On Yer Bike: Spotlight On

On Yer Bike: Spotlight On

Gallagher Group is sponsoring the Lighthouse Club’s, On Yer Bike Ireland Cycling event, and we have a Gallagher team taking part as well.

The 3-day challenge kicks off in Pat Gallagher’s hometown of Leitrim on the 12th May 2022 where the teams will begin their 210 mile ride down the length of Ireland to Killarney. The challenge will end on the 15th of May where the participants will be joined by teams completing the Lighthouse Club’s 4 Peaks Challenge for an awesome gala dinner.

The Lighthouse Club, On Yer Bike Cycle ride across Ireland, is only a few months away, but we caught up with one of the cyclists raising money, our very own Stephen Gallagher to ask him a few questions about his cycling experience.

Are you a keen cyclist?
I enjoy it (at times!) but wouldn’t necessarily say “I’m a keen cyclist”! This will be my fifth charity ride of similar distances. My saying is “if I can do it, anyone can” which I genuinely believe!

What bike will you be riding?
I have a Trek Domane – my second Trek bike, and an impulse buy before I rode around the Italian Alps. It was money well spent – seat suspension is a very welcome benefit!!

Where is your favourite place to ride?
I probably have two spots, either around Lake Como where the views were simply incredible, although I was more focused on getting up the various tough hills at the time, or Bruges to Sluis in Belgium, a very sedate 25km along lovely quiet canals with fantastic cycle paths and stunning views. Both are very different in cycling terms but highlight my cycling efforts so far.

Lake Como, Italy

What appealed to you most about taking part in this challenge?
I have always fancied doing some cycling in Ireland, and the idea of riding between Leitrim and Killarney came about over one too many beers with Eddie McGillycuddy! Once he said he was up for it as well we were off and running. Whilst it’s been a bit stop/start over the last couple of years, the excitement/nerves are building, but I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic few days, and an incredible way to see some stunning parts of Ireland. Every ride is a challenge, and I have a feeling the ‘mixed Irish weather’ may be our biggest challenge this time around. We’ll be well supported by Chapeau Events, who are an incredible support team, they really do help you out along the way as well.

Stephen (right) at the end of a previous charity bike ride raising money for Demelza.

Have you done anything like this before?
Yes, but they don’t get any easier, training never goes to plan, there’s always more you could’ve done, nerves will kick in before we set off, but once we’re underway, the team spirit and camaraderie are inspiring, and really do help you get through the last few miles every day. The best bits are the evening dinners reliving the day’s adventures – you’d think you’re in the company of Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish or Sean Kelly the way everyone carries on about their daily endeavors, and how “they raced up that hill”.

Is there a piece of kit you can’t leave home without?
Deep heat, back patches, ibuprofen and cycling gels! With regards to the gels, my advice is definitely to avoid Espresso (horrific!) and Apple (consistency is very strange to say the least!).

Will you be indoor training when it’s cold and wet or harden up and train in the outdoors?
I split between my peloton and road riding – peloton definitely helps, but it’s no substitute for time on the road.

Any songs you sing in your head whilst riding?
Probably too many and too varied to mention! I use headphones (modest volume) whilst cycling to help me along and can go from old house classics to country and western, even some old Irish classic folk songs have made their way onto my playlist – like I said it's very varied! I’m a rubbish singer so it’s definitely all in my head and not vocalised! Once I’m cycling I generally find any music helps me take my mind off my legs and helps to keep me moving forward. It’s always welcome to have a strong beat playing when tackling a tough hill.

In three words please summarise what you feel about this challenge.
Please be sunny!

We wish everyone taking part the very best of luck. Every penny you can spare, however small is very much appreciated. If you’d like to support Team Gallagher please donate here.

If you would like to find out more about the Lighthouse Club and the work they do helping construction workers and their families please visit lighthouseclub.org.