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Declan & Jacinta dare to take on 235km cycle in one day

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Declan and Jacinta McEvoy from Quin will be cycling from Salthill to the 40 foot in Dún Laoghaire all in one day in aid of Simon community on December 21st.

By Tadhg Holland

The journey which measures a total of 235 kilometres will take an estimated 18 hours, 8 of those hours will be in daylight the other 10 in darkness.

Last February Declan broke the Guinness world record for the longest journey undertaken by motorcycle on ice riding his bike 634 km across the frozen lake Baikal in Siberia with temperatures as low as -20 degrees during the day and 30 at night. This year however due to COVID19 Declan was prevented from completing any feats of endurance internationally so he and his wife brought their adventures closer to home.

“I normally travel international every year,” Declan told The Clare Echo. “I’ve been in the process of riding a motorcycle around the world in a kind of a staged event every year and because that wasn’t possible this year we were literally nearly getting bored out of our brains during lockdown in the summer. Initially what my wife and I had done was walk from Salthill to the 40 foot in Dublin, it took 11 days to do it. Then about a month later we decided we would cycle from Mizen to Malin and again that took about 8 days. Then we were talking about the notion of doing Salthill to 40 foot one again but on a bicycle, which sounds fairly easy really but the challenge was could you do it in one day”.

Despite Declan’s experience, many people advised him not to take on this journey, “A lot of people particularly cyclists said to us look kick to touch until next year because you’ve lost daylight and it’s now it’s not going to be possible but you know for me kind of therein lies the challenge. So, we deliberately turned our back on that kind of advice and said right let’s go to the ultimate which is to do on a winters day when it would possibly be the worst time of the year to do it”.

However, for Declan and Jacinta just cycling 235km all in one day in the depths of winter wasn’t quite enough of a challenge already so they will also be bookending the journey with a swim at 5am in Salthill and a swim at the 40 foot when they arrive in Dublin at approximately 11:30pm.

However, Declan does accept the cycle will be difficult. “It’s going to be a challenge” he said “We’re not cyclists per se so we’re spending every evening [training]. We don’t have any support whatsoever. We were offered support you know in terms of a support vehicle driving along with flashing lights but that’s just really not my thing. So there’s a lot of preparation just to make sure I suppose physically you have the capabilities of getting through it because it’s a lot of miles in the dead of winter and weather is going to be critical as to how difficult it’s going to be”.

100% of the proceeds will be going to the Homelessness charity, The Simon Community. “For me Simon is kind of near and dear you know I’ve seen these people in action on the streets. Personally I’d have a particular grá for just you know the notion of helping someone homeless through whatever kind of misfortune they might have had in their life that got them there you know I think it’s a very simple idea where you bring out hot soups, foods, sleeping bags or even on a more long-term basis to try and find something a bit more permanent.”

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