I’m walking like John Wayne, but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do
I’m saddle sore but have enjoyed every mile of the Cross Rugby Legends cycle
Richard, David and Paul Wallace along with Mairead Farrell from Today FM at the launch tof he The Wallace Brothers Cross Rugby Legends Cycle Pic: CPR. .
The finest sights are those earned. When sitting in Sydney harbour during the Lions tour I couldn’t help being overawed by the iconic Opera House and Bridge; not to mention the third test and all that entailed in the ANZ Stadium, Sydney.
That was before my conversation with Paul Wallace, who has put huge work into the Malin Head to Mizen Head Cross Rugby Legends cycle, supporting cancer research.
Having been introduced to my new compadres, my new bike (first ever racer!) and the fancy racing shoes for the first time at Malin Head, I cleeted into the pedals for the very first time and off we went.
Five hundred metres later I was upon my father’s family home in the Isle of Doagh which was once rented from Harvey of Harvey Bristol cream. The recently found rent book dates a Toland back to 1745.
The map tells me Malin to Mizen is 670km but Paul tells me, one hour in, that we’re not going directly so it’ll be more like 900km.
I’m currently sitting in Killarney with 712kms on my bike.
The most amazing sight has been Chamois Cream. Believe me I would beg, borrow or steel this cream; having developed a John Wayne walk I’m now wearing two pairs of cycle shorts to protect my bottom.
Ten miles short of Letterkenny we were joined by the 24/7 Cycle Club where I paired up with Letterkenny Rugby Club 11-year-old Niall Moyne.
Although only cycling three weeks he was delighted to discover he had 20 days’ more experience.
What an old school rugby welcome Letterkenny chairman Michael MacGinty, Boyd Robinson and Letterkenny Rugby Club gave us.
Founded in 1973, the club has strong ties with All Black Dave Gallaher, best known as the captain of “The Originals”.
Boyd presented a cheque to Paul Wallace for €1250.
Ballina RFC were no different, nor Listowel rugby club and I’ll be forever grateful to Ennis RFC for their chicken curry.
Miles slowly slip by
It’s amazing what you notice on a bike as the miles slowly slip by; Corkscrew Hill deep in the Burren; cattle coming over to the hedge to look at 100 bikes flying by; a man in Tarbert waving a skirting board paint roller at us with total joy on his face; the frenzied waving throughout every town and village we travelled to. An unbridled Irish welcome at the sight of the bikers under great stress.
I noticed too the first Connacht flag waving proudly from Muddy Byrnes pub in Castleconnor. I’ve since discovered this is Gavin Duffy’s home parish.
Nothing quite prepared me for the sight of Lion and Scottish international Rob Wainwright sharing the diving board in Blackrock, Salthill with the three Wallace brothers. What athletes!