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Former Tour de France winner Stephen Roche teamed up with Ronan O'Gara recently in Cork to promote the Paul Darbyshire Cycle
Get On Yer Bike For Darby
5 May 2011, 5:12 pm
By The Editor
In just over a month from now cyclists will set out from Cork on the first leg of a fundraising cycle to Warrington in England, in aid of Paul Darbyshire and Motor Neurone Research.
And least anyone be deterred by the prospect of what lies ahead, Munster Supporter Joe Noonan from Summerhill North, Cork set off for the Munster v Ospreys game last Saturday at 12.45pm from Patrick's Hill, Cork City and arrived, none the worse for the experience five hours and 100kms later.

Joe's take on the cycle? "Slow and steady and you'll get there."

So for those contemplating even the first leg on June 19th here's Joe's description of the journey and how he tackled it.

"I am an overweight 54 yr old, back on the bike last year after many years, with regular cycling in recent months averaging about 40 miles a week. (Roughly following the training pattern recommended on http://www.ringofkerrycycle.ie/)]

"I took the main road all the way up as far as the turn onto the motorway just before Patrickswell. Because bikes are banned from the M-way I kept going straight on through P'well - which turned out to be the nicest 10km of the day, along what was the old main road that had very little traffic and was well sheltered from the wind, straight and flat all the way into O'Connell St.

"There are some narrow stretches with the traffic passing fairly close - though almost all drivers were sensible and considerate in giving me a wide berth. (The two who were a bit close for comfort were a big black saloon from Louth and a small Limerick Fiat!)

"There was a strong N- NW breeze which was a drag as a lot of the road is exposed. Especially leaving Cork was uphill into the wind mostly, so just had to grin and bear it, going along at about 15 km/h.

"Worst bit in physical terms was cycling through the main street in Buttevant, which is very bumpy for its entire length and hard on the backside. My more experienced friends tell me padded cycling shorts are a great advantage, and after the battering in Buttevant I might invest.

"The 2+1 road arrangement between Rathduff and Mallow was a section I had been a bit concerned about beforehand but it was fine. There is a good metre or more outside the yellow line which was grand, and if anything, drivers were extra considerate on this stretch, perhaps because of its unusual nature.

"I made two short stops: first at the garage just beyond the roundabout in Mallow for a drink and a snack (the nice man there wanted to know had I taken any petrol or diesel so I waved my helmet to prove my innocence!) which is one third of the way to Limerick, and again at a garage in Charleville for the same nourishment.

"The restart after the Charleville stop was a bit hard going as a degree of fatigue set in for a while but the road levelled off and if anything the journey seemed downhill much of the way after that.

"There are a couple of short Cycle paths at Ballyhea and Charleville for example. Ignore them. They are ludicrously short and end abruptly bringing you back at an abrupt angle into the main carriageway.

"I have no data on elevation but nothing en route was particularly taxing, and on a dry summer's day without a head wind it would be very pleasant - and of course very worthwhile - experience for anyone with a bit of pre-event mileage in their legs."

If you are interested in taking part and would like to show your support for Paul Darbyshire and Motor Neurone research please email support@munsterrugby.ie

If you are still not convinced to get on your bike make sure to show your support at the different stages and please donate online here.

More details about Paul and the cycle can be found here.

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