In Omagh Wheelers, we believe in the saying "Get out on your bike", and we believe in having fun riding your bike. We have a strong leisure scene, with groups meeting every week and catering for different abilities. We meet each Sunday morning at Classic Service Station on the Dromore Road, with groups doing different miles and speeds departing at 09:00am. We normally stop halfway around for tea, coffee etc. and again back at Classic for some banter and craic.
Our Sunday training cycles are aimed at all cyclists who are maybe new to the sport or the cyclist that want a good tempo workout spin. Each group is controlled by experienced cyclists who can control the pace of the group so no one gets left behind. We also have Wednesday evening spins leaving from Classic now that the hour has changed. Times and routes will be posted on the Omagh Wheelers Facebook page, messenger and texts from the club phone. Anyone is welcome to join us on our club spins whether you are part of another club or not. Although we enjoy other cyclists joining us we would love these cyclists to be part of our club. Remember there is no charge to cycle with us.
On Sunday 12th February, Omagh Wheelers hosted our annual Valentines cycle and Reliability Trial. The 220 cyclists that signed on had a choice of 4 routes covering distances of 30, 50 ,60 and 75 miles. The 75 mile group left Youth Sport, Cookstown Road Omagh at 10 am and headed towards Dromore. After reaching Enniskillen, this fast paced group stretched their legs over Scraghy and descended into Castlederg and then back to Omagh. Hot on the tail of the 75 milers, the 60 mile group followed behind until Kesh. This group then headed back to Omagh. Both these groups used the run as a good indication of form ahead of the new racing season which begins next week. After the two Reliability trial groups left, it was the turn of the Valentines leisure cyclists to leave. One group headed from Omagh to Dromore, then onto Drumquin before heading back to Omagh. To complete 30 miles. The other group headed to Ederney , over Scraghy to Castlederg and then completed the 50 miles back to Omagh.
It was a fantastic turn out and despite the cold strong headwind it was a great day in the saddle. Back in Youth Sport we had lovely refreshments and the draw for those who had signed on in the morning. Clogher Valley cyclist Maeve McKenna won the Valentines hamper. In all we had 10 spot prizes to give away. Well done to all our prize winners.
Thanks to everyone who supported our first event of 2017, and thanks to all those who helped on the day. Our next event is the Mc Cann Cup which will take place Sunday 5th March.
Antrim Coast Trip
On Sunday 1st March a group of cyclists from our leisure section headed for a 50 mile cycle along the Antrim Coast. With the starting point off Larne the group headed north taking in the coastal towns of Ballygally, Carnlough & Cushendall, after a welcome food stop the group made the return journey which was following the famous Giro route. This is just one of many trips the leisure section have planned for the year ahead.
Omagh Wheelers present a cheque to the McGirr family
The South West 200 was organised in memory of member John Mc Girr and has become an annual event a focal point for leisure cyclists. In October 2014 over 100 cyclists took part (the photograph shows club members presenting a cheque to the Mc Girr family) many of whom are already preparing for the 2015 edition.
Leisure Cycling – something for everyone
Most Saturday and Sunday mornings the roads around Omagh are alive with cyclists, the vast majority of whom are “leisure” cyclists out for a spin with their cycling friends. These cyclists cover a range of distances at speeds to suit every leisure cyclist. Local club Omagh wheelers have developed one of the most active leisure cycling scene in Northern Ireland. In the last two years they have seen their membership grow significantly as more and more local people join their ranks as leisure cyclists. The racing members of Omagh wheelers have embraced these cyclists as an integral part of the club.
The planning of the leisure events is just as important as the racing schedule.
In 2014 Omagh Wheelers leisure organised a series of events for the club leisure cyclist – these including a number of annual events like the valentines run, the Bundoran to Omagh spin in April, the formidable western hills in August and the South West 200 to finish the year. These events also contribute too many local charities. The South West 200 was organised in memory of member John Mc Girr and has become an annual event a focal point for leisure cyclists. In October 2014 over 100 cyclists took part (the photograph shows club members presenting a cheque to the Mc Girr family) many of whom are already preparing for the 2015 edition.
Omagh wheelers also introduced a leisure cyclist of the month award which isn’t given to the person who has gone the furthest or the fastest but awards personal achievement. Kenny Laing in the picture receiving the December Award is the latest recipient of the Black Body Warmer. Kenny is a regular who has travelled far and wide with Omagh wheelers in 2014.
Omagh wheelers welcome anyone to join their leisure run no matter what standard they are at – leaders plan each week to include a mixture of different routes also incorporating different speeds ensuring there is something for everyone. Support vehicles also accompany the cyclists ensuring no one get left behind. After each spin the group return to the sanctuary of Sallys were a cuppa awaits – Occasionally as we do this for fun we might stay a little longer and sample some of Sallys other wares.
A group of very experienced cyclists lead each week and will help and encourage every group member. We start as a group and finish in the same group.
Leisure cycling is a fantastic pastime no matter what level you are at. It doesn’t matter if you just want to do 10 miles on a Sunday morning, or put something more into you’re cycling, preparing and taking part in one the organised event there is something for you.
Come along on a Sunday morning and we will help get you cycling.
The club “leisure2 calendar kick off with two events in the near future:
On Sunday 15th Feb the season launches with Valentines run 30/50 mile routes departing from Youth Sport Omagh – All monies raised at this spin will be given to a local charity.
You can also look forward to Sunday 15th March for our annual St Patricks weekend run – come dressed in green
Omagh Wheelers North Pole trip
On Sunday 14th September the Leisure Cyclists held their last trip of the year, on this occasion the destination was the beautiful Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal.
A party of 25 left Omagh in the early hours for the starting point of Buncrana, on arrival a scouting party was sent out to find a suitable place for breakfast. After waiting an hour for Dale
Lyttle to finish his 3rd the party was spilt into 3 groups lead by birthday boy Enda Harpur, veteran Sean Harpur and big ring Justin Conaty. After going just 3 miles Enda's map reading skills were
yet again brought into question, back on track the party headed for the steep climb to Carndonagh and then to the food stop at Ballyliffin which was supplied by Ann & Sorcha, apparently Sorcha
was up until 3 in the morning waiting on her banana cake to rise.
After waiting an hour for Hugh McCann, Gerry and Dermot Gallagher to return from heading for the Derry border the party went to tackle the famous Mamore Gap Hill Climb. At the foot of the gap Enda gave another team talk, Sean gave another history lesson, Martina put on more lippy, Aisling put on another 2 nasal prongs and Gerard McNabb was heard saying " where's the hill".
History was made on the way up, Justin came off the big ring for the 1st time, Brian "Van Gough" Hayes fell off trying to keep Martina's wheel and Gerard was heard saying he was for sacking his mechanic for giving him the wrong settings.
After a brief rest at the top and waking up Shaun McBride and another history lesson from Sean they descended to the base camp for a healthy lunch and refreshments at The Inishowen Gateway Hotel. Overall a brilliant day was had by all, a tough route but very enjoyable with a great bunch.
The group would like to thank Ann & Declan for help with the support vehicle and food stop, Sorcha for her help with cardboard etc for the bus and her famous home baking.
This has been a great year to be part of the leisure scene and next year we will intend to have even more trips planned.
" Onwards and Upwards"
Omagh Wheelers Spelga Dam Trip
On Sunday 27th July approx 30 members from the Omagh Wheelers Cycling Club left the town for another one of their leisure events, this time it was a 50 mile cycle in the Mourne Mountains. The trip took them to the heights of the Spelga Dam and the Silent Valley Reservoir as well as the coastal towns of Kilkeel, Rostrevor and Warrenpoint.
These leisure events are proving very popular and all members who may have ideas for future trips are welcome to put these forward to Sean, Harry or Keith.
The group would like to thank Ann and Declan in the support vehicle, Translink, Michael Gallen from Gallen Vehicle Hire and Sallys for a lovely meal on arrival back into the town.
Omagh Wheelers Cycling Club held events throughout the week to coincide with National Bike Week, the activities ranged from 7 & 5 mile family cycle runs using the new cycle paths, 50, 30 & 20 mile club runs, a ladies night, beginners course, the highlight of the week was there 1st ever Fun Team Time Trial which was supported by 70 cyclists throughout the Omagh district. A club spokesperson pointed out that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the week and it was great to see so many smiling faces of the children riding their bikes in a safe enivronment, the club would like to thank the Omagh District Council for their continued support in providing the cycle paths. Congratulations to Omagh Wheelers riders Marc Potts, Angus Fyffe and Paul McCarter who have been selected to represent Cycling Ulster in the Beaumont Trophy which is being held this weekend in Newcastle, England. If you are interested in joining the Wheelers please dont hesitate to contact the club mobile on 07725260741 or come along to our club runs which leave Sallys of Omagh every Wednesday night at 6:30 and Sunday morning at 9:00, the club caters for all ages and abilities.
Omagh wheelers visit the Giro D' Italia
Omagh Wheelers returned home on Sunday from a trip to Ballycastle after watching the famous Giro D' Italia cycle race which has been in the country for 3 fantastic days.
45 club members left the town on Friday morning for an 80 mile
cycle taking in Dungiven, Coleraine, Portstewart, Bushmills etc, a few thought 80 miles wasn't enough and decided to do an extra 10 which shows the commitment.
After a quiet nights rest they watched stage 2 of the race on the Saturday in terrible conditions, the poor weather didn't dampen their spirits, quite a few were leisure cyclists and this would've been there 1st time to witness such an event.
After sampling the hospitality of the coastal town the club departed Ballycastle on a damp Sunday morning waved off by the hotel staff for the 75 mile trip home via Ballymoney, Kilrea, Maghera, Cookstown to a warm welcome by family and friends in Sally's.
A club member pointed out that the hospitality shown to them by the staff of the Marine Hotel was second to none; they would like to thank Maureen and all her staff for the way they were taken care off.
All 4 cycle groups were fully backed up by support vehicles, this trip wouldn't be possible without them and all the cyclists would like to thank them for their time and generosity.
New members are always welcome, please check out the website for an application form www.omaghwheelers.co.uk
Members from other clubs can join us as an associate member for a small fee.
Omagh wheelers going to the Giro D'Italia
On Friday approx 40 members of Omagh Wheelers will be cycling out of the
town for a 170 mile round trip to the picturesque town of Ballycastle on the north coast to watch stage 2 of the famous Giro D'Italia cycle race.
The local club have been putting in a lot of hill training over the last few months in preparation for the Glenn's of Antrim.
On route they will be making a few pit stops at the local attractions such as the Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Dunluce Castle and maybe a wee dram in Bushmills. There is a strong rumour that a certain committee member will be buying a round of ice-cream at the famous Morelli's.
This is just one of many club runs throughout the year that cater for the leisure cyclist, anyone interested in joining the club please don't hesitate to contact any club member or visit the web site for further information.
There's live coverage on BBC2 of stage 2 on Saturday at 14:00 so keep an eye out for a familiar face as the peloton races through Ballycastle.
Mid-week leisure cycles
Mid-week evening cycles have started. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for dates and times of the evening cycles during the week.