FAQ Croí Tour de Lough Corrib Charity Cycle

The Tour de Lough Corrib 2018 charity cycle will take place Sunday June 10th starting from Dangan Sports Pavillion, Dangan, Newcastle, Galway (Google Map https://goo.gl/maps/cw7zsyaTq5T2 )

 Does everyone get a jersey?

No, this is a fundraising event, we ask participants to try and raise at least €100 (minimum €50) to help us continue our vital work in communities throughout the region. As always we have some great fundraising incentives:


€50+ We ask that all participants raise or donate a minimum of €50 to ride in the Tour de Lough Corrib Cycle. 100% goes to supporting our lifesaving work. Reach this fundraising milestone and you will also receive an exclusive Tour De Lough Corrib finishers t-shirt.

€150+ Reach this fundraising milestone and you will be rewarded with a limited edition 2018 Tour de Lough Corrib custom design limited cycling jersey and finishers t-shirt.

€250+ For our elite fundraisers who reach this milestone you will be in with a fantastic Bike Package to the value of €1,000 in addition to our limited cycling jersey and finishers t-shirt.

What time does Registration start?

Registration opens at 7.10am at Dangan Sports Pavilion, Newcastle, Galway (https://goo.gl/maps/cw7zsyaTq5T2). At registration you will receive your event ID badge, you NEED this to get access to the food stations and road support. If you raise €150+ you will also get your jersey.

When do I get my jersey?

Jersey’s can be collected on the morning of the cycle at Dangan Sports Pavilion (start area).

When do I bring my sponsorship?

At registration, please bring your sponsorship money to the registration desk on the morning of the cycle.

How much do I need to raise?

This is a fundraising event, we ask participants to try and raise at least €100 (minimum €50) to help us continue our vital work in communities throughout the region.

Can I get a refund?

There are no refunds, all sponsorship is viewed as a charitable donation.

Will there be bike repair on the routes?

Please ensure your bike is checked before departure, pump your wheels and ensure you have spare tubes for your wheels. Bike mechanics are available on the routes.

What time does the cycle start at?

  • The 120km cycle starts at 8.15am
  • The 80km cycle starts at 8.20 am
  • The 45km cycle starts at 8.25am
  • All cycles start from the Sports Pavillion at Dangan, Newcaslte, Galway (Google Map https://goo.gl/maps/cw7zsyaTq5T2 )  and finish at Croí Centre, Newcastle, Galway (Google Map https://goo.gl/maps/Lm4gbfg9C2B2).

Please leave plenty of time to get to the event sign on as there will be a lot of traffic in the area. Registration opens at 7.10am.

Where can I park my car?

There will be adequate parking in place at the start line – Dangan Sports Pavilion, please allow extra time to get parking and event registration. It will be busy.
Please do not park illegally. Please respect the residents of Newcastle and commercial premises in the area.

45KM Route Map
Starting at the NUIG Regional Sports Pavilion in Dangan, all riders will turn left onto the N59 and ride along Newcastle Road. At the Traffic lights, turn left onto the Quincentennial Bridge and follow the signs to Headford. The Route then follows onto Headford. Riders will turn at Headford and back to finish at Croí Heart and Stroke Centre. 45KM google map. 

80KM Route Map
Starting at the NUIG Regional Sports Pavilion in Dangan, all riders will turn left onto the N59 and ride along Newcastle Road. At the Traffic Lights, turn left onto the Quincentennial Bridge and follow the signs to Headford. The Route then follows through Headford, onto Cong. Riders will turn at Cong and back to finish at Croí Heart and Stroke Centre. 80KM google map.

120KM Route Map

Starting at the NUIG Regional Sports Pavilion in Dangan, all riders will turn left onto the N59 and ride along Newcastle Road. At the Traffic Lights, turn left onto the Quincentennial Bridge and follow the signs to Headford. The Route then follows through Headford, onto Cong, Maam, Maam Cross, Oughterard, Moycullen and will finish at the Croí Heart & Stroke. 120KM google map.

Where are the refreshment stops?

120km refreshment stops:
There are 4 refreshment stops for the 120km route

1. Headford (outside Joyces Hardware)

2. Cong (outside petrol station)

3. Maam Community Centre

4. Oughterard

5. Home to Croí House

80km  refreshment stops

  1. Headford (outside Joyces Hardware)
  2. Cong (outside petrol station)
  3. Home to Croí House

45km refreshment stops

  1. Headford (outside Joyces Hardware)
  2. Home to Croí House

We recommend you also bring also your own supply of cycling gels, bars and drinks.

Do rules of the road apply?

YES.  This event is not a closed road event and you must adhere to the normal rules of the road.

  • Cycling on the route is maximum of two a breast.
    • The event is not a race and you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others on the road.
    • Croí directional signs will be placed throughout the route and marshals will be evident throughout the route. Please remember marshals are only there to assist. You must check for oncoming traffic at all junctions.
    • All participants will be provided with an emergency contact number in the case of an emergency on the route. Please note this is not a number for bike repairs.
    • Please ensure you have spare tubes in the event of a puncture and do not rely on the emergency number for help with changing punctures etc.
    • No earphones permitted

What happens after the event?

After the event a welcome home to Croí House you can rest and enjoy our famous race hospitality – home baked goodies, tea, coffee and sandwiches!

Are there showers at the finish line?

No showers available.

Are there toilets on the routes.

No additional toilets on route, there will be plenty of petrol stations en route and you can ask to use their facilities. There are toilets at Cong, Maam.

What if I need first aid?

Irish Red Cross ambulances will be on all routes. Should you require assistance please call emergency number on your final confirmation email. In case of an emergency dial 999 for ambulance and then call emergency event number.

Are the routes well sing posted?

Yes, there will be Croí directional signage on all routes, including marshals to support you. Remember rules of the road apply.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

Yes, bring the following

  • Helmet
  • Water bottle(s)
  • Puncture repair kit and spare tubes
  • Mobile Phone with credit
  • Snacks
  • Sunblock
  • Rain jacket
  • Emergency money and ID

Is the jersey unisex?

Yes, and typically the jerseys are tight fitting.

Anything else?

Yes, please respect the volunteers, marshals and medics on the route they are there for your safety. Please bring rubbish with you to the next refreshment stop if snacking on the route.

Enjoy the ride!!!

For any additional information please contact Edwina Event Manager on 091 544310 or email edwina@Croi.ie

Week 1: Tour de Lough Corrib Cycling Tips for the weekend

Welcome to Tour de Lough Corrib Cycling Tips for the weekend!

The countdown is on with less than one month to go until the 23rd annual Tour de Lough Corrib charity cycle in aid of Croi. For the next four weeks we’re going to share some cycling tips to help you get prepped for Sunday 4th June.

As they say “safety first!” – Week 1’s cycling tips is all about safety. .Your safety is most important, so be sure practice safety at all times when on your bike!

1. Wear a Helmet

This is absolutely essential. Wearing a helmet can save your life in an accident. So whether you’re new to cycling or a professional, anything can happen so ensure you’re protected. Ensure your helmet is of good quality, the correct size and fastened properly when riding.

NOTE: All cyclists participating in the Tour de Lough Corrib cycle must be wearing a helmet to be permitted to join the event.

2. Check your Bike

Before setting off on a long cycle it’s important to give your bike a once over. Your brakes are vitally important so be sure to test them and ensure they’re in working order. Check your tires for air and look out for possible punctures and finally test your gears to ensure they’re also working correctly.

Finally if you’re new to cycling it’s vital to have your bike correctly set up, so be sure your saddle, handle bars and frame are suitable for your size. This will make a significant difference and make cycling must easier on long distances.

NOTE: We recommend that all cyclist participating in the Tour de Lough Corrib cycle have their bike serviced before taking part in the event.

3. Stay Hydrated

When setting out on a long cycle it’s important you have plenty of H2O with you. Bring a bottle of water with you so you’re never left short. There will be refreshment stops along the Tour de Lough Corrib route so you’ll have an opportunity to fill up your bottle at these stops.

If you have any questions relating to Tour de Lough Corrib cycle please join us on Facebook to keep up to date or email Edwina@Croi.ie

The 23rd annual Tour de Lough Corrib takes place Sunday 10th June 2018. Register HERE.




Our 2018 cycle jersey!! 

What is Cardiovascular Disease (heart disease)?

Heart and blood vessel disease — also called heart disease — includes numerous problems, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die. Most people survive their first heart attack and return to their normal lives to enjoy many more years of productive activity. But having a heart attack does mean you have to make some changes. The doctor will advise you of medications and lifestyle changes according to how badly the heart was damaged and what degree of heart disease caused the heart attack. Learn more about heart attack.

An ischemic stroke (the most common type) happens when a blood vessel that feeds the brain gets blocked, usually from a blood clot. When the blood supply to a part of the brain is shut off, brain cells will die. The result will be the inability to carry out some of the previous functions as before like walking or talking. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel within the brain bursts. The most likely cause is uncontrolled hypertension (blood pressure).

Some effects of stroke are permanent if too many brain cells die after a stroke due to lack of blood and oxygen to the brain. These cells are never replaced. The good news is that some brain cells don’t die — they’re only temporarily out of order. Injured cells can repair themselves. Over time, as the repair takes place, some body functioning improves. Also, other brain cells may take control of those areas that were injured. In this way, strength may improve, speech may get better and memory may improve. This recovery process is what rehabilitation is all about. Learn more about stroke.

Other Types of Cardiovascular Disease

Heart failure: This doesn’t mean that the heart stops beating. Heart failure, sometimes called congestive heart failure, means the heart isn’t pumping blood as well as it should. The heart keeps working, but the body’s need for blood and oxygen isn’t being met. Heart failure can get worse if it’s not treated. If your loved one has heart failure, it’s very important to follow the doctor’s orders. Learn more about heart failure.

Arrhythmia: This is an abnormal rhythm of the heart. There are various types of arrhythmias. The heart can beat too slow, too fast or irregularly. Bradycardia is when the heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute. Tachycardia is when the heart rate is more than 100 beats per minute. An arrhythmia can affect how well the heart works. The heart may not be able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Learn more about arrhythmia.

Heart valve problems: When heart valves don’t open enough to allow the blood to flow through as it should, it’s called stenosis. When the heart valves don’t close properly and allow blood to leak through, it’s called regurgitation. When the valve leaflets bulge or prolapse back into the upper chamber, it’s a condition called prolapse. Discover more about the roles your heart valves play in healthy circulation and learn more about heart valve disease.

Content courtesy of Americian Heart Association

Heart healthy egg muffins

Makes 12 Egg muffins


  • 6 eggs
  • Tomato
  • Mushroom
  • Red pepper
  • Kidney beans

(or choose a filling of choice, can also use spinach, broccoli, onion, sweet corn etc)


  • Preheat oven to 180°.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs.
  • Add red pepper, tomato, mushroom, kidney beans a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • In a preheated muffin tray add the mixture filing to the top
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the centre comes out clean.

Freeze option: Cool baked egg muffins. Cover and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets and freeze until firm. Transfer to resealable plastic freezer bags; return to freezer. To use, place in greased muffin pan, cover loosely with foil and reheat in a preheated 350° oven until heated through. Or, microwave each muffin on high 30-60 seconds or until heated through. Enjoy!

Meal planning – why we all should!

Having a meal plan means that you can go more on autopilot – the thinking and planning has already been done and you should have the right ingredients and time to create the meal you need to.

1 – More organised meal times!

There’s nothing more frustrating than opening all the kitchen cupboards to see what you have – waiting for inspiration to hit as to what to cook – only nothing stands out!

Time you spend thinking about what to cook could actually have been spent cooking meal and getting it done so that you can spend more time afterwards doing something else that you want to do.

Having a meal plan means that you can go more on autopilot – the thinking and planning has already been done and you should have the right ingredients and time to create the meal you need to.

2 – Less bad choices

Having no clear plan for meals often leads us to make bad choices with what we eat.

Takeaways or ready meals seem to be a quicker option and can easily become habits if we’re not careful, and actually there are many meals that are just as quick and easy but a lot healthier for you that can be made in the same amount of time.

Meal planning removes the need to make a choice when you’re hungry and/or tired, and planning up front with a clear head means you are more likely to try and plan healthier foods most of the time.

3 – More balance

Meal planning means you are more likely to be able to create a more balanced week of food as you are thinking about it up front and can see any repetitions before they actually happen.

Even though each meal you eat may be really healthy, if you only look at one meal at a time (which will happen if you don’t meal plan), then you can all too easily lose sight of the bigger picture and create a less balanced diet as a result.

4 – More variety

Seeing what you are eating for the next week/month written down can alert you to any patterns of bad habits you may want to change, and often can give you the push to try new things or change things round a little more often, which can only be a good thing!

5 – Less food waste and more money saved

If you can create meal plans that use food wisely (what you already have, leftovers, freezing batches of food etc…) then you will start to see a natural reduction in how much food you waste.

Buying only what you need for your meals that are already planned out, and not being swayed by bulk special offers, can avoid throwing out lots of food you haven’t been able to eat in time (before the expiry date) – which will also save money over time.

Top tip!

Encourage the whole family to get involved in the planning and preparation of weekly meals.

5 reasons to shop with a grocery list

Not many people like the weekly trip to the supermarket. Make it easier on yourself by using a weekly grocery list — our top 5 reasons why not to leave the house without one!

1. A grocery list is a tool for meal planning. What should you put on your list? Take some time to think about what you need vs. what you want, research some new recipes, think of the staples that you eat daily, and voila! You’ve planned some meals for the week.

2. A grocery list saves you money. When you make a list before going to the grocery store, you’ll likely spend less on impulse purchases and stick to the aisles that have the foods you are looking for.

3. A grocery list saves you time. A list prepares you for navigating the aisles and helps to limit the mindless wandering or “what should I buy for dinner tonight” moments. Which could take more than a few minutes to ponder!

4. A grocery list helps with food waste. Your trolley is bigger than your stomach. Much bigger. Buying more than you and your family will eat may lead to food spoiling— especially if you don’t eat it in time!

5. A grocery list saves your waistline. Planned shopping trips might just be healthier— if you want them to be. Making a healthy foods list at home vs. shopping without a list will help to keep you on track.

Week 4: Tour de Lough Corrib Cycling Tips for the Weekend

We’re on the countdown to the 22nd annual Tour de Lough Corrib on Sunday 4th June with only one week to go!

In this week’s Cycling Tips for The Weekend we’re giving you our Top 3 Cycling Tips to ensure you’re all set up for next weekend’s cycle!

1.Safety First!

Your safety is the most important thing when you’re on a bike. Cycling on roads can be dangerous so it’s imperative that you practice safety and obey the rules of the road at all times.

Never ever cycle a bike without a helmet. The wearing of cycle helmets is compulsory during this event. If you do not have a helmet you are NOT permitted to take part in the Tour de Lough Corrib cycling event.

Be aware of your surroundings and cars approaching – Avoid the use of headphones and earphone so that you can hear cars approaching from the rear.

Before setting out on a long cycle it’s important you have your bike serviced to ensure your bike is mechanically sound and road worthy.

2. Stay Hydrated

We all know the importance of hydration – especially when exercising. Before setting out on a cycle, be sure you have a bottle of water with you and you keep well hydrated.

Sufficient fluid intake is essential for exercise and optimum recovery. Exercising causes the body to get warmer, so the body tries to cool down by sweating. This causes the loss of water and salts through the skin. Generally, the more a person sweats, the more they will need to drink.

If the weather is hot please be prepared. You will sweat more therefore you will require more hydration.

Bring a bottle of water with you when setting out on the cycle. There will be stops along the Tour de Lough Corrib route, so you will have an opportunity to refill your bottle at these stops.

3. Fuel Your Body

Fuelling your body with the correct nutrition is important. A healthy diet for sport and exercise should contain plenty of starchy foods, plenty of fruit and vegetables, some protein foods and some dairy foods.


Starchy foods are an important source of carbohydrates in our diet. Wholegrain varieties also provide fibre, which is important for digestive health, and a range of vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, iron, calcium and folate.

Good sources of carbohydrates in the diet include; Bread, oats, wholegrain pasta, brown rice, potatoes (with skins) and other starchy vegetables (e.g. sweetcorn).


Protein is also important for health and physical activity. The main role of protein in the body is for growth, repair and maintenance of body cells and tissues, such as muscle. Good sources of protein include fish, chicken, lean meats, eggs and dairy.


Fat is an essential nutrient for the body, but it is also a rich source of energy. Consuming too much fat can lead to excess energy intake which can lead to weight gain over time. It is important to follow current healthy eating guidelines, ensuring fat intakes are no more than 35% of total energy intake from food, with saturated fat intakes not exceeding 11% of total energy intake from food.

Good sources of fats include vegetable oils such as olive, rapeseed and sunflower oils, avocados, nuts and seeds.

For the full guidelines on nutrition for sports and exercise please read full article here.

Tour de Lough Corrib FAQs

If you have any questions in relation to next week's cycle, please read Tour de Lough Corrib FAQs here or email sarahburke@croi.ie

Happy Cycling!

Hot weather and your heart

How does hot weather affect my heart?

When the weather is hot you sweat to cool down, but this means that you lose more fluid than usual from your body. This can drop your blood pressure and make your heart beat faster. This is not a problem for most people as long as they drink plenty of fluids, like water or other sugar-free drinks to keep from getting dehydrated.

However, if you have a heart problem, extreme heat may place an extra burden on your heart and circulation, so it’s particularly important to stay cool and look after yourself.

What can I do to keep cool?

  • Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water or other sugar-free drinks (Though if you've been told to restrict your fluid intake for medical reasons you should speak to your GP)
  • Avoid drinking too many alcoholic or caffeinated drinks. Caffeine-based drinks can cause you to lose more fluid from your body.
  • Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content. (Though if you've been told to restrict your fluid intake for medical reasons you should speak to your GP)
  • Make sure your home is cool when you're staying indoors.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.
  • Stay out of the heat in the hottest part of the day between 11am and 3pm.
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion.

Hot weather and heart conditions


If you have coronary heart disease, you may find you start to experience angina or your angina worsens during hot weather, because hot weather increases the workload on your heart and the demand for oxygen, especially when you are more active.

Heart failure

It’s particularly important to stay cool if you have heart failure – where your heart doesn't pump as well as it should. If you’ve been told to restrict your fluid intake, speak to your GP about other ways to keep cool during summer. If you take water tablets and start to feel dizzy or light headed let your doctor know. Your dose can then be reduced or stopped for a little while, if needed, until you feel better.

Heat stroke

Losing too much body fluid can increase your internal body temperature, which could be life-threatening if left untreated.

Symptoms of heat stroke include sweating, cold clammy skin, dizziness, fainting, muscle cramps, heat rash, oedema (swelling) in the ankles, shallow or fast breathing, nausea and vomiting.

If you suspect that you or someone else has heat stroke, get medical attention immediately.

Who is most at risk?

Elderly people and very young children have more difficulty in regulating their temperature and so can be more at risk from extreme temperatures. In hot weather, check on your friends and relatives regularly to make sure they are cool and comfortable.

Via British Heart Foundation

Fact sheet about health benefits of smoking cessation

Fact sheet about health benefits of smoking cessation

1. There are immediate and long-term health benefits of quitting for all smokers.

Beneficial health changes that take place:

  • Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2-12 weeks, your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
  • 1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker's.
  • 5 years, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
  • 10 years, your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker and your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decreases.
  • 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.

2. People of all ages who have already developed smoking-related health problems can still benefit from quitting.

Benefits in comparison with those who continued:

  • At about 30: gain almost 10 years of life expectancy.
  • At about 40: gain 9 years of life expectancy.
  • At about 50: gain 6 years of life expectancy.
  • At about 60: gain 3 years of life expectancy.
  • After the onset of life-threatening disease: rapid benefit, people who quit smoking after having a heart attack reduce their chances of having another heart attack by 50%.

3. Quitting smoking decreases the excess risk of many diseases related to second-hand smoke in children.

Quitting smoking decreases the excess risk of many diseases related to second-hand smoke in children, such as respiratory diseases (e.g., asthma) and ear infections.

4. Others benefits.

Quitting smoking reduces the chances of impotence, having difficulty getting pregnant, having premature births, babies with low birth weights and miscarriage.

Published by the World Health Organisation

Fighting the Urge to Smoke

Quitting smoking is the single best thing you could do for your health. Here is some helpful information and tips to help you deal with the withdrawal symptoms and hopefully help you quit for life!

Breaking your smoking habit is going to take time. Nicotine is the addictive ingredient in the cigarette, so when you stop smoking – like any drug addiction – you will experience withdrawal symptoms. While the physical withdrawal from nicotine only lasts a month, it can be uncomfortable, but the health benefits of quitting are immediate and powerful:

♥ Within 20 minutes your blood circulation will improve, your heart rate and blood pressure will lower – immediately reducing your risk of heart attack.

♥ Within 24-48 hours all the carbon monoxide will have left your body.

♥ Within a few days your sense of smell and taste will start to improve.

♥ Within 1 year your chance of a heart attack drops by half and within 10 years the risk drops to almost the same as a non-smoker.

Difficult as they may be, nicotine cravings only last 3- 5 minutes. The key is to try distracting yourself for a few minutes, like drinking a glass of water, going for a 5 minute walk or calling a friend. The craving will lose its power and be gone before you know it. Recent research shows that by using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) or certain other drug treatments you can increase your chances of successfully quitting by as much as 50%. There is a lack of sufficient evidence on the effectiveness of e-cigarettes in helping people quit smoking.

Over the period of a year, a 20 a day smoker accumulates the equivalent of a mug-full of tar in their lungs! Developing a chesty cough or sore throat soon after quitting is often just your body’s way of cleaning your respiratory tract.

Increased anxiety, low mood, or irritability is common when you first give up smoking. These are temporary feelings and will ease after the first four weeks.

Be aware that it’s easy to replace the craving for a cigarette with food, so your goal should be to try and avoid weight gain by only snacking on healthy options.

Your sleep pattern may also become disturbed and it can take 2-3 weeks to settle. Try to relax and unwind before bedtime by reading a book or having a soak in the bath. Reduce your caffeine intake and try to increase your physical activity levels.

So, just to re–emphasis, withdrawal symptoms only last for 4-6 weeks, so try to stick to your quit plan, be patient, believe in yourself and you will win the battle over cravings.

More information and support to help you quit is available from the HSE QUITline on 1800 201 203, or from your GP, Pharmacist or Croí on 091 544310.