Paris to Nice charity cyclist already thinking of a repeat
His legs may still be recovering from cycling 800km from Paris to Nice last week, but man Killare Frank Dillon is already looking ahead to next year’s event.
Retired teacher Frank and 59 other hardy souls undertook the mammoth six-day cycle to raise funds for a variety of causes.
His chosen charity is local cancer charity LARCC and at the time of writing on Monday afternoon of last week, he wasn’t far off his pre-race target of €20,000.
Frank and his fellow fundraisers completed the cycle on Thursday week last.
Although he spent the best part of six months training and has completed a number of fundraising cycles in Ireland in recent years, including the 270km Coast2Coast event from Galway to Dublin in one day, Frank says that cycling for an average of 150km through the French countryside for six days took its toll on him and the other members of the peloton.
In addition to having to contend with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees Celsius each day, Frank says that they had to tackle a number of “serious hills” with ascents of up to 10km. The descents from those climbs were also “very intimidating”, he admitted.
The cycle took its participants along France’s secondary road system and into towns and villages that most visitors travelling on the motorways wouldn’t get to see.
While many of the villages are picturesque, navigating their cobbled streets meant that the cyclists had to keep their minds firmly on the task in hand, Frank says.
The same was true when cycling in the countryside. Although the road surface was generally better, having to complete 150km before dinner mean the opportunities to appreciate the rural landscapes were limited.
“You really had to concentrate and focus on what you were doing,” he said. People say ‘oh what beautiful countryside’ and it was fabulous but you haven’t time to be looking and enjoying it.”
Although there were early starts and long days in the saddle, Frank admits that he is already considering taking part again next year.
He also thanked the individuals and businesses that have sponsored him.
“People are very decent and very generous. I’d like to offer sincere word of thanks to all the people who have come on board. Their generosity has made it worthwhile,” he said.
Making a donation
Frank Dillon says that while the Paris to Nice cycle was tough, “what makes it worth the effort is the fantastic support and generosity from so many people in all walks of life”.
If you would like to make a donation, you can still do so, to this account: Account name, Mullingar Lions Club; number, 42207974; sort code, 90-18-53; BIC, BOFIIE2D; IBAN, IE 06 BOFI 9018 5342 2079 74.
LARCC and Mullingar Lions Club are both registered charities (LARCC details are: CHY: 14959, RCN; 20050207), (Lions Club details are: CHY: 15707).