The origins of the club
The Athy Wheelers Cycling Club was established in November 2012 to bring sport of cycling to the community of Athy, to those who wish to participate in cycling as a leisure pursuit, to keep fit, or, for the more competitive, to race.
The club was founded officially in February 2013, however the seeds of the club had been started the previous summer, in the Athy Bike Shop, where John Fox and Seán Power had discussed the possibilities of setting up a club.
John has been a cyclist for many years, including competing in the Junior Tour of Ireland and several other stage races as a youngster in Dublin, and as an adult he was a member of nearby Kilcullen Cycling Club, recognised as one of the top racing teams in both Leinster and Ireland, with many national level competitors within their ranks.
John had taken some time out to compete in triathlons and run a marathon, but was feeling that familiar itch that can only be scratched by the thrill of racing. Seán, however, was a relative newcomer to the sport of road cycling, and had only taken up the sport following his retirement from American Football.
Althiough Cycling was new to Seán, he is no stranger to the day to day running of a sports club, having been a founding member of the West Dublin Rhinos American Football Club, and serving as both Secretary and Chairman of the club.
The club was named the Wheelers, in part homage to the touring and racing club that had been a part of the town some years before, and initially the club raced in the old colours of their predecessors.
This was changed for the 2014 season, to a more eyecatching palette of Pink and Blue. This was designed to attract more attention from sponsors and so that the club could stand out more as it raced in local League races, where many of the teams employed a similar colour scheme to the old red and black.
The areas of cycling the club covers
The club presently supports members who wish to participate in road cycling only.
It is the intention of the club to also support members who wish to participate in cross country and dounhill mountain biking, track cycling and bmx cycling.
This however this will only be possible as the club grows, and members with expertise in these relevant areas join.
When and where the club meets
Currently the club meets for Sunday spins at the courthouse. The A Group (Racing Group) meetas at 9 am, and generally does a 70-90km spin. The B Group meets at 10am, and goes for a 50km spin.
The club will later in the year begin to support midweek spins, and reintroduce the popular Wednesday Leisure spin once the weather improves. There will also be some indoor training sessions for those who wish to improve their fitness, these will be announced in the near future.
The club is committed to competing in the Cahill’s Cycles Inter Club League going forward, as a means for developing the racing talent in Athy, and invites anyone who wishes to try their hand at racing to join the club and have a go.
In 2014 there will also be members participating in Open Racing all around the country, Starting here in Kildare in February/March right through to October.
The social aspects
Cycling is a social sport. Sunday morning spins are usually just a good excuse for getting out on the bike and having a chat with your mates in a moderately competitive environment.
During the year there will be social gatherings organised, usually to facilitate fundraising. There will be a Launch night for when our new Jerseys arrive. This will be in Clancy’s with further details to follow.
A welcoming message for the curious
The Athy Wheelers would welcome any inquiries from anyone who wishes to be involved in the club, as a cyclist or non-cyclist. We are always on the lookout for a good idea, a route for a spin, a fundraising endeavour or supporting local charities.
An invitation to come along to a spin
Anybody is welcome to come along for a spin with the club, depending on your own level will depend on which group you go with. Use the Contact Us page to get in contact, or have a chat with Seán, John or Kieran.
Presently the club is also seeking a Junior Members officer, who, with the support of the committee, will provide coaching to junior members as they join.