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Laochra na Laoise: Vintage Steel Bike Ride 15th September Port Laoise



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,618 ✭✭✭happytramp

    Claude Butler or first Peugeot....... but those Claude Butler tires need to go.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20 sarge10

    Hi Daithi,

    Thanks for the kind comments. The gearing is 1950's Cyclo Benelux. The rear mech is pull chain operated and has a 4 speed block. The front is a hand operated plunger operated mech, it's a simple highly effective changer. They both work well.

    The Maclean has the Simplex versions of this type of mech.



  • Registered Users Posts: 476 ✭✭Brendan Hennessy

    Another vote for Claud Butler but also a request to bring the Maclean for show and tell!


  • Registered Users Posts: 869 ✭✭✭Daithi BC

    I'm meeting the caterer tomorrow to confirm numbers. Current plans are for sandwiches and chocolate biscuit cake, so let me know if you have any other requests. Eroica-style red wine will be available from the bar after 12:30pm!

  • Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭eoghan84

    Daithi BC wrote: »
    I'm meeting the caterer tomorrow to confirm numbers. Current plans are for sandwiches and chocolate biscuit cake, so let me know if you have any other requests. Eroica-style red wine will be available from the bar after 12:30pm!

    hi Daithi, Im planning on coming too. Just have to double check the bike a few times. Planning on doing the rebel tour the day before but on a different bike, have the jersey ready

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  • Registered Users Posts: 476 ✭✭Brendan Hennessy


  • Registered Users Posts: 869 ✭✭✭Daithi BC

    I'm happy to say that I've just sampled the chocolate biscuit cake for Sunday, and it meets my very high standards!

    Thought I'd put up a few thoughts on the routes. The "short" route ( is generally flat, so anyone with a 42-15 bottom gear will be fine. There are two steep, but very short hills (probably 600m in total), and you can even avoid the first and steepest one of those if you want. After the food stop in Durrow, it's more or less completely flat all the way home.

    I'll stick up a preview of the climbs in the Slieve Blooms later on in the week. If you're going to head up there, you'll need good brakes and low gears or strong legs!

  • Registered Users Posts: 476 ✭✭Brendan Hennessy

    Hi all,

    Sunday is fast approaching (9.30 @ M7 Mid-Way food stop, Junction 17) and hopefully this small vintage event will grow to bigger things in the future. Daithi has recced a few optional routes and further stops for the longer route if meteorological conditions require it. But remember vintage bikes don't get their genuine old look patina without a little rain (nor our men & women of steel reputations)!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,131 ✭✭✭Dermot Illogical

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,557 ✭✭✭The tax man

    Hmmm...... I'll be keeping a close eye on the weather for this one.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 869 ✭✭✭Daithi BC

    I just watched the BBC forecast. We're not going to get sunburnt, but I don't think it's as bad as the original forecast I saw. The short route is pretty sheltered all the way around, so I suspect we may end up skipping the Slieve Blooms and just doing the 80km route, but if it's not too bad, there is a shorter and less exposed route through the mountains as well.

    Forecast from (who I find pretty good for a 48 hour forecast): - if they're right it's about 25 to 32km/h winds (8 to 9 m/s).

    Despite the warning on their homepage, Accuweather are only giving 18km/h winds with gusts up to 26km/h for the Portlaoise area (

    Even the 5 day forecast ( is only giving about 28km/h (15 knots) and the rain doesn't look too bad either.

    I would definitely bring some non-vintage rain gear with you, but after that, I think we should be ok.

  • Registered Users Posts: 476 ✭✭Brendan Hennessy

    Thanks Dáithí,

    Let's go for it! I'm just going to check if I have a spare set of Bluemel mudguards!

    Here's the video from last weeks event in Utrecht - all double dutch to me, but I'm sure I understood someone was saying I'd just love to go to Laois! The pic at 11minutes speaks to me!


  • Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭eoghan84

    Hi Brendan and Daithi, I didn't manage to make it mainly because I did the Rebel Tour yesterday and I was a bit wrecked today. Hope you had a good time!

  • Registered Users Posts: 869 ✭✭✭Daithi BC

    eoghan84 wrote: »
    Hi Brendan and Daithi, I didn't manage to make it mainly because I did the Rebel Tour yesterday and I was a bit wrecked today. Hope you had a good time!

    Hi Eoghan. No problem. Hope you had a good day yesterday. You missed an epic battle this morning! Lots of wind and rain until the food stop, but then it brightened up, and we had sunshine until the finish.

    Thanks to everyone who turned up, and hope you enjoyed it. Thanks also to Bob's Bar in Durrow who provided free tea and coffee for everyone and to Marie Delaney for the catering.

  • Registered Users Posts: 620 ✭✭✭Super Freak

    Jaysus lads weren't ye fierce unfortunate with that shower of rain ;)

    Very sorry I had to rush off, The company was good but the CAKE :eek:

    A motley crew if there ever was one...........................



    To give an idea of how wet it was here's Daithi wringing out his socks at the half way point...... Notice the bright sunshine in the background. The sky opened to give the heaviest rain in months about 10 min before this pic was taken.


    Again, apologies for having to rush off but I got a shot of Brendan just as I was leaving (Who was slightly behind the arrival of the main bunch).


  • Registered Users Posts: 620 ✭✭✭Super Freak

    The Machines


    And Finally, Bobby Campion. Proprietor of the best bar in Laois, home of Bob's bar and cycling museum. A true gentleman in every way. (although The Fishermans inn in Vicarstown comes in a very close second place).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,618 ✭✭✭happytramp

    Yeah it was a great ride. I was too wrecked last night to actually comment on it but the whole thing was fantastic, well done to DathiBC and Brendan. The first half was quite the epic struggle in torrential rains and gales force winds but after the food stop it all got much more pleasant. I'll defo do it again if it's on next year and look forward to seeing some of the guy's at L'Eroica in two weeks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 869 ✭✭✭Daithi BC

    I'd like to run it again next year, preferably with better weather! The addition of the Slieve Bloom circuit would make it a good tough day out. Hope to see you at L'Eroica as you power past me on a strada bianca hill.

  • Registered Users Posts: 552 ✭✭✭sbs2010

    Great spin - big thanks to Daithi and Brendan. And to Bob and the lady who did the food.

    The chocolate biscuit cake alone was worth the trip.

    Spin from Durrow straight back to Portlaoise on my own was grand - don't think it was 20km but it was long enough to more or less dry out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 476 ✭✭Brendan Hennessy

    Quick response and report from me: first, thanks to all above, not to omit Super Freak's photos.

    Nine souls turned out for this first l'Eroica inspired Laochra na Laoise spin, only six returned. Dramatic pause.

    The weather forecast should really have put us off, as it did quite a few, but maybe we are more hardy than fools. The route was fantastic, climbs manageable (in my case on 48x24), the roads both quiet and good quality. No doubt beyond the low mist were panoramic views of the Sliabh Blooms and of otherwise unknown Irish landscape for many. A route highly recommended for anyone who finds themselves in the midlands.

    Shortly after reaching the summit of the long [not 200 meters Daithi BC] country climb (remember that water colour of Roche and Delgado?) we lost a man who smashed a bottle, of wine, against his frame. Maybe French wines are not meant for Italian bikes. Personally I would have waited till the contents were warming my toes, but in this case, and in that deluge, the run off will have inebriated the good folk of Timahoe. Alas John was never seen again. 1 down.


    Shortly after that Sarge lost his head....set! All of those who voted Claud Butler voted for the frame and not the componentry. 2 down, but thankfully he was rescued and deposited in Durrow by this time riding a Peugeot centenary special.

    Colm. Disappeared on a Donaldson. 3 Down.

    Between Timahoe and Durrow the group fractured, splintered, near drowned and was flailed by highwinds and foliage. It was only as I followed behind, broom wagon style, and spluttering falling leaves from my mouth, did I realise this was a classic. Then the sun shone. I remembered that scene from The Perfect Storm with trepidation. My 700x19 lost traction on the incline, but I was never in as much danger as George Clooney's boat.

    Finally in Durrow the remaining assembled, patiently waiting for yours truly. Finally too, we were able to enjoy and reminisce about the retro gear that had been hidden under rain jackets and gilets. Of the bikes Tax Man's Colnago and Happy Tramps A.J. Rickert(?) took the spoils. Durrow will be visited again. Bob's Bar is the perfect venue. Not only does Durrow deserve respect, so does Bob. He treated us most generously despite our small numbers and the pool of waters that collected around our feet. Thankfully his floors are not carpeted.

    The route home was about getting home. Hopefully next year we'll get to ascend to the high hills of the Midlands and behold all Laoise offers. And for those of us who rode Laochra na Laoise this year, we know we did it classic style, be that the Falling Leaves of Laoise, or Laoise Bastogne Laoise (as a clubmate commented).

    Best wishes to those who soon set off for l'Eroica, especially Ferdia on his trek on a Raleigh Ritmo - as someone said it's all downhill from Switzerland. Hopefully you'll all have found this - a vintage spin.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,557 ✭✭✭The tax man

    Big thanks to Brendan and Daithi BC for organising a great day.
    Fantastic route on nice quite back roads with a bit of everything thrown in.
    Things certainly got tough with the downpour and wind as we headed for the food stop but some pacey up and overs got us there just as the rain stopped.

    A lovely spread awaited in Bob's bar and believe me,it was very welcome.
    Thanks to Marie for the food and Bob for his hospitality.
    I felt guilty as Bob handed out teas and coffees and all I did was leave a big pool of water on his floor. Great collection of bikes upstairs on show.

    Thankfully the weather was on our side for the return trip and the wind was eventually on our backs which made things easier.

    Best of luck to the guys heading to L'Eroica, hope you have a blast.:)