The Bath Pub Charity Cycle

By Eoin Meegan

Photos by Kathrin Kobus.

Not since the famed summer of 1976 has Ireland enjoyed such welcoming sunshine and pleasant weather. Your first preference might be to cool down in the pool, grab yourself a tall ice cream, or a cold drink from the fridge, or just sit out in the garden enjoying the Apollonian rays. Perhaps embarking on a 43-kilometre cycle would not be top of your priorities.

But that is exactly what a bunch of fearless men and women had on their minds, when, at the outbreak of the heatwave, they gathered in Bath Avenue to do the annual 43K cycle. And by the looks of things, they had a very good time too. Kudos to manager Brendan Waldron and all at The Bath for hosting The Bath Pub Charity Cycle, now in its fourth year since its inauguration in 2014.

They are supporting a really worthwhile cause, as the money raised was divided between two equally deserving charities, Aware Ireland, and the Christine Buckley Education and Support Centre.

The cycle started from Bath Avenue and continued to Howth, with Howth Head and a detour through scenic St Anne’s park optional. Covering some 43 kilometers (depending on whether you did St Anne’s or not) it posed a tough challenge, especially as the wind was very strong (the tail end of storm Hector had just passed through a few days earlier), with everyone recounting how tough it was on the return trip.

The cycle started around 12.30pm (technically not a race so the cyclists left in stages). Most waited to see Ireland beat Australia in the rugby test match before getting on their way! The first cyclists began to trickle back, in just over two hours time.

Colm O’Toole and Barry Nolan were among the early finishers, and they told me they did it in roughly two hours and 40 minutes. “We had the wind to our backs going out,” Colm said “but it was bracing on the home run.”

As well as the seasoned cyclists, there were many who did it for the first time. Two such intrepid ladies were Alanna and Loretta. Talking to them later, they said they both thoroughly enjoyed it and despite the wind, they were glad they took on the challenge.

“It was worth it because we wanted to support a really good cause,” Alanna said.

The cyclists were regaled upon their return to the Bath with some welcome refreshments. And indeed both cyclists and locals alike (including those not up for the daunting task) enjoyed delicious pizza and a glass or two of lemonade in the pleasant afternoon sunshine, the festivities continuing well into the early evening.

Thanks again to Brendan and Jane and all the staff at the Bath who worked tirelessly through the day to ensure everyone had an enjoyable time. A special thanks also to everyone who contributed generously, either by sponsoring the cyclists or giving donations. The final total raised was in excess of €5,000.

Excellent work all round, and we hope to see you all there again next year.