Contains many of Irelands top amateur riders of the era ;
Contains many of Irelands top amateur riders of the era ;
The An Post Sean Kelly team have begun this season at a fantastic level . They have figured very strongly in every race that they have entered thus far . This has not happened by chance .
Sean Kelly was probably one of the hardest working professional cyclists ever . His level of dedication and attention to detail is legendary . It is only natural to assume that some of this work ethic would rub off on the riders of the An Post Sean Kelly racing team .
A good example of this is 38 year old Niko Eeckhout . A former Belgian national champion who looked up to Kelly as a hero when he began racing as a teenager whilst Kelly was the World number 1 . In the Autumn of his career now , he could be excused for not having the same motivation and dedication as his younger protégés . But that would not be the ‘Kelly’ way . Eeckhout , like Kelly leads by example .
Over Christmas when Belgium was covered in a foot of snow it was impossible to train out doors . So what did Eckhout do ? He trained indoors . But not for 30 mins here and there . When his training program said that he was to do 6 hours , and he could not go outdoors , he did 6 hours indoors on the turbo trainer. Consuming over 10 litres of water during the six hour period he was also sweating this much out . His wife had to come in to him every now and then with a bucket and mop to soak up his perspiration from the floor .
And the results just speak for themselves . Niko has already tasted victory in the final stage of the 2010 Etoile des Besseges , one of the biggest races of the early season . How many other 38 year olds on any other team ( even The Shack ) would have that sort of dedication !
Most people suffer pretty regularly from the common cold as it’s known . Everyone has their own definition of just what a ‘cold’ is . Some people take to the bed at the first sign of a sniffle whilst others just plough on whilst coughing up a lung satisfied in the knowledge that they still have another one .
When you feel ill rest is hugely important , but the demands of everyday family and work life may not allow for much of that .
A trip to the doctor as soon as the green phlegm appears signaling the arrival of a chest infection gets a supply of antibiotics . But it is not good for general health and even for their effectiveness if antibiotics are taken too often .
So what are your options ?
This is a regular topic of conversation over the counter of our shop as cyclists seem prone to more colds and chest infections than the average Joe .
My own case usually begins with a sniffle which then turns into a sore throat before finally producing sellafield looking globules from my chest . This is how I nip it in the (sniffle or sore throat ) bud .
Ray often uses a herbal tonic called propolis so I said that I’d give a try . It worked very well on it’s own but occasionally a the chest infection still broke through . A trip to the ‘Honey Pot’ led to the trial of an elderberry tonic called Sambucol ( not sambuka) which I also complement with 1000mg of vitamin C each day .
The results for me have been fantastic . A full winter without a cold , flu or chest infection . ( I’m touching wood as I type ) I have had sniffles and an odd day with a sore throat but nothing the trio above was unable to clear .
Now this is solely based on my own limited experience so I don’t see it appearing on any medical journal in the near future but if you do suffer from colds , flu’s and chest infections it might be worth a try .
Below are the propolis and sambucol bottles that I use which both taste O.K. but there are other similar products which you would only taste once .
If you’re a pro or someone who may be tested check the Eirphram list before trying them just in case !
Cycling is being shown more on tv recently , especially with the arrival of Team Sky, but here are a few clips that you may have not seen before ;
Sometimes , when you see a single cyclist pedaling along an isolated country road it may look like a lonely form of exercise . Sometimes it can be anything but that .
Yesterday morning , I headed off for what I thought was going to be a nice handy 2 hour training spin . The morning was dry and cool with very little wind . Perfect weather for cycling . The direction that I choose was to head towards Clogheen , on into Cahir and back to Clonmel . By using some back roads it would be a nice quiet spin .
Between Ardfinnan and Clonmel who was coming against me in his big blue van only my friend Bernard . We stopped up on the side of the road and spent 15 mins plotting and planning our assault on this years Marmotte in France in July . Then on I went again headed for Clogheen .
Another friend of mine Mickey O’Donnell ( or Mickey and Donald as Kate calls him during her Disney moments ) lives on the far side of Clogheen and spent a few days in hospital last week after a fall so I decided to call for a few minutes to see how he was . Thankfully he was recovering well and 2 cups of tea and 1 1/2 hours later I was once more throwing my leg over the saddle and on the road again .
The road I was now on passes by my cousins farm and as I could hear the tractor running in the yard I stopped to say hello . Another hour and 2 more cups of tea saw me back on the road again now headed towards home feeling great as I always do after meeting my cousins who have a fantastic outlook on life .
On in through Cahir and along the back road near Grange through Knocklofty and who should I meet coming against me only Mr. www.sustainablesolutionsireland.com , Mehall ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald himself . Fresh from closing yet another deal with a client for one of his wood pellet boilers and a solar system he was full of the joys of spring .
On through Loughtally and home I found myself having covered only 50 miles in 5 hours at an average of 12.5 Miles Per Tea .
Group cycling can be a lot more sociable than a night in the pub as you move up and down the line getting a chance to chat to everyone for a while and have a bit of craic but even a lone cyclist can have a very enjoyable social spin , even if it’s not exactly the best form of training .
Garmin details of the spin here :
There is a guy who regularly comes into the shop called Katz Malackie . Now Katz is not an Estonian sprinter but a van salesman from just outside Clonmel . He never raced , but always had an interest in cycling and often fixes up neighbours bikes , and bikes he ‘pulls out of ditches’ . Obviously Katz was not the name chosen by his mother but rather a blocklayer from Ballynonty who noticed how often Katz referred to politicians , bosses , tipp hurlers, McDonalds burgers and just about anything that annoyed him as being ‘Katz Malackie’ .
Katz’s taste in bikes would be more of the Raleigh , Claude Butler , Falcon variety and when he called in for a few brake cables one afternoon last week I happened to be working on a Specialized S-Works . Never one to shy back from speaking his mind , he glanced over the bike and said ‘ Specialist , who the f**k are they , never heard of them . Some fly by night crowd again I suppose ! ‘ He then went on to tell me about a neighbour who bought one of those ‘Gant bikes and couldn’t get the hang of those fancy gears on the brake levers at all . Things like that shouldn’t be mixed . Sure ’tis like putting the handbrake in the gear lever on a car ‘
He came into town last summer to see the stage start of the Tour of Ireland . He wasn’t a bit impressed with the carry on of ‘your man Tex Livestrong’ . He remarked that ‘you wouldn’t see the likes of Henry Shefflin running around with a Bodyguard on the streets of Clonmel and sure a lot more people would recognise him than some oul cyclist from America ‘
Katz took part in a charity cycle once from Carrick to Galway . He says that he was set up . The boys told him he just had to get as far as Cahir and a van would be waiting to pick them up and bring them to within a mile of Galway where the intention was to jump out and cycle the last bit in before heading on the beer . It turned out that there was a van alright , but it was ‘ full to the gullet of bags belonging to the 50 men and women doing the cycle along with 5 bags of seed potatoes that the bollix in the van was bringing up to his cousin in Claregalway . They stopped in Cahir alright , but just for a bottle of feckin lucozade and a bit a fruit cake ‘. None of the women were trying to get their bikes to squash into the last bit of space in the van so he had to keep going , all the way to Galway . 14 hours later he says that he ‘ fell off the bike in Eyre Square just as a crowd were heading out of a pub and onto a disco . This was back in the eighties mind , so there was none of that red bull stuff on the go but didn’t I spot a young wan with a bottle of this west coat cooler tripe . I grabbed it off her , told her ’twas an emergency and downed it in one go before marching into Supermacs where ’twas like the parting of the dead sea . I was walking like John Wayne with me two legs spread four feet apart . I said ‘ layme up till I get something to bring me back to life and sure didn’t they all step aside and left me on up to get a few dry ould chips and a smokey cardboard burger . Sure twas pure katz malackie but didn’t it do the trick and bring me back to life again . Out I went and met the lads and we didn’t even bother gettin out of the cyclin gear before we got a few pints , only a few mind seen as I fell asleep on the bar of the pub we were in with the pure exhaustion and didn’t wake up until after closing time ! ‘
That seemed to put an end to Katz’s long distance cycling career , but he still manages a few spins every now and then , in woolen gear though , ‘couldn’t be wearing that spandex stuff , ‘twould only make me look like a bag a turnips on a pitch fork ! ‘
Last night I was reading my 5 year old daughter her bedtime story . It was an Enid Blyton story called ‘Somebody saw’ all about a boy who wasn’t very good at sports but got a special award for being a considerate road user on a bike . The story was aimed at young kids , but maybe a lot of us adults could do with reading it too .
How often do individual cyclists roll up to a red light , or a t-junction with traffic approaching from their right and just roll on through . How often do groups of cyclists roll up to a roundabout with cars approaching from their right and continue on through forcing the car to stop on the roundabout . There’s no point in denying it , it happens and we have all probably done it from time to time . Usually it is no big deal but all it takes is for the cyclist to come up against an irate ill tempered motorist and things can turn nasty pretty quickly . Only last year a motorist , feeling slighted at a roundabout drove straight at and ploughed into a group of cyclists outside Dublin .
And do not be fooled into thinking that this was a one off . The number of stressed out or just zoned out motorists is rising rapidly . If people are not rushing to be somewhere , they are chatting or texting on the mobile , fiddling with the ipod , eating their breakfast , putting on their makeup or brushing their hair .
If a car and a bike come into contact their will only be one immediate loser . Chances are , the cyclist will be injured and the motorist will be left feeling guilty and possibly facing a court appearance .
This is where the good manners and a bit of common sense come in . If a car is coming towards a roundabout or a junction from your right , yield right of way . The same applies if you’re in a car and a cyclist is approaching from your right . If a car cuts you up , instead of racing to do the same to them at the next set of lights and to give them a piece of your mind , ease back and leave them off . Bask in the relaxed knowledge that you will get to your destination in a much healthier and calm state than a motorist who is stressed out ever will . If a woman with 14 kids dragging out of her is 12 inches from pedestrian crossing as you approach it , stop and watch how often she will give you a great big smile of thanks . If you see someone lost and looking for directions , instead of pretending not to notice them stop and guide them on their way . Who knows when that might be you in a strange town or city.
As someone once said ‘ if you have the choice to be right or to be kind , always choose kind ‘ . Try it out and see just how much stress that one thing can eliminate from your daily commute .
For many years now the ‘Carrick’ group has set off at nine am from outside what was the old ESB office in Carrick . This group spin is an institution in Irish cycling with every level of rider from Sean Kelly down joining in . Before it would have been possible to fill every national team for the year out of this group alone . In the past riders have travelled from Dublin just to head out with the group .
One of the ‘regulars’ Joe Hahessy has fought his own battle in the past and won , and now lives strong . Unfortunately he was out of action again for a few months before Christmas with a leg injury but this cloud had a silver lining in that it gave him the chance to work on another of his many talents . Below is the result ;
DOWN AT THE E.S.B.
The wind is my friend
Its challenging song
Come ride against me
I will make you strong
Clubmen and champions
Young and old alike
For the love of the bike
Peddle out of Carrick
As the ninth bell tolls
Two by two up the road
Our ranks swell
More riders wheel round to join us
Fast approaching Clonmel
Over the gashouse bridge
Bringing traffic to a stop
Passed people fresh from worship
Newspapers bought at the shop
Barry goes up the line
Camera in hand
To record the happy faces
Of this Sunday morning band
The first big rise
Having raced through Ballymac
Quietens the chatter
Of the sit ons at the back
Up on the high ground
Where Bobby Powered his way
Across this windswept moorland
Every Stephens’s day
Plunging down Colligan
Our last respite
Passed the Master McGrath
Into the brilliant sunlight
At the top of the Pike
Beginning to get shook
Kelly takes it all in
With one long look
Powering up the Hay Sheds
No quarter asked for or given
From the strong men at the front
Tapping out the rhythm
Down hill for a while
Through Crotty’s playground
A long swig from the bottle
Helps bring you around
Big ringing it up Dá Rua`s
At a savage pace
This training ride as usual
Has morphed into a race
As we passed the home place
Kelly goes in the attack
Riders jumping all over the road
Trying to bring him back
Grab a fast wheel
And bide your time
With one mighty effort
Go for the line
Head low over the bars
Your sick with the pain
Legs are burning
Your one heart beat away from death
That’s plain for all to see
“See ye next week lads
Down at the E.S.B.”
Thanks for sharing this Joe and see you next Sunday ,