Catherine Nicholl
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That's that then!

Catherine Nicholl
Posted by
14 Jul 2015

Giro Guinness done- 460 miles of the toughest cycling I've ever done! Worth every mile!

I can't actually believe its over, what a trip! We set off in lovely sunshine, cycling through Cheshire pretty much having the roads to ourselves. Wales welcomed us with a downpour which lasted us to the hills and got chased away by a vicious headwind as we pushed through the last 20 miles of our 108 mile trip to Bangor. We got there in good time and piled down to the pub for tea. It was an early start on Tuesday to get the 8am ferry at Holyhead where we caught up on a few zzzz's ready for the rest of the day! What a day we had, crossing from the Dublin port and beginning that long, long climb into the Wicklow mountains. We had wind, rain, hailstones and sunshine all in that climb, I don't think I've ever been as cold. The lovely lady at the pub at the end took our tops and put them in the tumble dryer, handing out her son's T-shirts to the boys and a few of us got a pub T-shirt to keep! Talk about Irish hospitality! That night the beers were well deserved. Day 3 was the day of the headwind but thankfully the rain was over and even the climbs were a lot more fun. Day 4 and 5 were flatter days and brighter on the weather front, in fact we even had some proper sunshine on the last day!

That's enough about the weather, let me tell you about how much I enjoyed the journey! I had only met 3 of the group before last Monday and I was nervous to say the least but I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to do the challenge with, they were all absolute stars. It's usually the way with cycling trips, after all we all have to be just a little bit bonkers to sign up in the first place. The long days in the saddle were split up by great lunches provided by Chapeau to keep us fuelled. We were met with smiling faces and a table full of all kinds of sugar at each of our drink stops- jelly beans can taste like heaven at the top of a hill!

The best bit of all had to be cycling towards lunch on day 3 when I saw 2 very familiar faces at the side of the road cheering us in. My wonderful Dad and wee sister Barbara shouting and waving like only family can made my day! They spent the next few days following us round Ireland and even buying me a pint at the end of the day- Perfect! 

The finish in Phoenix park was fantastic with hugs and photos, bubbles, giggles and Guinness it was a perfect end to the most amazing week.

I can't thank everyone enough for all the support for this challenge of mine that I know most of you can never understand why on Earth I would do it. I also have to thank all the people who have helped me and the rest of my family get through a year I can't even begin to describe. My aunts, uncles and cousins have all been towers of strength and I know they miss our wonderful Mum as much as we do. My friends old and new have all helped me without even knowing it, I am a very lucky girl! I know my Mum would think I was crazy for what I've just done but she always thought I was nuts anyway!  I hope that the money I've raised can help someone like her fight blood cancer and beat it! This charity will save lives so thank you again I hope I've done you proud.

If any of you fancy a bike ride, you know where I am- Keep smiling and keep pedalling! xx


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