Over The Hill Cycling Club Notes 10th March 2019

Midleton was the destination last Sunday morning for the earthquake cycle, a 72km loop around east Cork and west Waterford. The earthquake cycle is an annual event organised by Midleton based kiwi, Phil Cunningham. The event was originally held to raise much needed funds following the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch New Zealand. The event consisted of a team time trial, for six person teams. Over The Hill Cycling Club will be represented by four teams. The ladies were led by Niamh Fleming, with Peter Power (Peter's Pirates), Martin Buckley (Dash's Dazzlers), and Brian Atkinson (Brian's Bombers) leading the mens teams. The Bombers were listed as first off the start ramp at 8.30am. A dark cloud dumped sleet down on the cyclists at the start, so much so the the Bombers hid under a tree for shelter. The PRO was seen hiding in a phone box. The Bombers refused to come out when called by the starter, so the ladies had to brace themselves against the harsh elements, and take to the start ramp. At the drop of the starter's flag, they blasted up the main street in Midleton and were on their way. 
The teams, fourteen in total, were started at three minute intervals. The route headed east from Midleton along the N25 to Youghal. This section was super quick thanks to a strong tail wind. The Dazzlers were looking good as they crested the Youghal bypass, chasing down the Bombers. As the by pass descent leveled off the route turned north for Tallow. The climb to the half way bar was testing, and this suited the Bombers strength. The Pirates were also making good progress, with chief pirate Dermot Brosnan driving them on. The descent to Tallow came as a welcome respite and allowed the racers to get their heart rates back in check. From Tallow the route climbed for Leahy's Open Farm in Dungourney. The Bombers were powering ahead at this stage. Nearing the top of the climb, they were the lead team on the road and looked certain to fill the gold medal position. 
Alas, disaster struck. when Donal Scannell punctured close to the top of the climb. The Bomber's service vehicle was manned by Brendan Coakley, but was back the road. In a crafty move, the Pirates had Bernard Burke delay Brendan talking. This allowed them to overtake the Bombers who were struggling to repair their puncture. The Bombers, exasperated by the delay, weren't shy about giving Donal a quick lesson in bike maintenance. Rumour has it that he was told that it isn't just bad luck puncturing, having the same tyre on your bike since 1999 could have alot to do with it. 
The Pirates were the first team from the club to cross the finishing line in Midleton, taking fourth position overall. They were quickly followed by the Dazzlers who put in a super performance. The Bombers were hot on their heels after being delayed on the road. While the lads all put in superb performances, it was the ladies who shone brightest, and took first place in their category. Massive congratulations to  Aislinn Hurley, Ellmary Forde, Joanne McHugh, Marie MacAree, Niamh Fleming, and, Susan Crowley on what was a fantastic achievement. 
There was also a sportif for individual cyclists, which commenced at 9.30am, also departing from Midleton Court house. Julian Boeg represented the club in this part of the event. The proceeds from the event were being donated to the Straight Ahead Foundation in association with CMRF. 
A hardy bunch of six led by Pat McHugh and Brian Atkinson ventured out for an 80km spin on Saturday morning. The spin to Tallow was wind assisted and completed in record time. The lads headed onto Lismore and turned for Ballyduff after the castle. There was a stiff head wind all the way to Fermoy. The lads worked well together back to the village to complete a great spin. 
Turbo training was not without drama last week. Nigel was in the hot seat and all was going well, until he deiced to go for a walk around the room, turning up the resistance on the trainers as he went. It is still not clear what happened next, all we know is that Siobhan landed on the floor, with her bike suspended menacingly above her. Nigel had to be taken side and informed that turbo training is supposed to be a non contact sport. The lady members are planning  on wearing their helmets and knee pads next week. There was even  a mention of some ladies bring along sticks for protection. There are two more weeks left, before we have long evenings for mid week cycles. The sessions will continue in the First Fruits Arts Centre in Watergrasshill on Thursday evenings, warm up from 7.00pm, session commencing at 7.30pm. Members and non members are welcome to attend. Anyone wishing to attend simply needs to bring a turbo trainer, mat, and a towel. 
Club cycles continue each Saturday and Sunday. The club is always delighted to welcome new members. On Sunday mornings at 9am, all levels of cyclists are catered for, with the group split into 3 levels. New members are very welcome to turn up and cycle provided they have a racing bike, a helmet, and are over 18. For further information, check out our club Facebook page or contact us by email info@overthehillcc.comDetails of cycles will be posted on club Facebook page.