CMRF Tom
Kilometres for Kids - Italy Cycle Tour 2010 -Day 3 - Edel O’Malley Guest Post

Day 3.

A very chilled and pleasant evening was had by all the group last night – we stayed in the bar in the hotel and sampled the local beer and wine. With some very tired people, exhausted legs and stiff shoulders people took it very easy and drifted off to bed early enough. They are saving themselves for the wrap up dinner on thursday  night, although some felt it important to have one or two glasses of wine to help them sleep. A few of us chatted about previous cycle challenges and we want to send our best wishes and a speedy recovery to Eugene O’Leary who can’t be with us this year. See you next year Eugene.

DSC_0110

Day 3 started a little bit earlier for some of our cyclists as 6 hardy soles met on the steps of the hotel at 7am and went for a quick refreshing, wash away the cobwebs, swim in the magnificent Adriatic. Pauline Hannon, Thomas Clancy, Eamonn Nicholas, Pat Kennedy, Padraic Benson and Charlie Hosty. The word is spreading about the early morning swim and I reckon that this group will grow over the remaining days.

I forgot to mention yesterday that our own Tom Hickey (the Overseas Events Manager for CMRF) has been cycling with group 3 all week and is thoroughly enjoying taking on the challenge – his quote is “never ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself”. 

DSC_0143

Today’s cycle was spectacular. Bellissimo! All of the groups headed south toward the town of Pesaro – a beautiful seaside resort. From Pesaro each of the groups took on the gruelling 5 KM steady climb up cork screw corners to the top of the “Panoramica”. What an achievement. It was absolutely amazing to see each and every person take on that challenge at their own pace and the fantastic way that those who made it to the top first, cheered and clapped their team mates over the finish line.

DSC_0094

It was a display of fantastic cycling and a joy to see Paddy Kinsella, Arthur Ebbs and Alan Hinchy powering up that mountain. How Harry Hoare got time to sing a song while cycling up that 5km climb is beyond me! Donal Sweeney, Michael Kelly and Niall Mulrine (the Donegal team) all conquered that hill too.

Tom Hickey was telling me later that group 3 really enjoyed the challenge of the long climb. Eddie, who is their guide then led them all back down the corkscrew hills and onto the coast road toward home. Michael Flynn, Jim McCawl and the whole group had a wonderful day. A huge congratulations to all on group 3 for a fantastic achievement today! 

Groups 1 and 2 headed for home on the high road, rolling hills were the order of the day. I know by now after three long days and challenging routes – our team are feeling it in their legs and backs, but remarkably there is not one complaint or groan. Our team Nurse Josephine Mulligan is on hand to help with any problems and the in-house team sports massage guru, John Newell is on hand to offer advice on stretches and exercises to help prevent and alleviate the cramps and stiffness.

DSC_0114

I have completely and utterly fallen in love with this part of the world, the people are wonderful and friendly, the food, the beautiful language and the shoes! We have been blessed with the weather, as we had another lovely warm and sunny day today. Here’s hoping it lasts until Friday.

DSC_0071

Spirits are high, craic is great and personal goals are being fulfilled…..  what more could you ask for.

Kilometres for Kids - 2010 Italy Cycle Tour - Day 1 - Edel O Malley’s Guest Blog

Our 2010 Kilometres for Kids Italy Cycle Tour has begun. We have such a fun filled couple of days ahead of us  - We are in Italy’s famed cycling region of Emilia Romagna.

10 Italy Cycle Promo

Taking part in this challenge are; 

Padraic Benson, Cormac Bracken, Damien Callaly, Orla Callender, Brian Cannon, Thomas Clancy, John  Cloonan, Paul Collier, Thomas Collier, Annette Crowley, Lorraine Donnelly, Bobby Dowd, Martin Ellis, Danny Finucane, Michael Flynn, Denis Geaney, Seamus Graham, Pauline Hannon, Alan Hinchy, Harry Hoare, Charles Hosty, Michael Kelly, Patrick Kennedy, Paddy Kinsella, Ger Lawlor, Paudie Lynch, Tony Maguire, Emmet Maher, Jim McCawl, Niall McDonnell, Katie Muldrew, Mark Mulligan, Stephen Mullin, Niall Mulrine, Sean Murphy, John Newell, Eamonn Nicholas, Finbarr O’Hanlon, Chris Rogers, Donal Sweeney, John Sweeney & Simon Thornton Magretts

Picture 043

The challenge started with a full briefing on the night we arrived, the team discussed the routes, safety and the team were introduced to the guides who will cycle with them each day – as they clock up an amazing 20,000 kilometers between them all over the next 5 days. Each of those kilometers is worth approximately 6 euro per kilometer to helping sick children – a phenomenal achievement. Go Team Crumlin!

We are delighted to welcome so many old friends back on the cycle, lovely to see so many familiar faces, but also a big welcome to all the new people to the event – it is great to see such enthusiasm and commitment from so many.

Route 1:

Today’s cycle took advantage of the fact that there is a lot less traffic on a Sunday and so we headed out of Ricionne, north along the coast line up through Rimmini and on toward Cesenatico – stopping off on route to visit the tomb of famed Italian cyclist, Pantani.  It was a good start to the day with the route being reasonalby flat at the start.  Stopping off in Cesenatico for a break and then we turned inland and headed to the beautiful town of Bellaria.  As the heat of the day rose so did the climbs and our team were tested for the first time with the rolling hills of North Italy. It was inspiriing to see all the team take on those hills and climbs with such gusto.

Picture 052

A well deserved ice cream break was had by the team in Santarcangelo, before tackling the hills back towards the coast and down into Riccione again. After five and a half hours in the saddle, a tired but exhilarated team arrived back at Hotel Dory. Many of the group are taking advantage of the sunshine to wind down and relax on the beach. It will be early to bed tonight as tomorrow’s route will take them further into the countryside and more hills!  It is a privilege to be here to witness such great team work and comradeship amongst the group – constantly helping and encouraging  each other along.