Coaching Story - Siobhan Carroll

The Wild Atlantic Way…………lived up to its name.

124 riders left Stansted Airport on Wednesday 14th September to embark on a three day charity cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal. We landed at 7.15am and soon turned the arrival area into a changing room. After being reacquainted with our beloved bikes we had a Garda escort to bring us out of town and onto the country roads that would be our playground for the days that followed. 

We had wind, rain, sunshine and rainbows that arched the road in front of us. We were welcomed into every pub with open arms and open fires. It was a warm sight at the lunch stop on day two to see riders wrapped in towels as they dried their clothes by the fire. Not something you would see everywhere!! 

I am in total awe of the riders who took on the challenge for the first time, some of whom only got on the saddle in the past few months. People rode the course on hybrids and in trainers, unable to eat and drink on the move and therefore having to keep stopping. Others got lost and added miles to days that were already long and challenging. There was laughter, tears, saddle sores, comradery and an immense sense of achievement when we cycled a lap of the town of Ballybofey wearing our O2e jerseys with '4 Skelly' written on our backs. 

Why did we take on this challenge? To raise much needed funds for our chosen charity, O2e ( who's mission is 'to make a difference to the lives of seriously and terminally ill children, whilst encouraging and supporting all ages to embrace sport and adventure, get out of their comfort zones and live life to the full.' I can say both were achieved on this ride. Huge sponsorship was raised and comfort zones have been reset by most!! 

On a personal note I had an amazing three days of riding in beautiful surroundings, meeting new riders and listening to everyone’s adventures in the evening. Falling in with some strong riders meant that I was pushed for the three days but managed to ride strongly everyday. I can't deny there were times I had to dig deep (and keep smiling), but it's these times that prove that training does pay off, both physically and mentally. As well as training hard I'm led to believe that recovery is vital........I can highly recommend swapping your recovery shake for a good pint of the black creamy stuff!!!

If you're looking for a challenge, then head to the unspoilt beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way. You won't be disappointed!

Siobhan Carroll is one of our Yellow Jersey members and has been coached by Ciaran O'Grady; receiving training, testing, and coaching as well as most other services at Cadence!