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Castleknock CC's Journey to the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive

Posted on August 20, 2018 @ 4:30 PM in Cycling

We've always been fasincated by all of the small stories that go on in the background in the lead up to the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive. This year we've got an ear to the ground with one cycling club from Dublin. Noelle and Mark will be keeping us up to date on all their preparations from now right the way until the big day on September 8th. Follow along and share your own stories on the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive Facebook page!

Fiona Reidy: Events Officer, Castleknock Cycling Club, Dublin. 17th August

'The Road to Antrim'

From one “Castle” to another “Castle” – Castleknock to Ballycastle. From Castleknock, Caisleán Cnucha, meaning "Cnucha's Castle” to Ballycastle  - Baile an Chaistil, meaning "Town of the Castle".

January is a hibernation month for a lot of people, but not for Castleknock Cycling Club (“CCC”)!  When other people were contemplating joining a gym, to visit only a couple of times, at CCC we were having chats about where to go on our annual club weekend away later in 2018. In fact Paul Mullins, our Committee Secretary jumped right on it and had The Marine Hotel in Ballycastle booked before you could say “Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive!"

CCC is just over 3 years old and was formed in April 2015. We currently have 125 club members led by 7 Committee members, including one highly intelligent, witty lady who is the Events Officer ..Moi  :o)

The Main Committee members are:

Liam Twomey                                   Chairperson

Paul Mullins                                       Secretary

Shay Kearns                                       Treasurer

Erick O’Neill                                       Spin Co-ordinator

Tony Nulty                                         Gear Co-ordinator

Fiona Reidy                                        Events Officer

Brian Casey                                       Safety Officer

Andrew Griffith                               Public Relations Officer (“PRO”)


Since the main Committee have enough on their saddles! Boom!  We decided that a Sub-Events Committee was needed to help organise the “Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive” and other club events during 2018.

So this is when “The Mob” (Sub-Events Committee) was born !

Fiona Reidy – Mob Boss - The Pink Lady  

Brendan O’Brien – Cool Mr B

Jane Bohan – Miss Compliance Lady….also known as Scarlet Overkill :o)

Noelle Rohan – Miss Kerry


Mark Ruddy – Mr Ah Sur It’ll Be Grand

Jenny Kirwan - Miss Chatty

Barry Gleeson- Mr Get-Away- Man With a Van


The first “Mob” meeting went something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vayksn4Y93A

We were taking no prisoners!  We had lots to do:  names to gather, who is “sleeping with who” (we had to watch how that was written!), money to collect, information leaflets to write, quiz questions to prepare and prizes to gather.

A “WhatsApp” was sent to all CCC members and great interest was shown for the “Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive”. Finally we have 50 people travelling from CCC to BallyCastle.

Ethan Loughrey from the “Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive” Organising Committee was our first port of call.  At this stage, I feel like I’ve known Ethan all my life and that’s saying a lot considering I have yet to meet the man! He was a great help in getting everyone registered and supplied with an Early Bird T-Shirt.

Andrew Griffith our PRO modelling the T-Shirt

Lists upon lists were made and MANY reminder “WhatsApps” were sent until in July we had the final list of people making the trip to Ballycastle. Payments were collected, dinner was booked, menus were chosen, room layouts were organised and secure bike storage was arranged with the Marine Hotel. We have now become best friends with the front desk staff in the Marine Hotel. We also booked 4 people into a local B&B; Corratavey Guest House (a short walk from the Marine Hotel).

Over the past few weeks the team have also been great in pulling together an information leaflet for what will be happening during the weekend and on the actual Sportive day itself.

All CCC members will be gathering at the front of the Marine Hotel at 7.30am on the morning of the Sportive for a group photo before heading off on their chosen routes.

It will be a packed weekend of “Selfie” and “Best Song of the Day” competitions, with dinner in the hotel on the Saturday evening followed by a mind blowing quiz with jaw dropping prizes to be won!

The excitement is now building and everyone is looking forward to a great weekend of cycling and fun!

A big thank you goes out to the Sub-Events Committee team for all their help and attendance at meetings to get everything ready for the annual club weekend away.

All that is left to do now is for everyone to enjoy themselves!

To a great weekend at the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive!!!!


Noelle: 28th July

So these Saturdays we’re rolling out at 08:00 and it’s a great start to the day to get a good cycle under our belt and be home for around 12 noon. This week we headed towards to the Royal county, first through Blanchardstown and onto Dunshauglin under the great guidance of Jim Healy. We went through Ongar, Clonee, Dunboyne and Batterstown area.

There’s been a change in the weather now which is bringing a bit of rain, badly needed by the farmers but I’ve to say I miss the sunshine.
The rain was on our back about 10km into the cycle and wasn’t leaving us unfortunately on this route. There was 6 in the group,we kept tight and were doing 22-24 km an hour. There’s not much Jim misses fair play from stops, to on coming traffic at roundabouts to fur coats (dead rats) on the road!! There was a good bit of chat on route mainly talking about the change of weather.

Nearing Dunshauglin one of the cyclists was complaining her hip was score so decided to turn back after we had a quick stop in the shop for some sweets. Another person turned back here with her and headed home. The cycle here was cut to around 40km for 2 and the other 4 completed around 65km.

When back in Carpenters town we bailed into Insomnia drenched wet for a hot tea and a scone - well deserved! So 40 or 65km it was great to be out be it in the rain and getting fresh air into the lungs.


Mark and Noelle: Saturday 12th May

Welcome back! So what a day we got for the Castleknock Cycling Club 100km to the Hill of Tara, someone knew we meant business. It was glorious. There was staggered departure times so that we would all arrive roughly around the same time to Maguire’s Café for tea and scones at the Hill of Tara (10:50)  – needles to say I was in the elite group! We started at 8:15 – figure out which group I was in!

22km/hr group departure 08:15

24km/hr group departure 08:40

26km/hr group departure 08:50

28km/hr group departure 09:00

So Kathleen took the helm of our group of 10 as the leader, which was great as she runs a steady ship and keep things moving. John who was out for a while with an injury also joined us for some of the cycle, it was great to see him back with us on Saturday.

The route took us through Dunboyne, Summerhill, Dunsany, and Kilmessan and onto the Hill of Tara. The roads were relatively quite most of the way. Spring has finally arrived; the country has gone ‘green’ over night. In Meath I noticed a lot of cattle out grazing, as a farmer’s daughter great to see, the poor animals were in for too long over the winter.

55 cyclists descended on Maguire’s Café around 10:50 and thanks to the great organisation by CCC’s event’s coordinator, Fiona Reidy, we were all fed and watered within 20 minutes. It was really nice for all the different groups to meet here and just relax and have a chat. Andrew drove from Castleknock to take some pics of us and see we all arrived alive! and Jim Healy drove up to give some mechanical support where needed. Prior to departure there was the obligatory photo shoot of the group and then we all set off back home. At this stage we had 52 km complete before we set off again, good to have the back broken of it so to speak. On the way back we acquired 2 extra cyclists, Roisin and Clare and lost 1 to the 24km group – Martin couldn’t keep up with us! Fiona, Kathleen and Jackie also took their own route home as a group of 3. Now Roisin stepped up to the plate as leader and did a fine job taking us through Skryne, Ratoath, Fleenstown, Mulhuddart and back to base – Insomina in Carpenterstown for more tea and scones. On arrival here we had completed 100km on the nose.

So to recap it was a fantastic day, so well organised and every one in great form.

Oh I also was wearing a better pair of cycling shorts – made me notice the sunny day more!


Mark and Noelle: Saturday 28th April 

A huge gang of about 25 of us assembled in the Carpenter car park ready to take advantage of the almost perfect weather conditions which were dry and bright but slightly cold so it was hard to decide on the right amount of layers for the cycle. The 22k group were heading towards Kilcock, Summerhill and then  back through Dunboyne. The 24K group was heading towards Kilteel via Athgoe and back through Celbridge and Lucan. I decided to go out with the 24k group which was being lead by Erick who did a fantastic job of keeping everyone safe.

In total there were 12 of us in the 24K group we started at a good pace that we were all comfortable with. We went out past Lucan to Newcastle and onto Athgoe. As always everyone found the hill at Athgoe to be quite challenging. The climb helped everyone to get nicely warmed up and on the decent we took in some amazing views over Dublin City. We again had another challenging hill as we made our way up towards Kilteel and we stopped for a quick sip of water at the top and allowed everyone to catch their breath.

As we worked our way back to Celbridge we had a few other climbs that caught us by surprise...I think by the time we got Celbridge I think the group were happy to know there were no more hills on the route. In total we had 600 meters of climbing which is pretty respectable for a 70K cycle. We made our way back via Lucan golf club and Erick had one more surprise in store for us...a climb up Somerton Lane which spent the last of any energy that we had left!!

Overall really nice challenging route with a nice mix of hills and views over Dublin and a great bunch to do it with.


Mark and Noelle: Saturday 7th April

Again we had fine conditions starting off our cycle and the numbers were great we had around 25 of us assembled in the carpenter pub car park ready to get going. Again we split into 4 groups but this time most people opted to go with the 24k group so that had to be further divided into two groups of 7 cyclists. Both the 22K and 24K groups were heading towards Kilbride and Rathoath doing a 50K spin and the 26 and 28k groups had a longer and more challenging 86K spin heading out towards Maynooth, Kilcock and Enfield. 


This week I headed out with the 24K group and we started out at a solid pace out past the Blanchardstown centre and heading towards Hollystown. Although it was not raining the ground was a little wet so we had careful to be on roundabouts ect.

We had the wind in our faces as we headed out the Rathoath road so we kept in a tight formation and changed the leader to keep the good pace we had going. We ran into the other 24K group as they were heading in the same direction as us, the roads were also busy with other groups of cyclists. We managed to avoid any mechanical mishaps this week but we did take one or two wrong turns which did slow us down a little. Crossing over the M3 motorway we passed along the back of the airport which is well known for being a hard drag with a strong head wind so that took the last of our energy.


Overall a really enjoyable cycle with a good bunch and a nice route through Meath and North Dublin. The weather seems to have changed at last and as a group there a feeling the maybe the eternal winter is over and that we can now get going with some long spins. Rumour has it we are going to go for our first adventure to the Dublin mountains next week, that will be a great test for our fitness early in the year.



Mark and Noelle: Saturday March 24th

Following a few weeks of inactivity due to adverse weather conditions the numbers signing up for this weeks spins were huge. There was almost 25 of us assembled outside the carpenter ready to enjoy the bright but cold weather. We were split into four groups a 22K, 24K and two 26K (as we had reached the limit of 12 persons per group for that speed). So under instruction from our spin leaders we set off. All of us were heading for Kildare the 22s and 24s were heading towards Maynooth-Straffin and then back through Celbridge covering 55K in total. Both 26s were heading out over the n7 towards Athgoe and back also through Celbridge covering a distance just shy of 70K. 

I was with the second of the 26K groups being headed up by our fearless spin leader Tom who kept us safe and sound. We started out at a strong pace to keep the cold at bay, after going through Lucan and Newcastle we hit Athgoe. What I didn't know was that just outside Athgoe there is a huge hill that drags for a good 500 meters. After a serious workout getting to the top we took a much needed break for a few minutes to get some food and liquids in. I was dead last to the top of the hill- a few weeks off the bike was really taking its toll on me and I was lagging at the rear of the group. We had another break when one of our team had a puncture just outside of Clane however with some expertise and the use of some modern toys (i.e pocket gas) we were back on the road less than 10 minutes later.  


Coming back through Maynooth we caught up with the 22s and 24s and we all got to the coffee shop at about the same time for a cappuccino. Overall a very enjoyable spin with bright but cold conditions and a good marker for this time of year.

Mark and Noelle: 17th March 18

So today our organised spin was cut from 50km to 33km due to the snowing / sleety conditions ...not that I was complaining! Our Irish winter seems to want to take an extended holiday here and doesn’t want the sun to come out.

So 2 great leaders took the reigns today - Brian and Tony. They kept a tight ship and got us 8 "hardy bucks"around safely.
It was real cold but must say very enjoyable and the tea after was so welcome.

Again I’m not wearing the correct gear and a lot of comments on my inadequate shorts being short and not long so deffo need to get that sorted.


Mark and Noelle: 15th March 18:

So tonight we had our first meeting to organise the 'Castleknock Cycling Club’s' weekend away to Antrim for the 'Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive' on the 08 Sept 18.

The meeting was headed up by a proud Kerry woman who had 7 diligent attendees. Tasks were divided out accordingly and I and my Mayo counterpart got tasked with organising the quiz for the weekend away. I love quizzes not that I’m any good, just nosey!

We had a gear fitting also post our meeting. There was all sizes of any thing stretchy with loads of padding. I myself am taking the plunge, splash out as you may and going to invest in a proper pair of club cycling shorts so after that there’s no stopping me, Antrim here I come!

We'll update this page with all of the club's antics as the big day comes closer. If you'd like to keep us updated on what your club is doing coming up to the big day, we'd love to hear from you! Email us to info@cycleni.com and tell us your plans.

Noelle Rohan
Noelle Rohan  Cyclist with Castleknock Cycling Club

2016's Queen of the Mountain

Posted on August 11, 2017 @ 3:14 PM in Cycling

One of the most iconic sportives in Northern Ireland, the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive takes place this year on Saturday 9th September with support from DiscoverNI. In the lead up to the event, participants eagerly train to be in with a chance of winning the specially timed segment up the infamous Torr Head. The fastest male earns the title of King of the Mountain and fastest female, Queen of the Mountain.

We caught up with the 2016 Queen of the Mountain, Claire Vernon, to hear her thoughts on the day. Claire is a keen cyclist from Belfast who rides with Phoenix Cycle Club. She flew up Torr Head’s QOM Segment in a seriously impressive 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Torr Head tops out at 1,210 feet with a gradient hitting over 20% in places and an average gradient of 8%.

I had originally planned to do the longer, more formidable route but due to last-minute social commitments (and since I sacrifice enough of my social life for cycling) I thought I’d forgo the 115 mile-route (what a martyr!) and do the 85-mile cycle instead.

Since I no longer had the challenge of completing the longest leg in one of the toughest sportives in the UK and Ireland, my sportive buddy had planted the idea in my head of completing the 85-mile route in under 5 hours. So, with that goal in mind, and charged with a healthy dose of competitive spirit (sure, it would be good if I managed the sub 5-hour target but it would be even better if I beat my friend to the finish line…), I set off like the hammers.

The first section is a bit of a blur as I hopped from group to group, depending on which one offered the best speed/shelter ratio. Unfortunately to meet my target I had to skip two of three feed stations. I opted for the middle one, where my sportive partner had allocated a strict 10-minute time limit to stuff a ham bap into my gob.

Knowing that Torr Head now awaited me, I was lucky enough to receive a tow along the coastal road by a strong two-man team putting in some kind of time trial-esque effort. I’m not quite sure why they chose to do this in the lead up to Torr Head, but I certainly wasn’t complaining.

For some reason I thought the QOM challenge was on the very first part of Torr Head, so I attacked the first steep, winding section until I felt sick. Eventually, after dodging cars, fellow cyclists and sheep, I saw a roadside marker indicating the actual start of the segment, about three quarters of the way along Torr Head, leaving me wondering “What kind of masochist decided to place it here?!”


Claire's winning Torr Head ascent captured by sportive photographer IndustryImage.

I really was truly spent by that stage, but I summoned some inner strength by recalling all those times I’d been charging up a hill on a training ride and someone shouted out their car window “Keep ‘er lit!” – which always gives me a little boost.

(Maybe during future Giant's Causeway Coast Sportives you could have a roadside speaker that blares out “Keep ‘er lit!” at participants?)

With legs burning and heart frantically beating, I finally trounced Northern Ireland’s most ball busting climb. After enjoying the thoroughly dissatisfying descent off Torr Head (a climb that deserves a much better descent), I rolled into Ballycastle, finishing under 5 hours and – more importantly – beating my friend by a good 5 minutes.


Claire collects her QOM Prize from Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast Flagship Store.

If you want a chance to tackle the event’s KOM / QOM segment on either the 85 or 115 mile route, you can register for the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive on the event website, and keep up to date with everything via our Facebook page. If you’re planning to earn the title, the time to beat for King of the Mountain is 6 minutes and 40 seconds; and 8 minutes 46 seconds for Queen of the Mountain. Learn more about the stunning Causeway Coast via Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

Latest comment posted by https://www.sportforaction.com/ on December 16, 2017 @ 1:04 PM

As soon as I come to Ireland I know what to do and where to go! Read more >

Claire Vernon
Claire Vernon  Cyclist and QOM at GCCS 2016

7 Top Tips to Help You Conquer the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive.

Posted on May 23, 2017 @ 2:30 PM in Cycling

Sportives are hard, and the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive is certainly no exception. To help you prepare for the day, whether you've signed up to the 35, 85 or 115 mile legs, we've got some great tips from top Irish long distance triathlete and coach, Lorcan Healy

1. Get the miles in!

Don’t underestimate the challenge. As with other endurance events – such as half marathons, marathons and triathlons – you wouldn’t complete them without any training. This means getting the miles in on the bike and increasing your fitness to meet the demands of your sportive. A general rule of thumb is that you should be able to comfortably cycle two thirds of your sportive distance in training. For example, if you’re riding the 115 mile leg of the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive, you should be able to clock 77 miles in your training. Also, mimic the terrain of your course in training. If it’s a hilly sportive you are planning, get your climbing legs on during training and try a few hilly cycles.


2. Break the distance of your sportive into chunks

Your sportive cycle can seem daunting, especially if it is a super hilly 115 miler, or a distance you haven’t cycled before. If you break the distance of the route into sections, it becomes less daunting and will help keep your motivation levels up. Aim for the food stops which you’ll come across every 20/30 miles. This is a great way to break the distance down. Food stop to food stop; it will help keep your morale high and the sportive will seem to fly by.


3. Make sure your bike is in good condition

Your bike is the tool that is going to get you across that finish line so it to needs to be in good shape. Make sure your bike is fighting fit the day before your sportive. The last thing you want is to be fit and motivated to complete the challenge ahead only to be let down by a mechanical issue. Consider leaving your bike into Chain Reaction Cycles to get a service before your big event. Or if you’re a keen amateur bike mechanic check your tyre pressure and brakes are working and not rubbing on the rim. Don’t forget, mechanics from Chain Reaction Cycles will also be on standby throughout the day to help with any technical problems!


4. Take the right kit

Anyone familiar with the weather in Northern Ireland will understand that one minute the sun can be splitting the sky and the next it's bucketing out of the heavens. Being cold on the bike is a miserable experience, therefore being prepared is key. Suitable kit is a must when undertaking a cycle that will last a few hours. Check the weather forecast the day before your event. If there are showers expected then fold a lightweight rain jacket and keep it in your back pocket of your cycling jersey. It's best to be prepared so you have nothing to worry you on the morning of your sportive.


5. Pace yourself!

This is huge. It should be in your head as you prepare for your sportive and yet this is the most common factor that sees people withdraw three quarters of the way into the cycle. Don’t pay the price for setting off too fast - you'll just end up wanting the road to open up and swallow you as you dive deeper into the suffer fest. In a big event such as the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive, it is easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and with fitter riders; it is a mass participation event but NOT A RACE! Ride at your own pace or with people who you may have trained with. This will allow you to keep plenty of energy in reserve for the more challenging aspects of the course.


6. Nutrition

This is an important factor on the day of the event. Any cyclist who has run out of fuel and has “bonked” or felt the “knock” will tell you that it is a very unpleasant experience. Make use of the food stops available during the sportive. Keep drinking energy drinks every 10 / 20 minutes and eating energy bars and gels every 45 / 60 minutes. If you do feel yourself getting tired, a good idea is to have a caffeine energy gel. After this, you'll feel like somebody has given you a new set of legs. Also the night before the event try to eat foods that are high in carbohydrates such as pasta and rice as it is this that will provide you the energy to conquer whichever route of the sportive you're doing.

7. Enjoy it!

You’ve done the training and worked hard in preparing yourself for the challenge so enjoy the experience! There's no doubt you will find the going tough at certain points (cough Torr Head cough) but think of all the work you've put into preparing yourself for it. Completing a sportive is a huge achievement and highly rewarding so enjoy the whole experience. Enjoy crossing that finishing line and meeting other participants and sharing your stories from the event. Enjoy the after party! There's no doubt in my mind you'll be buzzing for a few days after and will be signing for your next sportive very soon.

Enter the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive now!

Lorcan Healy is a professional physiotherapist and triathlete coach with Peak Performance Coaching. He has ridden competitively across Europe and provides indepth coaching lessons and training programmes.

Lorcan Healy
Lorcan Healy  Triathlete and PT

Lorcan Healy is a top Irish long distance triathlete and coach. He has raced at the highest level within Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Torr Hell! The Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive - Cycling Northern Ireland

Posted on April 28, 2017 @ 1:00 PM in Cycling

The summer has been busy for me with lots of work and of course tonnes of cycling. One final sportive before the end of season, I headed to Northern Ireland in September to complete the Giant's Causeway sportive.

I had been very busy all week so I arrived in Antrim with no notion of what I was cycling, where I was headed or what to expect! Usually I would read the official website, look at the route and the elevations but time just ran away for this one. Luckily I rang a friend on the way up  who has done the sportive numerous times and she warned me to only to do the 126km route. The 180km would be a big ask especially with Torr head at the end. She kept coming back to Torr head, saying it was tough, it goes up and up some more... to be honest, I have cycled up the Alps so didn't really pay attention.  How hard can it be?

It's not often I listen to anyone but I was very glad that on this occasion I did. 126km was more than enough. The route is hilly enough and then, having already cycled 103km the fun begins! Or not, I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

Have you ever been on a roller coaster? At the start it chugs up almost vertically and your mouth goes dry. Then it drops considerably along with your tummy. That was the first bit. I don't know how I had never heard of this climb until the day before. Even cycling in the Alps I don't remember any of it being this bad. This Torr hell was relentless. 17 kilometers in total. I would climb up a very steep aspect, it would get a bit level and then it would go up again. I don't know. It seemed to go on and on. Parts are 23% gradient, (that's steep!)  I honestly thought I would just fall over. My arms and abs were killing me later from pulling so hard on the bike. My front wheel kept lifting off the road in an unprovoked wheelie. The views were lovely though, looking up and up and up at a wall ahead with little tiny cyclists. Thankfully the weather was being kind to us so that was something. I had to dig deep and get up this wall. I found my inner Serena Williams, I was grunting and shouting good-oh, along with some fine sailor swearing and it seemed to help no end! Certainly made the guys around me work a bit harder, they thought I was shouting at them!

Gringing my gears on Torr Head

The part of the climb that nearly broke me was when I thought it was over. It had leveled out and seemed like a natural finale. I always look for the top tree / telegraph pole, there was nothing else higher. Then, there, pinned to a fence was "King of the Mountain starts here." I actually screamed at the top of my lungs "AGH F*** RIGHT OFF!!" It meant there was another climb and this section was timed.  No amount of obscenities was going to make this one go away.  Like the lovely demur, classy lady that I am I remembered cycling rule #5, "Man Up." I grew a proverbial pair and got stuck in there.

Not sure how long that stretch was but finally I saw the "King of the Mountain ends here" and that was it done. Some of my group were waiting for me here, others were still behind me. I actually couldn't stop and had to ask the lads to hold the bike still while I fell of it in a heap. One of the chaps was white and looking like he might vomit. My little legs were shaking and I was drenched in sweat. The good news was though we only had 6 kilometers left to the finish. Downhill. The pictures and write ups don't do the climb justice at all, if you want to experience it, get in the car and go. If you're a cyclists and you intend on cycling it,  pack a swear jar.

So the season closed for me on a very steep high. It was tough but I am very glad that I took on the challenge. Another box ticked, another new place visited!

Follow Sinead's blog here.

Sinéad Kennedy
Sinéad Kennedy  Orwell Wheelers

Sinéad Kennedy is a Physical Therapist, Yoga Siromani and Pilates Instructor, based in South County Dublin.

She treats and teaches people from all walks of life, including many athletes, especially cyclists, runners and golfers. Recently featured in the Irish Independant, FIT Magazine, her Yoga 4 Cyclists class has gained notoriety. A keen cyclist and proud member of Orwell Wheelers she has completed numerous cycling events including La Marmotte Sportive.

Sinéad has also completed three Dublin City Marathons, numerous Adventure Races, Half Marathons and the Camino de Santiago.

Bike Lights and Daylight Visibility: Why Cyclists Should Be Seen at All Times

Posted on February 21, 2017 @ 2:07 PM in Cycling

In our newest blog, our friends at SeeSense explain why bike lights aren't just important for night riding.

What do you look for when buying a bike light? You might consider brightness and decent battery life as being important features, or you might want a light that offers good visibility in the dark. But what about being seen during the daytime? How much emphasis do you place on daylight visibility?

It is a crucial aspect of cycling safety that many people tend to ignore when making their purchase. But when you consider that 80 per cent of cycling accidents happen during the day, and with a significant increase in fatalities within a 10-year period, it’s become evident that visibility during the day is now just as important as being seen in the dark.

A greater onus has been placed on cyclists being seen during daylight hours. Companies are designing bike lights specifically for daylight visibility, and it makes sense when you look at some of the research that has been conducted into road safety in recent years.

Following a study of 184 cyclists previously involved in collisions, Australian researcher Phillipe Lacherez found motorists had “looked but didn’t see” the cyclist before it was too late. He suggested that a solution to this was both wearing reflective clothing and fitting a light which works during the daytime and also at night. Many cyclists sport high-visibility gear when on the roads, but hi-vis clothing only offers visibility during daylight hours as it reflects UV rays from the sun. Lacherez suggested the use of reflective strips on your knees and ankles that allows the lights from cars to bounce back and signal a cyclist’s movement.

In another survey conducted in Denmark, 4,000 cyclists were enrolled in an experiment that again proved the benefit of daytime visibility. In the survey, 2,000 only used their lights during the hours of darkness, while the other 2000 participants used their bike lights all day. The results showed that there was a 47 per cent decrease in accidents when lights were used throughout the day.

Also, since 2011, all new cars in Europe are required to be fitted with daytime running lights because of the proven safety benefits. If large vehicles like cars need to be seen during the hours of daylight, then surely it makes sense for a cyclist to also require high visibility?

Most accidents have been found to happen during the hours around dawn and dusk. This is partly due to rush-hour traffic, and also because of factors including changing ambient light conditions which can make it more difficult for motorists to spot cyclists. Bright, visible bike lights can help counter that problem by giving cyclists more of a presence during the day.

Almost half of fatalities occur on rural roads , making them particularly dangerous for cyclists. There are various factors which contribute to the high volume of accidents. Not only does the speed limit tend to be higher, but isolated routes can also be unlit or have poor lighting. Having a bike light that flashes brightly from both front and rear can alert drivers of a cyclist’s presence before they get too close to you, reducing the risk of a collision or near miss.

Motorists have a vital role to play in helping reduce the number of cyclist fatalities and accidents on our roads. Research has found that 60% of major collisions happen at junctions, with drivers commonly reporting that they ‘failed to look properly’. Better awareness of other road users is a crucial factor of road safety for motorists and cyclists alike.

A cyclist also has to be aware of the traffic around them, and by making themselves more visible they are taking an important step towards improving their own road safety. See.Sense ICON and ICON+ lights have been designed with twin CREE LED lights and a fresnel lens to offer unique visibility during the day. Our lights have a 15-hour run-time with optimised battery use, all which can be monitored and controlled from your smartphone and recharged by USB.

Improving cycle safety isn’t just important for reducing fatalities, it can also encourage more people to take up cycling. And the more cyclists we have on the roads, the better cycling infrastructure can be developed to improve the overall cycling experience. Cambridge University found that 85% of local cycling correlated with the provision of better cycle routes. So if we cycle, they’ll build it, and if they build it, we’ll cycle more.


Latest comment posted by cullen on November 27, 2018 @ 10:12 AM

I love cycling and will keep in mind all these safety tips to make fun memories with mates. Next few days going wiht https://www.topbustours.com/day-trips-local-tours-from-washington-dc/ and love to ... Read more >

Gareth Fullerton
Gareth Fullerton  Works at SeeSense

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