Peter McVerry Wexford Cycle
In past years, Dubco has been a proud sponsor of this great charity and for 2018, we sponsored a team to do the cycle from Dublin to Wexford.
The cycle took place on Saturday September 15th and covers 135 kms from Belfied (UCD) to White’s Hotel in Wexford. Assembly and registration was at the Belfield bowl from 7am on the morning of the cycle and once the registration was complete and we had the timing chip strapped around our ankles, the 350 participants rolled out to the N11/Stillorgan dual carriageway with a Garda escort at 7.30. It was fantastic to see all the participants wearing the Peter McVerry cycling shirts with the Dubco logo on the collar!
The route took us through Bray to the Kilmacanogue exit on the N11 where we climbed ‘The Long Hill’ on the road to Roundwood. After 4kms of pain, we reached the top of this well-known (amongst cyclists at least!) hill and it was literally all downhill to Roundwood, Annamoe and finally we reached Laragh at approx. 9.30. There were food/water stops along the route and Laragh was the first one for the day. Here, we re-grouped, ate a banana and an energy bar and after topping up the water bottles, got moving again towards Arklow.
This part of the cycle is through some lovely countryside albeit with constantly rolling roads – more of that later. It’s difficult to imagine getting through a cycle of this length without incident and inevitably one of the group punctured between Woodenbridge and Arklow. While we set about changing the tube, one of the cycle support vans stopped to offer help which we didn’t need to avail of. They left and we just had the tube changed when a second van stopped to offer assistance, they stayed to divert traffic around us and we accepted their offer of a spare tube in case we had another puncture later in the day. Interestingly, the vans were also on hand to ‘sweep up’ anyone who was struggling with the cycle and provide some relief by taking you 10 kms down the road or the whole way to Wexford! Well done to the organisers for providing this kind of support, if you weren’t familiar with changing tubes on the side of the road then the support vans were on hand to sort you out and get you back in the saddle!
Once we arrived on Arklow at approx. 11.30, we stopped at the Applegreen on the Gorey Road for a sandwich and to top up the water bottles again and then started in the direction of Gorey. Once we passed through Gorey, the route takes the coast road to Wexford. Having left the shelter of the Wicklow hills, we then realised the strength of the headwind we faced for the last 30kms into Wexford. It was ‘character building’ to put it mildly and we were relieved to arrive at the Hertz depot on the outskirts of the town to a samba band and another food stop before having a Garda escort take us the last 2 kilometres into Whites’ Hotel. Whites allowed us the use of their showers and there was a welcome barbecue where we could compare stories from the day. All told, we covered over 135kms but perhaps the number that had the bigger impact on the legs and energy levels was the 1,200 metres of ascent over the spin – thanks to those rolling Wicklow hills!
In terms of funds raised, from a combination of contributions from staff, members and some very generous suppliers, we will be well over the €2,600 mark. Thanks to all who chipped in to this very worthwhile charity, bearing in mind that the winter season is fast approaching and we hope that our small contribution will make a difference somewhere to their work in this area.
Overall, the event was very well organised, there were food stops where needed and marshals to provide directions, support vans were always on hand and there was a barbeque provided in Wexford. We look forward to completing it again next year and we would recommend it to all. It’s definitely achievable for a novice with a bit of preparation and of course, remember the great cause you’ll be contributing to.