On Saturday, April 26, a small group of determined cyclists set out in stormy weather from Kinsale Rugby Club on the Lions Cycle Challenge Run along our beautiful south coast. Over 200 cyclists had been expected in reasonable weather, but only 40 were able to brave the day.
This year there were two route options. For Super Heroes, there was the 110 kms run to the Old Head, Garretstown, Coolmain Bay, the Coast Road, Timoleague, Courtmacsherry, The Seven Heads, and along the bay into Clonakilty GAA for lunch, before returning to Kinsale.
But cyclists had the choice of a shorter 70 kms cycle through Ballinspittle, the Coast Road, Timoleague, and along the direct route to Clonakilty to join their colleagues for lunch.
The Challenge was endorsed by Cork cycling personality, Gerry Rae, who was Irish Track Champion, was fourth in the Tour of Ireland and, at the age of 72, completed the cycle from Mizen Head to Mallin Head. Gerry was knocked off his bike by a van in Cork and suffered severe head injuries, ending his cycling career. But he was supported brilliantly by the charity BRÍ, who give advocacy with his brain injury. He now returns support to them with the Lions dedicating half of the proceeds to this charity. The other half goes to the Children’s Club of Cork Hospitals, enabling them to send sick children on a holiday to Disneyland, Paris.
The greatest challenge, however, was to “actually cycle at all” on the rain-lashed routes. The 40 Heroes laughed at the storm and, with a great sense of achievement, enjoyed the run and made their contribution to two great causes!