We win at Race Around Ireland 2017

I am so very proud of this team. What we set out to achieve in the 2017 Race Around Ireland was far surpassed by both crew and riders, to an overwhelming point over an epic 72.21hrs.

Continue reading

Translating Irishisms

IT’S been 10 years since I first came to Ireland, and six since I moved here permanently, but I still shake my head at the odd drizzle of Irishness.

This is particularly true when it comes to words and I’m now fairly good at definitively translating Irishisms. Stuff like ‘craic’, ‘your one’, and ‘go away will ya’, are easy enough for us foreigners to pick up, but there are four words and phrases below that I suppose I’m still confused by:

Continue reading

Sprinting Significance

Why speed is crucial to the long-term expansion of Longines Irish Champions Weekend

SUCCESS for this year’s second running of Longines Irish Champions Weekend could hinge on the outcome of the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes.

The sprint will be run as a Group 2 for the first time, making it Ireland’s highest-ranked sprint, and has doubled in prize money to €200,000 in a bid to attract the horses that could help it climb to that coveted Group 1 spot.

Reaching that point would give Ireland it’s first Group 1 sprint and open a new door for Irish Flat racing to draw the public in.

Continue reading

Sligo’s Shelly Valley

Sea birds make the loveliest messes

BEHIND the gigantic sand dunes on Strandhill beach in Sligo is an otherworldly place, littered with the shells of eaten snails and sea creatures.

It’s a sandy valley carpeted with colour and flanked by long, thick green grass. Crushed shells in this graveyard catch the evening light, shaking off their deathly feel and beaming out pretty pastels – pink, green, blue, purple.

Tread lightly though. Slimy slow coaches still living trudge on in the grasses in their hundreds.

Continue reading

The King’s Carbon Mender | Act II

Why CarbonTec? Why can this team do what others cannot? It’s all in the materials; It’s carbon fibre, but not as you know it.

KEITH HOEY is repairing carbon fibre frames and not building from scratch. He’s dealing with weakened areas, so he has to compensate. Just using carbon fibre in three or more layers would do the trick for areas that are not intricate or crucial for weight-bearing.

But Hoey’s not content with that. CarbonTec wants to be able to fix absolutely anything on a carbon fibre bicycle frame, so it’s hunted out a stronger material.
Continue reading

The King’s Carbon Mender | Act I

How do you fix a carbon frame? Should you fix a carbon frame? And why does it cost a man his skin and finger nails?

SPRAWLED on tarmac by a kerb at a busy junction in Dublin’s rush hour, people swarmed to my aid.

They picked up my rucksack, gathered fallen belongings, gave me a coat, a bottle of water, a KitKat for later.

They rang an ambulance too. But my racing bike was left, alone, in the middle of the road. I couldn’t see it. Nobody would let me get up. They just thought I was insane.

But when a bike has won a race for you, it’s no longer just a bike. That’s my first carbon fibre racing bike. The first bike I had any attachment to. So after calling my boss to tell him I wouldn’t be in, my next call was to Carbon Tec – the man who mends carbon fibre.
Continue reading

Dlr Lexicon’s Flaws

A series of unfortunate incidences unveiled flaws in the €36.6million DLR Lexicon library that I never wanted to see.

I was one of DLR Lexicon’s greatest supporters. When all of Dun Laoghaire was shunning and damning it, saying it was “costing too much money” at €36.6million and “taking away from the high street” full of empty buildings, I was itching to get inside.
Continue reading

Finding Logan’s Way

One weekend in June, a handsome man and I set off to find a beach on the banks of Lough Dan. What we found was Logan’s Way, a mysterious route along the river out of Lough Dan, marked by a wooden sign at the edge of a deep pool.

Dry as it was, this hike to Military Road was memorable for its many inviting river pools, particularly the one right at the Logan’s Way arrow, and waterfalls. It was memorable for the seclusion of being in the middle of forests and for the wild swimming we couldn’t resist on the way to Tongalee Hill.

Meeting Jonjo Bright

In his first interview since sustaining a life-changing neck injury, Jonjo Bright is inspirational and determined. He talks to Jessica Lamb matter-of-factly and positively – and all of it is genuine.

LET’S get real here. Jonjo Bright’s future is not in tipping.
Ireland’s best Cheltenham Festival on record and not a winner backed between the injured amateur rider and father John as they followed the action in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

“The WiFi went down right when we made up our minds to back Solwhit at Aintree,”John insists. “At least we got to watch it,” says Bright. Continue reading