Get on your bike and hit the road

May 15th, 2017 5:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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The weather’s too cold, the mornings/evenings are too dark or ‘I just don’t have the time.’

Fitness with Paudie O’Donovan, Neuromuscular Physical Therapist

THE weather’s too cold, the mornings/evenings are too dark or ‘I just don’t have the time.’

Your excuses just won’t cut it anymore – it’s as simple as this: get organised and get on your bike. 

For the next eight weeks I’ll be focusing on every thing associated with cycling with the overall plan of getting my readers prepared to cycle the Wild Atlantic Mizen Charity cycle.

Organised by West Cork Emergency Services, it takes place on Saturday, July 8th. 

This year they have introduced a 65km route for the beginner cyclist and my eight week programme is designed for anyone who wants to complete this route. 

There will also be a100km circuit on the day along with the endurance 130km for the cyclist who really want to stretch his/her legs. 

All routes start and  finish in Bantry with the main beneficiaries this year being Irish Community Air ambulance, MS Ireland West Cork branch, Bantry Tidy Towns and Durrus Men’s Shed. 

Check out the Wild Atlantic Mizen Charity cycle on their Facebook page for more information. 

So pull your bike out of the garden shed, pump the tyres and get ready to rekindle or begin your love affair with your bike. 

If you don’t own a bike then borrowing one is an option but I would be in favour of getting your own. Unfortunately buying a bike is only the first of several purchases when it comes to pursuing this past time. 

If you can’t afford a new bike then I’d have no problem with someone buying a second hand bike.

Regardless, my personal advice would be to buy a road bike – it may not deliver the comfort over a long cycle but it more than compensates when it comes to performance.

With the right cycle clothing, cycling a road bike doesn’t require as much effort as a hybrid once you get used to the position. 

Too many people buy a hybrid, then discover that they really enjoy cycling only to find that they bought the wrong bike in the first place

If it’s for fitness reasons or urban commuting, there are plenty of choices out there:


Road Bike

These bikes are light and fast and come with either a carbon or aluminium frame. They have skinny tyres and light wheels which help make them swift. If you are planning on getting fit and covering a long distance at a good pace then a road bike is for you. These racing bikes have become the street transport choice for generations of cyclists.


Hybrid Bikes

Hybrids are flat handlebars. They are like a combination of a road bike and a touring bike. They have wider wheels with the upright riding position of a mountain bike. They are more comfortable than a road bike because of the weight but the major downside is that you are not as aerodynamic as you would be on a road bike and therefore not as quick.


Mountain Bike

Their upright position and bombproof frame make them a popular choice for leisure cyclist. The knobbly tyres are great for off-road riding but they are really slow and hard work on tarmac.


Touring Bike

These are a practical bike and are ideal for simply getting from A to B. They have tougher tyres, mudguards, carrier and the riding position is usually easier than the road bike position so vision is better.


Week 1 :

This plan is for beginners who whould start slowly and increase their cycles. 

Also, if you are new to exercise it would be wise to  firstly get a medical test done in a local clinic just to be on the safe side.

Beginners should aim to cycle three times a week. Doing it two times a week is also fine, but this depends on the capabilities of the person undergoing the training. And remember nothing  is written in stone  when it comes to exercise.You can swop and change the routine to suit work, family life and social events. 

I based the longer stuff over the weekends when people are off.

If you are already a cyclist and you have a good base then you can alter the plan to suit. 


Plan Monday, May 15th – Sunday,  May 21st

Monday - 10k cycle

Tuesday - Rest

Wednesday - 10k cycle

Thursday - Rest

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 15/18k long cycle

Sunday - Rest

Total cycled this week : 35/38k

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