On your bike for ‘dawn chorus’ charity cycle fundraiser

Two charities will benefit from a unique “dawn chorus” cycle taking place next month on the award-winning Waterford Greenway and backed by former world number one cyclist Sean Kelly.

Organisers are urging leisure cyclists and others to get on their bikes in Waterford in the early hours of Saturday, July 14, for the landmark cycle, which will raise funds for the Solas Cancer Support Centre in Waterford City and St John’s Special School in Dungarvan.

The event follows the success of the Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford for the last decade and will form part of this year’s four-day Comeraghs Wild Festival.

The leisure cycle is limited to just 500 participants, aged 10 and over, so anyone interested in completing either of the two routes is encouraged to register on dawnchoruscycle.com.

At 4.30am on that date, the Sean Kelly Dawn Chorus east route leaves Kilmacthomas for Waterford City’s Bilberry car park and a 46km return trip.

The second group of cyclists sets off from the same starting point at Rainbow Hall, Kilmacthomas, at 5am and will travel the slightly shorter 43km west route to Dungarvan and back.

Both events will take place fully off-road on the Waterford Greenway.

Commenting on the event, Sean Kelly said: “After the fantastic success story that was the Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford, I’m delighted once again to be able to lend my support to another exciting Waterford cycling event.

I wish everyone a fantastic, fun-filled early morning on their bikes while enjoying some of the most breathtaking views imaginable.

The entry fee is €40 per adult and €20 per child over 10, while a family of four can register for €100.

There will be refreshments at the half way points — Dungarvan and Bilberry — as well as a post-event “healthy breakfast” back in Kilmacthomas and a goody bag at the finish line.

Half of the entry fee will go towards the two nominated charities. Registration is now open on dawnchoruscycle.com.

Johnny Brunnock, trails officer with Waterford City and County Council, said that, given that the race is taking place on Bastille Day, there will be also prizes for the best French-costumed cyclists.

We look forward to a great turnout and a carnival atmosphere,” said Mr Brunnock. “In the interest of safety, those taking part must observe the 18 km/h speed limit.

He encouraged clubs, societies, workplaces, and groups of friends to register and help the two causes.

The 2018 Comeraghs Wild Festival runs from July 12 to 15 and includes surfing and seaweed-foraging events, a concert at Mahon Falls with the Dublin Gospel Choir, heritage events, a céilí, and more entertainment.


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