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Bandon cyclists take on ‘500k in a day' challenge

June 28th, 2017 11:50 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

David Gillespie, Robert Merrick, and Liam O Reilly are doing a sponsored 500km in a day.

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THREE members of Bandon Cycling Club are to undertake a gruelling ‘500k in a Day’ cycle to raise much funds for the Friends of Bandon Community Hospital (FOBCH).

Liam O’Reilly, Robert Merrick and David Gillespie, who are all well-known cyclists, are to take to the saddle next Friday June 30th and they plan to cycle for 24 hours on a series of different routes.

Liam told The Southern Star: ‘It’s not going to be easy by any means and we got some practice in there last Saturday on a 212km cycle. 

‘But regardless of the weather, it’s going to be done and the whole idea is for the three of us to do it.

‘We have set a target of €20,000 to raise for FOBCH as they are an important group in our community. They need all the money they can get. They’re doing tremendous work,’ he said.

The three cyclists will set off from the Copper Grove Bar on Friday at 7pm for the first 100km loop which sees them cycle out to Bantry and back into Bandon. 

Following food and refreshments being provided by Copper Grove, they will set off again for a 155km nighttime loop taking in Clonakilty, Rosscarbery, Skibbereen, Ballydehob, Schull, Durrus and Bantry, and back again to Bandon.

‘We will have a full support team with us all the time and for the night time cycles, we will be well lit up. We are also hoping to have members of the club accompany us on some of the routes,’ added Liam.

Following a change of clothes, Liam, Robert and David will head out again at 8am to undertake the same 150km route before arriving back in Bandon for the final route.

‘Our last loop will be around Bandon and Innishannon several times, and the reason we’re doing it is so people can see us and sponsor us and hopefully we can get about 70 cyclists for the last leg.’

It’s been an emotional few weeks for the club who lost one of their valued members, PJ O’Driscoll, recently.

Solicitor PJ died unexpectedly on a morning cycle, and was planning to take part in the fundraising cycle.

Bandon Cycling Club is calling on all its members to come out in force to support the three cyclists and choose whatever route is comfortable for them. 

For those who don’t want to cycle, they are looking for people to help with the logistics, support drivers and mechanics.

‘Please help us make this really fly and support our local community. The Ring of Kerry has nothing on us, let’s show them how to really do it,’ said a post on their Facebook page.

See ‘Bandon Cycling Club’ on Facebook for updates on the events.

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