THERE was hardship, exhaustion, wrong turns and driving rain. But in the end a hardened bunch of cyclists arrived in Dromcollogher to a heroes’ welcome last Friday, having traversed over 700km in the name of cancer research.
The ‘West London to West Limerick’ cycle, which was organised by West Limerick native Thomas Quaid, saw nine men from across Ireland endure a gruelling four-day effort which is expected to raise almost €15,000 for the Irish Cancer Society.
The initial peloton of six cyclists departed London on December 18, and after making the ferry crossing from Pembroke to Rosslare they were joined by three more cyclists for the final leg of the journey. The cyclists arrived in Dromcollogher ahead of schedule last Friday evening.
Thomas’ brother Mike, who was one of a number of people who followed the lads and provided support along the 760km route, said that he was delighted with the success of the adventure.
“When we were all sitting down and Thomas came up with the idea, if we’d known what was ahead of us, we mightn’t have done it at all! But from the online donations alone we’ve raised €12,000, and when we’ve all the cards counted up we’re hoping to get to €15,000. We’re delighted.”
The Quaid family were recently touched by cancer, and Mike said that it was out of determination to make a difference that the cyclists worked and persevered since training their began in October.
“The day we went through Wales to get to the ferry was tough. They did 115 miles; they were in the saddle for ten-and-a-half hours. The weather was rotten.
“But they put their heads down and got on with it. We got a great reception when we made it home. It was emotional”.