All the club would like to send best wishes for a speedy recovery to Saturday Spin Captain Frank Browne. Frank had a nasty fall on Tuesday last on one of the regular midweek spins. He fractured his collarbone in two places and will be laid up for a while as a result. George MacLeod and Tom Stapleton also fell on a section of road made slippy by oil, they were lucky to escape with cuts and bruises. We hope to see you back on the bike soon Frank!
The weather was nearly ideal for cycling at the weekend, dry and calm but very cold! Good groups were out both days taking advantage of the weather! The Saturday club spin from Kilrush saw 13 cyclists covering 100+kilometres at 30.5 kmph on a cool but dry morning. Niamh O Donovan was at the helm and is going to hold the fort until Frank is back. After the temperature drop in Carrick, there was a quick stop in Kilmeaden and a pesky saddle needed seeing to also before Kill. A steady pace back home through Bonmahon followed. A few went on to get a bit more out of the dry spell.
Group 2 were joined by a few from Group 1 and went to Bunmahon, Kill, Kilmeaden, Portlaw, Scrouty, Kilmac, Fews, and home via Lemybrien. A nice steady tempo throughout on what was a lovely day for cycling, with little wind and plenty of sunshine. 14 in group with 95 kilometres covered with 900m elevation at average of 29.5kph. Some added another few km’s to end of spin, with one even venturing up Strikes. Kudos to you George. The back road group had 13 out including An Post professional Conor Hennebry for a 90 kilometre spin taking in a maze of roads between Ring and Clashmore, then a beautiful loop around Ferrypoint and back through Ballycrenane to Kielys cross, more twist and turns and a forestry road which will have Conor ready for any classic brought the group out at the top of ring, a swift decent to Fordes daybreak and a welcome coffee saw another fantastic spin done and dusted with over 1000m of climbing at 26.5kph.
Group 3 had 16 out on a chilly but fine Sunday morning. By the time the N25 climb was scaled, body temperatures had risen significantly. Over to Carrick and onto Portlaw and the dreaded Church hill. Ably dealt with and it was homeward bound via Newtown, Kilmacthomas and the coast road. Fast rollovers from Ballyvoile ensured the group had a peppy spin back to base. An uneventful spin with 800m of climbing in 85 kilometres with a 27kmph average speed. A beautiful day for cycling saw 11 Group 4 cyclists set off on a new route and a new challenge. They headed towards Carrick at a brisk pace. The sun on their backs had spirits up and the banter on. After a coffee in Kilmeaden it was decided to lengthen proposed spin by 10 more and as they hit the 100 there were raised hands and shouts of delight. The group averaged 24.6kph for 101km and a great day’s cycling was had. This group is open for new members, if you can cycle at approx. 24-25kph pace, you’ll be welcome.
The Group 23K spin followed the same route as G5. They headed out of Dungarvan onto the Goldcoast and then back onto the coast road towards the 5 cross roads were they turned left and onto Griffins garage . From here they headed for Leamybrien via Mahon Bridge. Reaching Leamybrien they headed to Kilrossanty and back to Leamybrien for coffee. When preparing to head home G5 arrived and the coffee baton was exchanged. The group headed home via Durrow. Distance 56 kilometres at 21.5kmph. Group 5 headed to the Goldcoast onto 5 Cross Roads, Mahon Bridge, Lemybrien with a twist up to Kilrossanty for 7 of the group where they met Noreen who came to meet up with them. Back to Lemybrien for the well earned coffee and to meet up with G23. They had plenty of up and overs and a bit of speed work up to Lemybrien. After the coffee they headed back home as a tight bunch of 9. They did 56km at an 18kph pace.
DCC Open Race
The club open race takes place this year on March 26th on the Millstreet circuit. This is the biggest event of the year for our club and takes a lot of organisation and man power to run. Each year we make a special appeal to club members to help out on the day for a few hours and this year is no different. We usually struggle to find enough members willing to help so this year we are asking that members make a big effort to make themselves available on the day. It is the only time all year that all members are asked to help out. So now everyone has plenty of notice and will hopefully make themselves available on March 26th. More details nearer the time and thanks in advance for your help.
Club membership and Cycling Ireland membership is now due for all members. Remember to cycle in the group spins you have to be a member for insurance reasons. All memberships expired on December 31st 2016 so if you haven’t yet renewed your membership please do so as soon as possible. You can join both together through the Cycling Ireland website or if you don’t have access to a computer please contact any committee member or send a message to the Facebook page and we will sort it out for ye. Can all captains please remind group members of same too please.
Stayin’ Alive at 1.5
We are all aware of how dangerous our roads have become for all road users. This is more so the case for cyclists as we are a vulnerable group. Some of you might be aware of the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign which is a campaign to pursue the adoption of a law that requires motorists to give cyclists 1.5 metres clearance when passing from the rear. It is a 2 pronged campaign concentrating on (a) a safety campaign through the Facebook page and sale of a dedicated safety jersey and (b) lobbying of politicians in an effort to have the current ambiguous overtaking law amended. The current law states that you should give extra space to cyclists when overtaking. There is also no mention of a minimum clearance distance when passing from the rear. The aim of Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 is to have this distance clearly defined as 1.5 metres and to have the word ‘should’ replaced by the word ‘must’. This is important as a cyclist, and vulnerable road user the need for self preservation makes you ride defensively, taking every possible danger in to account. The only danger that you can’t see is the one that is coming from behind. Cyclists hope that other road users overtaking are obeying the road rules and keeping their distance, but unfortunately at the moment, that distance is not defined. This creates a situation where cyclists take to the roads with a great degree of uncertainty. This should not be the case if we are to follow government policy in increasing the amount of journeys carried out by bicycle.
There are several other reasons too as to why this rule is important to members of the cycling community. The left side of the road where cyclists are expected to cycle is normally the part of the road where pot-holes are and debris and glass accumulate. In urban areas it’s the section of road that most likely will have drainage and man-holes. Bicycle tyres are narrow and puncture more easily than other vehicles so ideally the cyclist will try to avoid these hazards. Crosswinds too cause cyclists to slightly deviate from a predicted line. Some steep hills also cause slight wobbles in the effort to stay balanced. In a nutshell bicycles are not cars, they are less predictable, they travel more slowly and can’t see what’s behind them. They swerve to avoid obstacles and they have no steel shell or air bags to protect them. I seems obvious that for the rules of the road to be respected, they need to be clear. This 1.5 metre rule would help to create an environment of safer cycling across the board giving cyclists a 1.5 metre cushion when being passed by a motorist. It is also a great piece of legislation to educate the public about how much space to leave when safely passing a cyclist. Put simply government and the Gardaí would have a standard to measure what is a safe overtake in relation to cyclists. Furthermore the passing of the safe overtaking law would acknowledge cyclists as legitimate road users, a point not shared by some motorists.
So to do your bit to improve safety on the road for us all have a look at the Safe Cycling website at www.safecyclingireland.org and click on the link for Stayin’ Alive 1.5. Here you will find lots more information and an online petition that can be signed to support the cause.
Our Facebook page has plenty of updates and photos so feel free to have a look. We are also on Twitter and have a club webpage www.dungarvancc.com. If you want anything included in the notes please e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.