THEY are gone cycling mad in Glin, where the local cycling club, the Glin Knights, has some 80 active members, ranging in age from 12 to 75.
And the majority of them are signed up to take part in the fifth annual Glin Charity Cycle which takes place on Sunday week, August 16.
Coincidentally, it was the very first charity cycle which inspired the setting up of the Glin Knights and, as Donie Shine explained this week, club members now undertake up to 15 charity cycles a year.
But the Glin Charity Cycle is closest to their hearts, and each year raises money for the local GAA club as well as for another charity. This year, the chosen charity is the Nano Nagle Centre in Listowel, a centre for children with special needs. The Glin cycle is not for the faint-hearted, offering a cycle of 70km as well as a 120km route. Starting out from Glin, all cyclists will take the road to Athea but there the routes diverge: the shorter route going directly to Ardagh via Carrigkerry while the longer route takes in Abbeyfeale and Rooska before hitting Ardagh for the first food stop of the day.
“We have the use of the hall in Ardagh for which we are very grateful,” Mr Shine said. The second leg of the cycle will take cyclists through Shanagolden and Foynes to finish in Glin.
“Local businesses provide us with the food and drink,” Mr Shine added.
This year, he continued, they hope to attract more than 150 cyclists, ahead of the 135 participants they had last year. But safety is a big issue on the day and the organisers have teams of out-riders, stewards and emergency medical personnel in place, “to make sure everybody gets back safe”.
Registration for the cycle costs €25 and begains at 8am at Barrett’s Bar, Main Street, Glin or contact Donie Shine in advance on 087-4185177. The cycle starts at 10am sharp.
Meanwhile, the Glin Knights continue their weekly training sessions, with two and three groups heading off each weekend on “spins” of up to 100km.