Irish cricket team mates Gary Wilson and William Portefield are getting on their bikes for an ambitious project to cycle the length of Ireland – a grand total of 380 miles in just five days!
Neither has any significant cycling experience – indeed Irish captain Porterfield was one of those unusual kids growing up who never rode a bicycle. He was probably otherwise occupied playing cricket!
But now at the age of 28 has been trying to perfect his balance on two wheels – all in the aid of charity.
He has agreed to join close friend Gary Wilson on the sponsored ride in aid of Cancer Research UK, all in memory of Gary’s mother Iris who died earlier this year.
Over the past few months – even during the World Twenty Cup in Sri Lanka – Porterfield has been hopping on a bicycle whenever he can.
“I was just one of those things that I never really rode a bicycle when I was young”, he says. “But I’ve now put in a few miles and, with a bit of luck, should be alright.”
The “off” will be in Cork on Tuesday (October 9) and the journey over five days will take them to Belfast through Kilkenny (overnight Tuesday), Malahide (overnight Wednesday) Armagh (overnight Thursday) and Derry/Londonderry (overnight Friday). At the end of the marathon, the cyclists will be met on Saturday at Belfast City Hall by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Gavin Robinson.
“It will be tough going”, says Gary. “Cricket has, of course, kept us pretty fit but I think we’ll have to put in a lot more training before we set off”.
The two men are inviting relations and friends to take turns accompanying them on the journey and they’re hoping members of the public will join in as well.
Says Gary : “It will be a long haul and I think we will be tested to the limit. But we have organised it that way in the hope that people will support us given the toughness of the task.”
Donations can now be made at www.justgiving.com/Gary-Wilson14 or text the donation to 70070 with the code CRIC50 and the amount you wish to give.
More information can be received at www.welivecricket.com/bigbikeride