The phenomenal growth in the popularity of cycling in Roscommon and throughout the country has been evident for all to see. Over the past decade or so this very welcome trend has seen many cycling clubs being established in towns and villages. Dormant clubs have been reactivated and thousands of people have taken up the sport for various reasons – competitive, recreational, health, fun, etc.
One man who has observed the ‘cycling surge’ with interest is Eamon Flanagan. Sixty years ago this summer, Eamon was enjoying a rich ‘run’ of form as a young cyclist.
Eamon, still going strong and looking hale and hearty, told the Roscommon People recently that he was a very keen competitive cyclist in his youth.
The Roscommon Champion of the 18th of June 1960 reported on Eamon’s brilliant run of form that summer.
Eamon, of Ballybride, Roscommon, wasn’t a member of a club at the time. There was no local club, but he was able to get into competition by associating himself with the Glinsk Cycling Club.
The Champion reported: “For the third successive Sunday, a young Roscommon cyclist – Eamon Flanagan, of Ballybride, attached to the Glinsk Cycling Club – figured in the awards lists and in his first year in open competitions, promises to be the best-ever cyclist to represent the county.
“Riding at Ballinrobe sports on May 29, he scored a hat-trick of wins in the one, two and three miles events from all the leading cyclists in the provinces. On June 6 he took his first title – the two miles Co. Galway championship in a photo finish.
“On Sunday last, at the national relays at Ballinasloe, Eamon was again runner-up in the one-mile (junior) and the three miles point-to-point senior – a very credible performance – from competitors from Connacht and Leinster.
“His performances are all the more outstanding in view of the fact that he has not got any club or team mates to train with, and this young rider, with more experience and track sense, should develop into a class rider and win the highest honours in the sport”.