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Joe Noonan was accompanied by a number of local cyclists on his 30km Community Bike Ride from Shannon to Quin and back. He is pictured holding the bike with, from left Judie Beck, Pete McCaul, Colin McIlrath, Jim Fogarty and Audrey O’Connor. Photograph by Eugene McCafferty

Get on your bike in Shannon for fitness and fun

ESB Apprentice Moneypoint

CYCLING enthusiast Joe Noonan leads a group of cyclists on Wednesdays mornings from the Old Lodge, as they head out to Quin and back.

The cycles go at 10am and Joe says he wants to give people the chance to share his passion for cycling.

“It’s going well, usually there’d be six or seven people. It’s open to everyone over 18.

“I took up cycling as a hobby in 2010, I didn’t really have a hobby before then, I’d have played hurling when I was younger but I had stopped playing sport.

“I bought a bike through work and joined a cycling club, the Clare Crusaders in Ennis, a guy called Ollie Hayes helped to get me into it, and he was kind of doing what I’m doing now.”

He is delighted to be helping people to get more exercise and to develop their fitness.

“I was looking online and I saw there was a course you can do. I wanted to get more people involved in cycling. Some people are nervous, some people have bikes but haven’t used them.

“Not everyone likes GAA or the gym so this is a different pastime. I discovered it myself and really liked it, so I thought more people should have the chance to discover it. This is a stepping stone for them.”

The cycles are free and people can book a place here.

Meanwhile, Louise Craig is organising an event called The Odd Socks Cycle which will take place in April.

“There is a great committee and we’re all doing little bits and bringing it together,” she said.

“It’s in aid of Down Syndrome Clare and they’re helping us to organise it as well. There’s two routes, the 100km and the 50km. We don’t have any massive climbs on it, we’re going for massive smiles!”

She said that Down Syndrome have an awareness day around the theme of odd socks, which they are tying into.

The route will take in places such as Quin, Kilkishen, Bodyke and Broadford, before coming back through Newmarket to Shannon.

Funds will be raised through entry fees and there may be a raffle also.

“People will pay an entry fee, we’re currently trying to raise a few spot prizes and to have a raffle as well, so members of the public, if they aren’t cycling, can support it by buying a raffle ticket.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.