On Friday Night Cuchulainn Cycling Club held their annual Prize Giving & Christmas Night, in the Spirit Store. Karl Dolan acted as MC on the night and presided over the awarding giving ceremony. The big award on the night as always was the volunteer of the year award. A club the size of Cuchulainn, with over 350 members, requires exceptional people to give up their free time in order to keep the club progressing. This year's recipient was Pat Kilboy, in recognition of the huge amount of work he does, especially with newcomers to the sport. Every Saturday morning Pat hosts a cycle, which has become known as "Pat's Saturday morning coffee spin". Each and every week Pat will post up details on Facebook of the coming Saturday's ride, the distance and most importantly where the coffee and cake stop will be! The cycle's leisurely pace and relaxed atmosphere had been the introduction to cycling for many in the club. The group is a mix of new comers and the more experienced and Pat is always there to share some of his cycling knowledge, which is rivalled only by is knowledge of local history. If you pass a landmark Pat will know when, who and why it was built. Also if ever gets round to writing a guide to the surrounding cafe's you can be guaranteed it has been well researched!
The next big award of the night was the "Hero of the Year" award, presented to someone who has gone above and beyond in their dedication to the sport. This year's winner was Kathleen Byrne. In early June while competing in the Wicklow 200k cycle, in horrendous conditions, Kathleen collided with a wall at over 40km while descending the Shay Elliott climb. The injuries she sustained were horrific and saw her spend a considerably amount of time in hospital. Once released Kathleen's mobility was severely impacted and she had to wear a back brace for a number of months. Unperturbed by her injuries Kathleen was determined to get back on her bike and by November was brave enough to again get back on two wheels and meet up with her friends in the club.
Other awards on the night were to Gary Gorman and Annette Dolan for winning the men's FPM Accountants League and the women's Bikestation league respectively, while Robbie Duffy took the Mountain Bike League and Colm Quinn the Galibier Clothing Time Trial league. Thomas McCabe and again Annette Dolan were crowned Louth Hill Climb Champions. Niall Clarke and Celine McPhilips won Louth time trial Championships, while Fiona Roger and Nathan McGreehan won the Louth Road Race Championships. Female cyclist of the year was Janet Conlon, while Liam Dolan took the male award. Most improved female cyclist was Julie Bellew, while the men's went to underage rider Conor McKeown. The mountain biker of the year was Johnny McCabe. The biggest section in the club is the leisure cyclists and Barry Rogers was crowned leisure cyclist of the year. A special medal was presented to the 19 cyclists who were brave enough to attempt the Room to Heal "No Sweat Challenge". Conceived by Francis Dollard, this 160km route around the Cooley Mountains includes over 2,500m of climbing!