15 years on the road for free wheeler

Wexford People - - NEWS - By DAVID TUCKER

At 57, Adelino Manuel Lopez Fer­reira car­ries his life around with him.

But as the Por­tuguese cy­clist told this news­pa­per, it’s noth­ing new, he’s been do­ing it for 15 years and has done a raft of daily deals to keep on the road.

Adelino’s trusty and well-used ‘Soli­taire’ bike is parked be­hind him at the Bull­ring, where he has an equally well-used, fold-up pa­per ex­hi­bi­tion of many of the places he has ped­alled through since he left Por­tu­gal in 2003.

Tanned and fit, with a hand-shake like Conor McGre­gor and a nose bro­ken and left a lit­tle askew fol­low­ing a Moto-Cross ac­ci­dent many years ago, Adelino says the main prob­lem he has had to con­tend with is the dogs which seem to find him wher­ever he goes.

To counter the ca­nine threat, a ram’s skull, com­plete with horns into which he some­times loads with red light bulbs in its eye sock­ets, adorns the front of the bike, how­ever, a grubby teddy bear soft­ens the mes­sage. He found the skull in some Greek moun­tains, but doesn’t re­call where the teddy bear came from.

A bat­tered house­hold old-fash­ioned ther­mome­ter is lashed to the bike’s cross tube so that he can see just how cold, or warm it is when he’s in the sad­dle.

A gas can­is­ter and a stove are tied be­neath the seat, with a tent, blan­kets, a sleep­ing bag, and ev­ery­thing else he needs to sus­tain him­self in neat piles above and be­low.

It may be a sim­ple, if a some­what hard life, but it’s one Adelino says he loves.

In his younger days, Adelino worked all over the world in the fish­ing in­dus­try, but de­cided to em­bark on his 10-year cy­cling marathon as part of a get-fit cam­paign af­ter he broke his leg.

Since then he hasn’t stopped and is five years on from his 10-year marathon and has no plans to slow down and put his feet up.

He says he was cy­cled 85,000km over the decade and a half, mainly through ru­ral ar­eas, ‘be­cause I don’t like cities’.

To il­lus­trate the point, he points to Cur­r­a­cloe on a well-worn Ir­ish map, his next des­ti­na­tion.

Adelino says he funds his lifestyle mainly through ca­sual work.

‘I pick toma­toes, work in gar­dens and any­thing else that comes up,’ says Adelino, who is plan­ning to over-win­ter in Dublin with friends be­fore hit­ting the road again.

He can’t re­mem­ber how many tyres, wheels and chains he has to re­place dur­ing his long ride, but the steel bike is the same one he set out with on his ride.

Adelino came to Ire­land af­ter cy­cling through Morocco, the Ca­nary Is­lands and France, and plans to head for Canada next year, although he con­fesses he doesn’t like rid­ing in heavy rain or snow and who can blame him?

Round-the-world cy­clist Adelino Manuel Lopez Fer­reira on his stop-off in Wex­ford.

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