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.
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In Yellow

How much yellow can you cram in to one weekend in Paris for the race up the Champs Elysee on the final day of Le Tour De France?

Turns out, quite a bit. It was my first visit to Paris and my number one recommendation to fellow first-timers is to meet Antonio Montani’s Velib bike tour – he’s big on wine and cheese, and picnics too, and he’ll gladly take you with him: Find Anto.

 

 

Remora, Dolphin or Shark?

In an open sea race there are remoras, dolphins and sharks. In high wind in Mullaghmore Bay, swimmers can experience all three; at least I did.

It’s dark and raining. You can’t see any bodies, but you can feel the water around them moving. Those bubbles are the only connection you have with human life in a swelly 5km sea race.

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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.
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Island Life In Crisis?

Apprehension crept up on my excited anticipation about my Greek holiday last week as the Greek Debt Crisis worsened. How far had the unrest spread? Was I walking into a nightmare?

Cash. Bring lots of it. That was the stand-out advice offered by all experts for those travelling to Greece – even before last weekend’s debt bailout referendum was called.
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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