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Club Weekend Away A Great Success

Marble City Cyclers held their first ever weekend away on October 6-7th.  The destination was Dungarvan and the sun was just coming out when Pat Murray, Donal Deering, Mike Lewis, Fergal Daly, Paul Cullen, Mick Battle, Liam Lysaght and Mike Shields left Kilkenny, front wheels pointed south. 

Mick Barron, still recovering from injury had volunteered to drive the support car and after a crash (hate that word!) course in photography, also assumed photographer duties.  The nicest autumn day for years continued to improve as the group reached Clonmel where a quick coffee stop refuelled all. 

Leaving Tipperary’s southern capital, the roads became familiar as the group encountered the Sean Kelly 160km route and it felt strange not turning left at Ballymacarbry for Powers the Pot.  After 85km the group reached the Master McGrath monument where some photos were taken at the shrine to Waterford’s most famous sportsman (we’re pretty sure he was a boy!). 

Some of the group were keen for a bit more distance so local lad Pat Murray suggested a 30km loop that would bring the group back to Dungarvan.  Meantime the support car took the easy option and headed straight for Dungarvan, the thoughts of a thirst quenching pint at the forefront of his mind!  The ‘30km loop’ took in some lovely rolling countryside and through the scenic village of Clashmore where the local lad admitted that he didn’t really know the route.  Pressing on to the Cork road and up some strength building drags, at the 42km stage, the sight of the Seanachai pub was too much to resist so the hardy bunch stopped off for a round of cool beverages (some of the Arthurian variety) and a couple of plates of chips.  Back on the bikes, it was a pleasant 8km drop down into Dungarvan where Lawlors Hotel provided warm showers and a warm welcome.  There wasn’t much time to rest as the local lad had a packed agenda which included the Munster v Leinster match in a local hostelry.  The triple European champions had the game sealed up by three quarter time which was fortunate as it was time to depart for diner back at Lawlors.  A delicious four course meal was thoroughly enjoyed by the hungry group before embarking on a pub tour of Dungarvan.  Conscious of the need to be back on the road by 10am, the group declined an invitation to the afters of a local wedding taking place at the hotel but Mick Barron did convey the Clubs best wishes to the Bride and Groom.

After a full Irish breakfast at Lawlors, it was back on the bikes on Sunday morning at 10am with Kilkenny as the destination.  The revered Pike Hill outside Dungarvan punished all who indulged in some liquor the previous night but as the road flattened out, a steady tempo was established all the way to Carrick-on-Suir.  A quick stop for coffee and bananas at the home town of the great Sean coincided with the locals exiting morning mass.  The MCC group were quietly praying for their legs to hold up for another 40km.  It wasn’t long until the last hill of the weekend at Kilmaganny was conquered and the villages of Dunamaggan and Kells flashed past as the cyclists put the heads down bound for Kilkenny. 

A total of 210km was completed over the weekend in a riding time of 8 hours.  Time spent stopped in pubs was not included!  MCC look forward to making the club weekend away an annual event and having a much bigger group in 2013.  Sincere thanks to Mick Barron for driving the support car and doing the photography and to Pat Murray for organizing the event.



Club News Week Ending 08/07/12

On Monday evening we had a group of 16 out on the beginners spin doing a loop that took in Bennetsbridge, Thomastown, Jerpoint Abbey, Ballyhale, Knocktopher, Dunamaggin and then home via Kells. Fairplay to the group for putting in such a good spin despite the very wet evening and even with the obstacle of a few mechanical issues.

The time trial league was back out in Kilmanagh to tackle the hill climb route for the 2nd time. Fastest man of the night was George Sherwood from KTC in a time of 24min55secs which remarkably was exactly the same time he did on the first on this same route. George is clearly on great form having competed in Ironman Austria recently. Fastest MCC cyclist was Colm Keher with a time of 25min 52sec. We are back to Cillin Hill this Thursday (12th) for the 2nd time which will be welcome news to those who rather the flatter roads!

On Saturday the club was very well represented at the Ring of Kerry charity cycle. The 180km route takes in some amazing scenery which looked spectacular even on what was a fairly wet day. An amazing 9,000 people took part this year and amongst them were Joe Ryan, Terry Brophy, Pat Murray, Mick Barron, Willie Cahill and the clubs guest for a few weeks from Kuala Lumpar, Jesper Marstrand.



Ciarán Power Coaching Day Report

The Weather Gods were less than kind to us for 'Coaching Day' this year. Nonetheless, 12 hardy souls, namely Pat Murray, Joe Ryan, Joe Griffin, Mick Burke, Mick Barron, Terry Brophy, Jim Fitzpatrick, James Kelly, Catherine Rice, Neil Butler, Eoin Hogan, and Fiona Cooke, all turned out to welcome Ciaran Power to 'Hotel Kilkenny' this morning. Having considered wind direction, Joe Ryan's expert knowledge of Mick Barron's weathervain, Terry's devout atheism, the rotation of the earth on it's axis, and the likelihood of an Irish victory in Stade Francais, we opted to head out along the exact same route we'd cycled for 'Coaching Day' last year.
We rode as a group as far as Ballyhale, with Ciarán taking turns with each of us and offering helpful comments. He seemed particularily keen to alter several people's saddle heights, and even there & then if someone had supplied him with a set of Allen keys. There was some reluctance to his suggestions from certain quarters (Joe Griffin, I'm looking at you), and despite some capacious-looking saddle bags, no one offered up the appropriate tools; weather may have been a factor.

After Ballyhale it was time to practice strength training. So under Ciarán's watchful eye we powered uphill 'in the big ring' and pushing as hard a gear as we could manage. Not content with doing this once, puff, pant, back down we sped for another go. I'm not naming names, but I suspect there was a bit of down-shifting going on on that second ascent, and once out of Ciarán's gaze.....   A bit of sprinting-from-a-standing-start later, and we were on our way to Mullinavat to big-gear it up another incline!
A chance encounter with Denis Keogh, caught rotten out an a solo training spin, and our numbers were increased to 14. Next it was time to up the pace, and increase the rate of up-and-overs, and before we knew it (well, some of us knew all about it!!), we were through Knocktopher and back on the Waterford road towards home, Oh, and some sprints. Did I mention the sprints? Good.
After showering (not a group thing), we sat down to a tasty lunch. Mick Barron said 'Grace', well he mumbled something anyhow, actually maybe he said he was getting tri-bars, God was definitely invoked anyhow!!! We had the Dining-Room of Hotel Kilkenny to ourselves, and seated together at one table, the scene was set to squeeze every last ounce of cycling knowledge from Ciaran. For someone who has enjoyed such an illustrious career, it was refreshing to hear how laid-back Ciarán's attitude is to many of the things other people take overly seriously. He isn't a man for the turbo-trainer (on an un-related note, has anyone seen Pat Tobin lately? Anyone??), he reckons a cheese&ham sandwich is the perfect recovery food, and he wouldn't get caught up on the whole stretching lark. Perhaps the biggest nugget of advice he passed on though, was his emphatic encouragement of Jim Fitzpatrick to spend some quality time in a barrel! Oh and for the record, Ciarán weighs 73kg.
So, a Big MCC Thank You to Ciarán! And best wishes to him both in The Gorey 3-Day, and with his current career as a Neuromuscular / Sports Massage Therapist, check him out at 19 O'Connell Street, Waterford, details on www.ciaranpower.com
And Thank You also to Hotel Kilkenny for once again looking after us so well!