Wednesday 28 September 2016

After cycling 39,000kms, couple's bikes go missing at Shannon

Tomás Heneghan

Published 08/08/2016 | 14:13

Jo and Paul Casey on the US leg of their global cycle
Jo and Paul Casey on the US leg of their global cycle

After cycling 39,000km, across 40 countries and four continents one couple’s journey hit a bump when their bags and bikes were lost on the way to Shannon Airport.

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Jo (33) and Paul (34) Casey’s journey across the globe was stalled this weekend as they flew into the Co Clare airport to find their belongings had gone missing.

The couple, originally from Kent in England, arrived in Ireland on Friday on an Aer Lingus flight from Edinburgh but they had to spend the weekend searching for their property.

They described the situation as “a nightmare”.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Jo explained: “They [Bikes and luggage] have everything in them, including our tent (our house), six months worth of diaries, lots of other sentimental bits from the last two and half years of cycling around the world.

“But more importantly, we want to finish the ride on our faithful steeds. They’ve carried us 39,500km. We’re two weeks away from riding the equivalent of the equator, and returning to our hometown of Faversham [Ken] where we left so long ago.”

The couple have been cycling around the world since early 2014, selling up or giving away everything they owned in the UK at the time.

Jo told Independent.ie: “We got a bit disillusioned with the 9-5 lifestyle so decided to cycle around the world. So in March 2014 we got married and left on week later.”

Before arriving in Ireland the couple had just completed the US leg of their journey, where they cycled from Los Angeles to New York.

Jo explained that her husband has family in Kerry and they pair were looking forward to visiting them as they took in the sights around the country.

“We thought it would not only be a chance to see more of Ireland but we could catch up with some family we hadn’t seen for a while.”

Explaining that they are currently staying with Paul’s cousin, Jo said: “Our situation is so unique in the sense that we have lost not only our means of transport but our accommodation (we camp every night).

The couple’s situation came to light on Monday after their social media post about it started to go viral.

In the post the couple said: “Super disappointed in Aer Lingus. It’s Sunday night and our bikes and luggage still haven’t arrived since our flight on Friday.

“And not a word from Aer Lingus despite us calling and leaving numerous messages yesterday and today.

“39,000km cycled across 40 countries and we’re being massively let down at this final hurdle. Come on Aer Lingus, sort it out.”

A social media campaign then followed, which saw people contacting the airline through Twitter.

The couple said their bicycles and luggage were located on Monday afternoon. They are scheduled to be sent from Edinburgh and are expected to arrive by lunch time on Tuesday.

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