Jim’s gruelling ride a big boost to Derry charity

Billy Doherty, left, of The Undertones, presents memorabilia for auction to Richard Moore, Children in Crossfire director, and fundraiser Jim Doyle who has been cycling around Ireland for the local charity. (3009PG47)
Billy Doherty, left, of The Undertones, presents memorabilia for auction to Richard Moore, Children in Crossfire director, and fundraiser Jim Doyle who has been cycling around Ireland for the local charity. (3009PG47)

When Jim Doyle left Navan on September 11 he was to begin one of the most challenging bike rides in cycling history.

The Derry driving instructor faced a gruelling 1,350 mile journey around Ireland in just 132 hours to raise funds for local charity Chilrden in Crossfire.

The race required Jim to cover at least 300 miles per day by bike with 90 minutes sleep per night.

To make the challenge even more difficult six week before the start of the race Jim had fallen and broken a rib.

And although he was still recovering from the effects of the ill-timed bathroom tumble, it’s was the mental challenge of racing the entire perimeter of the island inside a 132-hour time limit which was foremost in his thinking.

As hurricane Katia hit the cost of Ireland Jim had cycled already north from Navan towards Belfast and then swung round the north coast to Derry towards Malin Head. With winds as high as 100 miles per hour in his face he battled onto Sligo for his first sleep of the challenge.

But after two days the weather had become so severe, the race had his time limit extended by 12 hours and saw Jim almost a full day behind schedule.

Then, 850 miles into his journey as he came close to Mizen Head. Jim had a serious crash, over a barbed wire fence which damaged his knee.

In severe pain Jim battled on for another 250 miles until he eventually had to stop.

His challenge was of huge benefit to Children in Crossfire’s work, and although he has taken sometime off cycling to recover Jim is still fundraising to support the charity.

To support Jim’s challenge donate online at www.justgiving.com/Jim-Doyle