First established in March 2017, Castlerea Cycling Club has quickly grown to become one of the county’s largest cycling clubs with 45 members taking part in challenges and events throughout the year.
While the club was impacted by Covid-19 restrictions in the last two years, Secretary Jono Finan says that members are slowly but surely getting back on their bikes.
“We were established almost exactly five years ago and at the moment we have 45 members ranging in age from 21 to 67. Members are drawn from Castlerea and surrounding areas including Glenamaddy, Ballintubber, Ballinlough, Ballymoe and Williamstown,” he said.
“Covid definitely had an impact on the club with some members a bit nervous about meeting up in groups and taking a break during that time. People are getting back into again though and with the clocks going forward and the longer evenings coming in, it will definitely pick up as the year goes on”.
The club started may have started from humble beginnings but now boasts cyclists such as Irish paralympian Richael Timothy among its membership.
“I only started cycling while I was on holiday in Killarney in 2016 and really enjoyed it. When I got home I joined a club in Roscommon town but always thought that as one of the biggest towns in the county, Castlerea should have its own club. I used the Strava cycling app to find out who else was cycling in the area and by the following year we had the club set up,” Jono said.
“We wouldn’t be out in windy or icy weather over the winter for safety reasons…but with the weather improving we should be back on the bikes regularly in the next few weeks,” Jono added.
“We had to cancel a lot of events over the last two years so this year it’s all about re-establishing the club and getting back out there. We don’t have too much planned for 2022 but our April Challenge, which puts the ladies against the men, is always very popular! For now though, it’s all about taking one day at a time and getting back out there”.
There is a lot of work being done behind the scenes at Castlerea Cycling Club and Jono was quick to point out the contribution his fellow club officers, namely Chairperson Declan Lawless, Treasurer Gail Murray, and committee members Richael Timothy and Flavio Fernandes.
Since its foundation, the club has also raised money for local causes including Tarmon National School, Castlerea Active Age Group, local defibrillators, Cancer Care West, Roscommon Hospice, and Jacinta’s Smile.
“I am very proud of all our members. The commitment they put in to help the community and surrounding areas in wonderful. We are like one big family and it is a great club to have in the town,” Jono said.
“We would also like to thank our sponsors who have been very supportive of the club so far, including RT Fitness, Benny’s Deli, Sullivan’s Brewing Company, Webb’s Butchers, Tully’s Totalhealth, Norio’s Takeaway, The Salon, Castlerea Cycles and Castlerea.ie.
“If anyone would like to join us at Castlerea Cycling Club, they can do so by contacting me on 085-7577865”.