How I Started Cycling by Quillan Donnelly
I started cycling in June 2015, when I asked my Dad could I start. He was happy to hear that I wanted to start cycling, because he has a big background in the sport. When I started I got a steel bike it was called a Viking sprint road bike.
I loved it. I joined Bike-Worx because that was the team my Dad was with at the time. It was decided that I was going to just train for my first year, but then one evening my Dad asked, did I want to do ( The Stephen Roche Criterium). I jumped at the offer, the race was next week and I couldn,t wait. And that was where it all began. I did that race and I loved everything about it, the atmosphere, the adrenaline, just being on the bike itself was great and everyone was so friendly. After that I was going out training every week with my Dad, and doing the races at the weekend. Soon later after a few races I got cycling shoes (clip in), it didn,t take a long time to get used to it. What I noticed when I switched from my runners to cycling shoes is that you get the better out of yourself because your foot doesn't slip around and aswell as pushing down you pull up with your feet. Next thing I did after that was a stage race, where it was either a 2-day or a 3-day. I love stage races because I love to travel and race in different places and if you dont do well one day you see what you did wrong and don't do it the next day.You can then put it behind you and focus on the next stage. This year at one of the stage races Rás na n'óg, I was picked to cycle for Leinster. Four boys were picked out of Leinster. I was extremely happy about this. We each got Leinster jerseys to wear in the race. By then I had my new bike, because my last one got too small. It is aluminum it is called a Focus Variado road series.
The Season starts in the middle of March and ends at the end of August. There is more than just one type of road race there is the ( Road-Race, Time-Trial and the Criterium). You probably already know what the Road-Race is, The Time-Trial is a race where you are racing against the clock. You are held at the start by a man and you go off one by one in usually 1 or 2 minute intervals. I love Time-Trials. And last is the Criterium this is a race usually held in a town or village, this is a very fast race where there are tight corners. The roads are closed off for the Criterium. Theres always a great buzz. There the road types but there are Mountain Biking, Track, and Cyclo-Cross. I recently got a Mountain Bike to go training in the winter. Its great fun.
Errigal International Youth Tour is probably the hardest race of the year. Because it is Very hilly, and its international so their is alot more lads in the race than normal. Youth come over from The Isle Of Man, South Africa, Wales, Scotland, Belgium, England and all over Ireland. It is a 3-day.
My races usually have about 20-40 lads in them, and we do about 11km.
The Nationals is the most important race of the year. It is a 2-day and there is a Road-Race, Time-Trial and a Criterium. There are three medals for each event 1st 2nd and 3rd . For the winner they get the gold National medal and a National jersey. For the winner in the road race they also get a cup. And who ever won their team gets a national jersey made up for them and they wear it all next season. This year in the Nationals it was in Kanturk Co. Cork. I loved the race in the Criterium I got Bronze, In the Time-Trial I got Silver and missed the win by 9 seconds, and in the Road-Race I got Silver and it was a photo finish it was so close.
That is my cycling journey so far .....there's more to come.