Q & A with Marie Finnerty 

Bike type: Kona Kahuna MTB bike, an extremely old Raleigh road bike (which I bought 2nd hand in Dubai) and my Grandmothers High Nellie. 

Discipline: MTB and road 

Cycle for fun (Leisure)

Questions in cycling

How long are you cycling and which discipline do you prefer?

My first cycle of any significant length was the Ladies Sportif in 2015. I was persuaded to do it by Ken McCarthy on an battered old hybrid. I barely knew the front of the bike from the back of the bike, most people would agree I still don’t. I prefer MTB in the Winter and road cycling in the Summer. 

What’s your favourite bike? and if money wasn’t a problem which one would you get?

My favourite bike is my Grandmother’s High Nellie, which I plan to restore this summer. If money wasn’t a problem a purple Specialized Venge would be nice to replace my rickety old Raleigh. 

What’s your favourite training route?  To do it solo or in a group?

Clonbur/Cong Woods MTB spin in a group. I absolutely love hurtling past the Pigeon Hole in the pitch dark during Winter club spins. 

What’s your favourite food/ beverage at a stop?

The WLCC Ladies Sportif has to have the best food stop of any sporting event. Club members come together to create homemade deliciousness that will surely make the ascent up Maumtrasna worth it. Anna Sheeran’s baked ham along with Clare O’Neill and Eimear Flannery’s deserts can only result in you thanking your lucky stars the next part of the journey is downhill.  

What’s your favourite time of day to go out?

Mornings because you feel great then for the rest of the day. 

Winter or summer time spins?

Both, Winter in the woods and Summer on the road.

Hills or flat?

Flat, although I made it my mission to cycle up the highest peak in the UAE, Jebel Jais, before I moved home in June 2019. Left Dubai at 1am and started cycling at 3am as the daytime heat in the Summer there would hit over 40°C. Cycling back down those hairpin turns was great fun! I also loved cycling the Máiméan Loop with the club last July. It’s a really tough climb but worth it for the beautiful scenery.

Most memorable or favourite events?

Memorable moments include cycling with Dan martin in the desert in 2018 and meeting Sam Bennett to wish him luck before watching him cross the line to win the final stage of the UAE tour in 2019. Favourite events include Ironman UAE and Spinneys 92 in Dubai, the Ring of Clare and Westportif. Great times with the best of company!

Favourite piece of kit?

My pink clip-ins and of course the latest Western Lakes kit.

How many times a week do you go out to train ? and how long is  your average spin time. ?

Twice a week on club spins when we’re not in lockdown, average 2hrs. 

Indoor session what’s your favourite: Turbo, Zwift, rollers, gym, classes or other ?

I don’t do indoor cycling. I’ll rather face any weather to be outside. 

The best thing about club spins? The worst thing about club spins?

The best things are the camaraderie on group spins, making friends along the way and all sorts of random conversations, and being pushed out of your comfort zone to achieve more than you would alone. Worst things are feeling like you’re holding the group back on a club ride or crashing into trees in the woods. 

Sum up cycling for you.

Exploring the great outdoors and having a laugh along the way. Can’t beat that feeling at the top of a mountain or after a long distance ride. If you’re not feeling great, you definitely will after a cycle. Joining Western Lakes Cycling Club has been a great adventure. I’m looking forward to our next club spin!