As many of you will be aware, a momentous event in the history of Dundrum mercantile activity, for Orwell Wheelers and, indeed, for Irish cycling will occur this coming Monday with the retirement of David “The Docket” Tansey from Joe Daly Cycles.

It seems appropriate to mark the occasion with a short tribute to a man whose calm diligence in his business life has been seamlessly interwoven with a selfless and unbroken support for Orwell Wheelers which stretches back to the 1970s.

The Tansey family has been synonymous with Orwell Wheelers for over 40 years and David has seen and done it all with the club as a rider, official, sponsor and all-round central hub as Joe Daly Cycles has acted as a sort of unofficial clubhouse throughout that time.

If a club lives or dies by the energy, commitment and attitude of its club members then it’s clear that David Tansey has been the beating heart of Orwell for decades.

Is there anything Orwell-related Dave hasn’t sponsored through Joe Daly’s in his time at the helm of the shop his dad created and which he has carefully steered in recent years with due regard to the values passed on by the late Joe?

There follows a comprehensive but by no means complete list of David’s contributions over the years which have helped to make our club one of the most vibrant and successful in the country and for which we owe him a, frankly, unpayable debt of gratitude.

The Stephen Roche Grand Prix has benefited from prizes for youth riders and there can hardly be a rider in Leinster who hasn’t won a raffle prize donated by Joe Daly’s at various events over the years.

These include all the Orwell Christmas Hamper races stretching back into the mists of time, the Gerry Brannigan Memorial , the Orwell Table Quiz, the Women’s National Road Race League, the women’s race at Scott Orwell Wheelers Cyclocross Race 2018 and countless other events which would have struggled without the support of David Tansey.

There’s hardly a racer in the club who hasn’t been able to depend on a bunch of gels and the myriad assortment of spares and tools generously donated  which have ensured that they have been able to finish stage races across the length of countless seasons from the Gorey to the Rás.

Joe Daly’s have sponsored numerous Rás na mBán teams, a jersey classification and paid for event timing among other contributions throughout the event’s existence.

An event dear to heart of all the Tansey family is the annual Joe Daly Memorial Charity Cycle Rally in aid of Simpson’s Hospital which David’s dad organised for so many years and which Dave has continued to support since Joe passed away.

As well as direct sponsorship, Joe Daly Cycles has played host to regular kit nights and workshops and, of course, the shop has long been a traditional meeting point for spins and events.

The shop has the been the storage unit for club kit even when the shop is packed enough as it is and innumerable club members have benefited from discounts and special offers for club members.

Dave himself has long been the guru of the tube swap through his patented and ever-popular puncture repair workshops and, as well as his own sponsorships, he has sourced and nurtured other club sponsors including our present benefactor Scott.

He is a former club president who has spent way more years on the committee than most of us have been members but we must remember his original passion for Orwell Wheelers was nurtured through his own considerable endeavours on the bike.

Behind that avuncular, reassuring calm is a man of unyielding steel and no little achievement on two wheels as evidenced by six finishers medals in Rás Tailteann. Dave honed his physical ability through an innate distaste for the unruly nature of bunch gallops which forced him to become something of a long breakaway specialist.

His velvet-covered hammer approach to bike racing is best displayed in the way he has time and again slipped away from the bunch in the manner of a man popping up the road to visit an elderly relative – not to be seen again until the prizegiving.

He’s one of the few who could conceive of attacking from the line in an open ‘devil-take-the-hindmost’ at Sundrive Road and then actually pull it off. He himself is justifiably proud of breaking the hour in a 25-mile time trial on an 88-inch fixed gear road bike ‘sans’-tri bars.

These exploits and more point to the character of the man and have been reflected in his business.

Ironically, David’s commitment to the shop over the years has meant that those six weeks on the Rás include pretty much the only Saturdays he has ridden his bike in anger in his adult life.

His recent decision to pivot into a career as a full-time manager and agent for Orla Hendron means that, while life could get busier, some Saturdays may now be available. However, he insists that he’s “not yet ready” to commit to training for his debut in the Gorey 3-Day .

Dave leaves Joe Daly Cycles in the capable hands of Dave McLoughlin, Louise Keane and Fionn Sheridan meaning the shop will retain a special welcome for members of Orwell Wheelers. It’s taken three people to replace you, Dave! Cheers and best of luck for the future. To quote the man himself -

"See you on the road"!

(Ed's note - Thanks to Declan Quigley for taking time out of a very busy condensed racing season to write this piece.)

David (right) with father Joe (left) and brother Paul (center)


looking fit and ready to roll (year?)


Always supporting rising talent - Nicolas Roche, Joe Daly and David Tansey


David with his father Joe Daly at the opening of the current shop


Always a supporter and sponsor of women's racing


David in action at one of the many repair nights for Orwell Wheelers


David with Noel O'Neill at the launch of the Scott sponsorship deal for Orwell Wheelers


3 Tansey club members - Paul, Bernie & David - at the club 70th birthday party


2 generations of the Tansey family at the Joe Daly Simposons Cycle (just missing Francis)


David being chased by Orla - enough said!


Team Tansey


 29th August 2020 - David with his last customer, long time club mate & friend Damian Long