A group of keen Lisburn cyclists will be pedalling the length of Ireland, an eye-watering 420 miles, this weekend, all in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Seven members of Maryland Wheelers will set off from the bottom tip of Ireland at Mizen Head in Cork tomorrow (Saturday) and begin their End2End 2014 campaign, a furious pedal towards the northernmost point of the island at Malin Head in Donegal.
And as if it didn’t sound tiring enough, they’re going to cover all of it in just four days, arriving on Tuesday.
The monster cycle has already raised over £2,100 for the charity before a pedal has been pushed, thanks to donations, a bag pack and a fund-raising disco.
“Originally, one of my friends and I were just going to do it the two of us for a bit of craic,” said one of the cyclists Josh Murray.
“Then, as we mentioned the idea to other people about the club, it gained momentum and then somebody said about doing it for a worthwhile cause.
“I contacted a few charities and Macmillan were the first to reply. They were a great help, sending us out t-shirts and other fund-raising gear.”
Alongside Josh on the trek will be club-members Adam Pyper, Claire Jeffers, Thomas Kearney and Colin McKee. They’ll all be egged on by the experience of Darrin Lynn and Josh’s dad Michael, who both covered the lengthy trip back in 2010.
They’ll be pedalling up to 130 miles per day and will be accompanied by a Lindsay Ford sponsored bus carrying two spare bikes and supplies from John M Hanna, just in case anything was to go wrong.
The Lisburn team will be stopping off to stay in Killarney, Galway City and Donegal Town before the finish on the picturesque north coast.
They’re certainly in for a trip filled with scenery and they’ve also used their busy training schedule to experience rather differing surroundings than the Irish west coast.
“Some of us went to Mallorca a few weeks ago to practice and there we cycled 500 miles in six days,” he said.
“There are a lot of hills over there but it was more leisure cycling and this trip will be cycling with a real target.
“We’ve had the idea since before Christmas so we’ve been doing spin cycles over winter and making sure we’re in good shape.”
Josh has only ever cycled a maximum of 100 miles in one day before but he doesn’t reckon motivation will be an issue this weekend.
He said: “We’re all part of the cycling club and we’re all used to the cycling. One of the main things for me as well is that we’ve raised over £2,100 already and I don’t want to be letting anyone down.
“We’re aiming for about a 19 miles per hour average speed, although that depends on punctures, the wind and the conditions.”
The group are hoping to raise a total of £3,000. If you would like to donate, visit their Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/End2End2014Josh.