In recent years, Orwell women have had a growing presence in racing and leisure cycling in the Dublin area and around the country, achieving and exceeding their goals at many different levels. We have also introduced dozens of women to the sport of cycling through beginner spins and skill sessions. In order to build on our success and support the goals of our members, we have decided to focus our energy this season on developing the skills of the women who are club members.
RACING: From April to September, Orwell has a strong women’s team that races in club league, national league and international races, and on the track. Orwell also runs the Wheelworx Orwell Ladies Crit League from 9 April to 7 May 2013, and helps organize Corkagh Park Women’s Racing from 28 May to 1 September 2013. [More]
LEISURE CYCLING: Saturdays we have self-led mid-level women only spin, and a more challenging self-led women-friendly spin. We are also introducing a six-week program for women who have less cycling experience but are willing to invest the time and energy to bring themselves up to the entry level of the club. [More]
NEW MEMBERS: From October to April, Orwell runs mentored Sunday spins for new members. During racing and sportive season, from April to September, we have a variety of smaller, less formal spins. We are open to new women members whose cycling abilities allow them to slot into one of our existing racing or leisure groups. There are more and more options around Dublin for those who want to cycle but consider these options too ambitious. Some resources are below. [More]
YOUTH/JUNIOR: Orwell has a vibrant and active youth and junior section, including girls! Youths in cycling are under 16, while juniors are 16-18 years of age. [More]
We look forward to continuing to welcome women to join us in our love of the sport of cycling!
Cycling Ireland has a list of 2013 women’s races on this handy page.
Orwell women race in A3 and A4 races, as well as women-only races. Orwell expects to enter women in all of the Joe Daly Cycles Women’s National League races, and to have a team in An Post Rás na mBan Women’s International Stage Race from 11-15 September in Clare.
Weekly Tuesday evening women’s races in Sandyford and Corkagh Park cater to beginners and experienced racers. Orwell also runs a mixed-gender club league, but entry is now closed for 2013.
Wheelworx Orwell Ladies Crit League 2013
Open to all female cyclists, the Wheelworx-sponsored Orwell Ladies Crit League 2013 kicks off on Tuesday 9th April and will run for six weeks. The round 1 time trial will be followed by five criterium rounds (approximately 20-30 minutes long) on a flat 800m circuit in Sandyford Industrial Estate on Tuesdays 16th April, 30th April & 14th May and the purpose-built enclosed 1.2km circuit at Corkagh Park, Clondalkin on 23rd April & 7th May 2013. Sign-on is from 6.30pm at the Cosy Kitchen Café, Carmanhall Road for the Sandyford rounds and trackside for the Corkagh Park rounds with the first race start scheduled for 7pm.
The races are open to female riders of all fitness and ability levels including beginners, youths and juniors. With expert advice on hand, the League is aimed at those interested in getting into racing for the first time and will be great for improving fitness, cornering and bunch skills. Entry is €5 or €25 for all six rounds and a Club Racing Licence is required (one day licence situation to be clarified). A properly serviced racing bike and helmet are essential and there will be a compulsory bike check. Those riding to and from the races should remember to bring lights as it will be getting dark after the races.
For a map of the Sandyford criterium circuit, see MapMyRide.
Ladies Cycling Racing at Corkagh Park
The Women’s Commission of Cycling Ireland is delighted to announce the return of Corkagh Park Ladies Racing for the summer of 2013, every Tuesday from 28 May to 27 August 6.30pm-8pm. All levels are welcome! Building on the success of the 2012 series and the Wheelworx Orwell Ladies Crit League, this offers women the chance to race in their ability groups in a traffic-free environment, all for a whopping EUR3 per night!
The races will be held at the fantastic new purpose-built closed-road circuit at Corkagh Park, near Clondalkin. Depending on numbers, the races will follow the same format as the Crit League rounds with handicapped A and B races starting at 7pm & 7.30pm respectively. Handicaps will be updated on a nightly basis. The races last about 35 minutes. More details on Facebook.
Many Orwell women train for leisure events or sportives of distances ranging from 100km to 200km or more. From April to October, there are two self-led spins every Saturday.
“Self-led” means that Orwell members show up at the meeting point, decide where to go, and go, but there is no real leader; each person is responsible for herself. Participants are expected to know how to cycle in a group and to follow group cycling etiquette; be able to fix a puncture and have the equipment to do it; and be able to get themselves home if they are not able to cycle the pace of the group or decide to end a spin early.
Women’s spin: This spin is women only. Distances range from 50-80km (with a coffee stop) and pace is 20-22kph. This is equivalent to a white group spin. Expect to be out 3-4 hours. This is a good group if you are training for an event of 100km. Meet at Joe Daly’s at 9:30am every Saturday.
“It’s Not a Race”: This spin is majority women but also includes some friendly men. The average distance is 100km, with a coffee stop, but there are often several people continuing on further, and it is possible to turn back early. A suggested route is usually sent out mid-week on the group’s mailing list. The pace is 22-25kph (yellow group). Meets most Saturdays at Joe Daly’s at 9:00am. Orwell members (men and women) can sign up for the mailing list.
From October to April, Orwell welcomes new members at our mentored Sunday spins. See the spins.
The following are required to participate on these spins:
- Road racing bike in good working order (no mountain bikes, hybrids, straight handlebars or tribars)
- Quick release wheels
- Tires and brakes must be in good condition
- Pump, tyre levers and 2 spare tubes are mandatory for road side repairs
- Food, water bottle, money and rain jacket
It is mandatory for each rider to wear a hard shell helmet while on club spins.
If you try out a spin or two and want to continue to come out with the club, you will be required to join Orwell Wheelers as well as Cycling Ireland, with whom we are affiliated. All Orwell riders are Cycling Ireland members as this covers us from a 3rd party insurance viewpoint.
Want to cycle, but not ready for group spins?
- The Dublin Cycling campaign runs a free bike mentoring program, to help you get on the road with confidence. See BikeBuddy.
- Dublin Cycling Campaign also has social cycles, details here.
- Rothar is a community bike shop that takes donations of unwanted bikes, sells revamped bikes and provides bike repairs. They also offer 1-to-1 classes, delivered by accredited cycling instructor Anne Bedos, for total beginners who would like to cycle but are lacking the confidence to take on the Dublin city streets. More here.
- Women on Wheels organizes get togethers and small group cycles from time to time, details on Facebook
- Sustrans in the UK has produced a very helpful guide for women who want to start cycling, you can download it for free here (.pdf).
Orwell has a vibrant and active youth and junior section, including girls!
Please note that parental consent will be needed to join a youth or junior group in Orwell Wheelers.
Full details of the Orwell Youth Policy can be found on the Youth page.