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The WCCC summer midweek spin programme is restarting Wednesday next (April 15). Those who participated in last year's programme will know that this is challenging. But you'll also know that it seriously improved your fitness. Members who have not tried it before, but who would like to increase their pace on the bike, are invited. It works like this:
Each Wednesday night, usually at 7 pm, we meet at the designated meeting point. From here, we ride 2-3 laps of a route, with each lap being around 10-15 km depending on terrain. The loop is chosen so that there are short cuts across the loop. So if you are dropped, you simply take one of the short cuts. You are unlikely to get dropped on flat sections, where the pace is like a fast group ride. If you are going to get dropped, it will be on a hill. But at the top, you take a short cut, and meet up with the group again. Brilliant! Last summer, there were members getting dropped regularly, so we suffer together. After a few weeks of this, you will be astounded at how much faster you've become.
The 2015 midweek spins programme will use three different loops. Loop 1 will be the Manch-Ballygurteen route used last year. We will use this loop on Wednesday next. The following week, we will use Loop 2, and Loop 3 the week after. It's then back to Loop 1, and so on throughout the summer.
The meeting point for Loop 1 is Manch Creamery. See you there, next Wednesday at 7 pm. If you want to improve, this is the surefire way to do it.

During the Etape today, WCCC hard core legend Joe Doyle burst another jersey, and had to finish the route in his tank top. Joe blames poor quality jerseys. We think it might be linked to his snack bag...

Several members intend doing the Ras Mumhan Etape this Saturday, in support of WCCC racer Clinton O'Machine. Clinton will be doing the Ras Mumhan with Team Osborne Meats, following the return of the WCCC's team application by the organisers (what a debacle - a number of teams had their applications accepted, and later refused). The unstoppable O'Machine was quickly picked up by Osborne Meats. It's a four day race around Kerry, with a bit of the Rebel County thrown in (the hilly bit). Each year, one stage (the Etape) is opened to non-racers. This year's Etape will take place on Saturday next (April 4), starting and finishing at Kenmare. The route includes several climbs, including the Healy Pass and the N22 county bounds. At 145 km, with 2500 m of climbing, you'd want to have a few km under your belt at this stage. But if you're feeling money-supermarket, why not give it a go? The registration fee gets you snacks at two food stops, and dinner afterwards. Sign on in Kenmare is at 0830. See here for info and online registration. You might see the Ras racers whizzing by, including Clinton (although he'll be wearing the yellow Osborne Meats kit). Here's a photo of Clinton sporting the WCCC kit at the start of the Dungarvan A3 race yesterday. Just before the photo was taken, Clinton was heard saying to the Naas rider 'I'm sooo going to kick your ass in this race'. The Naas rider's deflation is evident in the photo.

Notice to any non-members of WCCC:

Would you like to go cycling? 
Are you new to cycling? 
Are you a complete beginner? 
Have you cycled previously but got a bit out of shape? 
Have you seen other cyclists whizzing along and thought 'that looks like fun, but I'd never keep up'?
If you have answered yes to any of the above, why not come out with a small group of beginner cyclists which meets every Saturday morning in Dunmanway Square at 10 am. We cycle easy loops around Dunmanway for 1-2 hours (whatever you like!), with a stop for coffee during the ride or at the end. We'll show you how to handle your bike, and how to use the gears. We'll also teach you the basics of bike maintenance, such as how to change a tube.

The cycles are ideal for beginners, leisure cyclists, those looking to get fit, and anyone who has thought about doing one of those 'couch to 50 km' programmes. All over 18s are invited.
Any bike will do - you don't need one of those fancy racing bikes. All you need are the following:

1. A helmet.
2. At least one spare tube.
3. Food and water for the ride.
4. A mobile phone.
5. A small amount of money.

Before you come along, you are also strongly advised to register with Cycling Ireland which gets you full insurance cover (register online at www.cyclingireland.ie).

So come on out with us. The cycles are led by an experienced cyclist and member of the West Cork Cycling Crew.

The annual club trip has been announced! The plan is as follows:
Car pool to Dungarvan early Saturday morning June 6. Get some serious riding in that day. Stay at the Park Hotel that night where we'll have dinner and a feed of beer. After checking out next morning, get another ride in before returning home. All members have been directly emailed with the details. There are some great routes in West Waterford. Names like the Vee Pass in the Knockmealdowns, along with Tickincor, Mahon Falls and Seskin in the Comeraghs are some of the legendary climbs of Irish cycling which we can eagerly anticipate. The hotel has a fully featured leisure centre with pool, therapeutic whirlpool and sauna. Perfect for relaxing those aching, tired muscles. 
The trip is going to be a blast, so sign up fast to book your place.
It's all soooo exciting!

WCCC Committee meeting report

The Committee had a very productive meeting last night at the Southern Bar. The Committee was joined by Ken O'Driscoll, the club's new full time employee. The main items agreed were as follows:
1. A number of members have still not renewed their CI and/or club membership. Such members will NOT be allowed on club spins any longer due to insurance issues. If you are one of these members, PLEASE pay up now. It is well worth it for the insurance cover.
2. A WCCC away trip has been agreed for the first weekend of June, most likely involving a drive to our destination on the morning of Sat June 6, a cycle that day, a stayover that night, a cycle the following day, and drive home. The destination will most likely be West Waterford, where there are some fantastic cycling routes such as the Vee. All club members will be welcome. More details will follow once Ken and Events Officer Mike have finalised the details.
3. Recruitment Officer James plans to arrange an introductory spin programme over the next few weeks on Saturdays, to show non-members what cycling is all about. This is an exciting project for the club. More details to follow shortly.
4. The mid-week spins programme will kick off on Easter Monday April 6. Starting at the usual meeting point (Manch Creamery) at 1900. These spins fast-track your development like no other. More details will follow in due course.
5. Ken proposes to develop a member's profile section on the website, and to interview all members over the next year. This is guaranteed to be hilarious.
6. Ken also proposes to post race reports which summarise how WCCC racers are getting on.
7. Ken will set up a club Twitter feed to keep all you Twittophiles (Twittees? Twits?) up to date with club news.
Thanks to all who attended. Apologies were received from 3 officers unable to attend.

The next WCCC Committee meeting will take place on Thursday 12.03.15 at the Southern Bar, Dunmanway, from 8 pm. All committee members are asked to attend. Items to be discussed will include the prioritising of roles for the new WCCC employee Ken. How many cycling clubs can boast a full time employee?! Ken will help take the club to a new level, and we look forward to working with him. One role under discussion is that Ken will call to each member's house between 6 and 7 am on Sunday mornings and bang two saucepans together until he/she gets up.

In ripping his sleeve at Ballyhoura yesterday, WCCC Kit Officer Peter McCarthy shows a callous disregard for his own kit. No doubt we'll all end up paying for it.


Change o'plan re Ballyhoura. Several guys can't make Sat Feb 21. So we're looking at the following Sat instead. We hope this suits everyone. Any booked bikes should be transferable. Rugby-heads need not worry - that weekend's Ireland game is on Sunday.

Cycle Against Suicide is coming to Bantry on Monday May 4. They require a Homestay Coordinator in the Bantry area, ie. someone to coordinate accomodation for one night for cyclists and volunteers. Anyone in a position to assist should check out the CAS website. All info regarding home stays is on their website. 

WCCC day out to Ballyhoura planned for Sat Feb 21. Everyone's invited. If you haven't done this before, you should try it - it's a blast! Even if you've never cycled offroad before, you will definitely enjoy it. It's not like you'll be cycling across boulders or anything - it's all surfaced trails. You can bring your own MTB if you have one. If not, hire them online for €35. The hire bikes have standard pedals, which are fine if you bring runners with a good grip on the soles. Apart from that, all you need is suitable clothing (washable!), your helmet, and food/water (there is no cafe onsite). We're aiming to be there for 10:00 h. Spread the word, and let's have a great day out. 

An eventful club spin this morning has reminded WCCC-HQ about the importance of insurance. Two members went down on a wet/icy patch, with nasty consequences. Luckily, both had renewed their 2015 Cycling Ireland membership, which automatically provides insurance. There are a small number of members who have yet to renew their club and CI membership. Do it now please. Club rules prohibit non-renewers from taking part in club spins. The WCCC-K9 sniffer team is about to be released, and will track down non-renewers like the fugitives they are. 

The club's Operation Transformation spin this morning was a major success. OT leader Veronica, accompanied by presenter Kathryn Thomas, led out almost 150 cyclists on a 10 km route around Dunmanway, rumoured to be the only flat 10 km in West Cork. The word had spread, and some came from places out foreign like Kanturk and Tralee. It was great to see the number of young people involved, all cruising along like seasoned pros. WCCC members were out in force, shouting words of encouragement, and carrying out emergency repairs where required. The RTE crew said afterwards that it was one of the best organised OT events they've seen yet. So well done to everyone for putting on a great show, except for one member (let's just call him PK) who unclipped the wrong shoe, and went down in front of the cameras. Oh the shame. OT will probably sell that clip to YBF. Otherwise, it was a great day for the club, a great day for West Cork, and (very importantly) Veronica really enjoyed it, having never cycled that far before. Photos will be posted on our new Gallery page over the next few days. Thanks again to all club members who assisted and turned up, particularly the Secretary who organised it all. Thanks also to non-members who helped out.

Do you know someone who you think would like cycling? Someone who would enjoy the buzz of a sportive? Someone who seriously needs to get fit? Someone who has never cycled more than a few metres, or someone who has never even been on a bike? Someone who perhaps cycled years ago, but seems to have forgotten all about it? Well, now you have an opportunity to get his/her backside onto a saddle and out on the road! The Operation Transformation cycle this weekend, organised by the WCCC, is the perfect event/excuse. An easy 10 km, with a sportive atmosphere, camera crews, etc. So get them out. The weather looks like it will be perfect. There are still places left - all they need to do is register on the Cycling Ireland website. There will never be another opportunity like this.

Update re Cycling Ireland's 'Foundation in Coaching' course, referred to below (28.01.15). Saturday April 25th has been confirmed, in Skibbereen. Interested members should contact  WCCC Development Officer Frances Shanahan via the Secretary.

Notice to members: Please please set time aside for Saturday morning next, when we need all members to help out on the Operation Transformation event, between 0900 and 1100 approximately. Some members will need to cruise around their bikes, looking good. Others will be involved in organisational roles. Please email the Secretary to register your availability. Come on everyone - let's get behind this.

Cycling Ireland are considering hosting their one day 'Foundation in Coaching' course in Skibbereen. They are considering Saturday April 4 and/or Saturday April 25, if they get the numbers. The course costs €40. More info here. If you are interested, please contact WCCC Development Officer Frances Shanahan via the Secretary.

The club has received a brochure from CycleCilento, an Italian based training camp operator run by an Irish guy. We thought we'd post the link here, in case members are interested. Although we feel a bit guilty, seeing as out last post referred to boosting Irish tourism...

OMG! The WCCC is going supernova in 2015. As if Operation Transformation and the first WCCC stage race entry weren't enough, the club is now getting mentioned in the Dail! Check out Jim Daly TD on our Facebook page, where he talks about rolling out cycle greenways in West Cork. Good man Jim! His reference to the West Cork Cycling Group is a reference to the WCCC (although to be fair, there are many others involved in the roll out of this project). Hopefully in a few years, West Cork will be served by a series of cycleways like the Achill Greenway which has boosted tourism in Mayo. 

Online entry for the Ras Mumhan Etape, to be held Saturday April 4 from Kenmare, is now open. Seeing as the WCCC racing team will be doing the same route later that day, members may want to join the party by doing the Etape. Let's try to get a big group together, and rub the racing team's noses in it when we beat their times! Last year's route was tough, but very enjoyable. The entry fee includes timing chip, and food afterwards.

This just in: the WCCC plans to enter a team in this year's Ras Mumhan. No, this isn't some sort of lunar sportive, but rather a 4 day stage race around West Cork and Kerry. It's probably the second most important road race in the Irish calendar, with teams from around Europe. And the WCCC racing team is going to be mixing it up with the big boys. WCCC pro's David Williams, Clinton O'Mahony and Barry Dodd are already signed up. There are 3 more slots to be filled. If you're interested, you have about 10 weeks to get your act together. 

Those of you living on Mars, or beyond Bantry, may not have heard the news: Operation Transformation is coming to West Cork!!! And the WCCC is one of only 5 clubs in the country to be involved. Our role: to organise a 10 km cycle on Saturday Feb 7, starting and finishing at Dunmanway. All club members are asked to attend if possible, in full kit of course. If you can be around that morning to help out, please email the Secretary. We need personnel to man the sign-on station, to coordinate marshals, to put up signs, etc. Most importantly, we need members to look absolutely freakin' awesome, as the whole country will be watching while we lead out 250 cyclists. Local girl Veronica Horgan is one of this year's leaders. The WCCC admires her determination and wishes her the best of luck.

Reminder: Committee meeting tomorrow night Wed Jan 21, at 8 pm in the Southern Bar. All Officers are asked to attend. The meeting is likely to be dominated by the club's involvement in Operation Transformation. More info regarding this exciting event will be posted here shortly.

The first meeting of the new WCCC committee will take place on the evening of Wed Jan 21. Venue and time will be notified to Committee Officers in due course. All Officers are kindly asked to attend. First motion: A proposal to ban the next member who points out that there's 'a grand stretch in the evenings'. 

Anyone going skiing will enjoy this:

Mega Avalanche 2013 Start Line Pile Up - Funny

The WCCC website team hopes everyone has a great 2015. We feel bullish about the year ahead (sorry, we couldn't help it).

A new sportive right on our doorstep: The Ring of Beara Cycle. We encourage all members to sign up.

Approximately 35 members attended last night's club AGM, held at the Southern Bar (transferred from the Parkway at short notice - apologies to those who sat in an empty room at the Parkway wondering why turnout was less than usual). Outgoing Chairman Donncha O'Brien was replaced by Damian Brosnan, while new Treasurer Marie Fuller replaces Stephen Kearney. Old stalwarth Padraig McCarthy remains on as club Secretary - thank God for small mercies. The new Treasurer wasn't long flexing her muscles when she tried to sieze the cheque book from Padraig, just after Padraig announced food for everyone. So the club's financial health looks good for the immediate future. Ms. Fuller will have her work cut out if the new Chairman's tentative suggestions for a Chairman's Pinarello and round the clock security detail are implemented. A big development in the meeting was the appointment of a new super-duper committee, with 11 officers each taking control of a particular area. Committee details are listed on the About WCCC page. 2015 looks like it could be the year of the WCCCs. Judging by his member's address, the new Chairman is certainly very enthusiastic, God love him. Following the meeting, members retired to the bar for drinks and food, and to discuss how the hell they ended up with jobs and tasks, particularly those who had fallen asleep at the meeting. Coups have been precipitated by less. Watch this space.

Group heading out for a spin tomorrow morning Dec 29th from Dunmanway at 10 am.
And don't forget tomorrow night's AGM. Venue has been set: Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway, 7 pm.

Merry Christmas to all our members. Watch those calories! Any members turning up at the Dec 29th AGM looking like this guy will be turned away.


The 2014 WCCC AGM has been scheduled for Monday Dec 29th at 7 pm. The venue has yet to be decided. We ask that ALL members attend. Decisions on the night will shape how the club develops in 2015. If you have any ideas that you think should be discussed, email them to the Secretary now. Remember, it's your club.

Fancy a WCCC day out on the Ballyhoura MTB trails? We're looking at a Sat or Sun towards the end of January. We need to get an idea of numbers. So if you're interested, please let us know on the MESSAGE BOARD on our Routes page.

Horrible weather on this morning's spin. Well done to Joe, Sean, Mike, Peter, Ava and Damian for braving it. They are the founding members of the new WCCC hard-core division (WCCC-HCD).

Martyn Ashton in a second video. While filming this one, he broke his back and is now paralysed from the waist down. Some of his buddies had to finish the video. So the club has decided not to make those moves mandatory after all.

Good spin today, although only 6 out. Come on you lazy lot, get out of bed! If the weather is bothering you, watch this.

Check out this guy, and what he can do with a road bike.
Members note: the club wants to make several of these moves mandatory for membership.