Last weekend I got dressed up in my best gear , headed out with my friends, had a bite to eat drank loads, got hammered and came home legless .

We caught up on all the news and gossip, there was plenty of slagging and things went a bit wild towards the end.

Before people start texting me the number of AA don’t worry I wasn’t hanging out in a pub all weekend , but was out on my bike eating energy bars, drinking plenty of energy drink and was paying the price for a lacklustre training programme over the past few weeks .

The bike is a great social outlet. Where other people spend their Saturday nights catching up with friends whilst getting hammered in the pub, cyclists are in bed early on a saturday night in preparation for the following mornings group training spin. It is a great way to keep fit and healthy whilst having the opportunity to have a chat with friends old and new .

The old sitcom Cheers which was set in a Boston bar and revolved around the friendly banter amongst the bar regulars. Every cycling group has a similar cast of characters .

Theres always a Norm, the guy who is always there and has a word for everyone. He trains more than anyone else but his form always remains at the same level. He tells his wife that the five grand bike only cost five hundred euro and will often be seen out training when he should be at work. He is supposed to be good with figures but always seems to have a bit of painting or diy to do at home.

The Cliff still lives at home and is always telling everyone the intricate details of every nut and bolt on his bike. He always arrives late and turns for home early. Dogs always chase him but he thinks that this happens to everyone. He has an opinion on the training everyone should be doing and knows exactly where the Schlecks are going wrong.

The Sam Malone is the former first cat rider who won a few good races and donned the Irish jersey a couple of times. He had to stop racing early due to a recurring knee injury and now does a bit of coaching. He still looks good on the bike but just doesn’t have the kick that was his trademark . The oakleys are m-frames but are in good nick and the sti levers have externally routed cables but his bike is always clean and well maintained.

Woody is the young exuberant cyclist who still thinks he will make it into the pro ranks. He dances up the early climbs of a spin but is often seen burned out before the end. He really looks up the the Sam Malone and will do whatever Sam tells him. His naivety shines through on occasion like last year at the National champs. With his tongue firmly seated against his cheek Sam suggested that Woody should attack Dan Martin on the first climb and try to drop him. Woody attacked alright but only managed two bike lengths before exploding dramatically and getting dropped. His race was over after three miles.

Then there’s the Rebecca Howe. Sam and Woody are often seen fighting for her wheel with Sam usually coming out on top. When she punctures there is often a disagreement about who will help her change the tube and she is happy to stand back and let the boys be boys .

The cycling group spin. A place where if you turn up often enough everybody will know your name !



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