The condition of roads in Fermanagh are the "worst it has ever been", says a local cyclist.

Tempo resident, Cormac McCusker, is Chair of 3 Peaks Cycle Club. Its members cycle right across the county. 

Mr. McCusker said there are now roads that the club avoid due to their poor condition.

He said: “There has been no investment in the surface and that is not just me [saying this], any cyclist you talk to will tell you the same thing.”

Roads noted by Mr. McCusker and other cyclists in poor condition include the Gardiners Cross Road between Maguiresbridge and Tempo, the Gola Road travelling to Carrybridge, the Tempo Road at Devenish College, the Lough Eyes Road, Lisbellaw and the Nutfield Road, Lisnaskea.

Impartial Reporter: Cormac McCusker, 3 Peaks Cycle Club.

He said: “Certain roads have become really poor.”

Mr. McCusker described how roads can be “bone-shaking” for cyclists, which is uncomfortable and dangerous.

He explained: “If you look at the thickness of a bicycle wheel, they absorb every bounce on the road; it [bumps] goes straight through you and it kills momentum you have built.

“If you hit a hole rough enough, it could take you off the bike.”

Avoiding potholes can be a problem for cyclists, especially if there is heavy traffic or if other road users do not give cyclists adequate room.

Mr. McCusker explained: “Holes tend to be where the cyclist is, closer to the ditch.

"It is not just the hole that is the problem, it is avoiding it, and then you will have vehicles of road users who don’t give you enough space to avoid it.

“If you are coming to a hole and the car alongside you is not giving you room [to move out to avoid it ], you are forced into a hole, and if the hole is deep enough, you are coming off the bike.”

He notes that many cyclists in the Border region are opting to cycle in the Republic of Ireland as the condition of the roads is better.

In addition to the safety issue, some cyclists are hitting potholes and causing damage to their bikes.

Mr. McCusker said: “I know of people who have hit potholes but this was not during an official group ride or sportive event [long-distanced organised event].

"A man hit one, and he punctured his wheel and had a blowout in the wheel.”

However, safety concerns remain paramount to Mr. McCusker. “There is potential that hitting it [a pothole] will knock someone off and pull a host of people down around you when you’re riding, especially in the sportive season.”