Saturday 17 August 2019

Ollie's 'wild' charity cycle

Team Ollie still smiling as they take on their Wild Atlantic Way challenge
Team Ollie still smiling as they take on their Wild Atlantic Way challenge
Ollie Grimes checks his equipment before getting in the saddle again

Ken Phelan

A Skerries cyclist recently endured a self-imposed and gruelling five day challenge, traversing the length of Ireland's west coast for charity, deciding to do so not in a sensible fashion, but rather in 'The Wild Atlantic Way.'

Ollie Grimes, owner of Ollie's Place and The Snug in Skerries, completed the trip with two of his pals, clocking up an impressive 800 miles on their five day trip.

The challenge encompassed Malin Head, Westport, Lenane, Galway, Tralee and Donegal to name a few, all in aid of Leukaemia Trust Ireland.

Ollie, just recovering from his post-trip flu expains: 'A friend of ours was diagnosed with leukaemia last year; he was a very healthy guy, always in the gym training.

'We kinda felt it, us being a bunch of lads who do the gym ourselves and look after ourselves, that you can get a knock like this no matter how strong you may be. Without the help of Leukaemia Trust Ireland, he wouldn't have been able to get a bone marrow transplant, so that's why we chose the charity.'

He says: 'I do bits and pieces of charity work whenever I can; if people come to me and ask me to get involved and if I can and if I see something that may be a little bit different, I'll do it. So I said yeah, one hundred percent I'll do it, not realising that it is actually quite a difficult challenge to take on. I cycle a couple of hours maybe three times a week, but I wouldn't really be cycling maybe ten to twelve hours a day, it wouldn't usually be my thing.'

Ollie says the trip was quite 'tough', with the three men having to brave the elements that the west coast of Ireland presents, making the trip even more difficult. Once they reached the halfway point though, things were a little easier, as he says: 'The cycle was 10-12 hours per day, some days as many as 14 hours. On our very first day in Donegal we were hit by rain and a strong head wind, but we kept going to make progress. Psychologically on the second day we were shattered, but looking at our progress on the map really gave us motivation to move on. The halfway point is psychological, so once you get past that, it spurs you on.'

Before this recent cycle, Ollie also took part in a 24-hour cycle for SYSS (Skerries Youth Support Services), which presented its own set of challenges. The cycle raised a substantial sum for the much needed service and prepared Ollie for his five day trip around Ireland's west coast.

Ollie and his pals raised around €4,000 for Leukaemia Trust Ireland from their recent cycle, something which the charity will doubtless be more than pleased with.

To make a donation to Ollie's fundraiser for Leukaemia Trust Ireland, contact him at: 087-2269465.

Fingal Independent