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Ten cycling questions answered by David Elton.

Breaking in Banna

1.Year you joined the Chain Gang?

The Spring of 2010. First spin was out on a Saturday morning to Farranfore, Castleisland and back to Tralee. No coffee stop back then, just a road-side stop close to Lidl in Castleisland.

2. What was your story on joining the club?

I’d been doing a good bit of solo cycling out to Fenit and towards Castleisland for a while. It was time to make that step up. I got a road bike from O’Hallorhan’s, read the website back to front for a month before finding the courage to email the club. Once I got going it was great.

3. Group or groups you ride with?

Although it no longer exists around that 25 zone. My last spin was with the 26’s which was fine. Mainly with the 24’s though and sometimes with the 22’s.

25 group

4. Favourite route?

Tough question. Sections of Sleahead are hard to beat, but one of the best cycles I enjoyed was out through Beaufort, Gap of Dunloe, Black Valley, Ballaghbeama, Glencar, Killorglin and home. The weather was perfect that particular day and I was up for it.

5.Favourite coffee stop?

A toss up between Nana Bea’s and the Listowel Arms. Probably the later just. A unique atmosphere in that hotel, there are times you feel like spending a few hours there sipping coffee and watching the world go by.

One of the mentoring groups from 2018 outside the Listowel Arms.

6. If this lock down finished now and you could go out solo and cycle a route. What would it be?

Out into the openness of the Knocknagoshel area. The route out to Dan Paddy Andies, Knocknagoshel, and back on the main road through Castleisland would do. A bit of everything there and it’s remote!

7. What would you consider to be your biggest cycling achievement?

The two 300 km spins we did in the one day about 6 years ago. The second one that we did every county in Munster was tough. Mitchelstown to Limerick against a strong wind was hard and being in Limerick city at 7 pm knowing you had to cycle home with 200 km done was tough both mentally and physically.

8. Favourite cycling outside Ireland?

My choices are kind of limited to the UK, Netherlands, Mallorca or Scandinavia including Denmark. I’d go for Denmark in so much as they see cycling as a leisure pursuit and an important mode of transport. Great infrastructure. Although the Netherlands is a similar layout Denmark is a bit more interesting.

9. Present and previous bike(s) and favourite?

I’ve not actually had that many bikes, but they list as Raleigh Chopper, Viking, Peugeot, Giant City bike and Giant Defy 3.

The favourite has to be the Defy. Some great adventures with it and it’s still doing the business. The Chopper was great though. It opened up my World a bit with bike rides beyond the areas that were a bit too far to walk to.

My Giant Defy on the final Mick Dineen cycle with Aileen.

10. Anything on your cycling bucket list?

With this virus lock down it’s getting bigger by the day!

I wouldn’t mind doing a spin over a few days from somewhere beyond Belfast and back home using back roads. Last year I was in that Mosel area in Germany near Haln airport. Would love to go back there and do a bit. Finally to take a one way flight to somewhere like Poland and cycle home from there.