentimental possessions.  However, we had lots of fun and we enjoyed each others company. I will be back sooner hopefully than later. I hope my friends will join me also!!


See you on the road.


Weather hits WW100/200

A note of congratulations to all who completed the WW100/200 on Sunday. The weather was horrendous, the climbs were long and sometimes steep but it was great to see and hear that so many of our club completed this oldest of Ireland’s cyclosportives.

A special congrats to the neophyte ladies team who trained diligently over the last 8 months, set forth a goal for themselves and completed what they had set out to do. Chapeau to all of you!
(I apologize if you missed the photo shoot. It did happen at 0700 even tho’ Simon was a little late and is attached.)

Congrats also to long distance man Jim D who cycled to Dublin on Saturday, had a few hours sleep and then cycled the WW200 in quick order on Sunday!
Highlight of the trip for those doing the WW200 must have been getting off the highest mountain Sally Gap with all faculties in good order. The elements there reminded me of a Siberian winter, only thing missing was snow!

I rode with Gavin, Raymond from Rabatt, neophyte Geoff, and sometimes the Culmore twins, Paul and Donal. Despite a brief flirtation with hypothermia early in the day, our lightly dressed friend from Rabatt showed that even though there may not be many hills in Morocco, the regular training experienced there is making him dangerous on two wheels.
Being only four in number we sometimes labored in to the heavy SE wind and longed for those days when an FCC train of more than a dozen soared effortlessly thru the Wicklow hills. Still, in true grit fashion we were never daunted and whilst each of us showed signs of good fitness throughout the day(remember the Avoca climb!), if truth be told chairman Gavin came good in the final few miles when riding off in to the mist with a strongly finishing peloton leaving us to trail in ten minutes later.
Mention should also be made of second year apprentice Geoff R who, eighteen months ago, was towed in to Buncrana one hour after the club run had finished and finished confidently on Sunday fresh and calm well before five bells. His enthusiasm can be gauged by his questioning me on the location of the next event, ten minutes after he had finished.

The news from Paul and Donal is incomplete. They were passed on the Shay Elliott climb leaning on a post and chewing some biscuits as we struggled up this 9% climb. I did perceive Paul fly past me again near the summit and am certain that Donal was somewhere in his wake. The T stop at Rathdrum yielded not a trace and I surmise that they breezed thru confidently and arrived in Greystones many minutes before our group of four.

The WW200 has thrown up surprises in the several years that I have challenged its hills and valleys. Sunday’s run is one to look back on. Surviving weather like that is an accomplishment. Hopefully all who finished got that internal feeling of satisfaction. It would have been easy to quit but we kept going.
Well done.

Next up for some is tomorrow’s club race in Campsie at 7 p.m.. Please come out to ride and/or support.
Then on Thursday 11 club riders leave for Italy to ride Granfondo Sportful. This 216 km challenge takes off on Sunday at 0730 through some of the Dolomite’s highest passes. Total climbing is more than 5000 meters. Those who have done it before realize the challenge. Yet somehow or other we always have loads of fun.
If you haven’t cycled in Italy, do yourself a real favor and try it!! Magnifico!!

See you on the road.