Ultra-cycle day 5: ‘The hardest day of cycling in our lives’

The Mayo Ultra-Cyclists completed day five of the their six-day, 1,900km charity cycle challenge yesterday (Thursday, August 20), in what one member of the team described as “the hardest day of cycling in our lives”.

The team encountered torrential rain; savage winds blowing in their faces; and debris all over the road as they passed through Co. Cork – the county worst affected by Storm Ellen.

Notwithstanding that, the team still managed to reach their base for the night – Newcastle West in Co. Limerick – having set off originally from New Ross in Co. Wexford in the small hours of yesterday morning.

Mayo Ultra-Cyclists is a group of adventure cyclists who take on an ultra-cycling challenge for charity every year.

AgriLand, which is a sponsor of the fundraiser, will provide live updates over the course of this week to keep people up-to-date with how the group is getting on.

This year, they’re undertaking the mammoth six-day challenge in memory of James Alexander Moore, who was cared for in CHI at Temple Street.

While undertaking this 1,900km, 32-county ‘ultra-cycling’ challenge, they will use the opportunity to raise some much-needed funds for four charities:

  • Temple Street Foundation;
  • Down Syndrome Ireland West;
  • Mayo Roscommon Hospice;
  • Turn2me.ie.

Over €60,000 was raised as of last night for these worthy causes, surpassing the target of 50,000, with notable sizeable donations from several businesses in the agri-sector, as well as donations from generous private individuals.

The group has set up an online fundraising page and is asking people to spread the word far and wide and share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as any small contribution will be greatly appreciated.

A landing page for the event has also been set up, enabling people to keep up-to-date with the event, here.

So what was the story of day five?

Thursday, August 20

The evening before (Wednesday) the team, knowing they were – literally – going to pass through the eye of a storm, held a meeting to decide on what the best course of action would be.

They decided to sleep on it, and see what the weather was doing in the morning.

When they woke, it was raining heavily and it was still quite windy. But the worst of the gusts seemed to have died down, so they got their gear on (which had been dried the night before for them by a New Ross local) and headed out at around 6:30am across the south coast of the country.

They made for Waterford, but had to battle a headwind blowing straight in their faces. However, that didn’t stop them, and they ploughed on through Waterford, on to Dungarvan, and eventually Cork city and through Ballincollig.

Along the way, they once again – as with most days this week – had to deal with buckets of rain, but with the added problems of strong winds and debris of all sorts on the road, including tree branches.

By the time they hit Killarney, the rain was torrential. Team member Alan Heaney said: “It was the hardest day of cycling in our lives.”

But they fought on, and reached their destination of Newcastle West in Co. Limerick at around 9:30, thanks to some help from a tailwind after Killarney.

Stay tuned to AgriLand over the weekend for the end of the team’s epic charity challenge.