JUST a year and a half since the club was started by a small group of keen cyclists from the Ballygawley area, Clogher Valley Wheelers will host their first event on Sunday 5th August 2012, The South Tyrone Sportive.
The club has had a short but successful history since it all started back in February 2011. The first formal meeting saw around 30 cyclists show an interest and regular Sunday leisure runs saw the membership climb to 50 as the summer approached. Now, in July 2012, Clogher Valley Wheelers boast over 80 members with organised runs to suit all abilities available throughout the week.
Tuesday evening runs are designed around a 16mph average over 25/30 fairly flat miles. Thursday night is best suited for more accomplished riders with the speed increased over some challenging hills.
At the weekends choices are again available. There is a leisure run on Saturday mornings which is ideal for beginners and anyone looking a relaxed, social ride while Sunday mornings is the main club day and attracts most members. Distances available range from 30 miles to 70 at a selection of speeds from relaxed to pacy. A recent Sunday run covered 93 miles and included some serious hills in the Sperrins. This however was a one-off event, not a regular route.
The club also has some avid racing members who have taken part in our own Inter Club League with Emyvale CC, Square Wheels and Keevan CC as well as competing in the Omagh Wheelers racing league.
The highlight of this season comes on Sunday when Clogher Valley Wheelers will host a fully supported sportive with options of 65 and 35 miles.
The main event begins in Ballygawley and heads for Dungannon before turning for Armagh via Eglish. There will be a food stop after turning off the Battleford Road before a tricky ascent from Armagh towards Newtownhamilton. But what goes up must come down, and the reward for enduring the nine mile run out of Armagh is a speedy descent into Keady for the second food stop of the day.
With the hard work done and everyone fuelled up, the final third of the sportive is a mainly flat run home through Caledon and Aughnacloy with the final short climb up Tullyvar more than balanced out by the downhill spin to the Ballygawley Roundabout and the post ride refreshments at Askins Bar in Ballygawley.
The South Tyrone Sportive is fully supported with marshals, motorcycle outriders and sweeper vans on each route along with mechanical support provided by JR Cycles of Dungannon and SoCycle of Augher.
Refreshments have been kindly supplied by Clogher Valley Meats, Centra of Ballygawley and Mace, Ballygawley.
Sign on for The South Tyrone Sportive is from 08:30 at St Ciaran’s Hall in Ballygawley with the 65 mile event beginning at 09:30; the 35 mile run starts at 10AM.
For more details of The South Tyrone Sportive visit our website www.cloghervalleywheelers.com or look us up on Facebook.