Western Lakes Cycling Club was founded in 1999, when 7 friends wanted to be part of a like minded club and 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 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 titles
- 6 Youth track titles
- 4 Tandem titles
- 1 A3 title
- 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