Next in line to be interviewed for our rider profiles is "Most Consistent rider of 2010", John Twomey. 2010 was a busy year for John with a return to racing after nearly two decades of an absence, sportives in every corner of the Country, not to mention completing the gruelling Race Around Ireland with the County Cork team.
Years with Orwell?: 3 years
How did you get into cycling? I was quite involved with athletics at an early age, but after watching Stephen Roche winning the Tour De France I was immediately hooked. My uncle gave me my first bike so I quit the athletics and started underage racing the following year. I raced up to junior level before college and other distractions finished my career!
What made you choose Orwell Wheelers?
Well, I had been out of cycling with a few years and was anxious to get involved again. I did a search for clubs around the area and discovered Orwell was only down the road from where I lived. Once I saw that they were doing beginner spins, I thought: at least I won't get dropped the first day... that happened the second day instead!
What types of cycling do you do and what do you enjoy about it?
Primarily it's touring but I have done some club league races and tried not to kill myself doing some mountain biking. The enjoyment that I get from the touring is very much down to the social aspect within the group. There's also a sense of achievement on completing some of the bigger events that we take on every year.
As someone who takes part in both touring and racing, if you had to give up one of them, which would it be and why?
I think my heart lies with the touring side so I'll have to say racing. While I enjoy hiding in the bunch for most of the races I've done, I think you can't really hide when taking part in something like the Mount Leinster or Sean Kelly cycles. It's very much you against the course, and as mentioned, there's a great sense of accomplishment once you cross that finish line at the end of these events.
What bikes do you own?
At the moment, it's just my 2 Treks: a 4500 that I bought at the start of last year from Joe Daly's and another older Trek that I have for a number of years.
Your greatest cycling highs/achievements?
2 events really spring to mind: completing my first Wicklow 200(slept for about 2 days afterwards!) and completing the Race around Ireland this year.
Your biggest cycling lows/disappointments?
Again 2 spring to mind. The first was competing in the All Irelands a number of years ago when I thought I had a pretty good chance of getting a good placing only to crash out on the first lap. The second happened last year when I was pictured cresting Wicklow Gap with a certain John Hannin about 100 yards in front of me! It's a picture that will haunt me for a long time to come....
Your cycling heroes/role models?
Stephen Roche and Denis Gleeson.
Your favourite training route/coffee stop?
I love heading around the lakes in Blessington and head home via Sally Gap. Regarding coffee stops: there's so many at this stage but we used to stop out at Blessington in the garage and they do a fantastic sausage sandwich. We always told ourselves that we were consuming complex carbohydrates which were essential to get us home!
What music is on your MP3 Player now?
A little bit of everything but am enjoying the new Jamiroquai album at the moment.
You have been very active in the Club in helping and encouraging beginners. Why do you do it and how do you keep your patience?
Well a lot of the current touring group only joined the club a few years ago and came up through the beginners so I can still remember what it's like to arrive down to Joe's on that first day and knowing no one. Having people like Denis to welcome these people makes a massive difference, and I usually just slot in and lend a hand. I think the patience comes from the knowledge that we all went through getting dropped and as long as you're prepared to wait for someone, then it's not a problem. It's par for the course when you head out with these groups.
This year you completed the gruelling 'Race around Ireland'. Where will next year take you?
Well, the big event for this year is the Etape which a few of us are aiming to do in July. Ever since watching the Tour in '87 and seeing those huge climbs it's something that I've wanted to try. With this year's event being shorter than normal, we've decided to make the jump and see what happens. Hopefully if things go ok, it's something that I'd like to tackle every 2 or 3 years.
And finally, you were recently given the 'Most Consistent Rider of 2010' Award. What motivates you to keep going out in all weathers?
If I was honest it's boredom at home! However, with so many events coming up, it's easy enough to force yourself out the door and get a bit of mileage in the legs. Living near the Wicklow mountains help as you're onto quiet roads very quickly.