Brendan’s Blog

These are the thoughts and ramblings of someone who has spent far too long in the saddle.

You may be familiar with the scientific theories relating to bicycles and the exchange of molecules put forward by Flann O’Brien in his masterpiece ‘The Third Policeman‘.

We suspect this molecular exchange may explain in some way what drives Brendan to write his blog, you have only to look are the wide and strange variety of bicycles (and tricycles) he rides and you will start to understand complexity of his mind.

Below is a comprehensive (but not full) list of the ramblings!

  • The East Cork Ploughing Championships
    Like some of you I too built a cyclocross course in the garden with old rope tied to older furniture, or anything else that would act as a stake.  No ...
  • Some people went to Billy Elliott – I just looked like him
    Around the same time as my mum and sister were entering the Bord Gáis theatre to see the young dancer from the 1980’s musical I was at home busily slinking ...
  • The Tricycle diaries # 1: MIND
        “Find a quiet road, preferably flat and straight, with no traffic.  Cycle on it for 300 miles.  As your excursions into the ditch become less frequent try turning”.  Now, that’s ...
  • A Tangle of Straps
    The car’s bluetooth display flashed into life just as I was telling Mick about the virtues of riding steel bikes. Mick: “It’s the lads.” The lads were driving behind us as we headed for ...
  • Stairway to Fota
    STAIRWAY TO FOTA (to the tune of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven)’ There’s a Cork man who’s sure All the cyclists be told That he brought a stairway to Fota When they get there they ...
  • AdicTTion – A thank you to De Ronde van Cork Cycling Club
      How can anything so bad for you make you feel so good? And yet I turn up at the De Ronde van Cork TT league to do it all again. ...
  • Final part of the ‘Shay Elliott’ Helyett build
    Watch as Brendan almost comes to a sticky end in the final part of his Helyett build! https://youtu.be/1XU62kqUQoc
  • Good people the Triathletes
    Good people the Triathletes.  Open-minded.  Like all good Cork people.  So when I rocked up to the start line, in the slipstream of Peter Meaney’s Planet X aeroplane, they didn’t ...
  • Running up that Hill
      “Oh c’mon, baby, c’mon darling Let me steal this moment from you now. C’mon, angel, c’mon, c’mon, darling Let’s exchange the experience, oh” “Steine Wachsen”.  My German neighbour often reminds me that stones grow ...
  • The Rise and Fall of the Burren CX Race
    Part B, The Rise. Hard man, Sweeney. A revolutionary.  Killer tattoos on his arms, Killarney adventure race under his belt.  He timed his return to the Munster Cyclocross league to coincide ...
  • Round 4 of the Munster CX League: RIP Alan Frame
    Alan Frame R.I.P. OldVelos has announced the sad passing of Alan Frame (1981-2019). The Alan (as he was affectionately called) was a regular competitor at the Munster Cyclocross League and also ...
  • Review: Quondam: travels in a Once World
    “This one goes out to the one I love This one goes out to the one I left behind A simple prop to occupy my time This one goes out to the one I ...
  • Nothing Compares to Glue
    God knows what the late Prince would make of the Irish CX scene, but I would truly love to hear the great Sinéad O’Connor sing this.  I am sure if ...
  • The return of Brendan’s Blog!
    Where it all started After a long absence we are pleased to share with you once again ‘Brendan’s Blog‘ – the thoughts and ramblings of someone who has spent far too ...
  • A bridge too far !
      Are you winning Dad?  Pi Cx Race organiser and occasional OldVelo Paul Birchall held tight to the microphone as he stood in front of the line of racers.  “Be kind to ...
  • A result that matters – Burren Racing Team’s Ennis CX Race
    “I was halfway through the race and I felt a little silly.  I think I started too fast and then I was wrecked.  I wanted to stop and take a ...
  • Round one of the Munster CX League, Ireland
    Another Ambush at Crossbarry Confusing enough that the opening round of the Munster CX league in Ireland was called Crossbarrs, located near Crossbarry and hosted by St. Finbarrs CC, but that ...
  • OldVelos Book Review: Ascent into Hell by Fergus White
    I always read 5 star reviews with the suspicion they are often written by friends of the author.  Well let me admit at the outset that I am a friend ...
  • Riders unhappy over team’s selection
    OldVelos riders unhappy over team’s selection ahead of the Earthquake Team Time Trial Team management at Ireland’s chapter of OldVelos  have reported unhappiness in the camp ahead of the Earthquake team ...
  • A Split in the Bunch
    A Split in the Bunch Starting the day by losing contact with the bunch is a bad omen. They said I was too green. I thought they were stuck up.  I ...
  • O’Loughlin triumphs over Power of the cross.
    The world’s media never gathers in Mallow.  Today was no different.  But today was no ordinary day either.  Three first-class sports photographers, cycling their speciality, gave up their bank holiday ...
  • Forty pounds of pressure
    Forty pounds of pressure At an approximate* velocity of 1800 ft per second, 40 pounds of pressure will escape a 1milimetre tear in an inner tube in 3 seconds**.  About the ...
  • Alleged “sofa-use” mars OldVelos Earthquake victory
    We have been requested to undertake a three-piece review of the off-season activities of Earthquake Team Time Trial champions’ OldVelos following their unexpected win in East Cork on Sunday. Questions were ...
  • The Bandon Train
      After 75 long, hilly and challenging miles of the West Cork Peak Challenge, I rocked up to the final service stop in Kealkil on my wooden bike and equally wooden ...
  • In a league of our own
    During my recent visit to OldVelos headquarters I was summoned into the Editor’s office. The conversation went something like this:- “Hennessy, you are our best and only blogger by a long ...
  • The OldVelos Tricycle Diaries #2: Body
    Luckily, the trike did not commit hari-kari on our neighbour’s drive. I suspect its plans were much more sinister and somehow involved me, the person who breathed life into it. The ...
  • My lovely course – Cyclocross at the Clonmel Horse Track
    Clonmel course designers win by a nod (just look at Michael Buckley’s photo finishes)!   As usual, the committee expected Ned and Douglas to run the Clonmel CC Cyclocross race again.  “Who, ...
  • OldVelos complete the Ring of Kerry cycle on ‘High Nellies’
      Dougie floated the ball, Brendan reached up, caught it and brought it to ground.  Ger called for it and started running goalward.  He passed the ball on to Pierce.  Pierce ...
  • The Baracchi Trophy Reimagined – A race before Rock’ n’ Roll
    Gary, harder than a man. Gary Neff, where is Gary now? What’s Gary doing now? Just, where is Gary now? Come aboard. It should come as no surprise that OldVelos still have their old valve ...
  • The Fall from Grace -The Burren A Race
    The Fall – Part A & Ladies – Burren CX I had a sense of impending doom as my rear wheel spun but I stayed put.  My handlebars rose in my ...
  • Ryan’s Water
    An Upperchurch-Drombane Production IN A WORLD OF ALL-HUMAN VELO-REVOUTION DOMINATION, CAN ONE MAN BREAK THEIR SUPREMACY. CAN RYAN BEAR THIS CROSS, OR MUST WE ALL LOOK ON JEALOUSLY? Directed by and featuring; ...
  • The Field
    The Field featuring John Crowley as Richard Harris; Marcus Treacy as Sean Bean, Brendan Slattery as God and Pádraig Slattery and Patrick Clifford as themselves.  As for Bird… The parting in the ...
  • The time, trials and tribulations of a tricyclist
     “Really? On that yoke? Well good luck to you.” Those were the words of the ‘holder’ (the time trial official who usually supports the bike and already clipped in rider at ...
  • The Legacies
    I was far too far from Cork when I realised I had left my racing legs behind.  It was a stupid oversight considering the long hours I had lavished on ...
  • Fear and Loathing in Lost Races – a savage journey to the heart of the cyclo cross dream
    “We were somewhere around Clonmel when the drugs started to take hold …..” (Hunter S Thompson 1971) You would expect in a cyclo cross race one would prefer to be ahead of ...
  • Left at the Whiskey Woods – A Post Covid TT
    Left at the Whiskey Woods With my head resting on the handlebars and my legs barely able to hold my weight, I sucked oxygen into my heaving lungs.  Others looked on ...
  • Three go down to the Sea
    Three go down to the Sea on the good ship ‘Scarke’ Preparing for the voyage When the President of the Tricycling Association in the UK saw this photo. He responded ...
  • Remembering John Shanahan (Part II)
    Horsemageddon I guess the last thing the pony expected was Peter Meaney up his rear end.  And if he’d had the time to look, he might have noticed that Peter would be swiftly ...
  • The Sound of CX – De Ronde Cross – The Musical
      The Sound of CX De Ronde Cross – The Musical “The hills are alive with the sound of CX. With mud, slime, inclines and camber The hills fill my lungs with gasping ...
  • The Tricycle Diaries Part 3: SOUL
    My recent foray into a hedge on a two-wheeler made me double-think this whole tricycle business.  Not only had my 1957 Mercian Tricycle tried to kill me, maim my friend ...
  • Irish National Cyclocross Championships 2020
      Lines from the Fifth Province “The Fifth Province is not anywhere here or there, north or south, east or west. It is a place within each one of us – that ...
  • Oh Mercier
      “Hound dog howlin’, bullfrog croakin’, everything is broken”   Bob Dylan, Everything is Broken, Oh Mercy.   ‘Housework’, I can struggle with that.  ‘Parental duties’, the clue is in the words.  ‘Building a bike’ ...
  • Nessa Rochford’s Socks
    Have you ever spied When to CX races she rocks Her ankles are so well dressed They’re Nessa Rochford’s socks. I eyed them first at Crossbarrs Where the competition she outfoxed Kanturk and Strata3 were good But ...
  • ‘OldVelos Oldtimers Series’ Part I: ‘Arjay’ by Bob Montgomery
    R J Mecredy, or ‘Arjay’ as he was invariably known was born on May 18th in the year 1861 at Ballinasloe, County Galway is often referred to as the ...
  • Round 6 of the Munster CX League: The Chairman’s Spare Wheel and other Stories
    The Chairman’s Spare Wheel: Chairman of the Munster Cyclocross Championships is not an epithet that weighs heavily on the shoulders of Over The Hill CC stalwart Pat McHugh.  Nothing is a ...
  • Ode to a Mighty Gael
    Along came Landers On race eve I asked Anthony Kenneally If I could come to the Youghal course for a ‘ganders Who did I not expect to meet? But the bold Brian Landers ~~o0o~~ In his ...
  • “Anyone for Hills?” Organising the OldVelos Vintage Classic 2017
    The OldVelos Vintage Classic may have been over, but some riders weren’t done with us yet.  In particular my friends alá tandem were at pains to point out that my ...
  • I love it when a plan comes together
    I love it when a plan comes together” – OldVelos joins The iAn-Team One year ago, a cracked cycling unit was convicted in Kerry by a military court for a crime ...
  • The Funnel
    The Funnel at UpperChurch Orchard Cross Michael Cahill had been hoarding reasonable results these last few league races, but when the Munster race came to his home place he really coveted ...
  • Remembering John Shanahan (Part 1)
    Remembering John Shanahan, being Gary Neff Gary Neff had been John Shanahan’s tandem partner for a long time before I came along joined the party.  It’s tough enough taking over from a previous partner ...
  • The Fissure
    Fissure /fɪʃə/ (Noun a long, narrow opening or line of breakage made by cracking or splitting, especially in rock or earth.) To the people of Upperchurch and Drombane ‘The Fissure’ was always ...
  • When two tribes go to war
    When two tribes go to war – The Munster Cyclocross Championships 2018 A Pre-Script Too often women’s races are relegated to postscripts.  In this blog I’m afraid the men’s race again gets ...
  • OldVelos Flash Skin Tight Suit – A History
    One Spring morning OldVelos, the vintage cycling group, took it upon themselves to cycle part of the Ironman Ireland route in Cork.  We had heard it was tough.   Ah come ...
  • Bray Wheelers CX Race Killruddery
    TIME PLEASE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN !   Twice a year we all forget to reset our clocks for summer and winter time, and even when we do, we can’t recall are they ...
  • Medical Miracle in Midleton!
    After the mishap the great Alan Frame experienced at last week’s CX event we thought there was no hope of recovery and like so many others we had prematurely consigned ...
  • National Hill Climb 2019
      Glounsharoon, Sunday 29th September “Make sure you’re standing on the pedals on the start line” said my buddy Thor.  He would start 5 minutes ahead of me and so I watched ...
  • Book Review: Quondam: Travels in a Once World
    “This one goes out to the one I love This one goes out to the one I left behind A simple prop to occupy my time This one goes out to the one I ...
  • The Insomniac OldVelos Compose
    Oldvelos at the Mondello 24 Hour Endurance Cycle (Those of you that are Van Morrison fans may be familiar with his album ‘Poetic Champions Compose’ and the track ‘Queen of the ...
  • If Strava measured incredulity we’d be right at the top!
      There’s not much the Strava cycling app doesn’t tell you: distance travelled, average speed, heart-rate, former lovers, it’s all there for the discerning cyclist and their followers.  But what if ...
  • Round 3 of the Munster CX League: Getting the Upper hand
    Richard: “Where were you?” Patrick: “At the shops, Centra.  Here’s your mints” Richard: “I used ride for them remember – St. Finbarrs – Centra?” Patrick: “Remember?  Like that time you ran into me ...
  • Showdowns at the Spaghetti Grounds – De Ronde 21
    The wind may have come in from the north at De Ronde Cross, but the turns came from North, East, South and West.  Amongst the A’s were the Richards, Barry ...
  • Teamwork never went out fashion
      “If only the event was run on Saturday morning” mused the OldVelos team manager as he fielded yet another call from an excusing cyclist.  That morning he had the makings ...
  • Perspective –1962 Helyett Spéciale ‘Shay Elliott’ Rebuild
      Before OldVelos became OldVelos we were just a group of enthusiasts who came together to quietly commemorate Shay Elliott on the 50th anniversary of his yellow jersey.  We chose Shay’s ...