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 breathing

My heart wants to stop every lap”


“Oh father, dear Father, can we not go and play amongst the pretty marking tape.  Please father?”   The De Ronde children, all turned out in their sky-blue matching tights and bibs implored their strict father, Captain de Ronde, if they could not race amongst the turns and switchbacks of their grounds.  “No, not at all.  We are an orderly, well maintained, well-mannered troupe. You may not get muddy.”

Captain de Ronde had never gotten over the loss of his beloved, she was of a race in another place.  His charges, the best turned out in the community, were tightly marshalled, but wayward outside strict supervision.  For him, there was just one too many incidents away from home where they did not keep their shirts clean.  Now, he was going to have to marshall them in front of visitors.

In exasperation, Capt. De Ronde wrote to the local institution seeking wisdom. Would they have anybody who could help?  Sister City Council responded to the request.  “In our community Capt. De Ronde, we have a saying, Statio Bene Fide Ciclicrosstis.  Not only do we have what you need, we have who you need”.   Sister City Council was generously offering Tramore Valley Park to Capt. De Ronde, but also a slightly problematic novice, Fraulein Munster League.  “How would you say Captain, she’s a bit rough around the edges and doesn’t observe Sundays.  We call her M’Liga. Ah is that not the sound of Brother Corkery coming now”.

Oh, how do you solve a problem like M’liga?

How do you pump a tyre without PSI?

How do you find a course that suits M’Liga?

Many races on the one day you have to tell her

The difference between A & B she has to understand.


[Brother Walsh now…]

How do you solve a problem like M’liga?

When I’m riding a lap I’m confused

Whether on my Focus or Planet X I’m bemused

I never know where to pin the number on my arm

Or exactly where I am!


[Ah Sr. Grace…]

Oh, how do you solve a problem like M’liga?

Some fall a bit and scrape their knees, their kit gets all torn
They seem to waltz to victory, while others just fall down

And underneath their harsh exteriors, they stay up late
and clean their bikes, till they shine again.


However, M’Liga was able to help the wayward De Ronde children find fun in their lives again.  Turning the once dismal and dreary dump into a ribbon bedecked playground, M’Liga taught the youthful sky-blues to run, cycle, fall-off and frolic.  Even Capt De Ronde relaxed the rules about wearing club-gear and Fraulein M’liga helped John Ahern find his voice and express himself again.

Marking tape, Marking Tape
Every corner you greet me
Red and white
Clean and bright
You look happy to meet me



News soon spread about how well the De Ronde family were performing.  Visitors were coming from far and near to be entertained by the family.  “He doesn’t seem so Cross to me” said Paul Birchall to AJ Murphy as the dashing Capt De Ronde came across to him with his children.  “Aren’t they beautiful” said Russell Treacy to Trevor Woods “indeed, I think they’re singing campagnolo”. “Oh, I do Iove Campagnolo” cried Tom Mulqueen, “it’s one of my favourite things…” 


Dropbars on racers

And derailleurs on dropouts
Bright coloured jerseys and warm lycra mittens

Good grippy tubulars glued to new lace-ups

These are a few of my favourite things


Integrated brake levers and hydraulic cables

Chainrings and toeclips

And Helmets with visors

Carbon frames that creak when you stand on the pedals

These are a few of my favourite things


Boys and Girls in lycra with blue and red flashes
Wild turns that fling you to the mud face forwards

Supporters who stay on and call your name amongst others

A beautiful old Alan that springs when it’s cycled

These are a few of my favourite things






Alas dark clouds were looming over the Valley Park.  Foreign flags and bunting flapped in the bitter wind, heavy drops of rain splattered the shining footwear of the de Ronde off-spring. 








The De Ronde family looked up from under their cycling caps wondering what would happen on their course’s twists and turns.  It was Sr. Nessa’s turn to sing  

You were cycling now you’re slipping

Boy, it’s time to slide

Better beware, be canny and careful

Baby, you’re in for a ride


You were cycling now you’re falling

Fellows will topple in line

Eager young lads and racers and caads

Will offer you advice and laugh


I was cycling now I’m walking

I know that I am in a heap

Fellows I meet may tell me my bikes are sweet

And willingly I believe


Eventually, with the great help of M’Liga Capt De Ronde spoke to his visitors.  “This is my hometown.  Yes, my beloved marking tape may be blowing in the wind but I hope you find your way.  Don’t try to take any shortcuts or it will be so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu. To you, and you, and you.”


And the choir of racers replied:


What will this day be like? We wonder.
Which Richie will we see?

It could be so exciting to be out on the course
With our legs burning acidly.
Oh, why’s that guy laughing at me?


We’ve always longed for adventure
To jump the boards we’ve never dared
Now there’s Paudie and Kevin and Trevor

Why do they seem so carefree?


Captain De Ronde with seventy children
What’s so fearsome about that?


Oh, I must stop these doubts, all these worries
I just have to face that switchback
I must dream of not coming unstuck

Or I’ll be the same as Will Rock


The courage to take that turn on two wheels 

Face my mistakes without faceplanting
Show them I’ve great handling

And while I show them
Sean Rowe and Michael Buckley will show me!




Photo credits: Michael Buckley & Seán Rowe

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