520 RIDERS HELP RAISE OVER €10,000 FOR BRAY CANCER SUPPORT CENTRE WITH SUCCESSFUL SKODA SPORTIVE
The number of cyclists who took part in the Skoda Tour of Wicklow Sportive which raised over €10,000 for Bray Cancer Support Centre
‘CONGRATULATIONS!’ an email from Skoda Ireland roared at me on Monday morning. ‘You are a cycling legend!’
This was after the Tour of Wicklow Sportive – the second installment in the nationwide Skoda Cycle Series in association with Independent News and Media Regionals.
Why, thank you Skoda! However I’ll freely admit that when I returned from my nice 60km jaunt around the Wicklow hills (weirdly more up than down), most of the 100km people had already gone home and showered.
The embarrassingly long time I took to complete the cycle will remain a closely guarded secret, however I achieved what was once the unachievable – crossed the finish line in one piece.
This was thanks mainly to the encouragement of Brendan O’Leary of Bray Cancer Support Centre as well as Tony McWilliams, Eamon Kearns, Liz McFadden and everyone in the Saturday morning training group.
Thanks also to Everest Cycles in Bray for the loan of the bike which, together, we made it through without incident.
The most important thing, of course, is that Bray Cancer Support raised more than €10,000 as a result of the event last Saturday, where 520 cyclists took part.
‘Thank you to all of the cyclists who entered, the marshals who looked after the route, the volunteers who looked after registration and the feed stations, the Gardai, the Bray Order of Malta and so many others who gave up their time to help. We appreciate your support so much,’ said a representative of the centre, who also thanked Bray Emmets GAA Club for the use of their facilities as well as St. Gerard’s School for allowing them to use their car park.
The route took me as far as Laragh and back and despite a little bit of rain in the early stages, it was a wonderful way to see a beautiful county.
I’m a native, and I’d seen it all before, but mostly from cars and buses. This was something else.
The extremely patient and polite ladies serving tea and sandwiches played a blinder at the Brockagh Centre in Laragh, with a far bigger crowd than they were expecting. ‘We’ve run out of everything!’ one told me when I chanced looking for a second sambo.
I paired up with another beginner, and every time we felt like jacking it all in and ringing the emergency number to get collected, there was another spectacular view to enjoy.
‘Slow and steady wins the race,’ I always think. And while I’m sure there were some impressive times clocked up on the day, we were happy to smell the flowers, not to mention the wild garlic and even the silage here and there.
A couple of the very experience boyos back at the ranch when it was all over told me I’ll never find one as difficult as that again, so it’s all uphill from here, so to speak!
‘I’m never coming to Wicklow again,’ I heard one poor woman complain as she struggled upwards somewhere near Roundwood on the return journey. ‘It is very hilly,’ I conceded. Her reply suggested it was worse than that.
I started training back in February and barely made it to Newtown and back. Since then there’s been blood, sweat, and I’ve even been close to tears. Now bitten by the bug, I might be persuaded to reveal my finishing time on the next occasion!
Brendan O’Leary and Victor Edmonds strategising before the roll out of the cycle.
Garald Herradura, Roger Perocho and Eduardo Duldulao pin their race numbers on.
Our very own Mary Fogarty looking the part of a seasoned cyclist before she set of on her very first Sportive.
Nicola Crean, Eilish Bradshaw, Marie Burke, Viv Conlon, and Pau
Dermot and Jerome Anglin do some last-minute preperations.
Cllr Tra and town