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Malin to Mizen

  • Malin to Mizen

Kevin OHara Alfa RomeoI know many people thought I was crazy when I first mentioned cycling solo from Ireland’s most northerly point to its most southerly point, so of course I thought that was all the better reason to do it anyway. Even better again was the fact that I was able to raise some money for Pieta House as a result. The day before setting off, I went to collect my Alfa Romeo Giuletta which Alfa Romeo Ireland had kindly supplied me with for my journey. Then at 5 in the morning, myself and 3 friends who had agreed to come along to keep morale up set off for Donegal! It was 11.30 before we arrived in Malin but thankfully the weather was dry but a lot windier than I would have liked! The first day turned out to be the toughest by far because of the late start and the wind. But I decided I had to reach the border back into the Republic before I finished up, which ended up being 9 at night. I wasn’t feeling too great at all by that point and to be honest morale was a tad low. So some food and a bed was just the cure that I needed!

On day two we drove back to the point where I had finished the day before. As we were getting the bikes ready, we met a man cycling who had himself cycled from Mizen to Malin a few years previous. My mate Damian was going to do some miles with me that day also so the 3 of us set off and cycled together for about a half hour before going out separate ways. After cycling through Swanlinbar, Ballinamore, Drumlish, Longford, Ballymahon, Athlone, Ferbane and Cloghan, I finished the day in Birr and again the bed was calling my name even more than usual! So after a beautifull meal in a restaurant in Birr and a quick debrief with the Luke fella that is just where I went!

IMG_8446I started at 9 in the morning on the 3rd day which was good going for me because as anyone who knows me will know I’m not a morning person! The only rain I got on the entire journey was as I was going through Birdhill not long before I got to Limerick. I had added a slight detour to our route in order to go and meet the guys from Clareview Car Sales and Rentals and Pieta House who also have a base in Limerick City. After a quick lunch it was back on the road. I ended the day at the 180km mark in Coachford in Co Cork which I was pretty happy with after two long days, especially as I was still feeling very strong.

The last day was nice and short, only 115 km to do so it most certainly felt short compared to the previous days. The plan was to be finished by lunch time. I started on a road that seemed like something out of the Corsica Rally so I was having a lot of fun and after two moments on the wet tarmac I had a big smile on my face. Once the sun came out, the roads quickly dried and it seemed like it was downhill almost all the way the Mizen. Along the way we passed the site where Michael Collins, the Irish revolutionary, was shot and through some of the prettiest scenery I had seen on the entire journey. The closer I got to Mizen the better the weather seemed to get and after a quick stop in Goleen, the last town before Mizen Head, I met 3 people who had walked all the way from Malin which was pretty cool. It was a pretty awesome feeling to finally get there, almost as good as winning a race, but not quite haha! Looking back on it now after a couple of months have past, it was most definitely one of the best experiences of my life but would have been for nothing had it not been for all of you who were so good to donate. Thank you all very much!. I have to say a big thank you to Alfa Romeo Ireland for supplying me with the car and of course to Damian, Ronan, Niamh and the Little Topper for taking all the photos.