club photo

Western Lakes Cycling Club, founded in 1999, when 7 friends wanted to be part of a like minded club, even though we all came from different parts of Mayo, Galway and Roscommon this did not stop us from joining up. Our aim at the time was to enjoy the bike doing it our way!!!

The name came about because most of our members are living close to near by lakes, hence the name “Western Lakes”. We are one of the most progressive clubs in South Mayo/North Galway across all sports.  The club experience now runs across the board, and includes coaches, commissaires, cyclists and administrators.

Our membership has risen to 100 and covers a large geographical area – from Partry to Ballyhaunis to Shrule to Clifden to Renvyle to Ballinrobe.

Our cyclists take part in events around Ireland , including the FBD Milk Ras, Ras Munster, and one day races like the Shay Elliott.
We cater for Youth, Leisure, Recreational and Racing cyclists.

  • At Youth level our club has had major successes – winning Gold, silver and bronze medals at National Track and Road Championships.
  • We actively promote leisure cycling activities. The club organises weekly bike rides for leisure, youth and lady cyclist, to cater for the ever growing numbers.
  • We organise a number of major leisure cycles events every year – Our Main  blue ribbon events being the Mayo Coastal 300k (September),  The Mask Challenge (June), and the Tour of the Great Western Lakes. Whilst also taking part in a number of events like the Croi Lough Corrib cycle, Mizen to Malin, Tour of Mayo, Wicklow 200 and more.
  • Mark Scanlon, Ireland’s current No. 1 Cyclist, is an Honorary Member of Western Lakes Cycling Club.
  • Club officer Padraig Marrey is a former full-time employee of Cycling Ireland where he worked in Youth Development and also as head of Coaching. He keeps our club up to date with the latest coaching innovations, and ensures a high standard of preparation in the club
  • The club holds WEEKLY  safety and skills coaching session for young cyclists.  This is a measure of our commitment to promoting safe cycling.
  • Ballinrobe Community School ran a successful one-day cycle 100km cycle around Mayo to raise funds for the school. This was only possible due to the involvement of Western Lakes Cycling Club. We assisted in their training for the event, setting up the route, and some members joined in the cycle while others provided lead and back up cars.
  • Western Lakes CC hosted the inaugural National Talent Spot Competition in 2003 (Cycling Superstars 2004). This is a new concept – not just based on speed but also incorporates bike handling and bike skills. With the increase in interest in cycling, it is vital for both cyclists and motorists that this be encouraged.
  • In 2007 the club co-hosted the Youth All Ireland National cycling Championships,  held in Ballinrobe and Clonbur.

Aims of Western Lakes Cycling Club:

  • To encourage non-competitive cyclists to take up what is a healthy outdoor sport
  • To encourage children to use what almost every child has, a bicycle, constructively – learn bike handling skills, rules of the road, and pure enjoyment of cycling
  • To run Coaching Courses for our members
  • To bring major cycling events to our region
  • To bring cycling to as many people as possible – we aim to have 200 active members. We are putting particular emphasis on women and people over the age of 50, two sectors where we are currently weak.
  • To further enhance the club’s profile through a year-round programme of activities – training camps, Charity cycles, dinner-dance, races, and talks.
  • To provide the necessary technical and physical back-up to our cyclists that will give them the very best chance of winning major titles.

Success to date

  • In the past 14 years the club has won 14 National titles
  • 2 Youth road level
  • 6 Youth track Titles
  • 4 Tandem
  • 1 A3
  • One U23 road Title
  • 8 Placing @ All Ireland level
  • 30 plus Connacht Road Titles
  • The club had representatives at International level in the following events
  • The World Junior Road and Track Champs, 04, 05, 06
  • European Youth Olympics, 03
  • Various Road events across Europe in 2003,-2008

Recent Posts

Leisure Spin protocol during training spins in 2015


  • To ensure the health and safety of all Western Lakes Cycling Club members while out on club spins with Group B Leisure.
  • To ensure that all cyclists observe the rules of the road while out on club cycles.
  • To ensure, as far as is reasonable, the health and safety of other road users
  • To maximise the enjoyment for all cyclist participating in Group B Leisure Club spins.
  • To promote and encourage cyclists to continue participating in Group B Leisure Club spins with Western Lakes Cycling Club.


  1. Scope

This protocol applies to all Western Lakes Cycling Club members who participate in Group B Leisure club spins.

Cyclists who participate in this group are to be divided into 3 groups:

B 1 Group will consist of the “fast B’s”. Cyclists who have gained a good level of fitness and want a fast spin. This will suit riders who have aspirations to move up to the racing groups, hopes of participating in Club/interclub Racing leagues, or racers who want to step back for a slightly easier spin. Average Speed for this group will be in the range 27 km/hr plus.

B 2 Group will consist of the “Leisure B’s” who have a good level of fitness and who want a slightly more relaxed cycle than the B1, but still at a steady pace. This will be the stepping up group for B 3 Riders and stepping down group for B 1 riders if they wish. Average Speed for this group will be in the range 24-26 km/hr.

B 3 Group will consist of Beginner Cyclists, or those returning from a prolonged layoff. This will be the stepping up group, as fitness levels and ability improves. Average Speed for this group will be in the range 20-23 km/hr.

  1. Responsibility
  • It is the responsibility of the Committee of Western Lakes Cycling Club to ensure that all club members who participate in Group B Leisure Club Spins receive a copy of this protocol, and to be aware of and adhere to this protocol.
  • It is the responsible of the Committee of Western Lakes Cycling Club to ensure that this protocol is reviewed each year or at any time if there is a change in the operation of Group B Leisure.
  • It is the responsibility of the Club Leisure Rep to ensure that this protocol is operational for the Club spins.

See items to bring on a spin

Repair stuff for saddle bag

  1. Definition and role of Club Leisure Rep/ Group Leaders
  • The Club Leisure Rep is elected at the AGM annually by Western Lakes Members. The Leisure Rep reports to the committee of Western Lakes Cycling Club, to review group development/performance.
  • The Leisure Rep, or his appointed representative, is the only authority on the spin. Officers and Committee members have no authority on the club spins, this is the remit of the Leisure Rep.
  • The Leisure Rep will consult with other group leaders of the A and C group to determine if a cycle should be cancelled or delayed due to adverse weather conditions e.g. high winds or icy roads. They will inform members about this decision.
  • The Leisure Rep will meet and greet new people to the group, arrange for them to receive a membership application form, and a copy of this protocol.
  • The Leisure Rep will issue a clear instruction at the start as to the proposed route. A detailed Calendar of spins will be posted on the Club Website and members should familiarise themselves with this. If a member requires to return early, he/she should notify the Group Leader before setting out, so that the leader can advise on a short way home. Head Count of Cyclists in the group should be noted prior to departure. Under guidelines from Cycling Ireland, the maximum number in a group is to be 16.
  • The Group Leader(s) will control the pace throughout the spin, taking into account the pace of the slowest cyclist in the group
  • The Group Leader(s) must be able to identify the weakest cyclists in the group and check with them regularly as to how they are finding the pace.
  • The Group Leader(s) ensures that all cyclists are participating in the pace making.
  • The Group Leader(s) will advise cyclists to “sit in” the group if they are struggling, and advise cyclists to “ease off” if the pace is set too high. Each Group leader will have a whistle, to aid controlling the group.
  • The Group Leader(s) will have the authority to recommend to a cyclist that the next group might be a more appropriate group for them to cycle with in the future, based on their fitness. If they choose to remain in this group, they shall adhere to the speed of the group.
  • The Leisure Rep will facilitate members who want to change groups by introducing them to the leader of the appropriate group at the start of the spin.
  • The Leisure Rep will be the liaison between the Group and the Committee and will be responsible for communicating clearly between the two. This requires the Leisure Rep to attend Committee meetings on a regular basis.
  • The Leisure Rep has responsibility for completing reports on the club spins for the PRO for posting on the Club Website.
  • The Leisure Rep should, where possible, facilitate and attempt to resolve any disputes, disagreements or grievances in an informal manner.
  • In the event of the Leisure Rep being absent or losing contact with the main body of cyclists for whatever reason, a deputy leader should be appointed to assume the role and responsibility for the duration.
  • The Leisure Rep should ensure that all accidents/incidents are reported to the Club Committee.
  1. Leisure Group B – Etiquette and Ground Rules

 Every Cyclist must be satisfied in so far as possible that their current health and level of fitness will enable them to complete the spin. Every Cyclist should bring sufficient food, drink and money for refreshments. It is also recommended that cyclists bring their mobile phone, but can only be answered at the back of the group or when stopped ( make sure your phone is protected from the weather).

  • All cyclists must wear a cycling helmet while out on Club Spins. In the event that a cyclist arrives at the assembly point without a helmet, they will be told that they cannot participate in the club spin.
  • All cyclists must ensure that their bike is well maintained, with tyres pumped to the recommended pressure. It is advisable that all cyclists carry a spare tube, a pump and tools required to change a puncture. It is also compulsory, during winter and spring months, to have a rear mudguard fitted to the bike, so as to not inconvenience other cyclists.
  • Cyclists will cycle in two rows, with the exception of narrow roads, where they will cycle in single file. This arrangement will continue for the duration of the spin, with the pace comfortable enough so that no cyclist gets dropped off the back of the group.
  • Cyclists should ensure that if/when they are passing other cyclists in the group that they do so on the right side and allow sufficient room so as not to undercut on the left.
  • In the event that a split occurs in the group, e.g. going up a hill, then the cyclists at the front will continue up the hill and wait to regroup at the top of the hill, before continuing with the spin.
  • All Cyclists must cooperate fully with the Leisure Rep/Group Leaders requests and instructions.
  • In the event of a cyclist getting a puncture/breakdown, one rider nominated by the Group Leader will stop and assist. The remainder of the group will cycle ahead for about 6 minutes at which point they will turn back and regroup with the other cyclists. This should allow enough time for the puncture to be fixed and the rider to re-join the group.
  • The group should agree on a rotational basis that a nominated group member will perform the roll of Sweeper. They would ensure that any cyclist who for whatever reason is unable to complete the spin with the group will be accompanied the remainder of the spin home. “Nobody left Behind”.
  • If a cyclist is having difficulty staying with the group, they should inform the leader so that he/she can decide to:
  • Ease of the pace
  • The nominated Sweeper will stay back with them
    • On the homeward journey the pace will continue as before until an agreed distance, usually 5 km, from home when the pace can be increased by individual cyclists for the remainder of the spin. However, the rules of the road and group cycling must be observed. No racing on narrow roads and within town limits. Those cyclists who do not wish to participate in the sprint for home will continue at the original pace.
    • Official Group led spins for the B1, B2, and B3 are on Sunday at 9 am from the Corn Market, Ballinrobe, and on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7pm from April to SeptemberDSCN3911Erris head


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