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Homepage  »  About Us  »  Club History

On 27th October 2010 a group of cyclists from the Castlecomer area met to discuss the idea of forming a club in the area. Present at the meeting were, Seanie Holden, Jimmy ‘Foxo’ Doyle, Pat Maher, Danny Lawlor, Keith Normoyle, Mike Holland and Brendan Downey. Deenside Wheelers was decided upon as the name for the new cycling club based in the Castlecomer area of North Kilkenny.

The idea of forming a club has sprung from the huge interest that cycling has witnessed over the last three years in the area. The push forward to form a club at this time is seen as the correct course to take as a result of the very successful Castlecomer Cycle Challenge, an event a few of us organised to raise funds for the Day Care Centre in Castlecomer. In it's first year, 2009, the event attracted 59 cyclists and in 2010 this figure grew to 254. The latest edition, the first since the formation of Deenside Wheelers, was held in October 2011 with Sean Kelly, one of the greatest cyclists of all time, as the guest of honour. This attracted over 500 cyclists to Castlecomer and was a huge success with over €10,000 being raised for the two chosen charities, Castlecomer Day Care Centre and the Carlow-Kilkenny Homecare Team.

Castlecomer Cycle Challenge has become a recognised event on the calendar which attracted many of our entrants. We had visitors from Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Carlow, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Tipperary and even Scarriff Co. Clare. We ran two courses 50km and 100kms, 150 cyclists completed the shorter course and 350 enjoyed and complimented our choice of route for the 100km cycle, deemed by cyclists of all abilities to be suitable for the time of year on good road surfaces.

The Castlecomer Challenge is well supported by local organisations with Eurospar providing food and refreshments since the events inception. The event initially started and finished at the Discovey Park and in 2011 this was moved to Erin's Own GAA grounds. There has been great support from locals every year in keeping the cyclists fed and watered at each of the food stops.

The Early Years

Castlecomer has been familiar with the dropped handlebars synonymous with racing bikes for many years. Tom Coady RIP of Skehana was a successful cyclist of years gone by and his sons organise an annual field race to this day. Paddy Dunphy the famous Greyhound trainer and English Derby winner was also a noted cyclist.

In the 1970s regular races were held locally with large crowds gathering on the square to cheer on Patsy Egan, Dick Preston, Willie Craig and friends.

There was a small amount of cycling in the area for years (Joe Sixsmith always out on his wheels) with an increased interest in the 1980s coinciding with the success of World Number One Sean Kelly and Tour de France Winner Stephen Roche.

Danny Lawlor has been flying the flag for cycling in the town of Castlecomer for many years being a one time member of Blazing Saddles cycling Club. Danny raced competitively on a few occasions and now as part of the club is a great ambassador for the sport.

In the parish of Clogh another keen cyclist was pedalling away solo. Jimmy Doyle heard his father and workmates talking of cycling to Croke Park to see Kilkenny playing hurling our unique national sport. He decided to travel in their tracks and one September Saturday cycled the 100km to Dublin solo. After a few runs Jimmy invited Michael Maher to join him and gradually an annual charity event was established but only if Kilkenny were playing in the All-Ireland Final!

In 2007 the cycle starting point was moved to Kilkenny where CCPI were the charity recipients and several locals became overnight cyclists. This charity connection to cycling has been the catalyst to popular group cycling in Castlecomer. Many beginners borrowed mountain bikes and all sorts of heavy machines to do ‘their bit for charity’.

Through friends we were introduced to Brendan O’Reilly from Thomastown a keen cyclist of some extraordinary ability and a dab hand at repairing, advising and sizing cyclists from North Kilkenny.

The result of these men’s interest in cycling is that we, in just three short years, have established a core of cyclists numbering at least 100 people in the Deenside area who are well-informed, well trained, and competent. In May 2010 a group of these cyclists took on the mammoth task of cycling from Mizen Head to Malin Head and they went the longer scenic route! Congrats to Pat and Michael Maher, Jimmy Doyle, Sean Love, Seanie Holden, John Dowd and Ger Campion.