Racers and battered bikes bring Electric Picnic-ers to Stradbally
No major delays reported for revellers travelling on four wheels
They came on their professional racers in hi-tech gear, on their battered city bikes in t-shirts and jeans, and in the case of one brave young gentleman, a spangly purple spandex leotard – but they all had the same goal: come hell or high water, get to Electric Picnic.
Judging by the number of people taking the opportunity for a sneaky cigarette at the starting point this morning, it was clear that many of the thousand-strong throng participating in this year’s Tour de Picnic weren’t pro-athletes, but that mattered little in the grand scheme of things.
The 80km charity bike run – which included a 10km run from Athy to Stradbally for the first time this year – has raised over €700,000 for its chosen charities in the five years of its existence, according to Brian McDermott of Give2Go, the organisation behind the athletic fundraiser.
“This year alone, we’ve raised over €200,000,” he said, adding that their was a definite pick-up in places after the festival sold out of its regular ticket allocation last week.
As the 400 runners and 600 cyclists reached the Promised Land of Stradbally after their hard slog, they received a weekend festival ticket and availed of rudimentary ice baths, refreshments and complimentary massages.
Jill Barry, a self-confessed “social cyclist”, had travelled from Cork to participate with her friend Paul Doherty. “We left at 7.40am and it took us just over three hours,” she said. “I did a bit of training, but there were more hills than I expected!”
For those who weren’t travelling to Electric Picnic via foot or on two wheels, AA Roadwatch reported no major issues, but said that roadworks on the N4 in Dublin were delaying motorists accessing the M50. Traffic was busy around the Portlaoise area, as expected.