Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I join? It’s free to cycle on the roads.

There are several advantages of being a member of the club. Firstly, your membership includes membership of Cycling Ireland, so any time you are participating in a club event or official club training, you are covered by your Cycling Ireland insurance. Additionally, you become part of a like-minded group of people. Our membership age range spans half a century, but we all have one thing in common – we love cycling. We do try to subsidise our club events, so at only €66 a year, you do get value for money.

Can I join the club without joining Cycling Ireland?

There is a category of Cycling Ireland membership called “supporter”, which allows you to be a member of a club, and covers you insurance-wise for all aspects of a club event except the actual cycle. For example, you may want to help out as a marshall but not ride. If you want to cycle, after two guest rides, you must become a full member of Cycling Ireland to participate in club rides.

What if I’m not sure? Do you have trial memberships?

Every year we hold a number of events during bike week. These are designed for people new to the sport who would really like to give it a try. But we don’t restrict newbies to just one week in June. If you’d like to find out a bit more about being a member of a cycling club, do come along and join us on a club spin. Guests are most welcome, but after 2 rides you will need to either join the club or buy a day license in order to cover your insurance.

What would happen if I got a puncture? I wouldn’t know what to do.

If you’ve never had a puncture, you haven’t cycled enough! Everyone has a puncture every now and again, and it doesn’t take long to sort it out. We recommend you bring a spare inner tube and a pump with you on every ride, and even if you don’t know how to change the tube, somebody will. It’s very unusual for a mechanical to be terminal; we’ve got people home all sorts of ways after all sorts of breakdowns. It’s nothing to worry about, and it all just adds to the club folklore.

Is there a minimum standard you have to attain before you join?

No. The very fact you want to cycle, means you’ve already attained the minimum standard. We are a NON exclusive club and we welcome all members regardless of gender, race, religion or cycling ability.

Will everyone be really fit?

Not at all. There are rides and distances to suit all levels, ages and abilities. Don’t worry if you don’t think you’re fit enough, you will probably surprise yourself. We never leave anyone behind, and remember, no-one is born able to cycle, every club member has been a beginner at some stage.

Do you hold racing events?

There are races, time trials, hill climbs, sportives, mountain bike races and every conceivable type of competition. Not all are necessarily run by Tir Chonnail, although we do have time trial training plus 6 big events each year. We support our neighbouring clubs’ events and they support ours. Our neighbours, Donegal Bay CC, ran a very successful racing series this summer, with many of our members participating, and doing rather well! If you wanted to, you could compete every week of the year.

I’d like to learn mountain biking but I’ve never tried it.

There are many different mountain biking disciplines: cross country, enduro, downhill etc. Our trail has some quite technical sections, which some members are still trying to master. But we’ve plenty of experts willing to help out. Wednesday nights are a great way to start mountain biking, as it’s more off-roading than technical. You’ll learn to ride on lots of new types of terrain, and you’ll see views of the county you never knew about. And yes, you will get dirty!