Nuala Goes From Zero To Sportive Rider

A complete newcomer to cycling , Nuala Curran completed the Alzheimer’s 20/20 Challenge Sportive in Omagh, (19th May).

Nuala is part of our Leisure Licence initiative, Read her inspirational event report in her own words below:


“As a novice to cycling this was an enduring challenge I set myself. My aim was simply to get fitterand to set an example to my three young children.

So where would I start? Where would I get the time?
Money for a bike & equipment? .

I had to start somewhere and resurrected an old mountain bike from the shed!

The first night I went out on a small training run, (on my mountain bike) everyone
came well equipped with a proper road bike. After a couple of miles an experienced cyclist who was with us said “I think we should turn back” – he could see that it was challenging for me and everyone else was flying on, but I said no and wouldn’t let it beat me.

That first night on Wednesday 24th April was an endurance I will never forget, but one which I thoroughly enjoyed and it is where it all began.

I kindly got offered a loan of a proper road bike and the difference was day and night, I soon realised that I really could do this and with the right equipment, which I will get over time, it will become all the more enjoyable!

The sportive for Alzheimer’s was approaching in Omagh Co.Tyrone on Sunday 19th May, which was less than 4 weeks away.

Never did I think I would complete it .. but thought, well sure I will give it a go and it will identify where I am at in terms of Sportive’s.

Training started three nights a week from my local GAA club, Monday Wednesday & Friday.
My three children would accompany me down to the GAA pitch on their bike’s, they would continue with their training and I would head off with a small group of novice cyclists.

Starting with 10mile, then increasing to 15 mile and eventually 24mile was the most I had done before last Sunday in Omagh.

I completed, what was supposed to be 30mile Sportive but actually was 31.8mile, in 1hour and 45 mins at an average speed of 16.3mph (someone who I was cycling with had a tracker on their bike) the feeling of accomplishment and pride was unbelievable!

Not only for completing the 30mile, but the course was horrendous in terms of hills, I had never seen anything like the hills around the countryside in Co.Tyrone, even some experienced cyclists had said they found it tough,  

So will I keep it up?

Yes most definitely, I have already set myself a new challenge and that is to
complete a 50mile Sportive in Armagh in June and then prepare to do 97mile around Lough Neagh in August “Lap the lough”

It is a challenge and one that will not be taken lightly, the thing I find most
challenging is the time, but continuing with three nights a week at 30 mile and then increasing those at weekends I hope and believe that it is achievable!

My aim is to continue cycling and eventually save enough money to buy my own 2nd hand road bike, that I can call my own!”

Nuala Curran


Read Marion Goodalls Dingle Challenge Here: