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In Pictures: Couch to 50km Cycle a huge success for Laois Cycling Club

Around 20 people who had little previous cycling experience completed Laois Cycling Club’s Couch to 50km Cycle over the weekend in a successful programme put together by the club.

The group of beginners began training with the Laois Cycling Club members eight weeks ago with a 10km cycle.

Roughly 5km was added each week until the 50k grand finale took place on Sunday July 3.

The group of around 40 including members of Laois Cycling Club started and finished at Race Right Cycles in Kew-Lew Business Park in Portlaoise.

Registration took place shortly after 9am on the dullish but dry morning and the cycle got underway at 9.30am following a safety talk from Laois Cycling Club Public relations officer Ed Thompson.

The route was Kew-Lew Business Park, Ring Road, Mountmellick road, Barnashrone School, Derrycloney, Rosenallis, Ballyfin, Mountrath then back to Portlaoise after a short water break at Mountrath Mart.

Following the event refreshments, tea/coffee, home baked goodies and ice-cream were provided by L & Co Coffee Truck, Croí Cupcakes and Courtney’s ice cream van.

Aidan Delaney from Laois Cycling Club organised and delivered the programme.

He said: “What we recognise about this is it’s not just about cycling it’s about mental health.

“People got back into cycling for fitness but also to get away from the challenges that they may have in their lives be they personal, health, family, work or whatever it is.

“What better way to do it than being out around like-minded people out on a bike with the wind in your hair. It’s an ideal platform to escape from all that and maybe to deal with it too.

“I said to the guys here one week that cycling keeps your head right and your tummy tight. Over the eight weeks people have cycled well over 250 kilometres. Well done to each and every one of them.”

Ed Thompson is PRO for Laois Cycling Club. He said: “To put this into perspective the 50km cycle that you have all just completed is the equivalent of cycling from here to Kilkenny.”

He congratulated everyone on their Couch to 50km Cycle in just eight weeks and said that the club will now start a ‘C’ team for those who wish to join and keep up their cycling.

Ed thanked everyone who helped to make the event successful in any way including the sponsors and funders of the Couch to 50km Cycle, Laois Sports Partnership, Race Right Cycles, Portlaoise Turbos, RS Autos and club members themselves who stewarded the cycle on the day.

Aidan and Ed then conducted a raffle for two memberships of Cycling Ireland and Laois Cycling Club. Laois Sports Partnership Communications Officer Ciarán Cafferkey pulled the names from hat.

The winners were Annetoinette Gleeson-Mills from Abbeyleix and Seamus Conroy from Portlaoise.

Both participants said that they were delighted and many others said that they really enjoyed the eight week programme, the grand finale and that they will be staying on in the club.

Asked to say a few words on behalf of Laois Sports Partnership Ciarán said: “The Couch to 50km Cycle was a brilliant success. Over the eight weeks the participants built up their cycling distance from 10km to 50km for that final ride.

“Laois Sports Partnership is delighted to have been part of this journey and Laois cycling club have done a brilliant job in delivering this programme.

There are some great people in the club and they are creating a very positive and welcoming environment for everyone.” He then congratulated everyone on their achievements.

Everyone who took part was awarded a trophy and a club tee-shirt from Laois Cycling Club along with goodie bags from Laois Sports Partnership to mark their great achievements.

Laois Cycling Club can be found on Facebook. For further information message the page or email prolaoiscc@gmail.com.

Laois Sports Partnership aims to support and promote increased participation in sport and physical activity for everyone in Laois. For more information find them on Facebook or phone 057 8671248 or email info@laoissports.ie.

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