Mayo cyclists cover 32 counties for charity and pass through County Down.
A 32-county cycle trek taking in the beautiful ring of Kerry, Mountains of Mourne and wild Atlantic way and through the river Shannon is a dream for many bikers writes Ben King.
But a group of men cyclists passed through Down recently doing just that.
Covering the width and breadth of the island of Ireland on the Mayo Ultra Cycle was a challenge undertaken by a group of men from Mayo who braved the various terrains and weather all with their eyes set on supporting a charitable good cause that drove them on.
The cycle near completion be 1900 km clockwise of Ireland and will begin and finish in Swinford, County Mayo. The cycle took place over six days, commencing on the 16th August and ended on the 22nd of August.
Ben King from Castlewellan interviewed Alan Heaney for Down News, spokesperson for the cyclists.
Alan explained: “I’m married with four children and I work as in agricultural tech automation and farms as well. I’m doing the cycle to give back to local and national charities and also basically to keep fit. We are all in our early 40s now and we want to do it now while we can, so long as we are fit and healthy.
“We have had to juggle busy lifestyles with work and family, but we have made time to put good works in along the way. The Mayo men have been preparing well for this and made long distanced journeys and even a fast-paced pilgrimage on the list of achievements.
“We have enjoyed boiled pots of tea and hearty sandwiches along the roads and ditches from our many supporters which kept us fuelled for the long journeys.
“We undertook a cycle from Cork to Donegal in 2 days, then took the length of the mainland of the UK in in four days coming through Down before embarking on a Knock to Lourdes 2,000 km trip in just five days.
“We were touched about the death of a young man, James Alexandra Moore (11), who was being cared in Temple street, Dublin. His death has inspired us on our charitable mission.
“James had great plans to fundraise for the Temple Street hospital. We are just trying to fulfill some of his dreams.
“The money raised by donations will go to the Temple Street foundation in Dublin. The cycle will also be supporting Down Syndrome Ireland, and Turn To Me, a mental health counselling text service, and also Mayo Roscommon Hospice.
“The Mayo lads have been conditioning to what is a difficult cycle. They have been making time to do long distances in the West of Ireland early in the morning at 6 am and in the evenings at 8 pm.
“We passed on through County Down to Newry during the cycle and people came out to support our charity cycle and we received a few donations. It was great!”
Mayo Ultra Cycle can be followed on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and they have set up a Go Fund Me page.”