Following on with our Five Minute Series we are talking to our hard working Club Secretary Fergal O'Sullivan this week. Fergal has been a club member for over 10 years and in that time has helped run the Orwell Randonnee, sat on the committee in various roles, helped with many many club spins and still managed to find time to ride his own bike! Find out more about the man behind those "membership reminder" emails here.......

Age: Currently 50, turning 51 at the end of the month.

How many years with Orwell?  As far as I can remember 10  years

How did you get into cycling? 

I started going out on an old mountain bike with Mr Orange and Rodney, after trying to keep up with them I decided it was time to return the mountain bike to the shed and get a road bike, I still couldn’t keep up with them but I persisted. That was the start of me on road bikes.

Tell us a little about your sporting history?

The only other sport that I was involved in was Tae Kwon Do, I spent a few years doing it in Cork before moving to Dublin. I did attempt to go back to it recently, all was going well and my fitness was greatly improved until one night I broke my collar bone and that put an end to that – what made it worse was it was the day before I was due to do the Ring of Kerry.

What made you choose Orwell Wheelers?

Having purchased my first road bike and going for cycles on my own, my brother advised me to join a club as they would push me when it came to the hills, he did mean push as in encourage me – I was looking for me push in the form of physically push me up the hills. As my brother had cycled a number of Audax events with Dave Mc he recommend Orwell as they were a good club and possibly the nearest club to me. 

What types of cycling do you do and what do you enjoy about it?.

I was never built for speed so the events and cycles that I prefer are leisurely (yellow and hopefully some day Orange) paced events that are either multi day leisure events (Malin – Mizen, Wild Atlantic Way, Dublin – Cork – Galway) or one day events. The best thing about the multi day events are the range of people that you get to meet on them and craic that you have in the evenings etc.

What bikes do you own?

At the moment I have 3 bikes, Giant TCR, Trek 400 and my favourite KTM but as with every club cyclist always looking to upgrade.

Your greatest cycling highs / achievements?

My main two cycling achievements are completing the Rugby Legends 7 days Atlantic challenge and Malin to Mizen for the Jack and Jill foundation

Fergal with Sean Kelly on the Dublin-Cork-Galway cycle

Your biggest cycling lows/disappointments?

My biggest low was on day 6 of the Atlantic challenge we were coming back in from Belmullet heading to Ballina and going through the Ceide Fields I collapsed on the bike from exhaustion as the head wind all day was the worse I was ever in

Your cycling heroes/role models?

I don’t really have any heroes or role models in a cycling manner or in life, I would take different traits from people and try to combine them into one.

Your favourite training route/coffee stop?

My favourite training spin is the coast road to Wicklow town and back through Ashford, Newtown Mount Kennedy, waving on and off the N81 – yes I do like N11 and back through Berry Fields. Favourite coffee shop would have to be Fishers, or the one in xxxxxxxx – if I tell you, everyone will go there and it will be too busy, sorry.

If you could pick one person to go on a cycle with?

Michael Schumacher

Fergal in Mallorca with fellow Orwell Wheelers

You have been very active in the Club - helping beginners, one of the randonnee organisers and volunteering to be on the club committee. Why do you do it and how do you keep your patience?

My way of thinking about organisations etc that I join is that I like to try and give back something to them in return for what I get, to date I have had 10 good years in the club where I have made good friends, learnt a lot so I try to give some of it back. On one of my early spins in the club I decided that I would move up a level on the Sunday spins – I learnt a very valuable lesson and realised what being a member of Orwell meant. I cramped to such an extent that I couldn’t even pedal any bit on the hills and two of the group had to physically push me (and I’m built for comfort not speed) a lot of the way back to Roundwood, the group didn’t abandon me and waited – I’m just doing the same for the current members. The Committee and the Randonnee is me doing my bit to try and ensure that Orwell is there well after I stop cycling.

Tell us something we don’t know about you already and you don’t mind the general public knowing?

I wouldn't be the best when it comes to heights

Fergal completing the Great Dublin Bike Ride with daughter Roisin
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