The social aspect of cycling should not be underestimated.
Group cycles are an integral part of my weekly training plan. We meet at 9am on a Saturday morning and set off on a 70-80km course with a coffee break somewhere along the way. The jokes are always the best and can’t be beat. There’s always a funny story or something happening along the way.
There could be four to six riders depending on who shows up and we chat and laugh along the way.
Along with the benefits, group cycles are good because they help you see where your fitness is at.
If you find it difficult to stay with the group, others should be considerate and slow down. I find that you need a balance between cycling alone and in a group.
The long hard cycles you do on your own definitely make you stronger when you date others.
So maybe go twice a week alone and once a week with a group. If you want to cycle in a larger group why not join a club, such as the West Cork Cycling Club which is mainly based in Dunmanway and the West Cork Triathlon Club which is based in Clonakilty.
Both clubs cater to different fitness levels, so you can go out with the slow, moderate, or fast groups that typically train for races. Some of the fast groups average more than 30 km/h for a rotation of 80 to 100 km. As your fitness and strength improves, you can move up from one group to another. Finally, if you go in a group, it takes a bit of practice. You should be aware that there is a cyclist in front of you, one to your left/right and one behind you. Braking, whirling or any sudden action is not allowed as you could end up knocking the whole Peleton over.
Paudie O’Donovan is a Neuromuscular physiotherapist specializing in the relief of pain and the improvement of mobility/flexibility.
He runs a sport Skibbereen Injury Clinic
Follow him on Facebook, Instagram or contact him at 086-2339618