Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Biking blitz – 3 Rock – 8th May 2011

I have been riding on 3rock for 22 years, so I had to be at the opening of Dublins first dedicated Mountain Bike trail! Coillte fininshed the short 7km look a couple of months ago, and this event was to mark the opening.

Niall from biking.ie put on a great show. There was a great atmosphere at the village area, and the lower section of the course was great for spectators. The course was just a lap of the trail, so up a tarmac road, but of singletrack climbing, ‘Metro 1’ descent, mega fast with drop, up the fireroad and down ‘Metro 2’, another megafast descent……so, probably not the most demanding couse but good fun nonetheless.

At 12pm we lined up, and the minister for Sport & Tourism, Leo Varadkar cut the ribbon and sent us our the way. About 170 riders rode up the road together, very special. At the top, there was a few of us still together, and at the end of lap 1, it was Peter, Richi and I. Peter dug on the 2nd lap and I dropped off, and Richi dropped off me. That’s how it stayed, I rolled in 45 secs behind Peter, and Richi 45 behind me. Short race, but jez I was sufferin, must stop blaggin my way through the races and put the head down and get fit….

Congrats to Niall and his team, smart event and very enjoyable. Lots of families up there enjoying the forest, the way it should be!

Thanks to the internet for allowing me to rip Aine Conneff and Mike Wyley images, feel free to sue me.

The grand opening, Peter and I looking like planks!

Nice and fast!

Fast berms were the order of the day!

Lots of underage riders

The podium!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

NPS # 3 – Darvagh Forest – Cookstown – May 2nd 2011

Wow what a day! Less than 10% of normal rainfall for April meant this was going to be a fast one! Vinny, Roney and I loaded up the Subaru and set on on the drive to Cookstown. Glorious sunshine and high spirits made the journey fly past. This was our first time at the venue and at a race host by Carn wheelers, so we were unsure what to expect. We were not disappointed, a superb venue, real nice forest, rivers, great atmosphere and a stunning fast course.

The Senior 1 race started real fast, too fast for me, so I let Bugsey go with mega-junior Matt. I rode around with DH star Gar McKee for a couple of laps, then pulled away from him on the 3rd. I then got news that Bugs had a problem and I was leading……time to chill and bring it home…..or so I thought, half a lap to go and Gar appears 10m behind me!!! Engage the afterburners and I go home with 45 seconds to spare. Deadly, 2nd race of the season and win # 1. Gar was 2nd, Alfie a stunning 3rd. Vinny had some great racing to take 8th, Roney was happy enough with 29th in Senior 2.

All in all, a great day out. Many congrats to Carn Wheelers, a great event that they can be real proud of. We will be back. I said to the lads on the way back that it was like racing in the UK, to which Roney replied….’we were’.

Elbows ahoy just after the start

Great water splash

Mega fast trails

Lots of sprinting

Gar and I do battle

Vinny and Dave had a great ding-dong

Mel took the Senior 1 ladies race

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New 2011 Team race bike - Raven Team

I got the new bike back in Janurary. I havnt riden it much as the winter grim would kill the bike, but I am getting out on it a lot more now. Same frame as last year, so the bike feels very similiar. the major change is the new XTR. Really good group, 2*10, new brakes, etc. I had Sram XX last year, which is incredible, but its like living with a good looking, pain in the ass women......great to have a go of, but impossible to live with. the new XTR just works, all of the time. Nice 1450 DT wheels and Fox forks with QR15, finished with 3T carbon fit. A real nice bike, very light and mega still and fast. Thanks again to Aidan and Richi in Eurocycles, I hope I do the bike justice this year!

Sun trip to Lanzarote - End March 2011

Its shit, dont go there.

Leinster League Rnd 1 – 20th March 2011 – Mt Leinster

1st race of the new season, and it was a good one. The 795 racing guys put on a super show. Apparently the course was dusty on the sat, but over night rain made it mega slippy, a night mare for some, a playground for others. I was there to have fun, very little training in the last few months, and I was heavy too.

This was the first race of the new categories, and there was about 15 in senior 1, not too bad. Up the first fireroad and the pace was steady, led by Alfi “don’t f**k with me” Wallace. It stayed all together until the top, when I gave a dig just to get the holeshot into the 1st singletrack. Long, twisty, kicks berms, really good fun. Out the other end and it was only me, Richi and Max. Richi put a dig in the next climb, but I let him go and decided I would cath him on the next descent…..but this didn’t happen, Richi was riding very well technically. I knew the only way I would catch him is if I went raggied on the descents, but this didn’t work either, he was going very well.

So 2nd it was, very pleased considering I can barely ride the bike. Mark from MAD was 3rd, great ride, and we should be seeing more of him as the season goes on. The race was great fun, I was laughin a lot, this is how events should be run.
Well done to Mel in the ladies, Fergal in senior 2 (banger). Vinzer, my car pool parent, tired from a savage week in GC, had a tough day and rode around mid pack in the elites.

Off to Lanzarote next week for a family break, time to get the sun on the legs!


Vinny being chased by Oisin

Fergal on the bridge of doom

I'm not sure what is going on here, a TW rider going backwards :-)

Orla putting Richi in the trees!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2011 Irish Cyclocross Championships - Jan 2011

Grrrr, a lack of form before Christmas (booze, chocolates), coupled with a popped back, meant I chose to skip the nationals this year. Pity, as the reigning champ, I should have raced, but I would have been so far off the pace that I didn’t want to go. By the looks of it, it was a class race. Bob went from the gun, leaving Conor and Evan to duke it out. Congrats to bob, and Evan for outsprinting Conor for 2nd. Congrats also to the race organizers, the event looked great, very well setup etc. No more cross now until next year, time to get fit for the MTB!!!

Conor and Ryan go at it!

Full report here

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dec 2010 – MONSTER Snow

Mega snow here for the couple of weeks before Christmas. We had 1 day of no snow, then it went nuts again. 2ft of snow in my back garden! Biking was difficult,

I had an amazing spin with Robin and Vinzer over knocknagun on the Sunday of little snow. It was very cold, and we decided to go up knocknagun and hope that the bog was frozen. We actually rode on a 4 mtr wide track of deep snow all along the Dublin/wicklow border over the bog. Frozen solid, 40kms/hr…..like being on a ski slope…amazing.

I did a couple more spin in the snow, not too much. A great cross session on Stephens day in the snow with Robin, Mark and Andy. Then I popped my back fixing the tap in the kitchen, typical….knocked me out for a couple of week.

On the dublin/wicklow border. See the track go off behind my left shoulder, mad

Slidery roads

Back of Marley park