The Hurt Locker

For those of you unfamiliar with the various club runs that established VC Iveagh…let me enlighten you.  It all started with weekend spins; with the Saturday run perceived to be slightly quicker than the Sunday social and hence two very different names emerged for the different runs.  Firstly Saturdays spin became known as the 9.03am ‘Pain train’ which departs from the tearooms in Scarva, with Sundays adopting the title of the ‘Bun Run’, leaving from Banbridge at a more relaxed 9.30am.

The question I’m sure everyone is asking themselves is why 9.03am?  Well that’s easy…I was always late and I knew that if I said it was a 9.03am start and not 9am start often enough, people would think, well that’s what time it’s supposed to be.  Just think how crucial those three minutes can be when getting ready in the morning – a full cup as opposed to a couple of rushed mouthfuls; remembering food for the back pocket or even more importantly…letting the better half sleep in until 8am (all about the brownie points).  The titles may be different, but they have common themes in that both will aim to cover 50 miles; include a coffee/tea stop (weather permitting) and where possible, ensure everyone gets home together as a group.  Yes the Saturday spin may be quicker and at times the hurt being dished out as the average speed creeps up is as stinging in the legs as it is burning in lungs…but the boys wouldn’t have it any other way and hence the name ‘pain train’ was born!!!  Having ridden a few of the bun runs also, it’s advisable to have a couple of miles in the legs to make it enjoyable for all concerned.

As the club has developed over the past three years, other club runs have also developed to reflect this.  With Thursday evening being set aside for club events, the Wednesday evening ‘easy’ spin was established, with the main focus to get those riders new to cycling comfortable with group riding and to give people an opportunity to experience club riding. We have also split both the Saturday and Sunday runs into a virtual ‘A’ and ‘B’ runs with the addition of a ‘Saturday Social’ and Sunday ‘Pain Train’, this gives everyone the opportunity to choose the ride average for that day.


Now…the latest club run to emerge and which is currently operating on a Wednesday evening; but only until the clocks spring forward is the fabled ‘Hurt Locker’!  Now don’t be getting any ideas and thinking this is similar to Christian Grey’s playroom in 50 Shades, the only thing those who sign up to this spin get familiar with is 2.8miles of tarmac with an upward curve…however there is plenty of hurt, but no safe words…especially when the bearded one is present!  Traditionally I have done all my higher intensity interval training in preparation for race season by myself…no commitment to turn up if the legs feel heavy…no wheel to chase when dropped…basically it was too easy to avoid the red zone of hurt.  At this time of the year you need the help of others to turn yourself inside out and hence the shout went out to fellow VC Iveagh club mates and to my surprise six turned up.  The banter at the car park was good, however as soon riders set off up the Scarva Drag not a word is spoken until the turn…complete silence Benedictine monks on a vow of silence would be proud of.  The basic format of the ‘hurt locker’ is that riders arrive at 7.30pm, ready to go.  Your ability, (current) fitness level and attitude to pain dictate the head start you are afforded over everyone else.  Presently the biggest is three minutes, but after last week that is under review!!!  The ‘Hurt Locker’ consists of only three repeats at the minute, but there is chat of a progression to four repeats next week and with racing only five weeks away, the boys are hungry for more pain!  In terms of stats and I love my stats; the ‘Hurt Locker’ equates to roughly 10 minutes of riding a bike uphill with your heart beating at 181bpm – love it!  If I had to describe the ‘Hurt Locker’ when compared to other club runs…it’s the 9.03am Pain Trains slightly smaller, but more aggressive wee brother!!!

One thought on “The Hurt Locker

  1. The hurt locker definitely got ratcheted up a few notches this week…almost 800watts being outputted & the heart thumping at over 180bpm…brutal, but reflecting back now-well worth it & I can’t wait til the 1st time trial to reap the benefits!!! Over the 3wks there have been 9 different members participating & not one complaint yet…maybe an extra repeat is needed!!!!


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