Monthly Archives: November 2009

coaching day report


The coaching session organised by the South East Road Club was responsible for the impressive sight of one the largest number of cyclists in formation to be seen on the roads of South Wicklow in a long number of years. The coaching session was open to all club members and local clubs. As usual, the very supportive Slaney CC from Enniscorthy sent up a large contingent of their under-age and senior riders

During the morning session on the road, the riders were subject to the keen observation of coach Martin O’Loughlin from Carrick on Suir, who is a member of Sean Kelly’s club, Carrick Wheelers. Martin who is one of the top cyclists in Ireland with a large number of victories at the highest level including All-Ireland championships wins. He has coached numerous top professional cyclists including Tour of Spain Stage winner, Philip Deignan, professional, Nicholas Roche and Olympians including Ireland’s best ever finisher in the Olympic Road race, Ciaran Power. He has begun working with the already very successful and ambitious South East Road club with the aim to bring it to the upper echelons of cycling in Ireland.

The afternoon session was spent in the Respond Hall, Willow Park, Arklow where Martin gave a talk to the under-age section. This was followed by an excellent coaching session involving the senior members. Such was the level of interest and enthusiasm that the session overran by an hour. Martin is an excellent communicator and his practical experience and commitment comes across effortlessly.

He was also fulsome in his praise of the South East Road club and its members who hail from all over South Wicklow and North Wexford. He noted their attitude and the huge progress the club has made in just a few years.

The coaching session was organised very effectively by hard-working club officials, Derek Webb and John Maguire

The club is always open for membership and under-age members are more than welcome as the club a very solid structure in place to look after them.


Tour Report – 28 November 2009

Tour/coaching session. What a sight to see almost 50 riders in total turning up for saturdays session with Martin O Loughlin. Seniors & underage all set off together on coast road to Wicklow with underage veering off at Brittas Bay. 3hr plus ride  for seniors taking in our now regular route of Wicklow,Ashford,Glenealy,Rathdrun,Clash,Aughrim,Home under Martins watchful eye. Good to see the Gorey lads Johnny & Casey out hopefully they will become a regular fixture. Enjoyable spin with all on best behaviour the only downside being the amount of really bad driving on display on our roads. Afternoon talk of 2hrs+ with Martin was one of the most worthwhile events we have undertaken and riders of all disiplines and abilities agreed that something was learned that will hopefully improve us all. A special thanks from all riders to Martin for a great day and hopefully the first of many, thanks also to Derek/Mick/John for putting coaching day on. Now to watch the calories over christmas roll on 2010.

I presume nobody was insane enough to ride on Sunday let me know if you did it could make interesting reading.

coaching day with Martin O’Loughlin

Martin O’Loughlin will deliver a coaching session for SERC members this Saturday 28th November. The plan for the day is as follows:

Meet at 10:00 at the Willow Grove Hall for a bike ride. The hall will be open to facilitate changing if people are driving there. The spin will be up to 3 hrs long, depending on conditions, but we can form a shorter distance group if required.

Break for lunch from 13:00 to 14:15.

14:15 Talk for the underage section.

15:00 Talk for the senior/junior section.

We will aim to finish at about 17:00.

Detailed agenda:

Bike Spin
Emphasis on correct position/pedalling/cadence/pacing.
Riding as part of a training group.
Techniques for getting out of the saddle and climbing.

Feedback from spin.
Clothing. Hydration. Energy products.
Evaluation/Analysis of 2008 season
Identifying goals for 2009.
Aims of winter training.
Road, turbo, MTB training.
Off-bike training.
Sample training programmes.
Introducing HR zones, VO2 & lactate threshold.
Developing power.
Stretching, massage.
Winter medical overhaul.
Benefits of physiological testing.
Vitamins and supplements.
Weight loss.

Hope to see you all there.

Tour Report – 22 November 2009

Much like a wild west gun fight 12 men rode out but only 4 rode back. In extremely windy conditions surprisingly 12 turned up. This week saw 2 comebacks with our Ironmen Derrick & Garret returning to normality with a bang unfortunatly they didnt bring the Floridian weather with them. Into a head wind & rain south to Gorey people started to drop like flies using all forms of excuses ranging from have to be home early to punctures but on we travelled in dwindling numbers we even managed to lose Derrick & Stephen in Gorey ( Stephen was dressed in full stealth gear so he has some excuse but Derrick was in day-glo yellow ) hope you both got home ok. South to Clough acroos to Balleycanew and home via Gorey the last men standing were Willie, Mike Mullet, Tony Breen & Ciaran a tough 2.5hrs. Great to have the 2 lads back and hopefully the weather will calm down a bit over the coming days.

Ironman Florida

Hi all,
Below is my report on the day. Once again thanks all of you for the support for myself and Derrick.

Garrett McCabe from Wicklow Ireland “You are an Ironman”. The immortal words from Mike Reilly. Then I realised I had done it, I was an Ironman. One year later and alot of training and emotion since it started.
What a fantastic day. From start to finish it was a dream day with a mixture of pleasure, pain, euphoria, doubt, joy, sadness,fatigue, tears and utter ,utter elation.
I could not have arrived at this day without the support of my two girls Sandra and Sarah (aka sponge bob or princess eliza depending on the theme park) and the angel on my shoulder Conor.
The day started with a 3.45am alarm call after a good nights sleep, surprisingly calm. I think I was more nervous before KOG. Breakfast as normal and last check of gear. Down to transition check tires etc then meet the lads for pre race chat. Dom and Paul having their room on the race site was brilliant and the lads were so generous to offer their room to act as base.The buzz is building and you start to realise it is about to happen. 2500 people corraled for the swim start and excitement is building to a crescendo of testosterone. Bang the gun goes and we are away.
The four of us start midway across the pack and back a little. No panic into the water but dont dally. A bit of kicking, punching but really no great trauma and the swim thinned out before the first bouy. The turns were a bit mental and a decent swell but what a beautiful swim. Clear, warm water, jellyfish and stingray beats brittas any day. I cant believe that some were cutting the bouys short on the start of the second lap but each has their reasons for competing. It would have been easy to do it but wrong and why would you cut 100 -200 metres short. But you know what, it doesnt matter what anyone else does you just do your race.
Into T1 mayhem and as usual I spend most of the day getting ready. Out we go for 180km of the unknown. The coach had given strict instructions not to push beyond my heart rate. This proves difficult as when you come across a group you either have to push past or drop off. I featured in the video that gavin noble put on his site towards the head of that group. I spent the day either working to pass or when a big group went by dropping off. But it was sickening to see riders you have passed by fair means suddenly fly by you drafting off a group but again this is about you and you can’t stress about them. There were some rollers on the second third with a strong headwind. Then onto some brutal roads which caused my right elbow pad to drop. But what a joy the last 40 km was with smooth straight roads with a tail wind. This was where I pulled back numerous places and finished the bike with a smile. In hindsight I think I was a bit too conservative on the bike and could have pushed harder, but hey this is your first and coach is always right. 134 average heart rate on the bike.
I also realised on the bike that both Dom and Paul were here to race not take part. Paul passed me for the second time after his first puncture and Dom was out of T1 an age before me although I got there before him.
I had to ignore this although I really wanted to go after Moley when he passed, he was flying.
Off the bike in 5.44, not bad but had hoped for 5.30. Lets not be greedy theres a marathon to run !
T2 is a lot calmer than T1. Get new socks and the running shoes on and apply plenty of suncream. Out I go onto the run in beautiful sunshine and maybe 25C. Meet the family in the first kilometre which was a great lift. On the first of two laps I was smiling most of the way which is unheard of for me because it is usually too painful, but the training has taught me to enjoy it. Great support out on the course. Plenty of water and gels to ensure no dehydration. Kept a nice steady pace and met the other three lads out on course which is another lift. Derrick was looking really comfortable and smiling when he passed by so I knew he would do a good run. As this was my first marathon I didn’t know what to expect in the last 10k but it was not the pain I had envisaged. You certainly had to dig deep, but I think that is part of getting ready for ironman anyway and the day is just an extension of that. With 8k to go tears started streaming down my face and it took me a few seconds to realise I was crying. It was weird because it felt like a release of alot of things. I knew then I was going to finish with Conor pushing me all the way and I realised I could finish under 12 hours if I kept going. I passed a load of people in the last 5k with my shuffle but they were walking. I shouted encouragement at a few and said they were nearly there but when one told me he was on his first lap I shut up. Into the last kilometre and of course the knees picked up on their own seemingly without me doing anything, then the turn down the finishing chute and the smile came. 11hr33min50sec
There was someone on the line to catch you if you collapsed. Thankfully I just about stayed upright, got my medal, tee shirt, cap and photo taken. Got some pizza, a drink and a seat. Met the other lads and all smiles. Met Sandra and Sarah, more tears and then a massage.
A fantastic day and what support from everyone back home. The club is a great source of inspiration and knowing that you are being tracked and encouraged from home is great, thank you all so much.
A special mention has to go to Derrick Evans my training partner. Taking this journey with someone else makes it so much more enjoyable and certainly less painful. His companionship, enthusiasm and committment to the plan was constantly inspiring.
Lastly, let me say that if anyone is thinking of doing an ironman get a coach. Doing a structured programme gets you to the day with such confidence that you can acheive it.
Now, what do I do next year ?

2009 christmas party

We’ve been offered a table of 30 at the Arklow Bay Hotel Leisure Centre Christmas party this year, thanks to Jackie Gannon, the Leisure Centre manager. The party takes place on 11th December and costs EUR32 which includes a 4-course meal, entertainment/band, spot prizes, etc and a great night out is guaranteed.

We need to confirm on Monday if we’ll take the table, so I need to know numbers by Sunday. Can you email me to let me know if you’re interested, and pass the word to all SERC members.


underage club championships results

The South East Road club held it’s under age championship on Sunday last. The threat of unfavourable weather did not deter the entry in each of the four categories. It was a very well supported event with the parents of competitors turning up to cheer on and encourage their offspring.

The club championship is an indicator of improvements made by cyclists in the course of the season. Despite the fact that many cyclists having not raced competitively since August a very good standard of fitness was evident. In the combined under 14 and 16 races, Tony Breen powered away to a impressive solo victory and is one of the most improved riders in the club this year. The under 14 race was a keen battle between doughty competitors, Leinster squad member, Stephen Bracken from Inch, Gorey and Niall Heffernan, Ballylacey, Gorey. The latter is another rider who has improved immeasurably during the year and will be well in contention in all races in his under 14 category next year. This race also saw two newcomers taking part in their first race. They were first cousins Oliver Hill and Lesley Hill, both of them put in fine and determined performances against much more experienced opposition. The under 12 race went to one of the country’s top under age cyclists, Reece Young followed home by Becky Heaney, who as always showed what a fine competitor she is, while promising newcomer Keith Doyle put in a strong performance to take third. For the first time in his cycling career consistent race-winner Elliot Young had to share first prize with Darragh Heffernan who showed plenty of battling qualities in the under 10 race.


Under 10
Joint first – Darragh Heffernan and Elliott Young

Under 12
1. Reece Young
2. Becky Heaney
3. Keith Doyle

Under 14
1. Stephen Bracken
2. Niall Heffernan

Under 16
1. Tony Breen
2. Leslie Hill
3. Oliver Hill


Tour Reports 14th 15th November

Sat 14th Nov

Only 2 riders after Friday nights bad weather Ciaran & Tony Breen headed south to Gorey onto Courtown & Riverchapel right turn onto backroads where things took a turn to something resembling the spring classics, closed roads, potholes, detours, flooding, muck & debris more like Tour of Flanders or Paris Roubaix than north Wexford. An enjoyable 2.5hrs of as close as it gets to cyclo-cross/mountain biking on so called secondary roads.

Sun 15th Nov

Dozen riders thankfully Domhnall O Sullivan was out to lower the average age slightly. “Allez les Bleus” a shout often heard in France last year with ref. to our club colours however after cheering on the boys in green last night this morning was sure to hurt before a turn of the pedals (gallon of Guiness & a snack box hardly ideal sat evening pre-spin preperation). Northwards on coast road to Wicklow with lots of people happy to do turns at front Willie & Stephen even feeling it necessary to take over from John & Colm to up the pace. Onwards to Rathnew/Ashford/Glenealy & the climb at Rathdrum where Saturday evenings exploits really took their toll. Home via Clash/Aughrim/Woddenbridge and the now tortureous Newline a sobering 80km +. Roll on Wednesday night and hopefully the right result thankfully no cycling on Thursday morning.

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