Ballyferriter native Tomás Mac an t-Saoir generously shared his top tips and hacks with us recently, well worth a read!
- Enjoy it! Granted at the beginning it can be daunting, but after a few weeks you’ll get the hang of it and it won’t be any bother to you. They are many adventures in store for you. Travelling by bicycle is one of the greatest life gifts, you can go where you want, as long as you want and at your own pace. Just grab your bike and take off! Don’t stress about fancy bikes or gear, just go out and ride. And bit by bit build up slowly, give your body time to adapt to bigger distances. Use your gears, especially on the climbs, drink and eat enough to keep yourself fuelled, to avoid a cyclist’s worst nightmare – the bonk. But don’t worry, it’s happens to everyone. Check for a local club and get familiar with riding in a group. It’s great to have some company while you’re out cycling!
- Be realistic. If it’s your first sportive, it’s probably best not to enter a 200km sportive or a hilly sportive. Set a realistic goal and conquer it. Try get out on some long rides, 100km +. Fuel properly during your ride and drink enough fluids, recover properly afterwards. Oh, and don’t forget to rest! You do not need to ride your bike every day of the week. Take some rest days. Learn to ride in a group as you can save tons of energy by sheltering behind other cyclists, but you need to learn how to ride in group formation and be 100% comfortable in doing so. And maybe one of the most important things – pace yourself! Fly out of the blocks too early, and you may risk burn out and burn your legs out. Take your time, it isn’t a race!
Tomás’ top 5 cycling hacks:
- Enjoy it and always smile, even if it’s raining!
- Don’t overtrain. If you feel you need a rest, then take a rest day.
- Don’t go crazy on downhills, it isn’t worth the risk.
- It’s a great way to see the world! If you have an opportunity, book yourself a cycle tour…. You won’t regret it!
- Maintain your bike! Look after it and it’ll look after you!
Tomás Mac an t-Saoir was educated in Ballyferriter and Dingle before graduating from NUIG in 2016 with a degree in Irish and History. Since 2016 he pursued a different type of education and cycled 5000km across American and followed that trip with an 11,000km cycle down the length of Africa in 2018/2019. Tomás is currently planning his biggest cycle tour to date in January 2020 when he plans on cycling home from New Zealand. In between these trips he is usually found at home working in his family pub (Tigh an t-Saorsaigh) in Ballyferriter, or else around the roads of Kerry working as a cycle tour guide with his uncle’s company, Green Road Cycle Tours.