Last Sunday, the Orwell Youths went on an away day to Lucan BMX club. It is one of a series of a trips they will be doing over the winter, introducing them to different disciplines and will include MTBing, CX, Track and Crit cycling. If anyone of you thought that BMXing was easy peasy, be warned - there is a reason they insist on full face masks.

There is a fascinating article on the building on of the track at before it was opened in April 2014.

The low centre of gravity of bikes are a bit of shock at first sight to those used to the sleek carbon steed of the road. The BMX are first and foremost about fun. They do however lack a little in the comfort stakes and most of the riding is done standing up of even while flying through the air.

A good mix of the youth section turned for the day, in appalling windy conditions, from young Leo Andersons on his balance bike (with no pedals) up to top juniors like Sean Murnane and Naoise Sheridan. Slightly hairier youths Ivan O’Brien and Valdis Andersons also gave it a twirl.

Here, Andrew Ryan tells you about his day:

  "Standing at the top of the ramp I wondered how on earth my dad talked me into this. I got a rush of adrenaline and was off, jumping up and down off the ramp, not knowing whether to brake or not . Before I knew it the lap was finished and I was ready to go again. After a few goes we were allowed to use the starting gate. I saw some people doing track stands against it but that was too much to ask for my first time and there was a gale force wind. It was something quite different from the road bike and which I would definitely do again. Thanks to Jen Sheridan and LucanBMX for the super day out."

Andrew at the starting gate

Andrew's memory must have been affected as he neglects to tell you about racing Uisneach Sheridan taking flight off the first ramp, and soaring through the air gracefully, aided and abetted by the gales, until at last the wheels touched down, followed very swiftly thereafter by his knees, elbow and face mask. Uisneach doesn't seem to have let it affect his day though:

  "On Sunday 29th of November a group of Orwell youth riders met up in Corkagh Park to drive to St. Catherine's Park in Lucan to go BMXing. It was a very cold windy day but we were all wrapped up warm ready to learn new skills. We met the BMX coach, Eamonn who told us all we needed to know and told us not to jump over the jumps as it was too windy, we might blow away! We all got fitted out on bikes and full face helmets, we all rode round the course lots of times and then Eamon let us use the start gate, we all had lots of fun, there were a few falls but everyone was ok. I am really looking forward to the next time we go."

Uisneach tackles the course

Valdis was so impressed by the whole experience that he is running an adults taster session in February. More details on the forum.

There's also more photos available on Facebook thanks to Jen, Ivan and Stephen Ryan.