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Last Friday, April 6th, up to 60 cyclists, left Lanesboro to take part in the John Harte Charity Cycle. Included in the pack were a group of enthusiastic Lanesboro Tri Club members, members of Shannonside Cycling Club and Athlone Tri Club and of course the Harte family. After a briefing from the cycle’s organizer Matt Harte, the Garycastle flag waved the cyclists off, as they began retracing the journey (approx 120k), regularly taken by Matt’s father John (RIP), when he first came to Lanesboro. John Harte travelled to Lanesboro by bicycle to find work with Bord na Mona.  For a period of three years he made the journey back and forth between Lanesboro and Easkey at weekends, cycling 70 miles on an old fixed gear bicycle, climbing the Curlew Mountains without the capability of changing gears. (While being challenged with many an uphill some of the cyclists could only admire John’s stamina to do so without any of the high-tech bikes of today! Many were found to say while climbing a hill, “I hate that feeling when you go to change gear again and find there isn’t another one!!”)

The first leg of the journey was from Lanesboro to Elphin (approx 25k). After a quick refresher the group headed off for Collooney, via Boyle and the main N4 roadway (another approx. 50k), followed by a brief pit stop to refuel for the final trek to Easkey (approx 35k) the original home place of John Harte. Having battled many a hill, along with the driving North West winds and rain, (with the help of a stash of power food, sweets and chocolate), the cyclists eventually reached their destination. Greeted with congratulatory applause, hot drinks were served to warm the bones of all. After spending the day in the saddle, laughing with the craic and banter among each other, puffing and panting while being faced with various challenges, the cyclists eventually made it to the hotel at Inishcrone (approx 15k) to celebrate their achievement. A successful day was had by all and club members took part in their fourth discipline for the evening!!  All this couldn’t have happened without the team who organized it, under the guidance of Matt Harte, and also Lanesboro Tri Club’s group leaders, who encouraged and helped everyone along the way and not forgetting the support crew and gardaí who assisted en route! Perhaps this could become an annual thing as there’s already talk of another club cycle and night away!

Many thanks to Oonagh Casey for her photos. Check out her link:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.249168301846757.54866.188371441259777&type=1Check out her

Also Ciarán Harte has a link to their photos, hit the link:

http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn307/FearPictiur/Jennifer%20Maguire%20-%20John%20Harte%20Cycle%202012/?albumview=slideshow

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