Despite my crash course, I would recommend cycling to anyone wanting a sport that will push you to your limits while at the same time retaining a sense of sociability.
I had an exhilarating experience with the Lurgan club whose members are a friendly bunch, full of encouragement for rank amateurs like myself. Cycling is often seen as an individual pursuit, but my experience demonstrated that there is a strong team ethic among cyclists.
Apollo Cycling Team have members from Lurgan, Moira, Waringstown, Tandragee, Banbridge and beyond. The club is for cyclists of all abilities from elite competitive cyclists right down to those who are just interested in a recreational cycle.
Members compete at a variety of national events including road racing and time trials with some also specialising in sportif events, adventure racing and triathlon.
If you’re interesting in joining the club, your best bet is to meet them on a Saturday morning at 9am at Lurgan Police Station for an easy-paced training ‘bun run’ to Portadown with the emphasis on cycling, sociability and a pit stop for buns.
Waringstown man Dylan Lyness joined the club last July. He said: “I remember my first run with the team. It was a 40-mile run and when we got to a particularly steep hill I had nothing left. Two guys came up either side of me and pushed me up the hill. That’s what won me over - the team spirit.
Having got bitten by the cycling bug Dylan along with David Elliott and club chairman Enda McDaid will take part in a 400-mile cycle from Mizen Head to Malin Head in July in aid of Action Cancer.
This Friday night the cyclists will be holding a fundraising quiz night in Goodyear Social Club at 8pm.
For more information on the Apollo Cycling Team go to www.apolloct.com