THE social aspect of cycling should not be underestimated.
Group cycles are a huge part of my weekly training plan. We meet at 9am on a Saturday morning and head off on a 70-80km route with a coffee stop somewhere on the way. The banter is always the best and can’t be beaten. There’s always a funny story or something happens along the way.
There could four to six cyclists depending on who turns up and we chat and laugh the whole way along.
As well as the social benefits, group cycles are good as they help you see where your fitness is at.
If you are struggling to stay with the group then the others have to be considerate and pull back the pace. I find you need a balance of both cycling on your own and within a group.
The long hard cycles that you do on your own definitely make you stronger when you do go out with others.
So maybe go twice a week on your own and once a week with a group. If you want to cycle in a bigger group then why not join a club, such as West Cork Cycling Club which is predominantly based in Dunmanway and the West Cork Triathlon Club which is Clonakilty based.
Both clubs accommodate different levels of fitness so you can go out with the slow group, moderate or fast ones who are usually training for races. Some of the fast groups average over 30kmph for a 80-100km spin. As your fitness and strength improves you can progress from one group to another. Finally if you do head out with a group it takes a little practice. You need to be aware that there’s a cyclist in front of you, one on your left/right and one behind you. Braking, swirling or any sudden actions are not allowed as you could end up knocking the whole Peleton.
Paudie O’Donovan is a Neuromuscular Physical Therapist specialising in pain relief and improvement of mobility/flexibility.
He runs a Sports Injury Clinic in Skibbereen
Follow him on Facebook, Instagram or contact him on 086-2339618