Galway Bay Cycling Club is passionate about cycling - we cater for all cyclists of all abilities in and around Galway city. We have a very active club with over 90 members of all ages with something to suit everyone.
Every Sunday the club operates a number of spins from various locations. Please take a look at the Training Routes and Times at left here. On Thursday evenings from April to September we have a handicapped club league race where all club members are welcome to take part. On any given day you'll find a group of Galway Bay Cyclists out on the roads around Galway.
Conditions were dry, moderate temperatures (i.e. armwarmers but not legwarmers) with a light wind for the 2017 Waller Cup, held in Bohermeen, Co. Meath. This was my 6th open race (ever!) and my first ladies only race, so I was excited to compare with my experiences in the mixed gender bunches I normally go out with. 18 ladies were in attendance. The route comprised of 4 laps of a 16.2km circuit, with 4 sharp left hand turns and 1 right hand turn, with no climbing to speak of.
The pros on the TV had led me to believe that women's race are typically more "attacky" than the blokes', with period of hard but steady riding in between. This was true for the first lap, with 3 attacks going off before being reeled in fairly quickly. The second lap was tempered somewhat by us being overtaken by one of the junior races. The group surged to get past us but then knocked off the gas, so we were actually riding bumper to bumper and being slowed by their cavalcade.
While it wouldn't have been a cycle race without one or two dicey moves which caused cries of annoyance, the group, as a whole, was less, how you say, "bat shit erratic" than the mens' groups I've ridden in. True, yes, there were fewer of us, but on the whole people were able to get where they wanted to be without putting fear into my cowardly heart. I for one felt much more confident and relaxed about moving about within the group, and for sure moved into some teeny gaps that I would never consider in a mens' group. Trying to negotiate between unknown male cyclists in a race can feel like trying to get between two articulated lorries while the drivers are looking at their phones. You've no idea how conscious of your presence they actually are, or what they're going to do next. And while their moves are never malicious, in a shoulder tussle between a 90kg testosterone bag and my dainty 60kg frame, I'm never going to win. While the ladies were by no means pushovers, there was a certain level of courtesy afforded to each other - good communication in the group about upcoming hazards, no stupid risks, and a general understanding that you should not try to take a gap that isn't there. I would be interested to see if and how this carries over to higher level and higher attended ladies races.
Anyway. Back to the race. Nobody seemed in the mood for attacking in the 3rd or 4th lap, despite some strong ladies tutting and admonishing the group for not riding harder. I had marked these ladies as likely candidates to put an attack in but the attack never came. Everybody saved their legs for the surges out of the corners, which were marked more prominently by those in the know making sure they were in a good position at the front than the (still excellent and prominent) flagmen. After the first lap I made sure to always be in a good position for these, which paid off but left me with not much in reserve for the breakaway ambitions which I had entertained back in lap 1. I was excited coming into the final straight - I was in among the first few ladies! - but alas, I was unaware that the finish line was at the end of a 300m uphill sprint section that we had covered before. Patricia Harte from Western Lakes put in a strong dig up the first 100m section but ultimately both of us were swept away by the group. Perhaps if I'd been more mentally prepared for this uphill sprint I would have managed to finish in the top 8 placings, but to be honest, maybe not - the legs were tired yo.
Nonetheless I am super delighted with my performance today. I easily held my own with a mix of strong A4/A3 ladies in what was previously a ladies national series race. This race also gave me the motivation I need to incorporate sprinting drills into my training schedule. Uphill sprint, I'll see you next year, it's on!
Well done everybody, particularly (ahem) myself, Patricia Harte and Geraldine Powderly representing the Wesht. Geraldine is well on the way to recovery, never losing touch with the group and there in the final few moments for that fateful sprint. ... See MoreSee Less
Interesting research was published earlier this week about health effects of cycling to work in the UK. "Cycle commuting was associated with a lower risk of CVD, cancer, and all cause mortality." Summary stats shown in picture below, and full article here: www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1456... See MoreSee Less