With the first signs of autumn already showing it is now important to prepare our bikes and of course ourselves for the onslaught of winter, and with a little thought and consideration there is no reason why we can’t enjoy the benefits of cycling the whole year round. We talked to Anthony O’Donnell, club member and chief bike mechanic for the cope cycles for a few winter pointers…
“Now that the season is finished this is a good time to get your bike serviced either by yourself or by your local bike shop, this should involve a good clean, getting the brakes and gears checked over, checking all the bearings for wear and alerting you to any wear issues in the chain, cassette, derailleur, brake pads etc.
A good idea for winter is change your tyres to the slightly wider 25mm versions which provide for a better grip on the wet and potentially slippy roads that we ride on at this time of year and, as miles are more important than speed, we can let a little air out from our tires to increase your contact with the ground giving even more grip on the road.
It is very important that you fit a set of full length mudguards, this will help to keep your back and lower legs dry it will also keep you friends with any other following cyclists who won’t be getting a shower from your spray. These days there are plenty of light, slim mudguards on the market so there is no excuse for not fitting a set.
As many of our winter runs either start early in the morning or finish later in the afternoon when it is dark it is also essential to fit lights front and rear which are not only essential but also a legal requirement! A flashing rear light and a strobe type front lights works best and can warn approaching drivers of your presence on the road from quite a distance away. The idea here is to be seen in plenty of time so the brighter the better, always check your batteries before you set off and carry a couple of spare, there is nothing more frightening than having to cycle along a busy country road in the dark with no lights!
Winter clothing plays a very important part here in that most modern gear should be highly reflective, the more reflective it is the safer you will be!
All being well with the bike you can now think about yourself by investing in some decent winter clothing including a good set of winter cycling tights, a tech fleece on top of a climate top that has good wicking properties. You should also carry a lightweight foldable rain jacket or a Gilet to keep the wind-chill at bay, long fingered waterproof cycling gloves and a pair of waterproof shoe covers. This type of gear should keep you warm and watertight without overheating for the duration of your run. A pair of sunglasses to cut down the glare from the low sun and they also keep the wind from your eyes on any descents is also a good idea.
With your bike winterised and a decent set of clothing you can enjoy some great days in the saddle and not loose all the hard earned fitness you gained during the summer months.” Happy winter cycling Team Errigal!
Derek Alcorn steps down as Chairman
Derek Alcorn has been Chairman of Errigal Cycling Club for the last five years and at Mondays AGM, due to both work and family commitments, he stepped down to be replaced by James Harkin who has been Club Secretary this last few years.
During his tenure Derek has seen (his) Errigal grow from the founding five members back in 2009 to the one hundred and eighty it has today. His guidance over the intervening period has helped to ensure that Errigal is a club that is not only recognised and respected Nationally but also Internationally through the development of the Errigal International Youth Tour.
The yellow jersey of Errigal is now, not only a very common site on the roads of Donegal, but was also to be seen further a field this year in Europe when two of the Clubs top youth cyclists sported the jersey brilliantly in Belgium and Holland.
Without Derek at the helm it is doubtful that Errigal would have come as far in such a short period of time. As a Club we thank him for his efforts over the years and look forward to persuading him back into office sometime in the future!
We also wish James Harkin the very best and know that in his very capable hands the good work will continue!
Newcomers Youth Training
Newcomer Youth training is now finished for the winter and will recommence in the spring (April), any parents who had children taking part or would like their children to participate are advised to forward a contact number to the Club Secretary Rory Rush on firstname.lastname@example.org. We intend to set up a text alert system to advise parents as to any events or activities available to the youths next season.
Weekend Club Runs
Errigal CC club runs this weekend will depart at 10am on Saturday from the Anagary car park, this is a great run for beginners and all newcomers are made very welcome with no one left behind!
The Sunday Club this week will depart at 9.00 from Sweeney’s Garage in Falcaragh, there will be a choice of two routes suitable for both beginners and more experienced riders, again beginners and youths are very welcome.
Keep up to date with Events
Updates on all events are posted on a daily basis on the Errigal Group Facebook Page, which can be joined on https://www.facebook.com/groups/81456018019.