As the peak season approaches and the tension mounts in anticipation of the dramatic racing clashes that are about to ensue the conversation in training groups up and down the country is of who is going well and who will be the squad to watch this year . In seasons past Dectek Dunboyne cycling club or Carrick Wheelers road club were always sure to be in the shake up at the end of most races . Eurocycles Eurobaby and Dundrum Town Centre Orwell Wheelers would also be up there alongside Waterfords Comeragh cycling club and the easy to remember Limerick cc . This year , however there is a new kid on the block and the Killinaskully Wheelers CC aim to leave their mark .
Killinaskully is a small village in a tranquill rural setting five miles from Carrick , five miles from Clonmel , five miles from Waterford and five miles from Limerick . Look it up on a map and you’ll be sure not to find it . They have set up a new club and are going all out for the coming season .
Chairman of the club is Willy ‘Pantani’ Power . A great climber in his day who now drives an ’82 Merc. E300 with a roof rack that will carry four bikes and two wheels and is also team financial controller . He was ‘fierce’ disapointed at the recent church gate collection when he was sure that they had raised at least one thousand euro with all of the fivers and tenners floating into the biscuit tin only to discover that after his expenses were deducted only forty seven fifty remained .
Club secretary is Dan ‘ the man ‘ Clancy . A fine sprinter in his day when conditions were right , ie ; all downhill with a tailwind and no-one to beat but himself . An excitable secretary who lets Willy handle the money , he was driving behind the training group during the winter when one rider punctured . He tried to pass a rear wheel out the window of a hillman hunter instead of opening the door . The wheel became lodged in the window and had to be deflated to get it out , which defeated the purpose of having it in the first place .
Two of the clubs star riders are Jimmy Burke a rider who once got lost on the bodhreen up to his own house and Timmy Higgins , he of the pink leggings fame ( he claims to be colourblind and says they are red ) .
Last Thursday night there was a club meeting in Jacksie Kehoes . All present were drinking red wine as this is what Willy said they drank on the ‘Tour a France’ and some lively discussion ensued ;
Willy – ‘ Right lads , listen up and calm it down a bit . Firstly , i’d like ta tank ye all for comin here tanite . Tis great to see such a fine turnout a de Killinaskully cyclin camunitee . Dis year will be a big wan for uz . We’re going ta hit da ground runnin . Wan a ye should win de first race a de year in Traleeee and probably de Ras aswell . Tell me dis now an tell me no more , How’s de trainin goin ? ‘
Timmy – ‘ Well I’ve bin doin de Ronnie Balboa 7 week performance programme and it’s bin goin right well . ‘
Dan – ‘ What in de name of all tings devine is de Ronnie Balboa performance programme ? ‘
Timmy – ‘ Well , I’ve bin running up and down de steps at de end of de new bridge in Carrick an I’m up ta 15 times without stoppin .’
Dan – ‘ An could youu tell meee , what use will that be to ya when you’re tearing up de side of Mushra Mountain in March trying to hould onta the wheel of de likes of Paidi O’Brien an he ab-so-lutly flyin , ya loodar ‘
Timmy – ‘ Well , de book says ’tis good anyway ‘
Dan shakes his head slowly and says – ‘ Loodar ‘
Willy – ‘ Through the chair lads , through the chair . If ye hav somtin to say , say it through the chair please ‘
Jimmy stands up , lifts his chair up to his face and begins to speak .
Dan interupts and says ‘ sit down ya loodar , he means dat if you have somtin to say , you put up yer hand and Willy -De chairman- tells ya to speak ‘
Jimmy puts up his hand , is acknowledged by Willy , the chair , and asks ‘ Have any a ye heard antin about Pat ‘the yank’ O’Meara ? He was trainin mad but there was no sign of him on Sunday for the spin .’
Dan – ‘Oh sure he’s probably gone over ta America ta see de cousin , Barracks O’Meara , he’s startin a new job an ‘The yank’ was on about goin over coz he heard they were havin some big party or sometin .’
Jimmy – ‘ Where’d his cousin get a name like dat ? ‘
Dan -’ What , O’Meara ? ‘
Jimmy – ‘ Nooo , Barracks ‘
Dan – ‘ Well I make out de cousins faader was in d’army and was pensioned off young , probably army deafness or sometin along dem lines , an he missed d’army so much , dat he called de young lad Barracks so dat he would always feel like goin home was like goin back to the Army Barracks .’
Jimmy – ‘ Makes sense alright ‘
Willy – ‘ Will ye whisht up ye loodars , sure yer man in America’s name isn’t O’Meara , it’s Obama an I hope ye’re not after fillin that poor misfortunate young Pat ‘The yank’s head with shite an that he’s gone over there hoopin ta get in ta see de cousin as he is med President of America . Sure the yanks mother told me dat his cousin Brendan is only a dishwasher down in Canal street in New york an she hadn’t de heart ta tell him so she let him go on thinkin that yer man Obama woz de cousin . ‘
Dan – ‘ Well we were only goin along with what he was tellin us ‘
Willy – ‘ Loodars , Now speaking of Americans , dis race we’re runnin in de summer is around de time of de tour of Ireland and if yer man , what’s his name , strong arms or sometin , is coming over sure twould be great for de village if he rode it ‘
Dan – ‘ I tink dats Armstrong youre on about dere Willy , Laarance Armstrong ‘
Timmy – ‘ He says that lovely ‘
Willy – ‘ Oh right , Laaarance Armstrong , if any a ye know any a de McQuaids will ye ask dem if dey might have an ould word in his ear an see if dey might get him down to ride our race aswell ‘
In walks commisaire Dick O’Toole and saunters over to the gathering .
Commisaire Dick – ‘ Evenin lads . I hope ye’re all behavin yerselves . Wait until I tell ye I might have something dat might interest ye . Pa Connors was over in Belgium with his cousin Johan an he came back with de Izoozoo full a well matured gommitilla tubulars . If any a ye are looking for a few we coiuld do ye a right good deal .’
Willy – ‘oh , right , tanks Dick sure we’ll keep dat in mind ‘
Commisaire Dick – ‘ No bother lads , just said I’d give ye first option coz they’ll be gone fast ‘
Willy – ‘ right soo lads , we’ll sejourn de meetin for dis evenin , an I want to see ye all at trainin tomorrow evenin , an Timmy , no more runnin up an down dem steps in Carrick , if de Bally-mac boys see ya deyd never shut up goin on about it ‘