Wednesday 22 May 2019

Hard work pays off as cyclists go from the couch to 50km

Ardee Cycling Club hosted the presentation ceremony for participants of its 'Couch to 50km programme at the Fair Green Bar recently.

The presentation was in recognition of all who took part and their achievement of cycling 50km in one go.

The 'Couch to 50km' programme was based over eight weeks, two nights per week. Cyclists of various abilities were welcome from people who only cycled to the shops, to others who cycled ten km and wanted to increase their distance on a bike. The goal of the programme was to improve fitness and health of new and beginner cyclists. Individually, the group of fourteen cyclists completed over 250kms on eight week programme. The end goal for the cyclists was to participate in the Tour of Louth 50km route on the 3rd June 2018.

Joanna Rogan, the originator of the 'Couch to 50km'concept tabled the idea in January, was fully supported by Ardee Cycling Club. Stephen McCarthy and David Gilbert who organised the 'Couch to 50km' programme, oversaw the training and development of the cyclists. Members of Ardee Cycling Club joined up with the 'Couch to 50km' group in order to support, help and build up confidence and know how when it came to group cycling. Two nights of bike maintenance were also provided by Eamon Martin of Wheels and Heels. His demonstrations included cycling essentials such as how to replace a tube on a bike and how to repair a puncture.

Week one saw fourteen cyclists' start off by cycling five km on their first night. The distance was gradually built up week by week. No cyclist was left behind as the group worked together and supported in each other in their aim of reaching 50 km. As the weeks went by, each cyclist gradually got stronger after each cycle and more confident on cycling open roads.

As the Tour of Louth grew closer, each one of the 'Couch to 50km' gang had the stamina and fitness to complete the course. Members of the Couch to 50km gang were as follows James Gargan, Jim Gavin, Niamh Byrne Paul Byrne Kevin Flanagan, Dave Behan, Mairead Twohig, Kimberly Pondoff, Maurice Brenna, Linda Fagan, Sarah Ford, Claire O' Malley, Jacqueline Delvin and Caitlin Rogan.

Ardee Cycling Club would wish all members of the club for their support and success in the 'Couch to 50k programme.

Ardee Cycling Club would also wish to thank Barry Cassy of Louth Sports Partnership who provided and assisted funding and support for the programme.

Since the completion of the programme, the cyclists are planning to cycle to 100km in one spin! With the success of the 'Couch to 50km' programme, that Ardee Cycling Club will run the training programme in 2019.

The ceremony also included the presentation of cheques to the Irish Wheel Chair Association and St Vincent De Paul.

The amount raised by Ardee Cycling Club for each charity was €500 each. This was raised by Ardee Cycling Clubs Annual Spinathon on the 5th May 2018. Ardee Cycling Club Chairman, Tony Murphy, presented the cheques to Michael Fahey of the St Vincent De Paul and the Irish Wheel Chair Association.

Ardee Cycling Club will be holding their annual charity cycle on the 5th August. The cycle will include a 50km and 100km routes and refreshments after the event. Admission for the event is €15 for single cyclists. Couples are €25.

Drogheda Independent