Month: December 2007

‘Bet you wish you had a bike !’


December 26th , St. Stephens Day and I was still feeling bloated after all of the Turkey , ham , pringles and a host of other non essential foodstuffs , so i decided that it was time for a spin on the bike . We spent Christmas this year in Limerick with Ciara’s family so I headed off from Monaleen at the lazy hour of eleven am.

Passing down by Synotts bar as I headed for the Dublin road I passed Martin Philips coming against me , looking like he was on his way back from his spin . Whilst I was still mooching around the house putting a nappy on ‘baby anabell’ at the request of a two year old he was out getting the miles in . However he did get married recently and will soon have all of that to look forward to .

A little further on I was approaching the Dublin road roundabout when I spotted three more Limerick CC’ers approaching from the right . At first I thought that it may have been Brian Quinn or Bob Murray but as it turned out it was Arthur ( Schmidt ) , Adrienne McCarthy and another guy who’s name I didn’t catch . I headed on in towards the city with this trio and we passed two sulky drivers who had their legs resting on the arms of their miniature two wheeled horse drawn carts , with the horses rear ends between their legs . If the horse decided to break wind it would be right in their faces and I thought to myself as we cruised on past them that I ‘bet you wish you had a bike’ instead .

The others were on their way home so I headed off out towards Cratloe alone . Alone that is except for the incessant clicking from my bottom bracket which I was meaning to sort out for the past fortnight . I wouldn’t mind but for the fact that I’ve fitted at least six in that time and the dura ace b/bracket , which is on my bike are the easiest to replace . Ah well a carpenters door is always the last to be hung !

I turned in Cratloe with the woods on my left and headed back in towards limerick city . With a nice strong breeze now behind me I was cruising along at about 40 kph when I started passing a multitude of people out running . Now I must admit that running does not hold a huge appeal to me . I know that a twenty minute run gives a similar workout to an hour on the bike , but give me the bike any-day . The thought of bouncing along looking in over the same ditch for five minutes would just not entertain me , although Dick O’Gorman does seem to be able to overcome this drawback by running along at the same speed as a group of twenty cyclists .

There happened to be a 10k run on and I began to pass more and more ‘runners’ of all shapes and sizes . There were those in lycra , similar to cycling gear who looked pretty much at their ease . But there were also those in football shorts wearing grey AC/DC t-shirts soaked in ice cool sweat . These were the ‘new years resolution ‘ bunch who were on the road a week early . There was one guy in particular who must have had a shower in deep heat before heading off . I could smell him from 200 metres back and my nostrils were completely clear by the time I got up to him . Alas the same could not be said of the ‘athlete’ himself whose tomato red legs looked pale compared to his face which looked set to explode . His breathing sounded like a 1979 ford cortina which didn’t want to start on a frosty morning and his legs moved with the fluidity of a Komatsu track machine . I looked at him as I cruised on past and thought to myself out loud -’ bet you wish you had a bike’ .

Further on I past Barry Kent , a Limerick tri-athlete who works in Clonmel and looked as smooth on the tarmac as he normally does astride his Trek Madone . The finish line was at the bottom of the Caherdavin straight which seemed a lot shorter and less steep than I had remembered . That may be because it is twenty years now since I raced up there as a bright eyed under sixteen . I happened to win that race and was able to convince myself that this would lead to a pro contract and a ride in the tour de france . What an under sixteen race in Caherdavin has to do with a ride in the tour God only knows  , but when your fifteen watching the tour on telly and all you can think of is being a pro it’s easy to come up with some kind of direct link . The naivety of youth !

I cut across by the ‘Treaty stone’ and St Munchins church and saw two Kayaks in the rough freezing cold water .  One guy looked as though he knew what he was at whilst the other looked as though he was called on the drink talk the previous day . He looked cold scared and uncomfortable , and I thought ‘ bet you wish you had a bike’ .

On the way back out towards the Tipperary road I passed off Limerick prison on my right and approached Garryowen on my left . Garyowen was made famous in the rebel song ‘Sean South from Garryowen ‘. A true song about a famous Irish martyr for Irish independance who gave his life alongside Fergal O’Hanlon and whose grandson now wholesales coleslaw for a living .  Looking accross a green area I saw a guy with a grey hoodie and no helmet riding a 250 trail bike along the road . His pillion passenger , a blond with knee high white boots was also helmetless .He did not need to wish for a bike , he had one .

Finally I was almost back at the house , I was out of the saddle breathing hard and getting rained on . As I approached the crest of the final drag up towards Monaleen a guy in a 07 black Range Rover vogue looked across at me and I could almost hear what he was thinking – ‘ bet you wish you had a car like this!’

Barry

www.worldwidecycles.com

Radio Ray – episode 2


Today fm has ‘Radio Roy’ but here in worldwidecycles we have a new cycling version called Radio Ray . Here is a transcript of  episode 2  in the current series :

Hello there listeners , and a very good morning to you all . We have a great show lined up for you today with some very special guests and an item on what’s hot in the cycling world for Christmas . Once again we are open for callers on the wwc line at 052 21146 or you can email us at info@worldwidecycles.com.  To get the show started we have been joined by , one of our most famous Irish men , and a recent convert to the joys of two wheels – Bono from u2 !

Well Bono I’d like to welcome you to The Radio Ray show here in the worldwidecycles studios . We’re all big fans of yours here and were wondering how you became a convert to the two wheels ?

‘ Well Hi there Ray , I’m laike , really glad to be here , and I’d just laike to say hellloooo to everybody out there in radio land . As you probably know I’m laike really big into the environment and Africa and stuff . So I guess you could say that it made sense to cut down on my C02 emissions by using a baike to get around .’

‘Well it doesn’t seem to have done much for your methane emissions Bono but sure ’tis a start . Tell us now , do you get out on the bike much ? ‘

‘ Not as much as I’d laike Ray , not as much as I’d laike . Although last Saturday myself and Gavin Fraiday , Guggi , Tony Monday and Coochi Coo all headed off around Dalkey for a raide . I gotta say it was pretty cool . All of us flaying down the hill past Eddie Irvines gaff , hair flowing in the wind , whats left of it , that is . ‘

‘Great Bono , yea . Now I hear that you’ve re-written one of your most famous songs to celebrate your new love of cycling . Is that right ? ‘

‘ I have indeed , I have indeed .  My self and Edge got together and came up with a new version of ONE which really kicks some ass .  Would you laike to hear it Ray ? ‘

‘A sure go on there Bono ,  give us an ould blast of it ‘

‘ O.K. I brought Edge along to do guitar so here it goes . Take it away there Edge ! ‘

Doo doo di di di doo 

Do doo dooo di didi do

do doo do di didi doo

do  do doo didi doo

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got pinarello on your frame
You say
One wheel
One bike
When it’s one more lap of the by pass
In the night
One light
We get to share it
Leaves you stranded if you
Forget to charge  it

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had Enervit
And you want me to go without
Well it’s

Too late
Tonight
To drag the last out of the cateye light
We’re one, but we’re not the same
We get to
carry each other
do up and over

One

Have you come here for fitness ?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Sean Kelly ?
To the dreamers in your head

Did I ask too much?
More than a turn.
You gave me nothing,
Now you jump me for fun
We’re one
But we’re not the same
See we
Attack each other
Then we do it again
I say                                                                                                                                                        
Riding is simple
Push a higher gear                                                                                                               Riding is simple
Push a higher gear                                                                                                                        You ask me to come through                                                                                                        But then you make me crawl
And I can’t keep holding on
To what you got
When all you’ve got is hurt

One wheel
One bike
One more lap of the by pass                                                                                                               On a Tuesday night
You got to do what you should
One turn
With each other

One

One
You havn’t done the work                                            
And now you feel the pain
If you had trained
Would it still hurt the same ?

One

One

‘ Thanks a million there Bono and Edge , sure that was great . Now to move on from there we have a caller on the line . Hello caller whats your name and what can we do for you today ?’

‘How’s it going there Ray . Love the show . Paschal here from Ballinamult . Wait until I tell ya . I was out on me own yesterday coming down Knocknamullaigh and a big group a lads past me out training and then about five minutes later a group past me again coming the other way . Tell me straight now Ray was I hallucinating or was it the same group twice ?’

‘Well Paschal , no you weren’t hallucinating . What you saw first coming down the hill was the normal Carrick group who had done a lap of Clogheen and were on there way back . The second group was the An Post Sean Kelly team who were on their way around Ballymac and have been based in Rathgormack for the past week on a training camp . ‘

‘ So the second group was a pro team on a training camp . Sure I thought that most training camps were off out in the sun in places like Majorca and Tenneriffe .’

‘That is often the case there Paschal , but think about the man behind this particular team for a moment . What was the defining characteristic of his career but toughness . Now I’m sure that a week of leisurely spins around an Andalusian Island would be nice but a week spent in a mountain climbing hostel in the Comeraghs would do more to toughen these lads up . ‘

You’re not wrong there Ray . Thanks for clearing that up for me .

‘No problem at all there Paschal . Now on to our final item for today -The cyclists top five Santa List .

So in at number five is the Minoura Hypermag 1200 home trainer . Now only €199 it will keep you training all through the Christmas period no matter how bad the weather .

Then at number four comes the Assos 851 airblock jacket , which at just €229 is a surefire-way to beat those cold wet winter blues .

In at number three is ‘The flying Scotsman DVD ‘ . An incredible true story brought to life about scottish world record holder Graeme Obree for just €39

The number two spot goes to Polar for their cs100 computer which is still great value at €89

Finally for the third year in a row the number one cyclists present is The Sean kelly story on DVD which is just €49 for the double disc set or can be combined with the Stephen Roche story for only €90

‘Well unfortunately that’s all we have time for today , but we do hope that you enjoyed this  episode of Radio Ray and look forward to you tuning in again next time . Remember that if there is anything that you would like to be included in any of the upcoming shows the lines remain open on 052 21146 and we also accept email suggestions at info@worldwidecycles.com  or on the message board . Thanks for listening , and a very Happy Christmas to you all ‘

Barry

www.worldwidecycles.com

How Kurt met Kelly !


At the launch last week of this years new An Post Sean Kelly racing team it was mentioned that the current manager  had come to Sean Kelly as a teenager and asked if he could train with him . This is the expanded story of how that happened .

Kurt Bogaerts was a teenager when he plucked up the courage to aproach one of the top pro cyclists of all time Sean Kelly ,who happened to live near him in the Brussels suberb of Merchtem . He had heard that the pro teams sold off their bike at the end of each year and wanted to purchase a Festina team bike from the team .

One afternoon when he spotted Kelly’s car outside of the house he tentativly aproached the front door and rang the bell . Linda answered the door and went to get Sean when Kurt explained the reason for the visit . Sean agreed to try to get Kurt a team bike from the team at the end of that years season and told him to call back in a few weeks . Kurt was delighted and did call back again a number of weeks later .  Kelly did not yet have a bike for him and asked Kurt to give him a shout in a few weeks again .

Kurt persisted and did call again a number of weeks later and this time Kelly did have a bike for him . As they were completing the transaction Kurt said in passing that if Sean ever wanted someone to train with that he would be delighted to train with him . Sean took his number but did not commit to anything .

However a number of months later Kurt was at home when his mother answered the phone and said that there was some foreigner on the phone for him . Who was it but the rider who was still the world number one Sean Kelly . Kurt could not believe it when Kelly asked if he wanted to go for a spin the following morning . Kurt of course agreed immediatly and they arranged to meet up the following morning .

Over the next twelve to eighteen months , the final season of Kellys’ career the two regularly trained together and a strong friendship was formed .One day whilst out on the bike Kurt asked the great champion who was now his friend why he trained with a young amateur like Kurt instead of Kelly’s fellow professionals . Kelly in a typically down  to earth straightforward answer said ‘ you’ve a pair of balls , I’ve a pair of balls ‘ . This in a nutshell summed up what Kelly thought of fame and celebrity . In his own eyes he was still the same farmers son from Carrick who was no better or worse than anybody else .

When Kelly retired and moved back to Ireland it was Kurt’s father Michell  ,who worked for Mercedes benz in Belgium who provided the van  which would transport all of the Kelly posesions back to Ireland . Kurt and Sean kept in  contact and Kurt was and still is a regular visitor to Carrick and would often train with the group .

Whenever anybody locally was going over to Belgium Kelly would always give people Kurt’s number and Kurt and his family would regularly collect people from the airport and put them up in their home .

So when the time came to set up the Sean Kelly Academy in Belgium Kurt was the obvious choice for some one to look after it . Then when it was announced that a third division team was to be formed Kurt was the obvious choice to look after the day to day running of things in Belgium . He is now all set to continue managing the new An Post Sean Kelly team for 2008 and is probably glad of the day he decided that he wanted to get an ex-professional team bike .

Barry

www.worldwidecycles.com

Sean Kelly – The big big movie !


MGM have recently released a film based on the life of Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree . Whilst Obree’s story is good what would a big budget film about Kelly be like ? It might be something like this ;

Jack Kelly ( played by Gabriel Byrne ) wanders out into a field on a bleak Autumn morning . He approaches his youngest son Vincent ( played by that young fella from fair city who was junior national champion a few years ago )who is working in the field and says ‘ Where’s Sean , he’s supposed to be out topping mangles and I can’t find him anywhere .’

‘He’s gone off on the bicycle with Joe again ‘

‘That feckin bicycle , sure pedalling a bicycle around Carrick won’t put bread on the table for him , he’d want to catch himself on ‘

Jack then turns and walks back towards the house accompanied by a black and white sheepdog with the sound of crows cawing in the wind echoing in the distance .

The next scene shows Kelly (played by Cillian Murphy) riding along a narrow road beside his coach and training partner , Tony Ryan ( played by Aidan Quinn )

The coach is telling his young protege about the nuances of bike racing and says ;

‘ You have great power and fantastic stamina Sean but you just need to a bit cute when you’re racing against the sharks from Cork and Dublin . They have more experience , but you have already proven your worth with your two Junior titles . But now you’re in with the big boys so strength alone won’t win you races .’

The young Kelly is listening intently but not saying much . The coach then see’s an Austin 1100 up ahead and tells his young protege to sprint up to it . The car is travelling at about thirty miles per hour with a farmer and his wife heading into town for the mart . They are discussing the price they hope to get for the five sheep in the back of the car when they are startled by the sight of a man on a bicycle flashing past them .

‘What was that Tommy?’ the wife asks

‘It looks like a lad on a bicycle Mary , but it must be some new sort of Motor cycle the speed he’s going .’

‘Well he’d want to take it handy and slow down a bit Tommy , or he’ll end up in a ditch full a briars ‘

‘He would Mary ‘

The next scene shows a group of young lads gathered around a blue Hillman Hunter belonging to Carrick Wheelers chairman Dan Grant ( played by Colm Meany ) . He is milling around the car saying :

‘ Come on lads , get the bags in the boot and the bikes on the roof . Come on lads we should have been gone half an hour ago . Come on lads !’

The car is loaded and just as they are about to pull away Dan’s only daughter Linda (played by Sharon ni Bheolain ) stands in the door and makes eye contact with Kelly who is sitting next to the window in the rear of the car . Kelly gives her a small wave as the car pulls away and she returns a smile .

Next , the start line of The Shay Elliott memorial  race in bray . Over the PA system the announcer is regaling the great history of the race and the fact that it is the most difficult one day race on the Irish calendar . He calls out the names of five or six of the main contenders and in turn they each wave to the small crowd , all except the young Kelly who just keeps his eyes focused upon his front wheel .

The race develops at a dramatic pace going over tough climbs like The old Wicklow gap and Glenmalure . Kelly makes the final selection and in a dramatic uphill sprint from a small group of six riders he wins comfortably . After the race National team director John Lackey (played by Mick Lally) approaches him and asks if he wants to go to the Tour of Britain on the Irish team . Kelly shrugs his shoulders and says ‘ sure I might as well , ’tis better than milking cows ‘.

The morning of the Sheffield stage of the Tour of Britain and team manager Jim McQuaid (played by Emmett Bergin ) tells his riders that he will give twenty pounds to whoever can win a stage . Kelly looks up slowly , a steely look in his eye .

The stage develops and a group of three get away with twenty miles to go and Kelly is one of the three . The others are the Polish national champion and the Olympic champion , Swede Bernt Johansson . Manager McQuaid pulls up alongside Kelly in the car and says ‘ sit there Sean and don’t do a tap , these are the big guns and use them as much as you can ‘ . Kelly nod’s his understanding . 

The sprint into Norfolk park in Sheffield is slightly uphill which suits Kelly perfectly and he darts past the other two in the final fifty metres to take one of the biggest victories for Irish cycling in a number of years .

After the stage a number of journalists have gathered around Kelly when a furious Johansson comes over and grabs Kelly by the jersey . He screams ‘ Yoouu shooood noot have sprinteed ‘

Kelly doesn’t flinch , looks the Swede directly in the eye and says ‘ Fuck off !’ The Swede senses Kellys lack of fear and lets go and walks away . Kelly turns back to answer more questions from the journalists as if nothing had happened .

That evening at the B&B McQuaid and Kelly are in a room recounting the days events when Kelly says ‘ Do you know what Jim , all the way up that finishing straight I was thinking about the twenty quid , there was no way those fuckers were going to stop me getting my hands on that ‘

This result moved Kelly up into third overall but on the final day he runs into mechanical problems , punctures and looses five minutes , thus dropping to twenty fifth overall . That evening cycling journalist Phil Liggett (played by himself) met Kelly and sympathised with what he feels will be a very disappointed young man . However Kelly says ‘ a stage win , third overall for a while , we made a few quid , I’m going home happy ‘

Here too , Kelly is approached by another English talent spotter with contacts in VC Metz in Belgium and asked if he wants to go over there for a few months . Kelly contemplates for a few moments and replies ‘ sure I might aswell’

The next few shots show Kelly winning a number of big amateur races throughout Belgium with the race organisers nodding their approval .

Then in a smoke filled bar in the Ardennes region a rotund French manager from Besancon called Jean DeGribaldy ( played by James Gandolfini ) sits down with a former team mate from his own racing days . The team mate says ‘ There is this Irishman called kelly who has the suppless , he is something special , he rides like a Belgian . Wind , rain ,cobbles  they mean nothing to him . He fears nobody . He says little but when he does speak it is well thought through . He would be a good rider for your team , no ?’

DeGibaldy sits back and takes a long puff of a gitane cigarette before saying ‘ my friend , you have never spoken so highly of an amateur in all our years of knowing each other . On your recommendation I will seek out this rare talent and give him a try , If he is as good as you say perhaps we will have a new Freddy Martaens on our hands ‘

One week later , on a crisp December morning a private plane touches down in Dublin Airport . Three people disembark, DeGribaldy , Noel Converset (Johnny Depp)- an amateur who had raced with Kelly and was there to identify him , and Bernard Dagot(Martin Sheen) - who spoke fluent english and was also Air traffic controller at Dole Airport .

They leave the terminal and approach a taxi driver (played by Colin Farrell) and begin negotiating a price to Carrick on suir . The taxi driver is bargained down but agrees to the fare sensing a break from the normal humdrum into the city centre .

The car arrives into Carrick and stops in the main street to ask directions to the Kelly homestead . They see a man with a blackthorn stick smoking a pipe and pull over .

The local man (Pat Shortt) stops to consider before giving his directions and answers with a question ‘ is it the kellys a curraghduff , that ye’re looking for ?’

Dagot replies ‘ it is Sean kelly , dee cyclist that we require ‘

The local says ‘ sure I know who ye’re on about now . Tis the kellys a curraghduff . Go on up the street here and turn left at the top . Then straight on over the old bridge , straight on up the hill apast the church. Then straight on again be Jimmy Walls pub and follow the road where it curls around left . Keep on out that road ’til the comeraghs rear up in front of ye and turn left down a narrow boreen . An thats the kellys .’

The taxi eventually pulls up outside the house to be greeted by Jack Kelly who tells them that Sean is gone out to Mahon bridge to collect a tractor for Martin and sure if they head out that way they’ll meet him on the road .

The taxi departs with the driver remarking ‘ Jaysus , I’ll need an extra twenty quid for all of this stopping and going on these bumpy oul roads’

A few miles on the Dugarvan side of Carrick the taxi comes upon a Ford 4000 and stops up alongside . Converset , who has been brought along to identify Kelly says that this is not him . A glint in Kellys eye says that he recognises the Frenchman immediately . Dagot asks ‘ Are you Sean Kelly?’

Kelly replies ‘ I am’

Dagot proceeds to introduce DeGribaldy and explains the reasons for their trip .

The foursome along with the taxi driver who is now complaining that he will need extra payment for all of the extra cigarettes he has to smoke coz its’taking so long , head to Martin’s bungalow beside the home farm and discuss the matter .

They sit around the kitchen table and DeGribaldy says ‘ I will give you 40000 francs per year for the first year and see how you go from there ‘

Kelly replies after a few moments pondering ‘ I won’t give you an answer today . Thanks for your offer but if you leave me your number I’ll call you in seven days and we’ll see then’

De Gribaldy is stunned and says ‘ Most young amateurs would happily ride for free to be on my team but you want to think about it even though I am offering you a fair contract’

Kelly says ‘ Yes’

Degribaldy stands up and grabs a sheet of paper and takes a Mont Blanc pen from the inside pocket of his crombie overcoat . He writes down a twelve digit telephone number and hands it to Kelly before saying ‘ One week , my offer expires after one week , now we shall leave’

The three french men take their places along side the Dublin taxi driver who is trying to scrape some muck from the side of his shoes and the car pulls back out onto the road and heads off in the direction of Carrick bound for Dublin. In the back of the taxi DeGribaldy remarks to Dagot quietly ‘ That Kelly , he has something . Most amateurs would sign immediately , Conversant there in the front seat would ride for free . But Kelly he is aware that he is not ordinary and will not sell himself short . It took balls to defer my offer . Now I want to sign him even more ‘.

The taxi pulls up outside Dublin airport four hours later and DeGribaldy hands the driver the twenty pounds they had agreed upon earlier .

The driver looks hurt and says’ Aww Jaysus bud , sure amint I out there in the country all bleedin day , gettin muck all over me car . Surely youse could give me an extra tenner for me troubles ‘

DeGribaldy curtly says ‘No’ . and off they go .

The next few shots show excerpts from phone-calls where Kelly is asking Jim McQuaid , John Lackey and others what he should do . Then he is seen sitting at a table with Dan Grant and Tony Ryan .

Kelly says ‘ I have a choice . Work for Hallys builders in Clonmel laying blocks or give the bike a try and see what happens .’

Dan Says ‘ Go on Sean , you have to do it . There is a fortune to be made over there on the continent . You could be famous . The world is your oyster’

Tony says ‘ Well Sean , you have the talent to make a go of it . It won’t be easy but it is something that you should try to see just how far you can go . I think you should give it a try’

Seven days after the visit Kelly picks up the phone in Martin’s house and dials a twelve digit number . The voice on the other end says ‘ Bonjour’

Kelly says ‘ Sean Kelly here , I’m  looking for Mister DeGribaldy .’

The reply ‘ Wait please ‘

DeGribaldy comes on the line and asks ‘ So have you made your decision ?’

Kelly ‘ I will not be able to sign for what you are offering ,but if you were to make it 60000 francs I would ‘

DeGribaldy  ‘ How do I know that you’re worth that much . After all you are still only an amateur . You do not have the results to justify such a salary ‘

Kelly ‘ You flew to Ireland to see me. You know what I’m worth’

DeGribaldy ‘ Alright , I hope you are as tough on the bike as you are in negotiations ‘

Kelly ‘ Let me know the details and when you want me to come over to France ‘

DeGribaldy ‘ I’ll forward those on next week . Bonjour’

Kelly’ Goodbye’

And now Kelly is a Pro . The story still has a long way to run but I have bikes to build so we will have to continue on from here the next day .

Barry

www.worldwidecycles.com

Radio Ray


Today fm has ‘Radio Roy’ but here in worldwidecycles we have a new cycling version called Radio Ray . Here is a transcript of the first episode in the current series :

‘ Hallo and welcome to this , the first edition of our new show called Radio Ray . Over the coming season we hope to bring you all of the latest news , gossip and commentaries on the Irish cycling scene . We also hope to have a number of interviews with some of the main protagonists throughout the year . We will also be taking calls from any interested listeners and should have some lively debate on whatever issues that you ,the listener decide should be on the agenda .

So without further ado let’s get this show underway and it looks like we have a caller on the line already ,

‘Hallo caller , who have we got on the line ?’

‘ Hello Ray , best of luck with the new show , this is Micky here . I was just wondering if you could give me some advice regarding road rage on the bike ‘

‘Is that road rash or road rage that you are talking about Micky ?’

‘Road rage Ray . To give you an example , the other morning I was out doing a bit of sprint training on the Dungarvan road when out of nowhere comes this fella in a big jeep and he starts blowing me out of it . I was doing nothing out of the way and was keeping my line in near the ditch as good as possible . I deliberately do this early in the morning so that the roads will be quiet but I still managed to come across this banker in his big jeep .’

‘Now Micky, I hope that you  kept your cool and that you didn’t do anything stupid ‘

‘Well not exactly stupid Ray , but maybe a little on the aggressive side ,

‘What exactly did you do Micky’

‘Well he actually pulled over after I gave him the finger for blowing me out of it and I kinda ummm , expressed myself with a physical gesture ‘

‘What kind of physical gesture was that Micky ?’

‘A kind of a bunched up cycling glove right in the jaw through the open window of the jeep’

‘ Oh now Micky , I do hope that you realise that violence does not solve anything and that you are now going to tell me how much you regret resorting to that form of retaliation ‘

‘Well now Ray , I was regretting it a bit when he followed me all the way down through the town and I had to go up a few lane-ways to shake him off but I really regretted it later that evening ‘

‘Was that when you got home and had a chance to consider your actions . Did you feel bad for letting yourself get carried away ?’

‘Well not exactly Ray . The thing is , I sell insurance door to door for a living and that evening I was doing my calls as usual when I knocked on a particular door ‘

‘And who answered the door , was it another aggressive banker type of person? ‘

‘No it was the guy that I had the run in with that morning . Luckily I was in the suit and tie so he didn’t recognise me but I got a fair fright . The gas thing is  that because I was there and couldn’t let on anything I still had to give him the spiel about the insurance and he actually signed up for it . I even made a good commission out of it ‘

‘Well Micky , I do hope that you learned some sort of lesson there , even if it was just that you never know where you might bump into someone that you have a run in with . Now we seem to have another caller on line two . Over to you caller , what’s your name and what can we do for you today ? ‘

‘Hi Ray , Patsy here , I was wondering if you could help me out on something ?’

‘Go ahead Patsy , we’re here to help ‘

‘Well Ray the thing is , I keep getting punctures , especially during the winter and twice now I’ve torn through the tyre and had to call home for the missus to come out to collect me . I can tell ya that she wasn’t a bit impressed ,and that’s puttin it mildly ‘

‘Did she not appreciate the opportunity for some fresh air and a nice drive in the country Patsy ?’

‘She did in me arse Ray , I mean , no not really . Especially when she had to load up the four kids and the Labrador pup into the back of the car seeing that she couldn’t leave them all at home on their own ‘

‘And were you far from home when you ran into trouble Patsy?’

‘I was about thirty miles from home on bad ould roads so it took her nearly an hour to find me . Then by the time we got home the water in the pot of spuds had all dried up and there was some smell of burning in the house . The smoke alarm was blaring and the dinner was in shite . The smell of burnt spuds is still in the house .’

‘I’d say you were flavour of the month after that Patsy ‘

‘Flavour of the month is right Ray . Sure she’s still not talking to me . ‘Tis all picture and no sound for nearly a week now . The thing is , I hate carrying spare tyres with me out training . There just too bulky , and I was wondering if there’s anything that you could recommend  for me to use so that this doesn’t happen again ‘

‘Well Patsy , you’ve come to the right place . In the shop we have what’s called a park tyre boot , and it’s a lot smaller than it sounds . What it is , is a set of three extra strong large rubber tyre patches which are self adhesive . They stick onto the inside of a hole in a tyre and will be strong enough to get you home .  They even work on the inside of a mountain bike tyre . And best of all they are only the size of a credit card so take up little or no space . And at just under a fiver they won’t break the bank.’

‘Sounds like there the job Ray ,  I’ll call in some day during the week to get a set ‘

‘We’ll see you then Patsy , and also bear in mind that it is no harm to also bring some ordinary patches and solution as-well as a spare tube so that you’ll be covered if you get more than one puncture on the day ‘

‘Well unfortunately that’s all we have time for today , but we do hope that you enjoyed this the first episode of Radio Ray and look forward to you tuning in again next time . Remember that if there is anything that you would like to be included in any of the upcoming shows the lines remain open on 052 21146 and we also accept email suggestions at info@worldwidecycles.com  or on the message board . Thanks for listening , and a very good day to you all ‘

Barry

www.worldwidecycles.com