Annagh Wheelers Cycling Club
Tour of Mayo Leisure Cycle
Our club is small group of cyclists who like to ramble the country side on our bikes at every opportunity. We prefer to cycle in company when possible and to that end have been promoting the Tour of Mayo for the past fifteen years. We started with a bunch of thirteen riders and over the years have been steadily gaining friends who return annually to enjoy the beauty of Mayo at the end of May. This is not one of those tours that is really a race and the order of the day is to drop as many riders as possible. We stick together in bunches and wait for breakdowns or punctures, OK ... for the riders who have these inevitables . Riders with excess energy are very welcome and are encouraged to pedal at the front and tow the rest of us along. This year there will be two or three main groups with the pace controlled at 15mph to 18mph average. There is one main route covering 200k, but with 100 miles and 100k options if there is sufficient interest. There are four scheduled feeding stations and motor car back up. Shower facilities are provided at the finish.
We encourage participants where possible to stay overnight in Ballyhaunis either on the Saturday night before the tour or the Sunday night after to participate in the "pre-ski" and "apres ski". For many of the regular riders the 200k of cycling on Sunday is simply a necessary formality to be endured between the two sessions in Gills’ Bar.
The formula has not changed though the route gets a tweak every year. For the past two years we headed north into the Ox mountains and had a look at the north side of Nephin. This year we are returning to our original route skirting just south of Nephin before swinging south west to Leenane and the wind at our backs for the trip home.
This year we are without a passionate cyclist and one of our founder members, Martin Connery who passed away recently. His strong presence at the head of the bunch will be sadly missed as we put our heads down into the wind without him.