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 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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. ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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’ ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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, ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • “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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...