Checking in with the Dirty Hobbits crew after a full weekend’s action at the Leinster Champs in Ticknock. The lads know how to have the craic…
By their nature, true Hobbits don’t easily go “Up to Dublin”. They find it confusing crossing the busy roads and they get worried that their stuff will be nicked or that some D4 woman will woo them to get her hands on their land. This instinct to be wary of Dublin – particularly South County Dublin – has been passed down through Hobbit generations and it seems with good reason. Something didn’t smell quite right about this one.
But the Hobbits needed to race, so they had to make the annual pilgrimage to Three Rock and they decided to do it in style. Like a proper farmers’ protest at The Dáil, the Hobbits turned up with the very best of machinery! Rampage unveiled a steel beauty that screams speed!! Well-to-wear with it Jay – you’re like a sugar Daddy with a hot fiancé – not quite able to keep up with her, but delighted to see all the lads eyeing her up.
Choco brought the Froggy as usual – which had the ‘OMG – like you don’t have a 29er?’ Dubliners quite confusticated. I think the Froggy averages out at 26.75 with special aerodynamic brake levers that tuck down out of the way when you pick up speed. Handy.
Strangely perhaps, scrutiny was a breeze. It’s not every morning you’re asked by a stranger to place your hand on your pack, but the D4 Scrutineers are a serious bunch and the Hobbits obliged. Some had to be told to take their hand off it again – and others were warned that they only needed to check their own pack. It was embarrassing, but in fairness Hobbits get excited with pre-race nerves.
Stage One was short and technical, the same as 2017. It’s a wake up call from the get-go and the dry weather meant fast times all round.
Stage Two was short and technical, the same as 2017. It ends in a big amphitheatre of woods so riders are in full view for the last 100 yards or so. In these conditions when Hobbits see one of their own descending, the tend to yelp, a bit like chimps on a hunt. Essentially it’s a war cry – partly designed to attract willing females/males from neighbouring tribes. It’s fair to say that Three Rock is a rich hunting ground in this regard. The woods were alive with Hobbit war cries.
Stage Three started the same as 2017, but took a sneaky de-tour followed by a good strong pedal across the woods, with 20 yards of a fantastic rocky road at the end that had Jem diving under the tapes likes Tommy Bowe. Yvonne only wishes he did it more often. Full commitment Jem – I’d say that was worth at least 100th of a second – which in this game can mean bragging rights for a long time!
Stage Four was an oldie – Fast AF down to the Blue Light with an awesome wooded slalom in the middle. Unfortunately a puncture stole Choco’s race on this stage – which led to some Blue Language – in Mexican naturally. Luckily The Donald didn’t hear and we all got to race Stage 5.
The two climbs up from Three and Four were tough going, but made easier by the Hobbit Groupies – who spurred us on. Joanne Van Der Lee it turns out, is a dab hand with a camera – great work and encouragement! Thanks!
The high point of the day – in every way, was at the top of Stage Five. I’ve never witnessed scenes like it. Sun, sea, tonnes of spectators, a fast and flowy trail ahead with the promise of Red Bull professionals at the bottom to quench the thirst – and all the climbs done for the day!! Life was good!
Hobbit War Cries
Like bullocks on their first grass of spring, the Hobbits were becoming uncontrollable. Jay was chanting a sort of Maori mantra while frothing sightly and licking his new frame. Ug and Jem, fuelled by 17 Shnack bars each (they were free), got the guns out and started shouldering each other across the forest road – all of which duly impressed the locals. The Hobbit war cries seemed to be working too, as some South Dubliners clearly forgot to lock up their daughters. From now on, that part of the mountain will forever be known as Two Rock.
In the end, it was too much for our newest Hobbit – Conan. Like William Wallace, with Dublin city as his backdrop, and trail dust for war paint, he stared each Hobbit in the eye and in rousing tones roared the Flower of Scotland. Women with small children held them closer.
Then, in a cloud of dust and kilt and club, he disappeared down Stage Five like the destroyer he is! That was when we all knew he had made the grade. It’s great to have you onboard Conan – our second foreign Hobbit. Jem will be in touch about the hazing.
A few Hobbits were excused this race – all with valid reasons – but you were missed. One however was deemed officially MIA. How very rude when the Hobbits came to his home turf, not to even turn up with a camera or a sandwich? Some welcome for your country cousins!
Results? As Jem says, these are measurements made to separate friends. Thankfully these measurements come in 100ths of a second, cause otherwise we’d never know! Well done Jem on a great result! Ride of the day in my book.
So that’s it for another year. Back beyond the pale, all safe and sound. Just!
Three Rocks, Twin Peaks and One hell of a day! Bring on Bree…
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