From Malin to Mizen - 630km - in 24 hours... using only pedal power
ACCORDING to a route planning device, to drive from Malin to Mizen Head would take in or around nine hours and just shy of 630km.
If you drove that in one day, most people would need a good nights kip. However, spare a thought for Sergeant Hugh Twomey of Mallow Garda station who aims to cycle that distance in 24 hours.
Sgt Twomey is an avid cyclist and has taken part in numerous charity events throughout the country.
And today, he hops on his bicycle for what will surely be an epic challenge in aid of Loinnir Suicide Bereavement Support Group.
Sgt Twomey who hails from Kilgarvan but now calls Banteer home will even be cycling through the night to make it across the line at Mizen Head within the one day time slot.
What makes Sgt Twomey’s feat all the more remarkable is that he only took up cycling four years ago but quickly “caught the bug,” as he put it.
He has previously cycled the Malin to Mized Head challenge with a group of fellow Gardai. It took them four days, but during it a thought crossed his mind – perhaps he could do it in 24 hours?
Fellow Kerryman, Garda Liam Doyle spoke with Sgt Twomey about the work which Loinnir Suicide Bereavment Support Group undertakes in the North Cork region. They provide a grieving process in a safe, tolerant and emphatic environment where bereaved people can be themselves with others who have had similar experiences.
“I have seen first hand the great work which Loinnir does and I feel they are a great organisation. Every cent raised will be going directly to them,” said Hugh.
On Saturday, fellow colleagues and friends will join Hugh for various 50km routes to keep his spirit up and to offer words of encouragement. Those who will be joining him will include Mick Walsh, John O’Leary, Liam Doyle, Philip Hayes, Dave White and Cathal O’Regan. Mick Walsh of the ‘Freewheelers’ club along with its members will also join Hugh in Macroom where the group will shout out words of encouragement for the Kerryman in the Rebel county.
Connie Tarrant of E Tarrant and Sons in Banteer will also be providing Skoda vehicles and gear. In addition, Paul Birchall of Pi Cycles in Mallow has been making sure that Hugh’s bicycle is in tip-top shape along with all spare equipment should something break down.
“My challenge is to cycle non-stop from coast to coast. My aim is to do it within the 24 hours and to raise as much as I can to support Loinnir,” said Hugh.
Of course behind every great man is a great woman – and Hugh’s wife, Cathy has been doing all the cooking to make sure that he is in tip top shape for his gruelling undertaking. Cathy along with the couple’s two children, Clodagh (10) and Oisin (8) aim to be in Mizen Head to welcome their dad home on Sunday.
He sincerely thanked everyone who has rolled up their sleeves and helped him over the last number of months.
Anybody who wishes to donate to the worthy cause donations will be accepted at Mallow Garda station and can also be made to Bank of Ireland A/c Number: 20443984, Sort code 90-28-80