Only fools and bottle cages


Cycling is full of dreamers . Some dream big , some dream small . Two brothers and their uncle have had the same dream for a few years now , namely ‘This time next year we’ll all be pros’

Dan boy and Robbie Trapper live with their Uncle Alfie in a small flat just off the main street in Carrick. They have a small fitness company called ‘Trappers Independent Trainers’ specializing in the global import export of white runners that they sell at the mart in Carrick every Tuesday. They have also diversified into the booming trend in personal fitness training and currently have 2 clients. One is a second hand car salesman called Boydsey and the other is a hairdresser called Noreen. They also have a sunbed but, whilst this started out as another business venture with the intention of turning Carrick into the Costa de Sol of suntanned bodies of the south east, it is now being used as a storage shelf for old copies of cycling weekly .

Last Sunday both brothers turned up for a training race around Ballymac. Dan boy rolled over to the old ESB office on his bright canary yellow Raleigh Robin whilst Robbie who was still in the jacks when Dan boy left, sprinted over on his pink Falcon that his big brother had picked up at an unbelievable knock down price at the Cuffsgrange car boot sale .

They arrived at the start line at just about the same time to be greeted by a few of the other Carrick lads. A council worker nicknamed ‘Tripper’ who had a habit of tripping over his shovel and into holes was first to say hello. He looked over and said ‘ How’re tings Dan boy, best of luck Seamie ‘. Robbie looked over at Dan boy with a pissed off head . He had been to school with Tripper but he always got his name mixed up and called him Seamie .

Uncle Alfie was doing lead car and was trying to give the lads a bit of a pep talk before the start . Like all of his pep talks it began with ‘ During the Ras ‘. This was followed by the usual ‘ we kept inside the white lines when there were no lines , attacked when we had 2 flat wheels and sprinted when our handlebars were broke ‘

The bunch were getting bored listening so first one then two and very soon everyone else just set off and started racing. As the bunch headed past Miloko Dan boy was shouting words of advice across at Robbie. ‘Use the head before the legs, stay in out of the wind , sit on Smiler and remember This time next year we’ll all be pros ‘

The racing was hot and heavy when they went over a rough patch of road just outside Kilsheelan . Water bottles were sent bouncing across the road as flimsy carbon bottle cages dislodged their contents and only Dan boy and Robbie still had their water bottles as they returned onto a patch of smoother tarmac. This was in no small part thanks to Dan boys’ eagle eye at the Fethard Car Boot sale 6 months earlier where he spotted 2 old TA cages in a milk crate .

As the race turned left onto the Dungarvan road just outside Clonmel , Smiler attacked and 4 others followed . Dan boy was puffing and panting down the back of the bunch and missed the move going . Over the top of Kilmacomma he caught a glimpse of a small group riding off into the sunset and asked Boxcar Willy who was beside him , who had gone up the road . When he heard that Smiler was in the move he smiled and said ‘lovely jubley’ as his team was well up there  seeing as Robbie must have been glued to Smilers wheel . However , the reply from behind him was less encouraging . ‘Ahh , Dan , I kinda dropped back for a bit of a rest and kinda missed him going there ‘ said Robbie . Dan boy turned and shook his head saying ‘ youu plonker ‘

As the race approached the climb of The Pike the lead group began to fragment . The loss of water bottles earlier was begining to take its toll . Noticing what was happening Dan boy shouted at Robbie to get the finger out and throw a few shapes . Approaching the summit of the climb The Karate Kid asked Dan boy for a sup of his bottle . The paper umbrella cap was removed and the bottle handed over . The Kid took one small sip and almost vomited all over his handlebars . ‘What the hell have you in the bottle Davey boy?’ The reply came ‘ Ahsure just a small bit of Lemon flavour Zipvit with a drop of Pinapple juice , a crushed strawberry and a glass of milk ‘ The Karate kid shook his head and ploughed on .

Robbie finally managed to jump across to the break just after the haysheds and was feeling strong and looking good. He found Smiler and sat on his wheel . Going up Daruas cross Smiler left the wheel go and Robbie had a conundrum . Should he go around Smiler or should he do as Dan boy said and stick to his wheel. Putting his faith in the experience of his big brother he stuck to Smilers back wheel .

Just after ‘the bowlers flags’ Smiler and Robbie were swallowed up by the chasing bunch just as the remnants of the break up ahead began the sprint for the Carrick Golf Club . Vinnie the Viper took victory on the line just ahead of Iggy .


Robbie managed to get up for seventh whilst Dan boy was trying to sell his bike to a straggler at the back of the bunch . Frustrated at a poor result when a win was on the cards Robbie got off the bike and shouted ‘Fore’ through the ditch at a golfer about to take a tee shot but Dan boy rolled up beside him consoled him and said ‘ Don’t worry Robbie , this time next year we’ll all be pros and have our own team bus!’


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